Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by SueM in MN, Sep 28, 2013.
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We visited Disneyland & California Adventure this December (2013) and when I was at Cali Adv I was told I didn't need a DAS, I was told by a cast member, since I was in my power wheelchair, that is all I need. I never was asked for it in either park. My question is will I have to get the DAS when we visit Walt Disney World this April? This trip it will be just my wife, me and a very surprised 6 year old son. Thank you for your time.
Making my FP+ reservations today. I will have a wheelchair but likely not a DAS. Making reservations for MK, am I right in thinking I won't really need a FP for: BTMR, SM, PP, IASW, and JC, as they have separate WC entrances? I can not manage long queues due to discomfort so need to get my planning right haha!
The DAS program at DL and WDW are the same.
Most of the lines/attractions at WDW are actually Mainstream Lines - accessible thru the regular line. The few that are not have a wheelchair accessible route.
Since CMs can see your wheelchair, they will send you to the accessible path in those few situations where the regular line is not accessible. You don't need a DAS for that.
That's one of the good things about Disney, there is so much more than attractions. My son has found a new interest at Epcot. He spent hours playing the games after Test Track. Since he can't ride TT and our MAW friends were on TT he began playing them. There are cards for non-riders at the desk at the car showcase area to design your own car and test race it!
Our friends are going to leave feed back. We have a mutual friend who's son's MAW trip is in March. Hopefully things will go better for them! They have the same WISH coordinator.
Not sure if you have magic bands but you can use them well I know for the ride you can but not sure about the games at the exit Figure you can because it all RFID.
Yes! I saw people using their magic bands.
We tried our APs but they didn't work. So we were given a RFID card on a rubberband "bracelet". (Like the photopasses at the waterparks use to come on.)
Ds would spend the whole day in there if we let him. I parked myself against a wall between the virtual track and the place to design the cars. He loved it so much we went back yesterday so he could show dh how fun it was.
Yeah I like what they did didn't get to play the games yet but wanted to. That great maybe one day Disney will come up with a web site so you can start it their work on it at home then go back and add stuff web your at Disney. I also like the fact hat you don't have to ride the ride to play the games you can go trough the exit and play.
We had stayed out of there ds hated all the noise in there anyway. Now, the redesign and games are "quiet" and not annoying compared to what was there before. He couldn't tolerate the noise waiting at the bench area at the ride exit though. But between there and the shop, he had a great time and didn't mind it.
That would be fun if they added something like that!
I'm so glad one can play the games without riding. It really was the highlight of his day on the 28th and yesterday, between getting a Fez in Morocco and playing that game he was having a blast!
I have to chuckle at the games being 'quiet'. My job is cleaning all that stuff at night and some nights I think I might actually go insane from the noise since they often forget to turn it off. Race mode initated....grumble...roar....Race mode complete! x3 stations....over and over and over...LOL
Lol. Guess without the chatter and footsteps of a large group of people it sounds much louder?
Back to DAS, did they officially change the wait time from 10 minutes to 15? On the 28th we were sent into Character Connection and The Seas with Nemo right away with a 15 minute wait.
Yes it sure does!
And not that I know of for the time. I think they can use their discretion with the time.
That's what we were told.
Sometimes' the CM knows the posted wait is 15 minutes, but the actual wait is shorter. It did happen to us when we were at WDW in late October and early November.
There is no requirement to use the DAS just because you have one. We found many attractions when we went had 10-15 minute waits and we just went in the regular line.
And, with the old GAC (Guest Assistance Card), at many attractions guests with GACs were directed to the regular line if the wait was 15 minutes or less.
I am just curious if anyone has tried using an Optimized Touring Plan instead of the DAS? I have always had a GAC due to RA and Lupus. I don't know if I want to deal with the stress of it this year. We go for 2 weeks so that we can take it slow and skip rides with long waits. I even did that with the GAC.
So, if I can use the Touring Plans when I go in August, then maybe I won't need the DAS? Just wondering if anyone has tried this and if the waits were ok. I would like to NOT take steroids and pain meds to travel and deal with 2 young children. The sacrifices we make right.
