What happens to electric wheelchair after guest transfers to HM doom buggy?

JoannaOhio

17-Year Cancer Survivor!!!
Joined
Sep 18, 2000
When we visit Disney World in December, my DD's fiancee (who has muscular dystrophy) will be using his electric wheelchair. In his daily life he is able to transfer between his manual and his electric wheelchairs - but with great difficulty. He uses his manual chair in his house, so he usually only does the transfer twice a day - in the morning when he goes to work, and in the evening when he comes home. For any other transfers, he needs to be lifted from his wheelchair - not an easy task. He's only planning to do the rides and attractions at WDW where he can stay in his chair. However, there is one ride that my daughter is hoping we'll be able to lift him onto - our favorite - the Haunted Mansion.

If he was in a manual chair, I can understand the CM being able to move it aside after the transfer has been made, but what happens with an electric chair? Will one of us have to "drive" it out of the way before the ride resumes. (I understand that the CM can stop the ride while we make the transfer.) And, when the ride is over, will one of us need to "drive" the chair back beside the doom buggy to get him out? Will it be waiting for us at the same spot where we loaded?

Thanks in advance for anybody who has dealt with a similar situation and can give us any tips.

:grouphug:
 

Forevryoung

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 30, 2005
Isnt there a release so that the battery can be turned off and the chair pushed manually? Why not do that so that the CM can push it as needed-
 

JoannaOhio

17-Year Cancer Survivor!!!
Joined
Sep 18, 2000
Forevryoung said:
Isnt there a release so that the battery can be turned off and the chair pushed manually? Why not do that so that the CM can push it as needed-
I don't know about that. The only time I've seen my daughter move the chair (usually just a foot or so) she used the electric controls to move it. I'll find out.

:grouphug:
 

Talking Hands

<font color=purple><b>|,,|/</b> DEAF DISNEY LOVER<
Joined
Mar 27, 2002
Turn the controller down to the lowest setting and the castmember can move it away and park it or you can do it. It is parked a few feet from the ride right outside in the hall. We have done it both ways. I went without my husband on the Keys to the Kingdom Tour and I pulled right up to the ride vehicle, slide into the seat and the castmember moved the wheelchair. After the ride it was brought back to me. At other times my husband will move it and retrieve it for me. Now I am able to park itand walk the few feet to get on the ride as long as the walkway is stopped.
 

JoannaOhio

17-Year Cancer Survivor!!!
Joined
Sep 18, 2000
Talking Hands said:
Turn the controller down to the lowest setting and the castmember can move it away and park it or you can do it. It is parked a few feet from the ride right outside in the hall. We have done it both ways. I went without my husband on the Keys to the Kingdom Tour and I pulled right up to the ride vehicle, slid into the seat and the castmember moved the wheelchair. After the ride it was brought back to me. At other times my husband will move it and retrieve it for me. Now I am able to park itand walk the few feet to get on the ride as long as the walkway is stopped.
I highlighted that portion of your post because I'm curious as to whether the side of the ride vehicle is open enough to allow "sliding" across into the seat. I haven't been able to see a good enough picture of it to determine whether or not the sides wrap around enough that DD's fiancee would have to be lifted over some sort of edge onto the seat. This would make a huge difference.

Thanks for helping me to figure this out as specifically as possible. Even though our trip is still almost seven months away, I'm a little bit OCD about figuring out the details. :rotfl2:

:grouphug:
 

BillSears

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
They have a specific car that they will load wheelchair users onto. So you might have to wait till that one car comes around before you can ride. This car does have a more open entrance to it and some of the wrap around side has been cut away.

It does make transfers easier then they used to be. I'm not sure if enough is cut away to make a smooth slide right into the seat. But I don't think you'll have to lift him up over anything.
 

JoannaOhio

17-Year Cancer Survivor!!!
Joined
Sep 18, 2000
Thanks for that info, Bill. It sounds more and more doable all the time! HM is my daughter's and my most favorite ride, and we were very excited to think that we could share it with her fiancee. (Our other big favorites are IASW & the Mexico ride, and we already know that he'll be able to drive right on to those.)

