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Old 04-08-2013, 02:06 PM   #1
SCmom3
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touring the parks with PTSD

My husband has PTSD. Enclosed spaces full of people are a problem for him. I already know that the stretching room at HM is out of the question. Is it possible to bypass that? We plan to use FP to avoid the queues and the inevitable personal space invasion. Is there anything else I am missing? A day at the zoo can be very stressful for him and I do not want our vacation to be a miserable experience.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:21 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCmom3
My husband has PTSD. Enclosed spaces full of people are a problem for him. I already know that the stretching room at HM is out of the question. Is it possible to bypass that? We plan to use FP to avoid the queues and the inevitable personal space invasion. Is there anything else I am missing? A day at the zoo can be very stressful for him and I do not want our vacation to be a miserable experience.
Yes, I skip the stretching room every time and board at the exit at HM. So it is possible. I anticipate that You will need a GAC to do this though. I highly doubt (with the number of other complaints I have seen on here about people encountering rude/unhelpful CMs at HM...although I have pretty much always had the opposite experience and had helpful CMs there) that they will do any accommodating without a GAC. Besides I think that your DH could benefit greatly from a GAC with all your DH's stressors!! You can go to Guest Services and discuss his situation with them and they can let you know what accommodations can be made to help make his trip more pleasant!! Good Luck!! Feel free to PM me if you have any add'l questions on how I get my help.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:29 PM   #3
SCmom3
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Originally Posted by stitchlovestink View Post
Yes, I skip the stretching room every time and board at the exit at HM. So it is possible. I anticipate that You will need a GAC to do this though. I highly doubt (with the number of other complaints I have seen on here about people encountering rude/unhelpful CMs at HM...although I have pretty much always had the opposite experience and had helpful CMs there) that they will do any accommodating without a GAC. Besides I think that your DH could benefit greatly from a GAC with all your DH's stressors!! You can go to Guest Services and discuss his situation with them and they can let you know what accommodations can be made to help make his trip more pleasant!! Good Luck!! Feel free to PM me if you have any add'l questions on how I get my help.
Thanks, I will.
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Old 04-08-2013, 02:36 PM   #4
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Even with fast passes you're going to have crowds and tight spaces in the queues. Even just walking through the parks is going to be troublesome. Ask your DH how he also feels about being on a crowded bus, in traffic. I'm not sure if your dh's PTSD is military related, but I know my husband had terrible trouble driving, or being in traffic for the longest time when he came home.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:00 PM   #5
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If you are on site at Disney then I would take advantage of the early magic hour each day. This time period will be the least crowded; because, the general public are not there yet. When opening time occurs then head for the back of the park. You probably have about an half hour before the general public will reach the back of the park; so, it won't be as crowded at that time.

Even if you don't use the extra magic hour then I would arrive for the opening times at the parks.

If you can do it, staying very late in the parks can be a less crowded time especially during the week.

Fastpass and GAC will help, too.

Keep in mind each park has a first aid center where you can get a cot for a while and be away from the crowds.

I would also suggest eating meals at off times; avoid peak times.

I would consult your doctor in regards to any medicines that might help for the trip. We use a natural calming supplement to help our dog on trips.

Think about doing the parks in small shifts. Maybe, do three hours on and three hours off, for example.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:05 PM   #6
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I don't know if you have already booked but time of year can make a huge difference. I've gone in September and walked on most rides and other than toy story mania never waited more than 20 minutes (I fastpass tsm). I've heard the beginning of may and December are likewise slow seasons.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:13 PM   #7
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Not sure if its military, but the fireworks were a huge stress for DS. He has been home for several years and he still has problems with them.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:15 PM   #8
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It's the luck of the draw at the HM. My visual impairment makes it literally not safe for me or others for me to go through the normal way, but I've always been told no when I asked to go the other way. The last time I was there, the CM at the door even denied that a different entrance existed.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:20 PM   #9
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A GAC may help with some queues at some attractions, but it does not shorten wait time, and you may be directed to wait in an area that is small/crowded, and part of the exit. FPs are your best bet to miss long waits in crowded areas.

Going at a 'quiet' time of the year may help, but it is difficult to find a quiet time these days! seems Disney offers some great discounts in the off-season, so that there aren't many real 'off season' times.


Rent or bring your own car. Avoid taking the bus or other Disney transport, especially at closing, after parades, etc.

At MK, it can get really crazy in certain areas (especially Main St.) up to an hour before a parade or fireworks. The area around World Showcase at EPCOT gets crowded before Illuminations as well. Fantasmic at DHS is one of the worst areas for crowds, even the street on the way there is packed.
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Old 04-08-2013, 04:39 PM   #10
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from another thread I think she said they're going in May (baby has skin graphs and needs to be out of the sun...).
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:50 PM   #11
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We're going next month, I am actually in the process of rearranging our reservations around the updated crowd calendar. When I first started planning this I realized that the bus systek is out. We're driving our own vehicle because a standing room only bus would be really unpleasant all around for us. We are certainly not looking to shorten our wait time at attractions with a GAC. I just want my husband to be able to enjoy his very hard earned vacation with as little stress as possible. If that means skipping certain things, that's fine. It's just best for us to know what thingswill be a problem ahead of time rather than in the middle where there is no easy escape.
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:04 PM   #12
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Op I am by no means not saying don't go -- but before going do you have any local theme parks or something similarly crowded that you can all go to as a family and see how your husband handles it before taking a big trip to WDW?
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:26 PM   #13
SCmom3
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Op I am by no means not saying don't go -- but before going do you have any local theme parks or something similarly crowded that you can all go to as a family and see how your husband handles it before taking a big trip to WDW?
We do. We visited Carowinds right at he beginning of our trip planning and have zoo and museum memberships as well. We would have preferred a December trip but had to switch to May for work reasons
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Old 04-08-2013, 08:54 PM   #14
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We do. We visited Carowinds right at he beginning of our trip planning and have zoo and museum memberships as well. We would have preferred a December trip but had to switch to May for work reasons
I'm saying this with all due compassion - my husband didn't even have PTSD and he was freaking out when the buses were stopped...with other buses around us. It wasn't a good situation.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:00 PM   #15
SCmom3
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I'm saying this with all due compassion - my husband didn't even have PTSD and he was freaking out when the buses were stopped...with other buses around us. It wasn't a good situation.
I understand. I wouldn't handle it well either. And adding in three kids and two strollers to worry about, plus DD and I get carsick. Oh dear, I'd rather walk to the parking lot and get in a hot minivan.
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