WDW after hip surgery...

shelly3girls

<a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
My DD20 and I will be traveling less than a month after she has major hip surgery. She will likely be just off crutches but not completely stable nor have the ability to walk a distance. I’ve read through the information and it seems we should rent a wheelchair or electric scooter. Is it difficult for someone who does not normally use an electric chair to navigate the parks? I don’t mind pushing her but I also want to be aware that I’ll be doing a lot of walking myself. I’m looking for guidance as to the best approach. Rescheduling this trip is not an option so we’re just looking for ways to best enjoy ourselves even if we don’t do a lot.

I also want to make sure that I am understanding the faqs thread correctly. It is my understanding that we will be able to wait in regular lines with the wheelchair for most rides. She does not need nor qualify for any special assistance related to ride waits (from what I understand). DD will not be able to ride any wild rides but I think there are plenty of things we can do that she will enjoy.

TIA for any suggestions. We’ve been to WDW many times but never with anyone with mobility issues.
 

tcufrog

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 18, 2012
What does the surgeon say? Recovery can really vary from person to person. She may be doing really well or she may be struggling very badly. There's no way to know in advance. Is it possible to delay the trip?
 

shelly3girls

<a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.
Joined
Jun 25, 2002
What does the surgeon say? Recovery can really vary from person to person. She may be doing really well or she may be struggling very badly. There's no way to know in advance. Is it possible to delay the trip?
Surgeon already gave the thumbs up on the trip as long as she listens to her body and doesn’t push it. This is the second time she’s been through this so we have a good sense of what recovery will be like. We are only planning short periods in the parks for her to see a few of her favorite things and will relax much of the time. Some activity will be good for her but I consider a wheelchair necessary so she doesn’t overdo it.
 
  • kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    The most difficult part of navigating an ECV in the parks is other people not paying attention. Assuming she's going to rent offsite, she can practice at the resort before you go anywhere.

    If she rents from any company other than Scooterbug, the delivery person can show her how to operate it and answer any questions.
     

    KMarston

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 24, 2009
    Absolutely rent a scooter! She will have autonomy and you won’t kill your self! I had two years, due to an injury, that I had to use a scooter. I’ve gone two years without since. Depending on where you’re staying, and her abilities, I’d consider renting one off site! Please make it as easy and enjoyable for yourselves as possible.
     

    Bjkandma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2019
    I recommend using an off site vendor and renting a scooter. I've used Gold Mobility and was extremely pleased. Hoeever, there are numerous vendors to rent from. An outside vendor allows her to keep the scooter 24\7. I personally don't recommend renting a wheelchair, (it is cheaper), but you are constantly pushing her weight and the weight of the wheelchair!!

    I'd also recommend her "testing out" a scooter at your local grocery store, walmar t or other store. If she doesn't really need it, just borrow for a little time and return so a person in real need isn't waiting long.

    Also, know that Disney transportation (Including buses, monorail, ferry board (except smaller launch boats) can handle the scoot er.

    Most line queries are able to accommodate the scooter. Those that can't a cast member in front of ride, will direct you to where you need to go. Some rides will require a transfer from the scooter to a wheelchair to get thru the line. A wheelchair will be available to use. (You will need to assist at that time, but much easier than all day).

    A mobility issue no longer qualifies for a DAS.
     

    kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    I'd also recommend her "testing out" a scooter at your local grocery store, walmar t or other store. If she doesn't really need it, just borrow for a little time and return so a person in real need isn't waiting long.
    I know this is recommended here occasionally, but really, there's no need to the up what might well be a limited number of electric carts to practice.

    Five minutes at the resort with one not preventing others from shopping (my local supermarket with a dozen carts actually had more customers needing one than available carts, on a weekday with no weather or holiday issues.)
     
  • Bjkandma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2019
    I know this is recommended here occasionally, but really, there's no need to the up what might well be a limited number of electric carts to practice.