:grouphug:
 

Talking Hands

<font color=purple><b>|,,|/</b> DEAF DISNEY LOVER<
Joined
Mar 27, 2002
I am a small but heavy person and I was able to slide across into the seat. The special care is cut out so it is feasible at leasr in my case. You may have to wait for this specific car and I believe there is only 1. Since I am now able to walk and get on by myself I no longer use that car.
 

JoannaOhio

17-Year Cancer Survivor!!!
Joined
Sep 18, 2000
We'll be quite content to wait for that special car, because it sounds like that will make the transfer much easier. I'll have my daughter ask her fiancee about the suggestions made for moving his electric wheelchair. Thanks, everybody, for helping me to believe that this will be doable - so I can start getting excited about it again. :banana:

:grouphug:
 

SueM in MN

combining the teacups with a roller coaster
Moderator
Joined
Aug 23, 1999
Make sure to tell the CM at the ride that you need a full stop and that you will be taking the power wheelchair right up to the ride car for a sliding transfer.
All power wheelchairs have a way to put them into freewheeling so they can be pushed, (your DD probably knows how, but it's much easier to just use the power to move it). I almost never put my DD's power chair into the freewheel mode because it's heavy to push and hard to turn.
It would probably be easier to just turn down the speed like Talking Hands suggested. If you put it in freewheel, that would have to be after he transfers (so it doesn't roll away) and you would have to remember to put it back in gear before he transfers back to the wheelchair (so it doesn't roll as he is transferring in.)
As far as I know, there is only a wheelchair transfer car like Bill and Talking Hands described. It's not real obviously different.
 

Andrew Bichard

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 31, 2000
Talking Hands said:
I am a small but heavy person and I was able to slide across into the seat. The special care is cut out so it is feasible at leasr in my case. .

I can only transfer by sliding. I assume the doom buggy seat is close enough to wheelchair seat height to do this and that there is nothing in the way to prevent sliding across. Would it help if I brought my sliding board with me? Which side will the doom buggy be when I transfer? My chair's control box is on the right-hand side of my chair, so my left-hand armrest is much easier to remove.

I have not ridden the Haunted Mansion ride since the beginning of time (before Epcot was opened) and am keen to try it again.

I have heard that Tower of Terror now has a wider doorway so I have to go back next trip and see if I can now transfer in.

Are there any other rides that have had access improved in the last couple of years that I should check out? (I rode Jungle Cruise in my chair last trip)

Andrew
 

SueM in MN

combining the teacups with a roller coaster
Moderator
Joined
Aug 23, 1999
i can answer the opening side part. The ride car opens only on the left side of the car, so it is a transfer to your right to get in. You return to the exit to get off, so getting off is a transfer to your left.
 

eternaldisneyfan

<font color=royalblue>Have an Attitude of Gratitud
Joined
Oct 1, 2004
I don't know what kind of wheelchair your dd's fiance has but not all electric wheelchairs have a speed dial to turn down. My Invacare Arrow doesn't have a speed dial. As we all know, the joystickss are very touchy. My friends have jokingly grabbed the joystick and ended up pinned against a wall. I can just see a CM reserved to the same fate :earseek:. My Dad always takes the chair out of gear for the CM and turns it off (this greatly reduces the resistance when pushing), then the moving walkway restarts and the CM takes the chair off to the side. Make sure you request that your chair is waiting for you and that the walkway is stopped. At DL they didn't stop the walkway when my sister got off-just slowed it-and she got injured when my Dad was carrying her off the ride. Check to make sure the chair is back in gear before you transfer. The lever to take all of our electric chairs out/in gear look like brake levers and are located by the wheels by the brake levers. Good luck with your trip!

Christamae
 

JoannaOhio

17-Year Cancer Survivor!!!
Joined
Sep 18, 2000
All of this information will be extremely helpful as we plan our trip. I did think of a backup possibility. While my DD's dear fiancee will be touring the parks in his electric wheelchair, she will be pushing me in his manual chair. Although it will mean two "extra" transfers on his part, one option would be if we are able to situate ourselves out of the way where the electric chair can be left (inside the building) while he transfers into the manual chair. (I can stand and walk for short distances.)

