help required from those with disability experience

Discussion in 'UK Trip Planning Forum' started by carolfoy, Sep 26, 2009.

  1. carolfoy

    carolfoy <font color=cc6633>One has Ones hat and One's orf.

    Mar 1, 2005
    Have posted this on disABILITES as well but thought I'd double up on here.

    I have just booked a lovely family for their WDW vacation next April.
    The youngest member of the party has extreme mental and physical disabilities and I'd like to get some information before their travel to help his specific needs.
    Things we'd like some help with...

    1, restaurants with good disabled adapted toilets, the young chap cannot go on his own so they need to be big enough for at least 2, also not, obviously, up or down steps.

    2, the best character meal in terms of ease of entry to venue, the food itself is not an issue as the parents will have to prepack his food each day anyway.

    3, current cost of ecv hire (another member of the party might well need to hire at some point during the visit - this is not for the young chap, but for an older relative)

    4, advice on parking for closest areas to park entrances

    5, anything else I may have forgotten?? please advise

    many thanks for your help
  2. irisheyes123

    irisheyes123 DIS Veteran

    Sep 26, 2007
    I bring my brother who is mentally and physically handicapped cannot help you on the restrooms as he is in nappies and I have never done a character meal but plan to one day....... One thing I will say is how friendly florida is to someone with a disability anywhere we have gone parks shops restaurants ect.. we have never had any Issues. On the parking If you have a disable card you can get one in the states and it doesn't take long or can be done in advance even when we didn't have one all parks would park us as close as they could
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  4. Twilight Terror

    Twilight Terror DIS Veteran

    Aug 5, 2006
    My mum goes in her wheelchair when we go because she cannot walk the distances required of WDW. So, I can help a bit, or at least as much as I can!

    All restaurants are wheelchair accessible, as are all buildings - they have to be in America. I can't remember anywhere where we could not get in. The toilets are usually inside, and can be accessed. WCC springs to mind as a restaurant that does not have a toilet 'inside', because it's in the lobby. Yes, there are steps to it, but there is also a ramp. So you will find this everywhere - if there are steps, there will be a ramp somewhere too.

    As for the toilets themselves, I know there are quite a few places that have an accessible toilet, but it is just a slightly longer cubicle with hand railings. Enough room for someone to roll in on their wheelchair, shut the door and pull themselves from the chair to the toilet, not enough room to allow anyone else inside. I would give some pointers, but I've not been in the gents toilets, so have no idea what their disabled facilities are like! haha

    Everywhere is easy to get into, it's more the moving around inside. Most breakfasts are buffet style, so you have to get back and forth to the buffet, but if this young chap will be having his own food and does not travel to the buffet, then I cannot see a character breakfast being a problem.

    If you have any questions, we've been to the following character breakfasts with the wheelchair: 1900 Park Fare, Crystal Palace, Hollywood and Vine, Cape May Cafe, Princess Storybook Dining and Tusker House.

    We hired an ECV for Animal Kingdom (it's the hottest park and full of hills and pushing mum around always takes it out of my sister or I), so we can't enjoy so much, so get the ECV so we don't have to worry.

    We charged the rental to the room. The initial rental was $65, and once the ECV was rented, the $20 deposit was returned to us. So the actual charge is $45, but you need to make sure you have enough for the deposit as well.

    You may want to look at getting an offsite rental too, especially if there is a chance you will be renting from every park. Since we only need one for AK, we don't bother. But the total could mount up over a 2-week holiday if you have to keep getting them. There are quite a few places over the disABILITY board that will deliver and collect from your hotel as well.

    Do you have a Blue UK Disabled badge? If so, take it with you. There is a temporary disability permit you can get in the US if you present your UK badge, but if you are just going to Disney, then there is no need. They recognise the UK badge as valid, and will allow you to park in the disabled spaces, along as you display the badge - saw quite a few British badges while we were there! :goodvibes

    If you can get into the Disabled parking, the spaces are located as follows:

    Magic Kingdom
    Front rows in the car park at the TTC. You then need to catch the monorail/ferry over to Magic Kingdom. To get to your car from the TTC you need to walk under the bridge (following same initial road/path as the trams go/just by the kennel), then take a right just after the bridge. The spaces are the first three or four lanes on the left.