    Five minutes at the resort with one not preventing others from shopping (my local supermarket with a dozen carts actually had more customers needing one than available carts, on a weekday with no weather or holiday issues.)
    I'm the person who is waiting to use an electric cart!!! I've waited up to an hour, so I know what you are talking about.
     

    mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    My DD20 and I will be traveling less than a month after she has major hip surgery. She will likely be just off crutches but not completely stable nor have the ability to walk a distance. I’ve read through the information and it seems we should rent a wheelchair or electric scooter. Is it difficult for someone who does not normally use an electric chair to navigate the parks? I don’t mind pushing her but I also want to be aware that I’ll be doing a lot of walking myself. I’m looking for guidance as to the best approach. Rescheduling this trip is not an option so we’re just looking for ways to best enjoy ourselves even if we don’t do a lot.

    I also want to make sure that I am understanding the faqs thread correctly. It is my understanding that we will be able to wait in regular lines with the wheelchair for most rides. She does not need nor qualify for any special assistance related to ride waits (from what I understand). DD will not be able to ride any wild rides but I think there are plenty of things we can do that she will enjoy.

    TIA for any suggestions. We’ve been to WDW many times but never with anyone with mobility issues.
    Rent an ECV (scooter) not a motorized wheelchair; scooters tend to have a very short learning curve, where motorized chairs are a bit more difficult to master, and a lot of vendors won't rent motorized chairs unless you have one/use one on a regular basis outside WDW.

    If she needs some extra cushioning to be able to sit all day, you can always bring along a nice gel cushion from Amazon!
     

    mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    I know this is recommended here occasionally, but really, there's no need to the up what might well be a limited number of electric carts to practice.

    Five minutes at the resort with one not preventing others from shopping (my local supermarket with a dozen carts actually had more customers needing one than available carts, on a weekday with no weather or holiday issues.)
    Fair point. I am fortunate to live in an area where typically there are plenty of carts available at the stores, and no one (typically) has to wait for one to be returned, except at some of the smaller, regional grocery chains.

    I think we started suggesting that when we had a lot of folks who were nervous about driving ECVs come through here, and it gave them a chance to see that they could, indeed, drive a scooter before they ever arrived at WDW.

    But you and @Bjkandma are both right - we should not contribute to anything that causes another person to have to wait if it is not neccesary.
     

    gap2368

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2015
    You are correct that you will wait in the normal lines for most rides ( there are a few that will give you a return time the few I can think of that she might do is jungle cruse and space ship earth. A few other she will wait in the normal standby or FP and then be pulled off and some she will have to walk some for if the CM ask if she can walk a short distance make sure you say she can walk about X steps and stand for Y minutes as her definition and theirs of short walk might be very different. All rides with moving walkways can be stopped but the people mover and Peter Pan flight are the two that can not be. All the parks have a first aid where she can rest get some OTC meds and ice if needed

    mad others have said rent an ECV from off sit A lot of people here love golds I would look into renting from them and spend a few minutes at the resort practicing with the ECV and maybe if close by going into a shop or food court that is a little busy bemuse people will step right infront of you. Also for very busy time like rope drop and after fireworks hang back and let the crowds die down ( after fireworks your need to wait longer).
    Enjoy your trip
     
  • shelly3girls

    <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.
    Joined
    Jun 25, 2002
    Thank you everyone! I really appreciate the advice. This trip is intended to be a mental health trip and bonding for the two of us as DD has been through so much physically this year. I know I feel better prepared thanks to your advice. Thanks again!
     

    Allison Joy

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2015
    @shelly3girls , I want to share my story with you (and your daughter) here, because I have a feeling we've walked similar journeys, and just in case your daughter may feel a bit "weird" using a scooter when she's young and it may not be obvious why she needs one. The "regulars" on here have read my story multiple times, to the point where I've started sharing in in messenger instead of on the post itself, so they don't have to read it for the 10th time, but I really feel I need to share it here instead this time. So... for those who have read this before, I hope you don't mind, and hope you don't feel like I'm "spamming" when I share this on multiple threads.

