Wheelchair accessible Minnie Van

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by Pooh's Pals, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. Pooh's Pals

    Pooh's Pals Earning My Ears

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    We are staying at SS in October as a family of 5 adults. DH uses a manual wheelchair as he has very little lower body mobility. We are currently viewing out options for transportation to and from the parks etc. We have previously used the buses but got increasingly frustrated by the wait times as buses were already full or has no space for a wheelchair. We have a couple of breakfasts booked and so were considering using the Minnie Van service. Does anyone have any reviews/comment on this?
     
  2. gap2368

    gap2368 DIS Veteran

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    There are 2 that are wheelchair accessible I have not used the service so I do not know anything else
     
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  4. Staren

    Staren Mouseketeer

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    I asked about the accessible Minnie Van process on my last trip in January. I ended up not using them because I was not impressed. They may have made changes since, but I have not heard anything.

    The way that you request the accessible Minnie Van is by calling a special phone number. I believe it is to the Minnie Van depot / garage. The request can take much more time than a regular Minnie Van because they currently only have 2 accessible vans as mentioned above. The word I got was to expect up to a 45 minute wait depending on where the vans are on property. Also last I heard, expect to pay by room charge. You can't request a ride or pay through the Lyft app as you would for the regular Minnie Vans.

    This is my personal opinion. It's great that an accessible option for the Minnie Vans was launched with the rest of the service, but it still needs work. At least in its current form I think the accessible Minnie Vans are more of an annoyance than they are useful. You may have a different experience. I have found that the buses work fine for me. I find the fact that you have to call for the accessible van kind of irritating. The fact that the accessible vans use a completely different process than the standard vans makes me want to strangle someone.

    I do hope that they are working on improvements, because I really would like to use them on an upcoming trip.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
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  5. RaySharpton

    RaySharpton Retired and going to Disney.

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    Hi, Pooh's Pals. I was interested in the same information before I went to WDW this past June 2018. I didn't find that I needed to use the Minnie Van Service on my trip, but I am glad that I asked the same questions.

    I agree with Staren's post about having to phone instead of just using the app. You could go to the resort's front desk and request help. The different times of the day that you request the Minnie Van make a difference, too. During busy times in the morning for the park's breakfast reservations or after park closing, etc.

    I posted a thread with photos and some people made some reviews or comments on the thread link below if your are interested. Maybe you'll get some more comments in the days to come.


    https://www.disboards.com/threads/d...dw-minnie-accessible-van-and-reviews.3681995/


    .
     
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  6. mamabunny

    mamabunny DIS Veteran

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    I know that originally, those HA vans had to be requested by the Concierge at the property you are at; I didn't realize there had been a formal change in the procedure to have one dispatched to the Resort that the Guest is at.

    I agree completely with @Staren; it should be no different at all to summon the HA Minnie Vans, however, from what I understand, the different procedure was put into place to insure that those vans are available first, and always to Guests with mobility devices. From that perspective, I appreciate that Disney isn't just throwing those vans into rotation, and leaving mobility-impaired Guests to wait until a vanful of drunk college kids from EPCOT, that tried to "Drink their way around the World", get back to All Star Sports...
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
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  7. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    I believe there are now 4 accessible Minnie Vans. 2 of the "original" size (total 4 passengers including 1 ECV/wheelchair), and 2 new ones that are larger. I haven't heard much about the new ones other they are presumed to now accommodate 2 ECVs/wheelchairs and up to 6 passengers (like the regular Minnie Vans). But I don't know if they have been put into service yet; I haven't seen any first-hand reports.
     
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  8. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

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    I understand the frustration with having to call, but it's similar here. Our paragraphs program has a program with Lyft (and Über). Consumers with wheelchairs who can't transfer need to call the day before they want to ride, to reserve aan accessible taxi which is part of the program.I

    I don't know how well it works, since my neighbor for whom it's designed refuses to sign up for the program.
     
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  9. Staren

    Staren Mouseketeer

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    @kaytieeldr if the program is similar to The RIDE paratransit program here in Boston, it probably doesn’t work very well. The day before booking is the least objectionable issue. I don’t want to get into a whole thing because this is a touchy subject for many people who use or are eligible for these programs, and its a bit off topic but I want to give some context. I’ve used 2 paratransit systems now, and I avoid them whenever possible. You have to pre-book every trip at least a day before. Then they are still either hours late or so early you’re not out of bed yet. This isn’t once in awhile. This is a regular thing. I think its an unwritten rule that only the rudest most insensitive people apply for the dispatcher jobs. Most of the drivers are good, but you also get the ones who act like they are doing you this huge favor by showing up. It’s pretty frustrating all around most of the time. This is why I will usually pay extra for the ride share SUVs and handle my chair myself. The problem is that paratransit most of the time doesn’t feel like a different system. It feels like a second class system. I appreciate Disney trying to keep the accessible vans reserved for people who need them, but there has to be a way to do that and still allow us to use the main request and payment system.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
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  10. Euby

    Euby DIS Veteran

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    If you are staying at Saratoga Springs, the Grandstand is the first pickup bus stop. When I stayed there in June (using an ECV), I would get on there. Grandstand is also the first drop-off stop, so I would just wait and get off at The Springs stop (which is the last stop). That way I had less toes to maneuver around.

    The few times that there wasn't space when the bus came to Grandstand, the driver called a "floater" bus which usually arrived within 10 minutes.
     
