Other than Disney: places elsewhere you may want to check out!

Discussion in 'disABILITIES Community Board' started by SueM in MN, May 15, 2005.

  1. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    Sometimes disABILITIES Board posters feel like going places other than WDW or Disneyland. This thread will include links to information people have posted about places other than Disney. As people post their experiences, my plan is to add a link to the thread to this first post in the thread.
    This is the thread that made me think of doing this sticky:
    Judith M's trip to Arlington National Cemetary.

    Densgirl's trip to Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens.

    LindaDVC's experience visiting Victory Junction Camp (a camp Hole in the Wall camp for kids with medical/special needs).

    riu girl's trip to Marineland Ontario.

    Information regarding Hershey Park.
     
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  3. thatgrrl

    thatgrrl Mouseketeer

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    anyone have experience with Kennedy Space Center and Special Needs (autism)?

    :flower:
     
  4. fan of the TTA

    fan of the TTA <font color="blue">Enjoy your trip aboard the metr

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    sue for those links!

    next time we go to somewhere like america or we're passing by florida we're check those places out!
     
  5. Tracyee

    Tracyee Earning My Ears

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    Can anyone tell me about their experiences at Universal and IOA? We have taken the kids to WDW 3 times in the last 3 years but they haven't been to Universal yet.

    My son (severe CP wheelchair user) has experienced most of Disney including Splash Mountain with a parent sitting next to him. What do you all think about Universal & IOA rides? Will he be able to partake in the rides there?

    We will probably split our trip between Universal and Disney but just want to hear first hand about the experiences you all had.

    We are booked for Memorial Day Week and are ready for the magic!

    Thanks
     
  6. DW Goofy

    DW Goofy Mouseketeer

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    Where is the best place to search for handicapped questions for the cruise?

    Thanks
    DW Goofy
     
  7. cmcd2

    cmcd2 Earning My Ears

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    Tracyee,

    We just got home last night from Orlando. We spent 2 days at Universal and 3 at WDW with our son Andy, who is 16 and has Muscular Dystrophy. He uses a power chair and has use of only his hands. We rode every ride (except for Suess Landing, he is 16 after all) in IOA and have ridden almost every ride in Universal. Andy is about 5' 10" and 180. Fortunately, I have the physical strength to transfer him, so that is not a factor. If you can comfortably transfer your son, you will have no problems at Universal or IOA. On our first trip there 4 years ago, we were stopped by a person in management in the parking garage to ask us what our plans were. We chatted with him for a few moments and then he pointed to Andy and said "he does not wait in any lines." He told us to go to Guest Services to pick up an express pass that got us in all attractions and on all rides with minimal wait times. On that trip and the half dozen or so since then, Andy is treated like a VIP every time we visit Universal. At WDW he is treated just like another member of the herd. I cannot say enough good about Universal. We love Disney as well, but we just go with lower expectations. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask.
     
  8. Tracyee

    Tracyee Earning My Ears

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    Thank you for the information. We are really looking forward to it.
     
  9. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    That is a big change from what we experienced on our last trip to Universal (which was a long time ago because it was before IOA had opened). We went at least twice, stopped at Guest Services both times to ask if they had any sort of GAC (Guest Assistance Card) and explained what DD's problems with waiting in the regular lines were. The answer we got was that the lines were wheelchair accessible and that was all they were required to provide. At some of the individual attractions we asked if it was possible for DD and one other person to wait out of the sun and busy-ness of the line and were told it was not. I know at the same time period, they were accomidating people with similar disabilities to DD's who did not also have a wheelchair. I'm glad if they are doing a good job now.

    They do have an excellent rider's guide, with information that is actually helpful in deciding whether or not an attraction is safe for you. Here's a link to their general disabilities page. It does indicate that none of their rides are power wheelchair or ECV accessible, but they have manual wheelchairs at the entrance that you can switch to.
     
  10. loadsapixiedust

    loadsapixiedust DIS Veteran

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    Wow, things have changed a lot at Universal Orlando since we visited last summer.

    We found then that mostly we waited with our DS (CP & wheelchair user) far longer than people in the regular lines. More than once we were ignored by staff at rides and were lied to regarding ride accessibility on several occasions. We were allowed for him to ride one day and refused the next.

    DS was even refused to be allowed to ride after nearly 2 hours of waiting in line at one attraction which their literature and the staff at the ride entrance stated was accessible for him. This was the last straw for me and ruined our visit so much that we didn't use any more of the days remaining on our 7 day passes. Staff at Guest Relations in the park were extremely unhelpful to the point of rudeness and a manager we met at the park exit was little better.

    When I got home I wrote a formal complaint and received a very polite reply offering to replace 2 of the days we had lost. We are in 2 minds whether to visit Universal parks again, but your post is encouraging.

    We enjoy the treatment we receive at Disney because it does allow us to be 'just like another member of the herd' and treated equally. I have no problem with waiting in line as long as it is comfortable for my DS to do so.

    Thankyou for your information.
     
  11. jdremann

    jdremann Earning My Ears

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    If anyone is planning a trip to Niagara Falls Canada, there is an excellent website covering the accessiblity of the hotels and attractions in the area:
    http://www.accessibleniagara.com/
    This made it possible for us to visit there in 2004. Very thorough hotel room reviews. There is even a printed guide that can be requested.
     