    I'm now 36, and took my first Disney trip summer of 2016, when I was 33. At the age of 29, I had a hip replacement, due to hip dysplasia and subsequent surgery at age 9. My entire life, I've had some other minor (to me) physical limitations. I always like to think they are not obvious to others, but I think they are more obvious than I realize, because, despite being and looking young, I am nearly always offered a seat on a full bus/light rail, whether at Disney or the occasional times I take public transportation in my city. That's the intro, and here's my Disney story.

    On our week long trip, the last day in the parks (Magic Kingdom) my friends rented a wheel chair for me. I'll be honest, I was kind of upset. I didn't feel I "needed" it, because, honestly, I can do longer distances. I'm just slow. Like... really slow, especially be the end of the day. I felt like I was taking advantage of something I shouldn't, and even hesitated sharing my story here at first, for fear that other people would also think I was taking advantage of things. Looking back, I'm glad they did rent the wheelchair for me, because the next day was departure day, and I'm honestly not sure I would have navigated nearly as well at the airport the next day with my luggage (carry on) if I hadn't had that "rest" day the last day in the parks. (That being said, I'd still like to "conquer" Magic Kingdom without a wheelchair one day.)

    One special thing that happened to me is I saw a young girl with a pink cast on her leg who was also in a wheelchair. She looked pretty sad to have to use the wheelchair. But the moment she saw me, she got this HUGE smile on her face and waved at me. I think I was probably the first younger looking person she saw in a wheelchair, and it made her feel not quite so alone. So... all that to say that not only are there definite advantages to renting a scooter/wheelchair, but there may also be some hidden magic pixie dust in that scooter!

    I'd also love to share my full story, if you would like.
     

    shelly3girls

    <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/index.
    Joined
    Jun 25, 2002
    @Allison Joy Thank you for sharing your story. I would be interested in hearing your experience via PM. My DD is definitely nervous about how people view her since her condition will not be obvious. I will reassure her about the support on this board. Her happiness and health are the absolute most important thing. Unfortunately, pain has been part of her life for many years but hopefully this surgery will bring it to an end at least until she’s much older.
     

    mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    @shelly3girls , I want to share my story with you (and your daughter) here, because I have a feeling we've walked similar journeys, and just in case your daughter may feel a bit "weird" using a scooter when she's young and it may not be obvious why she needs one. The "regulars" on here have read my story multiple times, to the point where I've started sharing in in messenger instead of on the post itself, so they don't have to read it for the 10th time, but I really feel I need to share it here instead this time. So... for those who have read this before, I hope you don't mind, and hope you don't feel like I'm "spamming" when I share this on multiple threads.

    I'm now 36, and took my first Disney trip summer of 2016, when I was 33. At the age of 29, I had a hip replacement, due to hip dysplasia and subsequent surgery at age 9. My entire life, I've had some other minor (to me) physical limitations. I always like to think they are not obvious to others, but I think they are more obvious than I realize, because, despite being and looking young, I am nearly always offered a seat on a full bus/light rail, whether at Disney or the occasional times I take public transportation in my city. That's the intro, and here's my Disney story.

    On our week long trip, the last day in the parks (Magic Kingdom) my friends rented a wheel chair for me. I'll be honest, I was kind of upset. I didn't feel I "needed" it, because, honestly, I can do longer distances. I'm just slow. Like... really slow, especially be the end of the day. I felt like I was taking advantage of something I shouldn't, and even hesitated sharing my story here at first, for fear that other people would also think I was taking advantage of things. Looking back, I'm glad they did rent the wheelchair for me, because the next day was departure day, and I'm honestly not sure I would have navigated nearly as well at the airport the next day with my luggage (carry on) if I hadn't had that "rest" day the last day in the parks. (That being said, I'd still like to "conquer" Magic Kingdom without a wheelchair one day.)

