Disney & Multiple Sclerosis

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by tmaxwell, Jun 12, 2014.

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  1. sets14

    sets14 Mouseketeer

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    Just adding in some personal experience here.

    We have traveled to Disney 3 times in the past few years with my mom who has pretty severe MS symptoms. First, the ECV is a must and it really helped her be able to enjoy the parks. Disney is so different and it is easy to overdo yourself the first day, then be out of commission. The ECV helped us avoid that and honestly, it was easy to use around the parks and in the lines. Second- have a good touring plan. You will be able to precook 3 FP+ which is 3 lines you won't be spending massive amounts of time in. One thing we planned was making sure if we had an outdoor queue, our next attraction was indoors, nice and cool. For example, if waiting in line for Peter Pan, next attraction was mickey's philharmagic. Plan, plan, plan. We also hit the restrooms frequently, and to be honest, she wore a pad in case of any leaks;). Lastly, misting fans, neck rags, and a cooling vest will work wonders in the heat. We took a small cooler bag with baggies of ice with a rag in it, we swapped out rags as needed to keep them cool. Also lots of ice water, a visor for sun, and listening to her cues as to how she was doing. We had no need for the GAC or DAS and have had great trips. Planning will get you miles farther than the DAS.

    Oh and get there early to beat the heat of the day, take a break then go back at night. A others have said, the worst heat and sun is not while waiting for attractions, it is while traveling from point A to point B.
     
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  3. mackay_j

    mackay_j DIS Veteran

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    I am not a fan of the recent changes as I feel it is not taking into account of issues that cause visitors to leave early. so if you can only do 3-4hrs in the park I believe that the new rules discriminate by not allowing the that visitor to receive the same value for money an able bodied person enjoys. I also expect that this will be legally challenged at some point.


    Having said all that - I can not stress enough - do not be tempted to stay beyond your limits in order to do more. Before I was diagnosed (in fact it was because of this that my medical conditions was investigated initially) I tried to do a full 9am-1am summers day/night- we come all the way from the uk so we used to try and do as much as possible on each visit- I got back to PQR and collapsed - I never really recovered for the rest of the trip and even on my return back to the uk I was not right for quite a while.

    Now 7 yrs later I use an evc at the parks and take them slowly - rest when I need and leave as soon as I can tell I have done enough- I am lucky now as when I reach a certain point I get a continuous wave through my body -its starts at me feet and works through to my chest and happens every few seconds until I rest. I leave as soon as it starts.

    Heat is not an issue for me but direct sun is as I also have Lupus (SLE is sun aggravated) and I am on an immune suppressant (side effect skin cancer risk) so I cannot go in a queue that is in the sun so I will use my fastpass + options on those (kids not happy as they wanted them for other main rides). I stay in the shade when resting and my DH holds a large sun brolly over my evc (the evc shades are not any use as they can't be directed) - but the sun brolly is too dangerous in the queues. so long outdoor queues are off for me but again it seems this is not a reason for the das.


    In the EU we do not have issues at theme parks as those that need help due to disabilities get help. Here there is no abuse as medical / social service proof is required the result is a much fairer system. Also carers get in free to theme parks in the uk- again social service doc will prove you require a certain level of help.
     
  4. aaarcher86

    aaarcher86 DIS Veteran

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    There is no legal standpoint for your money worth. You know how long you can be in the park. You know how much you can do. You choose to spend the money. There's no way to compare someone's experience and what they get to anyone else. When my youngest was 3 I was lucky to get 4 hours in the park, so that's what I got. What's the difference? Having a disability means their 4 hours is should be worth more? That doesn't make any sense.

    Your hour and my hour are the same amount of time. I'm sorry, but this line of thinking is one of my biggest pet peeves. There are tons of reasons people only get a few hours in a park. The DAS isn't meant to equal out a whole day, it's meant to equal out the same amount of time. A non disabled person and a disabled person will have a similar experience in the same amount of time. That's it. There is no other place I can think of that a disabled person would go (supermarket, movies, gas station, mall, etc) where they are able to condense a full day into a few hours with assistance from the establishment. Time is time. Everyone's minute is 60 seconds in the park.
     
  5. Mrsjvb

    Mrsjvb DIS Veteran

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    well said and I totally agree. an hour is an hour. if the average number of rides you can do is say 2 in an hour, any more than that is an UNFAIR accommodation.
     