  11. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

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    It actually IS The Ride :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:!

    I'm happy to PM you my phone number if you want to talk trash about The Ride. I was on the AACT, and will be on the ATC or whatever they're replacing that with. The "pilot program" works well for (at least the two) ambulatory users. I'm registered with Lyft, and one of my neighbors uses Über. I

    Gotta agree with you about most of the dispatchers. One notable exception i won't identify, but who rarely takes calls. Have you tried talking to the man who will. not. shut. up? I'm still hoarse from screaming at him weeks ago!
     
  12. mamabunny

    mamabunny DIS Veteran

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    Wow, and here I thought the paratransit system in *our* hometown sucked.

    Just goes to show that no one has gotten it right yet!
     
  13. gap2368

    gap2368 DIS Veteran

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    In my town you have to call 48 hours before your ride and they can be up to 30 minutes late getting you before you can call to ask them when they are coming

    But I think it is a good thing disney dobbled the wheelchair vans.
     
  14. I Love Pluto

    I Love Pluto DIS Veteran<br><font color=green>I guess that make

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    I rode in the accessible Minnie Van last month (July).

    The driver was extremely polite.
    The ECV was loaded without issues.
    The driver was very careful with my scooter.
    The driver asked me about my abilities before he asked me to move or step anywhere.

    I was very pleased with the experience. I will use the accessible Minnie Van again.
     
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  15. ZJ5/9D47

    ZJ5/9D47 Earning My Ears

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    Just got back from WDW and had 2 very positive experiences with using the WC-accessible Minnie vans early in the morning (6 & 6:30 AM) to go from our resort to another resort and then our resort room to the Magical Express pick-up location because our resort's internal wheelchair van was broken and the internal busses weren't running at that hour. There seem to be 4 vans now...2 that hold one chair and 2 that hold 2 chairs....we used both. Both drivers were excellent and seemed well trained in how to interact with guests using mobility devices and how to properly secure those devices (unlike many bus drivers we encountered this trip). The drivers parked near cut-outs in the safest possible locations and closest to the hotel entrances.

    Calling to reserve the van was not an issue. We were able to make a next-day reservation (concierge did actually) when we needed a 6AM pick-up to get to the Magical Express pick-up location. The phone line opens at 6:30 AM (in reality, 6:32) and it is first-come, first-serve...which can cause a bit of anxiety for early dining reservations.

    I have photos of both vans (although I don't know how to post photos yet and am think I'm still too new to be able to post them here). The double-chair van has a seat so that someone can sit next to one person in a wheelchair. There is a row of seats in front of that and also the front passenger seat although I don't know if that is available for guests to use. There are two steps that run the length of the van to help mobile guests step up into the van.
     
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  16. Groot

    Groot Earning My Ears

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    What do the accessible Minnie Vans look like? Anyone got pictures?
     
  17. RaySharpton

    RaySharpton Retired and going to Disney.

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    https://www.disboards.com/threads/d...dw-minnie-accessible-van-and-reviews.3681995/

    Hi, Groot. I have a link and post with a link on this post #4 of this thread. I put the link above for you to look at photos.



    .
     
  18. mamabunny

    mamabunny DIS Veteran

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    We had the opportunity (OK... to be honest, we were tired, EPCOT buses were running soooo s l o w l y...) to take a Minnie Van this past week.

    We were able to use a "standard" van, because my ECV fit just fine by moving the car seats, dropping half of the back seat and popping it in. Our driver, Jan, was tickled by the whole thing, and we had a great trip home to POFQ!

    I asked her how we could call the Accessible Minnie Van in the future, and she gave me this card, which I now share with you!!!

    MinnieVans.jpeg

    Put that phone number in your Contacts, kids. :)
     
  19. BethCPTSD

    BethCPTSD Mouseketeer

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  20. mamabunny

    mamabunny DIS Veteran

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    That's really interesting. It certainly makes the new hotels at Flamingo Crossing more compelling to me!
     
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  21. BabyFu18

    BabyFu18 DIS Veteran

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    We used the accessible minnie vans multiple times durning our trip just last week. I wish they would allow you to use the Lyft app to call the van verse having to get on the phone to call for the accessible vehicles, I was calling for a van at closing when we were leaving Animal Kingdom, it took 40 minutes waiting on the phone just to speak with someone then another 30 minutes waiting for the van to arrive. I get that we called at closing and they are very busy at that time, but if I could have used the app like everyone else then it would have made things so much easier, I did ask the driver if there were any plans to add the accessible vehicles to the app or to MDE or anything like that to make things easier and he said no they had no plans to do anything with the accessible vans and the apps.

    After that experience I made sure I called early to get the vans, I didn’t do it again at closing time without calling a good amount of time in advance. I enjoyed using the vans, we had a wheelchair and a scooter in our party so having the van that could hold two mobility devices was great. We did ask if the car seat could be moved if we had more people in our party (this trip we were traveling as a party of 4 adults, but often times we travel with a party of 6 adults as well), the driver said no it couldn’t be moved and when people have bigger parties they need to request 2 Minnie Vans.

    I enjoyed using the Minnie Van services, it’s very fun and can be nice at the end of the night or early mornings when you don’t want to mess with buses and whatnot. I will for sure use the service again, but I’m interested to see how it’ll go with the per mile charge...
     
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