    One special thing that happened to me is I saw a young girl with a pink cast on her leg who was also in a wheelchair. She looked pretty sad to have to use the wheelchair. But the moment she saw me, she got this HUGE smile on her face and waved at me. I think I was probably the first younger looking person she saw in a wheelchair, and it made her feel not quite so alone. So... all that to say that not only are there definite advantages to renting a scooter/wheelchair, but there may also be some hidden magic pixie dust in that scooter!

    I'd also love to share my full story, if you would like.
    ❤ You can share your story here anytime, my friend!
     

    LongLiveRafiki

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 8, 2017
    I think one of the biggest challenges will be getting into and out of rides. I've had two hip surgeries and even 8 years later still have issues with the low seats for some of the rides. If she has limitations on hip flexion, she will need to be careful with some of the boat rides in particular. I've found that it's usually easier to sit anywhere other than the front row as then I can hold onto the seat in front of me to get in and then stand back up. If the seat is particularly low, I'll sit kind of sideways and stretch my leg out horizontally across the floor instead of sitting normal with feet flat on the floor so it's not flexing my hip as much.

    Good luck and I hope you both enjoy the trip!
     

    KPeterso

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 26, 2004
    Another with a young family member using a wheelchair or ECV. My niece is 21 (so just about the same as your daughter). She unfortunately has a lot of issues walking due to a physical disability. She kind of staggers as she walks (almost think like someone who has had too much to drink). We have used a wheelchair at Disneyland starting at about 8-9 years old (before that stroller as wheelchair). When she was 18, her parents got her a scooter since she was going away to college and they wanted her to have that level of independence. She used at Disneyland to practice a bit. So very young using it, but she knows she could not do it otherwise. People do not realize looking at her on the scooter that she has issues, but if you see her walk, it is very obvious. Your daughter will do awesome and I hope her surgery helps her!
     

    gillep

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 12, 2009
    Thank you everyone! I really appreciate the advice. This trip is intended to be a mental health trip and bonding for the two of us as DD has been through so much physically this year. I know I feel better prepared thanks to your advice. Thanks again!
    Also just a reminder that the first aid stations are available if she needs some time out of the chair to lie flat or anything. My husband had back surgery four weeks ago and needed to rest every few hours as both sitting and standing too long are the hardest on his back, the staff at first aid were so kind and welcoming and he was able to continue touring with me after 20-30 minutes of rest. Have fun!!!
     

    acertaingirl

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 26, 2005
    I think one of the biggest challenges will be getting into and out of rides. I've had two hip surgeries and even 8 years later still have issues with the low seats for some of the rides. If she has limitations on hip flexion, she will need to be careful with some of the boat rides in particular. I've found that it's usually easier to sit anywhere other than the front row as then I can hold onto the seat in front of me to get in and then stand back up. If the seat is particularly low, I'll sit kind of sideways and stretch my leg out horizontally across the floor instead of sitting normal with feet flat on the floor so it's not flexing my hip as much.

    Good luck and I hope you both enjoy the trip!
    So true! I am a bilateral hippie and the boat rides are the most difficult for me (worst being IASW). With new hip replacements, it’s important for the knees to be below the hips, which doesn’t happen on that wide. I prefer the center rows as they are easier to get into, my husband and I have worked it out after all these years. As the days go on, it is more difficult to get out of the ride vehicles (but maybe because I’m getting to be an old lady).
     

    acertaingirl

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Aug 26, 2005
    Also just a reminder that the first aid stations are available if she needs some time out of the chair to lie flat or anything. My husband had back surgery four weeks ago and needed to rest every few hours as both sitting and standing too long are the hardest on his back, the staff at first aid were so kind and welcoming and he was able to continue touring with me after 20-30 minutes of rest. Have fun!!!
    May I ask what they did for him at First Aid? Was he able to lie down or is it just a comfy place to sit and rest? I have a wonky back and the standing is the worst, so I take frequent breaks.
     


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