  6. StitchesGr8Fan

    StitchesGr8Fan DIS Veteran

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    Well said.
     
  7. mackay_j

    mackay_j DIS Veteran

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    Firstly I don't think anyone with any disability should gain over an abled bodied person - don't know how you got that impression The das would not allow us to do more than the abled, just to try and do the same- If you have read any previous posts of mine you will see that I was not a fan of the the way the gac worked as I did feel it gave an advantage to the disabled and in fact was unfair - I have stated previously that I preferred the system in Busch (which is now similar to the way the DAS works)

    Now compare without the das-

    MS- have to give up and leave lines after waiting too long because of various issue including toileting, and sun if outdoors as cant use brolly shade in queues and needing to go to medical room to lie out flat to stop spasms. Then also due to trying not to leaving lines that they have already waited in for 40mins have pushed to far so even lying down for a while in the medical room does not help take the pain away - so bang the day is now over and they have to leave early- If the DAS had been issued they could probably have avoided this happening.

    Autism -child has melt down because it can't wait in a long line so have to leave the park early -

    To me they seem the similar so why das either. The autism child gets the das so doesn't go into a melt down and can both do more and stay longer.
    The MS person doesn't get help to do even the first of those. I think that is unfair

    I am not saying in any way that the das should not be given for the autistic child but I see both disabilities (and others) as needed assistance to get the most out of a day at the park. Why is that so wrong!


    It seems on here that most with disabilities on the spectrum seem to think that others don't need help and that only they should get any assistance. Some come across as so uncaring and smug. May be they are pleased that their fast pass lines are now shorter!!
    And to quote someone earlier " this line of thinking" that I am seeing more and more often on here " is one of my pet peeves"

    I will be going to wdw in august and will be trying to get the das I have SLE, and transverse Myelitis (spinal MS) I will post back on here how I get on - then I will no longer discuss DAS on this forum as people seem very hostile towards any non spectrum issues. So if I do get the das and anyone wants further info then feel free to PM me.

    I already had PM's from others when I asked a previous question stating that it seems it is not the best environment to discuss non spectrum DAS issues anymore and that they no longer post but now just pm privately when someone asks a question.
    Shame that what used to be a good place for help has gone this way.
     
  8. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    mackay_j: I'm very sorry you feel others do not understand MS. Since I don't live with it, you are right that I probably do not as fully comprehend the challenges you face -- just as you do not fully understand the disabilities my family deals with (which is not autism). I do know that MS symptoms present differently in each person -- as do other disabilities. That is why the DAS does not apply to a blanket diagnosis, but the individual must explain his/her needs as related to waiting in a queue. No one has said a guest with MS should not get a DAS, just that there are other accommodations that might be suggested, and some things the guest can do for him/herself such as cooling scarves, time of year, etc. You are welcome to discuss your concerns with Guest Relations to see what accommodations they can offer to you, which may well include the DAS.

    Now to address what appears to be some misunderstandings leading to your frustration. I believe you live in the UK. The US has some very different laws around disabilities than European countries. WDW must work within those laws, which do not allow proof of disability to receive "equal access" to the parks. That does not necessarily mean everyone can or will get the same exact experience. The US laws are specifically for accessibility, not value of the experience. Disability or no, many people have limited time in the parks. The DAS does not offer an expedited experience; a touring plan and FP+ will be much more successful in helping one get more done in less time than relying on the DAS.

    Again, the DAS is not based on diagnosis but on need. Needs that can be handled or accommodated without the DAS will not qualify for the DAS -- it is a very different program from the previous GAC. I'm sorry you feel the DAS is only supported by those families dealing with autism. There are many other "needs" which will qualify a person for DAS besides autism, and not all guests with autism need a DAS. In looking at those who have posted on this thread, based on other posts by these people, I believe most if not all do not have a family member with autism. They deal with other disabilities.

    I do hope you have an enjoyable vacation at WDW!
     
  9. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    Since the OP has not returned for while, and this thread is deteriorating, I am going to close it. There are some very good suggestions here about dealing with stamina, fatigue and heat issues in the parks without relying on the DAS. Everyone, regardless of disability or no, would be wise to take adequate measures to offset the potential impact of such factors.
     
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