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Old 05-16-2013, 03:55 PM   #1
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Advice on escorting 82-year young parents to WDW

After years I have finally convinced mama and daddy to go to WDW. I'm thinking the countries at Epcot, a few of the other things, and a little MK thrown in. Nothing wild or too much fun, ha!

They are in good shape for their age, but 82 none the less with some replaced knees, cancer survivors and both use handicap stickers on their cars. The have both fallen down at various times and sustained broken bones, so they now walk at a gym and take precise careful steps.

I think electric scooters would be perfect, but i would like advice from someone else who has hosted elderly parents there.

A. Do the scooters buzz past the walker?

B. what would you have done different when taking an elderly person?

C. Will they be able to scoot through epcot and then be up to some MK, albeit on a very very small scale?

D. Will their age and scooter using allow them to bypass standing in lines? Daddy would not be able to stand in a long line at all do to his knees?

Any advice would be much appreciated!!
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:04 PM   #2
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I think the scooters are your best option - if they don't have their own personal ones check-out the FAQ sticky at the top of this forum for some off-site rental locations, which will be less expensive than on-site plus will allow them to be used outside the parks (to/from buses/monorail/ferries, around the resort, etc.). Scooters have 2 speeds, they might want to try the slowest first. But no, they really aren't capable of "buzzing past" pedestrians; the point being for them to be at approximately the same speed as an average person walking. They can try out scooters at your local big box or grocery store to get a feel, and the rental will be much easier to use.

As for doing EP and MK in the same day - don't expect the scooter to get you through the park faster. We always take 2 days at Epcot. I wouldn't try to push them to do MK on the same day, unless you made it a half-day at EP.

They will be allowed to bring the scooter in lines, most lines are mainstreamed but they'll be directed to an offshoot if stairs or anything create an obstacle. There is no elderly bypass, but using the scooter to sit should allow your dad to save his knees. Scooters can always be parked if someone wishes to walk for a bit and stretch legs, but don't underestimate the length of some ride queues (up to 1/4 mile in and out again).

Suggestions for touring with the elderly: stay hydrated! Take breaks. Plan some mid-day TS in the airconditioning. Maybe even mid-day break back at the resort to rest then return to a park in the evening. If they are on medications (or not), they likely prefer to eat around the same time as usual - try to plan your meals by that.

Enjoy your vacation! and kudos to mama and daddy for wanting to do such a trip!
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:39 PM   #3
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I have taken my dad since he has slowed down a bit. we rent him a scooter from an outside company, delivered to our resort. we stay off property, so we have a rental car. he is an early riser, so we are there for rope drop. he is a napper, so after lunch, back to resort for nap and miss the hottest part of the day. than we can either go back to the same or different park, or do whatever else he feels like. trips with him are slow paced and relaxing. we see what is most important to him and whatever else we happen to come across.

no problem keeping up with scooter. I am not a fast walker, so he scooted slower.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by lanejudy View Post
. Scooters have 2 speeds, they might want to try the slowest first. But no, they really aren't capable of "buzzing past" pedestrians; the point being for them to be at approximately the same speed as an average person walking.
The scooter I rented had a dial that set the speed. It could go very slow or very fast, and just about everything in between. It was not only capable of buzzing past the average walker, but capable of buzzing past the average runner.

Being the first time I had ever been on one, I couldn't resist trying it out a full speed a couple of times. Of course I did so at times and places that there were very few people - namely, the walkways at the bus stops at off times.
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Old 05-16-2013, 10:30 PM   #5
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My parents (Dad 76 and Mom 70 at time of travel) are returning with us in the fall to AKV. I was able to book a room at Jambo in hopes that they would be closer to the lobby...it was quite a walk for them at Kidani. Like you parents, mine have slowed down but are still youthful for thier age. In fact, sometimes I forget how old they are.
We tend to people watch more, take in the shows, enjoy the food and basically have a relaxed pace. After a couple of days I told them to spend a few hours on their own going around the monorail resorts togther looking at decorations (Holiday trip). They seemed to enjoy that and gave them time to be alone. I made sure they knew which bus to take if they were meeting us somewhere.

At the end of the week...I told my Mama.."Gosh ya'll are just like taking 5 year olds"...both of us laughing..."Does anyone need to potty?" "Does anyone need a snack?" "Someone needs a nap!". etc. DH and I do not have children so it was funny. It was an awesome trip and they are excited to return.

Scooters are a wonderful thing. Take things at thier pace. If they are on the DDP then you may have to spend time helping them pick a CS restaurant. Seems DTD was tough for that...I think Earl of Sandwich may have been the only one.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:00 AM   #6
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Pace it. Alternate activities with doing a ride and then a show and then a snack and then start over again. At the hottest time of the day enjoy a table service restaurant.

Use fastpass. My 90 year old mother loved Soarin' in Epcot. It's not in WS, but I think it's worth the effort to do that ride. One bad thing is to get down to the level where the Soarin' ride is located you have to use an elevator with the scooter; unless, you take the stairs and leave the scooter parked someplace. You can eat in the Land Pavillon, too for a break.

Enjoy the live, street entertainment that's available in the Epcot countries.

It sounds like scooters will help you the most.

Last edited by Bete; 05-17-2013 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 05-17-2013, 10:30 AM   #7

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When we took Mom, she had trouble controlling the ECV. We had even practiced at Walmart a couple of times. We ended up walking along side and operating the controls. People don't pay attention to ECV's and they will walk in front of or into them.

Control in tight spaces like elevators can really be a challenge.

Your parents may be better skilled.


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Old 05-17-2013, 11:16 AM   #8
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I agree to check them out on scooters at home first to be sure that is the best choice for them. For my mom is was, for my dad it was not. If they are not capable of safely driving the scooters, wheel chairs can be rested off site for the week just like scooters can.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:57 AM   #9
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Remember you can arrange to be met at the hotel by the agency renting the ECv. We did that for mil. They went over the controls and how to maneuver forward and backwards etc. it took about 20 minutes total and really helped mil.
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Old 05-24-2013, 10:02 PM   #10
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I just wanted to add that my now 78 and 74yr old parents LOVE going to WDW.

My mom's pace has slowed much more than dad's but it's more of an anxiety and short term memory thing.

My parents enjoy all the shows especially Mickey's Philharmonic and The Hall of Presidents in MK. The Electric Light Parade MUST be seen!! And of course WISHES, the fireworks. When I've traveled with my parents (mom in her own home wheelchair) we like to go upstairs at the front entrance Train Station and view from there. TIP: plan to get there early for that location. You may miss a little of the best FW views but it does make it easier to leave the park since it's so much closer to the park exit.

HS their favs are Beauty and the Beast and One Man's Dream. You HAVE to take them to the Animation Studio where you learn to draw a character from a Disney artist . My mom drew the best Pooh ever!!

In AK, the Finding Nemo Show and Festival of the Lion King are must sees. And It's Tough to be a Bug is fun, too! Also, make sure to do the Kilmangaro Safari. A Fast Pass is highly recommnded for this.

EPCOT is their all time favorite park. They love the restaurants and the street shows and films and the LIVE music. In a week's time they will go to EPCOT at least 3 times, sometimes 4.

I hope you have the best trip ever
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Last edited by carrie1626; 05-24-2013 at 10:31 PM.
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