  12. HappyCamperToo

    HappyCamperToo Fish gotta fly

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    Does anyone have other places to add to this link? I'm trying to find a non-themepark location for our next vacation, and would love to hear any accessibility comments from places you've seen. TIA
     
  13. disnut8

    disnut8 DIS Veteran

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    Does anyone have any information for Gatlinburg, Tennessee? I did a websearch and the only thing I could pull up was the resorts in the area that are handicapped accessible (which all should be). I'd appreciate any information to save my husband from having to support me the entire weekend. I can walk but have been having seizures lately so I wanted something a little bit more "secure". I'd really appreciate it. A manual wheelchair is perfectly fine since I'll have six adults to help out. Thanks!
     
  14. Foxes Den

    Foxes Den Mouseketeer

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    FDR Jamaica. I posted a review on Trip Advisor. Great for allergies.

    Taylor
     
  15. BeckyScott

    BeckyScott <font color=magenta>I am still upset that they don

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    We just returned from a weekend in Branson MO.

    Silver Dollar City does have something very similar to a GAC! Our youngest son is autistic. I didn't know what they would do, but it never hurts to ask. I went to Guest Services right at the entrance. There was a very helpful lady there, I asked about accomodations for "non-visible" disabilities. Really, at that moment, Justin's disability was pretty "visible" :lmao: he was flappin' it up and singing to himself, so she figured out what was going on with no problem. Gave us a copied letter to show, she filled in some info like the date and the size of party, and told us to use the Disabled Entrance (which for most rides was the Exit) along with a booklet about the rides.

    The employees are fairly young and not as experienced as you might find at Disney, but they were really nice about it. Most took the letter to whoever the ride supervisor was, and came right back with it and knew exactly what to do. Our wait time, if I had to guess, was 3-5 minutes, and we were able to wait right by the exit gate where Justin could move around.

    I think it might also be a policy to offer an immediate "second round" if you want, they kept asking us if we wanted to go again. We never tested it out, though, once seemed to be enough. :eek:

    I just wanted to share. SDC is a smaller park and I wasn't expecting them to be equipped to "handle" something like autism, but they obviously have had this happen before and were very gracious about it. A two-thumbs up from us!

    We did plenty of other stuff in Branson itself, but nothing you'd need special accomodations for. Everything seemed to be very wheelchair-accessible.
     
  16. mimmy

    mimmy Earning My Ears

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    Does anyone have any experiences with Dollywood? Its not too far and has VeggieTales...my ds8 with autism's favorite things in the whole wide world...though I am trying to make him a mouse fan too:rolleyes1 ....any info would be appreciated as I can't imagine going without a gameplan. TIA Mimmy
     
  17. dj2

    dj2 all my little ducks in a row...

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    i was at the arch in st. louis this summer in my ecv and it's not very accessible as far as i could tell. i did go up, but it involved a long walk and some steps. up top was sloped flooring. the golden access pass provided a small discount.

    the nearby Mississippi riverboat tour is accessible (lower level of boat); however, getting down to it requires about 1/2 mile (hard to estimate, took at least 15 minutes for us to walk/ride) unpleasant journey with steep slopes along traffic to avoid all the stairs leading down to the river. hth
     
  18. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    I'm actually going to move this thread to the top of the disABILITIES Community Board. Maybe more people who are not going on WDW trips will see it there.
     
  19. mechurchlady

    mechurchlady DIS Veteran

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    I am tired so I may have to edit later.

    San Diego Wild Animal Park

    On the left is guest service which gave me detailed instructions and literature. I received free admission as companion of my mother. Parking is close to the entrance. Walk ways are paved and not a problem but them hills can be murder on the person pushing the wheelchair. They explained the steep areas and I was told to go to the offices and they put mom and me in a modified golf cart with a drop down ramp so that ECVs and wheelchairs can board. All a person has to do is call from a box which they tell the location of. We got rides all over the park.

    I had no reactions from the food and cannot remember that part. The park is inland and can be unbearably hot or cold. Mom was chilled the first hours. The monorail is an hour long trek and no getting off. It is a bench seat with plenty of room to stand up. I put mom's wheelchair near the door and she stood up and walked in. I believe up front there is a wheel chair spot. The first car or two are quiet zones where you cannot be too loud as it makes it hard to hear the guide.

    Overall they were good with my food requests, offered assistance without me asking, were very helpful, free transportation to avoid steep hills, and disabled bathrooms. Down side was the wheelchair's front wheel getting stuck in a hole in a bridge. Mom slid forward a couple inches and I got jarred by the sudden stop. Bring a friend to help on the hills.
     
  20. memorykeeper

    memorykeeper Mouseketeer

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    We traveled to Branson with my then 6 yo who has autism and had a similar experience. Everyone was absolutely wonderful at Silver Dollar City and Celebration City. We would visit again in a heartbeat.
     
  21. cforgan67

    cforgan67 Earning My Ears

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    Just wanted to pass on this info. My son has a form of autism, Aspergers Syndrome, more of a social disability. Anyway, before leaving home we got a letter from his doctor stating his disability, just in case.

    Sea World provides for express line. We went to the courtesy booth when entering. Told them we had a party member with a disability. They didn't ask for proof but we provided the letter. Throughout the day we had express entrance to all rides and shows. Was great and they were so courteous.:thumbsup2
     

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