We did this in DCA because I didn't get one there in August and it went quite well. DL gave me a GAC and that was front on the line access so to speak. I never got front of the line at WDW though. Just access to FP Legacy lines. Even sometime then I couldn't do it.
A lot of people have been very successful with touring plans
For myself I am looking forward to this change away from the GAC. It sounds like this will be much more consistent for those that are only dealing with mobility challenges. I use my personal scooter and we are there for rope drop. It was frustrating to wait in line for a GAC. And although in theory I should not have needed a GAC the few times I started out without one I ended up ultimately going to get one because some of the CM's didn't seem to be educated about the policy on mobility challenges. On several occasions I was told I couldn't bring my scooter into the line (regular line!) unless I had a GAC. I was told I couldn't sit in the HC seating at F! without a GAC even though I had my scooter. I knew the policy but it was just easier to get the GAC and show it to the CM's that didn't get it.
It was also frustrating that at the same attraction how they dealt with the wheelchair was inconsistent so sometimes I had no idea where to go. One CM would send me to one entrance and then another would send me back. The next time I would go to where I entered a few hours before only be told to go to the other entrance. I really hope that now all CM's are on the same page and things will go much smoother for this trip.
I wonder how this will change once the paper Fastpass system is gone (which it sounds like is imminent) . In fact for this trip we will be able to get them-- we are staying at the All Stars so no paper tickets/no Fastpass. Will they then use the Return Time cards more?
It has been a few years since we have been but I haven't heard anything about changes to BTMR. Do you still have to go in through the exit and then go around 2x so you will end up back where you parked your wheels? I can only handle that ride once! I think the last time I rode when they told me I had to go around again I told them I would get out and CRAWL back to my scooter but I was NOT staying in that ride car!
We will be going soon and I have a few questions:
1. Has anyone recently gotten a DAS at epcot.I know when it was first launched several people had reported problems with misinformation given at Epcot. I am guessing that all 4 parks are running smoothly now? Our first day is Epcot but if I need to go to a different park to get her DAS I can.
2. I thought I read something about looping, but cannot find any information.
3. Mobility issues.:I realize that the standard answer is to rent a wheelchair. Daughter has a muscle condition and fatigues very quickly. Her Pediatrician has strongly recommended she not use a wheelchair as it causes back pain and according to her Pediatrician could lead to scoliosis. Is there a map that shows where benches are located. Or if anyone might have any other suggestion?
Thank you for the help.
You can find a park map for guests with disabilities at each park in the kiosk at the entrance with the other park maps.
The ones for guests with disabilities are clearly marked and show the 'mobility entrances' for each attraction.
If you run into any issues using a mobility device without a DAS card, showing the map to the CM will do the trick.
We did that before the change - even though DD did have a GAC, we only used it when absolutely necessary. If we were in the designated 'mobility entrance' and were asked for a GAC, we showed the maps hat showed that was where we were supposed to enter. That almost always did the trick.
They had not changed the maps when we were at WDW in October/November 2013, but I expect that they will change then when Fastpass Plus is totally rolled out.
From what I have read, all of the WDW resorts do have Fastpass a Plus at this point, so you should have that on your next trip.
We used Fastpass a Plus on our last trip and found it worked very well.
They were not using return time cards at all during our visit, but it was pretty quiet most of the time.
People have reported getting them recently when it has been busy. I expect (but don't know for sure) that whether or not they are using return time tickets may depend on how busy it is.
It did not change. THe reason they have a handicapped boarding area for BTMRR is that the regular line boards on one side of the track and guests get off on the opposite side of the track (on the side of the ride car opposite from where they came into the ride car).
Since the CMs can't get the ECV over the track, they have guests board at a different place where loading and unloading can take place on the same side of the track.
I don't understand the path exactly, but the reason for riding a second time is to get back to that same side of the track.
We went to October 25 and had no problem.
A lot of the issues people reported appeared to have to do with not being able to clearly communicate their needs. Many had mobility needs, but had other needs in addition.