    Animal Kingdom
    If you come out of the park, the buses are on the right, and the disabled spaces are in the car park on the left, where a lot of taxis/transfers pick up. Again, it is a bit of a trek from the car park to the main front door of the park.

    Can be a bit of a trek. The spaces are at the front of the car parks, and have several rows. However, we did find one day when we could not find a space in the disabled bit, and were told by the car park CM to park in row 29 (the first normal row of cars), which had plenty of spaces in.

    Hollywood Studios
    Has the best parking for easy access to the park. The spaces are right down in the bit where the resort buses pick-up. The disabled spaces make a sort of island that the buses drive around. It can be a bit intimidating parking there the first time as it feels like you're driving in the wrong direction, at the buses!!

    Downtown Disney
    We only went for shopping, so parked in the Marketplace. We just walked if we wanted anywhere else. But it's simple enough. To park by the Marketplace, you go in Entrance 1, take the first left (which looks a bit weird to do), then turn right, and the disabled spaces are along the end, just opposite the back end of the Wolrd of Disney store.

    Unfortunately, none of the car parks have any kind of covering, so the car can get very hot. If you can invest in one of those screen cover things, it's a good idea - we are buying one next year!! There are also complementary wheelchairs from all of the disabled parking to the park entrances, so if any other members of the party are finding it difficult, you can use those, but they cannot be used in the park - they are simply for car park to entrance.

    You may want to look at getting the GAC (Guest Assistance Card), depending on the needs of your young chap.
    Read the FAQ on the disABILITY board!!!!
  5. Lizzybear

    Lizzybear DIS Veteran

    Jul 23, 2006
    Regarding UK Blue Badges, here is the official 'word' from the DFT website :)

  6. Twilight Terror

    Twilight Terror DIS Veteran

    Aug 5, 2006
    Which is why we used our UK badge only at Disney/Universal/SeaWorld; everywhere else we went, we parked in normal spaces as close to the front as possible. Wouldn't dare use it any where other than WDW/US/SW!
  7. carolfoy

    carolfoy <font color=cc6633>One has Ones hat and One's orf.

    Mar 1, 2005
    many thanks for all your advice,I will pass it on and hopefully they will all have a fun and safe trip
  8. JohnnySharp2

    JohnnySharp2 No man stands as tall as when he stoops to help a

    Jan 18, 2005
    Definitely get the GAC, Disney in particular are well clued up on guests with disABILITIES.
    This can mean you can get on some of the rides where there are long queue's easier - I don't think we would have ridden Soarin' or Test Track in April without it.

    Definitely get the temporary parking permit, the blue badge may still be acceptable in some circumstances but the new permit is a must have, see the sticky at the top of the forum, you cannot park without it especially outside the theme parks.

    For character breakfasts I would recommend buffet style one's, such as Cape May cafe at the Beach Club and 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian, Ohana's at the Polyesian is also supposed to be very nice.

    I agree with Twilight Terror about car parks, only Hollywood Studios has excellent parking very close to the gate entrance, all the others are a bit too far away (to be honest it's a gripe of mine Carol, parking could be better in my opinion).
    Also as you enter having paid for your parking ticket you follow a blue line to the designated areas, to be honest they could do with a lick of paint also.

    All the major malls have allocated disabled parking, tends to be outside the main doors at the different sections or the major stores, eg you enter through Macy's with parking just outside - again you will need the permit to park here.
  9. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

    Aug 23, 1999
    I would suggest not automatically following the blue line to get to handicapped parking.
    Sometimes, they temporarily move the handicapped parking for various reasons (lot is full, lot is being used for something else). If you just follow the blue line, you could end up at a dead end. (Not that we have ever done that :rolleyes1)
    Instead, tell each CM you come to that you need handicapped parking or just hold up your handicapped parking permit so they can see it.

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