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Old 05-07-2014, 11:05 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
Join Date: May 2014
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Best resort for disabilities

My DH suffered a spinal cord injury in a car wreck in 2013. We are going to WDW the week of July 21. Our DS (20 yrs) and our DD (18 yrs) will be traveling with us. We have reservations at the Poly. I am concerned about the construction. Is there a better choice, or should we just go for it?
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:18 AM   #2
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I'm not sure there is any single "best resort for disabilities" at WDW. Each has pros and cons, which are most important to your family may depend on many factors. In mid-July, most resorts will be fairly busy for summer season and near-full.

The monorail resorts are closest to MK, via monorail or boat (Poly and GF) or a walking path (CR). There is also fairly easy access to EPCOT via monorail from these resorts as well.

WL is also near MK, but not on the monorail and involves a boat ride. Buses are used to all other parks.

If you expect to spend more time at EPCOT, you might consider a resort in that area -- BC, YC or BWI. Easy walking or boat ride to EPCOT and also DHS; buses to MK and AK.

Moderate resorts use buses to all parks. POFQ is a fairly small (compact) resort and preferred by many for it's size compared to other more sprawling moderates.

Value resorts also use buses to all parks. If you plan to spend most of your time at the parks, with very little resort time, some like the values to save money that can be spent elsewhere at WDW.

In your situation, I'd consider 1) what park(s) you'll be visiting, 2) how much time spent at the resort and/or back-and-forth to the resort, 3) preferred mode of transportation (will your DH be using an ECV or wheelchair). Once you decide on resort, then consider whether there is a category of room that might make your stay easier -- "preferred" rooms typically are closest to the main building, restaurant(s), feature pool, transportation, etc.

Enjoy your vacation!

ETA: moving to the main disABILITIES forum so more people will see and provide input.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:59 PM   #3
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Monorail resorts are definitely good for obvious reasons. As for the most convenient with a wheelchair, definitely the Grand Floridian.
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:30 PM   #4
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What are your actual concerns with the construction?

I don't think there's a resort that's better or worse for someone with a spinal cord injury. I think it's all a matter of what parks you're most interested in, if you care about size of resort, what you're interested in as far as amenities and resort activities, room preferences, and the other questions that everyone considers, regardless of having a disability or not having one.
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:29 PM   #5
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When we go to Disney both me and my grandmother are in wheelchairs and we have stayed at many of the properties. I would say that out of all the resorts we have stayed at the Contemporary is the best. Its really easy to get to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. The rooms are a great size for wheelchairs. Plus it is very quiet (except when the fireworks go off at Magic Kingdom).

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Old 05-08-2014, 10:03 PM   #6
Earning My Ears
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Thanks for the help!

I really appreciate all of the help you have given to me. I chatted with WDW this afternoon about expected conditions at the Poly during our visit, and they assured me the zero entry pool would be open when we visit and my DH would be able to maneuver around the lobby in his scooter just fine. We have been to WDW several times, but this is our first experience with a disability--and a deluxe resort. The monorail stop was very important to me, and being able to eat nice meals there is also a plus. Again thanks for all of your help!
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:17 PM   #7
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Did you discuss the monorail schedule with them? I ask because I've read a lot of posts from people who booked the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, or Contemporary specifically because they wanted to use the monorail, only to get there and find out that it wouldn't be running during the hours they were planning on using it.
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Old 05-09-2014, 09:20 PM   #8
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Thanks! I will ask. The truth is we will be thankful just to be there. It has been quite a journey for our family. I think we will enjoy relaxing and being together.
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Old 05-09-2014, 10:35 PM   #9
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The construction is mostly on the lagoon from what we have seen. My girls hate using the monorail because of the steep grade of the hill at MK. The hotel they like the best is POFQ because it is small, has a a boat to Downtown Disney and even when it does share a bus stop with PORS FQ is first so you are guaranteed a spot on the bus.
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Old 05-10-2014, 09:57 AM   #10
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The main pool at the Poly begins construction in July into 2015. Is there another zero entry pool?
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:32 AM   #11
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Pool at Poly

The construction at the zero entry Poly pool will begin the first week in August. Disney has revised its pool construction schedule.
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:18 PM   #12
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Another vote for the Contemporary if you are looking for a monorail resort- the ramp from the monorail down to MK is quite a thrill ride on its own if you're in a manual wheelchair, but the Contemporary has a nice path straight over. I would also recommend POFQ for moderates and (I was surprised by this) All-Star Music and Sports for values. For Epcot area, the Swan was *by far* the easiest for me to navigate. The Poly is lovely though, fairly accessible, and I am sure you will have a nice time there.

(I have a spinal injury due to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and use a manual wheelchair or leg braces and forearm crutches)
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Old 05-10-2014, 12:27 PM   #13
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If you want to be at one of the Magic Kingdom resorts, the Contemporary is a popular choice because you can easily walk over to Magic Kingdom.

If are concerned about the monorail access from the Polynesian, you always have the option of walking to the Ticket and Transportation Center where you could pick up a ferry boat to Magic Kingdom.
That may not be the best option, since the ferry boat is used by guests parking in the MK parking lot. But at least it is another option if the monorail is not running as often as you need it to be.
You also have the option of taking the resort monorail or the Ticket and Transportation monorail, since you can walk from TTC back to your room (unlike the other resorts on the monorail route).

Besides the zero entry pool, all resort pools and hot tubs now have lifts like the one shown in this picture.

Many of the pools also have access steps like shown in this picture.

You park a wheelchair or scooter next to the top strap, transfer over and then bump down step by step into the water.
So you don't have to be staying at a resort with a zero entry pool in order for your husband to be able to get into the pool.
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:05 PM   #14
Earning My Ears
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So Cool!

Thank you for the pictures. I had not seen a lift such as the one pictured before. I am learning so much about disabilities this year. I have a new found respect for the engineers who design these things that make our lives easier. He will have a scooter, so the ramp should not be a problem. When I made the reservations, the contemporary did not have any rooms available for us. Since we will have two college kids with us, we needed the space of the rooms at the Poly. I think we will have a grand time.
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Old 05-12-2014, 03:17 PM   #15
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Glad you've decided on where to stay

The Poly is a great resort, I do love the feel and restaurants there. For us however its the Contemporary, we enjoy the space and the walk to and from MK.

The only other negative I think youd need to be aware with at the Poly is the buses-they share their buses with the Contemporary. (unless that's been changed or will be changed with the DVC construction) Theres been a few times weve arrived at the Poly to see wheelchairs/scooters waiting but the bus would already have the spaces filled. I know last time someone complained, as that had been the second bus they couldn't get on. In this case, the driver will usually radio for another bus.
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