Some posted they were denied a DAS ( and some of the same posters posted the same story several times, so it appeared that there were most people with issues than there really were). Many of those people who were first denied a DAS did go back, re-explained their needs and were able to get one. Some of them re-posted in this thread, some posted in other threads.
Disney has not posted any specific information about looping and I have asked posters not to post specifics about how it was handled if they did it.
Because exactly how CMs can assist with it is going to vary from park to park and possibly even attraction to attraction, based on how busy it is and what is available.
So, what one person posts is how CMs assisted them may not be how it always will work.
Disney instructs guests to use DAS along with Fastpass Plus or Fastpass. The way you can loop doing that is to get a Fastpass/Fastpass Plus time and then get a DAS Return Time for the same attraction.
The Fastpass/Fastpass Plus will have a time window - You can ride as soon as the 'window' time begins, but you can't ride after the window ends. DAS Return Times work differently. You can come any time after the Return Time, but there is no end time; it doesn't expire like a Fastpass does.
By coordinating them, you can ride first with one and then turn around and use the other to ride.
If the attraction has a shorter wait, you can get a DAS Return Time, ride the attraction going thru the regular queue, then use the DAS REturn Time to ride a second time.
I don't generally suggest to people that their doctor is wrong, but in this case, I am not even going out on a limb to say he is wrong about wheelchairs, especially if he is talking about a short period of time using a wheelchair, like a vacation.
A wheelchair that is too big or too small could cause back pain because a person in a too small chair could be hunched over and a person in a too large chair could be not getting back support.
That would not cause any long term damage though and the remedy is simple - change position frequently and get up and walk around for a while.
And, wheelchairs don't cause scoliosis - in many cases, the cause is not known.
In some cases, it seems to be hereditary and in other cases it is probably related to muscle imbalance (like my youngest DD who has cerebral palsy - the reason is probably that her muscles pull more on one side of her body because they are stronger/tighter on the left side than the right.)
There are no lists or maps of benches and it appears (at least to me) that there are less than there used to be.
An average person at WDW walks around 5 miles a day - when people actually measured with pedometers, they usually came up with between 3 and 9 miles a day. If you can't imagine that distance, get in your car, start the trip odometer and drive somewhere familiar that you think is 3 miles away. Chances are that 3 miles will be farther than you think.
Once you have a picture of that distance in your head, think about whether your child could walk at least that distance every day for as many days as you will be at WDW.
If she can't, she will need a way to ride sometimes instead of walking all the time. Just because someone who is capable of walking has a wheelchair doesn't mean they have to use it every minute. She could ride for a while, walk until she gets tired, then ride again.
If she is less than 5 feet tall, a smaller wheelchair (16 inch) would be more comfortable than a larger adult sized one.
You can find information about renting wheelchairs in post 2 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread near the top of this board.
My DD13 has a condition that results in a lot of pain when she does too much physical activity (ex walking) and by too much I mean probably what would be normal for a 13yo. But, if she doesn't move enough she's in just as much pain. Her physical therapist at first was upset with me for saying I was going to use a wheelchair at WDW but when I pointed out just how much walking there is she agreed that it would be ok, but she gave me qualifications to that. She asked me to allow her to use the wheelchair between lands but have her walk within the lands. This will cut down on the amount of walking but still have her not sitting all the time. We'll have control over how much walking vs how much sitting she'll do so if she's getting stiff from being in the chair too much she can get up and walk but if she's doing too much walking then she can sit while we push her. We'll also make sure she does some swimming each day because that's the type of exercise that helps her to work her muscles without stressing them and will help ease overworked muscles (her PT is actually in a pool). It sounds like this type of approach might work for your DD as well (maybe not the swimming depending on her particular issues but the wheelchair approach).
Just wanted to add to what Sue said. For those using medical strollers or small wheelchairs that resemble strollers, be sure to display the red sticker in a prominent place. It seems almost every place we take the Convaid Cruiser we are asked to show the tag.
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