I think his manual chair would make for a much easier transfer to the ride vehicle - especially if the height of the ride seat is close enough to do a sliding transfer. We could remove the footrests and put the arm down prior to approaching the ride vehicle, and that chair would definitely be easier for a CM to move. Then, after he transfers from the ride vehicle back into his manual chair, I'm assuming we could take the extra time needed for him to transfer from the manual chair into his electric chair before we leave the building - at our leisure, and allowing him time to rest in the process - without delaying any other riders. Does this sound feasible to those of you who have used the special doom buggy?

We will definitely make sure that the ride is completely stopped before attempting either transfer. Thanks for that reminder.

:grouphug:
 

SueM in MN

combining the teacups with a roller coaster
Moderator
Joined
Aug 23, 1999
eternaldisneyfan said:
I don't know what kind of wheelchair your dd's fiance has but not all electric wheelchairs have a speed dial to turn down. My Invacare Arrow doesn't have a speed dial.
My DD has an older Invacare Arrow that has a small reostat dial next to the power switch. The newer ones don't have that dial. (so yours must be newer than my dd's is.) Turning the reostat fully on puts the wheelchair at 100% power for whatever program you are in. Turning it fully the other direction slows the speed down (so it's maybe only 10% of full power.

Even if the wheelchair doesn't have a speed dial to turn down, if it has different programs, usually people have some of the programs with a slower speed. The Invacare controller has a total of 4 programs that can be set with different top speeds. My DD's programs are set so that one of them has a really fast top speed, but one has a top speed of something like 1 mile per hour (which sounds pretty fast, but is really slow). The owner of the wheelchair will know what his/her wheelchair is set up for.
Joanna Ohio said:
Although it will mean two "extra" transfers on his part, one option would be if we are able to situate ourselves out of the way where the electric chair can be left (inside the building) while he transfers into the manual chair. (I can stand and walk for short distances.)
.....Then, after he transfers from the ride vehicle back into his manual chair, I'm assuming we could take the extra time needed for him to transfer from the manual chair into his electric chair before we leave the building - at our leisure, and allowing him time to rest in the process - without delaying any other riders.
I hope I can explain this so you can imagine it.
People using wheelchairs or scooters in the Haunted Mansion line usually wait in the regular line until close to the area where the regular line enters the building (sometimes the CMs will route you to that area faster, it depends onthe amount of people waiting etc.) At that point, there is a chained area with a wheelchair icon that the CM will let you into.

People with wheelchairs/ecvs who can't walk walk or stand for long distances board at the exit. This means you miss the first part of the attraction (the stretching room).
The "parking area" for wheelchairs is inside the building right outside of the exit. It's sort of a hallway with a space on one side of the hallway for wheelchairs/ecvs to park. They are usually parked close together, side by side. The other side of the hallway is where people who are exiting the ride are walking out. There is a nice courtyard outside of the exit area where he could do his transfer from the power wheelchair to the manual wheelchair and back again if that's what they want to do. You could tell the CM who lets you into the area to start with know what you plan to do and about how long he would like to rest before boarding so they can come and get your party after that. After riding, you can stay in courtyard area as long as you like or need to. There are some benches there and people are frequently just hanging out there.
 

JoannaOhio

17-Year Cancer Survivor!!!
Joined
Sep 18, 2000
Andrew Bichard said:
I can only transfer by sliding. I assume the doom buggy seat is close enough to wheelchair seat height to do this and that there is nothing in the way to prevent sliding across. Would it help if I brought my sliding board with me?
Does anybody know the answer to this? It would be helpful for my DD's fiancee to know, also.


ablemove.gif
 

JoannaOhio

17-Year Cancer Survivor!!!
Joined
Sep 18, 2000
Thanks, SueM, for that detailed description of what the wheelchair and exit area are like. Every little bit of knowledge helps.

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