Will Disney help the way Universal did?

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by DJ!, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. DJ!

    DJ! Mouseketeer

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    My wife and I are both mobility scooter owners. We use them in our daily life when out in public. When we went to Disney late last year, we found that there seemed to be a bit of a disconnect on Disney's part because neither of us can walk and push the other through the lines at the rides. I can stand and walk further than she can, at least early in the day, but she is lucky to stand for 2 minutes and walk 10 feet and there had better be a chair waiting for her, because if not, she will be on the ground. I tried my best to explain this to the CM at the MK guest services, but she threw the blanket, mobility scooters and wheelchairs answer at me, like it was one size fits all. Needless to say, our trip last year had some less than magical moments due to the lack of understanding.

    Fast forward to a trip earlier this year to Universal. Universal actually listened and understood our issues without any problem whatsoever. We never encountered any CM that was less than 100% pleasant and bend over backwards helpful. We both were taken aback by the difference in the experience that we were having there vs what we had encountered at Disney.

    We are looking at planning a trip to WDW next fall for the F&W festival and MNSSHP. I am wondering if there will be any change in our experience next year. I don't remember things being so difficult with two on mobility scooters without helpers before. We both have gone to Disney for decades, me more than her, but still the difference since the DAS change was really far less magical. I understand how to use a DAS, I just want to know if something can be done to allow access to the rides, like we used to be able to do, like going into the side door at the end of the POtC ride to load. I have done it and I know it's possible. They really need to listen and think about what the guest needs, not just assume that one mobility device rider is like the next.

    What do you think?
     
  2. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    Exactly what kind of assistance are you needing? The majority of queues at WDW are "mainstreamed" meaning they meet standards to allow wheelchairs or ECVs through the regular queue (standby or FP+). This has been true for many years. Therefore, there is little need for an "alternate" entrance for those using mobility devices; a few attractions will still direct you to a different access. What is it about using the alternate entrance that helps you? If you need to drive your ECV right up to the ride vehicle to transfer, the CM can move it for you. CMs may or may not be able to provide physical assistance for your transfer. Several rides can accommodate an ECV without transferring, though with 2 of you on ECVs either one would need to transfer or you would have to ride separately. There are a few queues at WDW that will not allow an ECV, but that is really very few; you may be able to request someone to push in those situations, though it will depend on CM availability. My understanding at Universal is that ECVs aren't even allowed into most of the queues -- so I'm confused why you think Universal was more accommodating. If you can explain more what you need, posters may have suggestions for you.

    Please remember to plan and utilize your 3 pre-scheduled FP+ as well as additional in-park after the first 3 are used.

    Enjoy your vacation!
     
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  4. DJ!

    DJ! Mouseketeer

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    I know that many rides have been mainstreamed at Disney, but many still require that you transfer to a wheelchair to access the ride. Those are the rides that present the issue for us. Without a helper, neither of us can access the ride, because neither of us can maneuver a wheelchair by ourselves through the lines that require wheelchair transfers.

    At Universal, because of our situation, there were only a handful of rides between the two parks that there was not some sort of work around in place that allowed us to use our scooters in the lines, via alternate paths, because they worked with our issues. They also, in the places where there was a need for a wheelchair, they called for a CM to push us. We had no problem waiting for the CM's, because it was so wonderful to actually be able to access the rides and again, everyone was so pleasant about it all.

    I used FP and DAS all through our last trip to Disney. It's not like I haven't been dozens of times as a scooter user. I just never had found the access to rides to be as strictly limited as it seemed to have been last year. I had not been to Disney since 2013, so there was a 4 year break and it seemed to have made quite a difference.
     
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  5. AJKMOM

    AJKMOM DIS Veteran

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    You're lucky, when I took my autistic son to Universal, it was awful. I will never go back there again.
     
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  6. redberyl

    redberyl Mouseketeer

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    we had a truly horrible experience at universal too, they didn't accomodate either of my daughters' numerous special needs at all
     
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  7. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

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    Very curious. Which rides at Disney could/would not accommodate the ECVs? Aside from PotC?
     
  8. gap2368

    gap2368 DIS Veteran

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    Space Mountain buz are two that you can not take an ECV in that I can think of
     
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  9. CatNipRules

    CatNipRules DIS Veteran

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    Haunted Mansion. My son had to push me both times we went on it last year.
     
  10. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

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    The DAS was introduced in October of that year. If your trip was after that, its possible you fell into s grace period.

    A venue has to be accessible. Nothing in the ADA indicates personalized service or treatment. While its great that Universal assigned Team Members to wheel you through some queues, it's an unusual level of servce which, truly, should not be expected. Maybe Universal was so not-busy when you visited that they could spare Team Members.
     
  11. Lilsia

    Lilsia DIS Veteran

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    This is what I was thinking. I know personally that if I worked somewhere like this that I would not be comfortable actually assisting someone in and out of a wheelchair. That is not something most people should actually be doing without any kind of training. I think it is unreasonable to expect amusement park employees to do this. We are not talking about something that you need to survive like going to the grocery store and having someone shop for you, etc. They provide access to all of the safe options and it is up to us to have someone to help if needed. OP, if you and your wife need assistance in and out of rides then you need to bring someone to help you.
     
  12. arminnie

    arminnie <font color=blue>Tossed the butter kept the gin<br

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    My walking ability is about like your wife’s- except that I cannot even walk 2 steps without a walker. As my abilities declined I realized that I could not go solo and ride all of the rides. I must have an able bodied companion.

    Which is why I am upgrading from a scooter to a power chair. There is a general assumption (even if not always true) that a scooter user can walk some.

    I cannot see how a DAS would help at all. For mobility issues one is expected to provide their own mobility device needed. If one needs a personal attendant that is the responsibility of the person needing it - not Disney.
     
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  13. EveDallas

    EveDallas Always keep fighting

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    I didn't see anywhere that the OP said anyone actually helped them in and out of rides - just that someone pushed the chair.
     
  14. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

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    I think that level of assistance is out of the ordinary, and not to be expected. Happy for the OP that Universal had enough surperfluous Team Members that the couple was able to access non-ECVable attractions, as generally CMs and TMs are not allowed to assist. Anybody needing that level of help should truly expect to provide it on their own - as Lilsia indicated.
     
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  15. EveDallas

    EveDallas Always keep fighting

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    Or maybe the TMs at Universal were more willing to help like most decent people would. But go ahead and tell yourself that Disney is just SOOOO BUSY if it makes you feel better.
     
  16. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

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    Cast Members are not allowed to assist guests. I have zero idea on Univeral's policy on Team Members. It's great that, on the OP's last visit, there were Team Members available to push their wheelchairs. REally. But that level of assistance should never be expected. Ever. It's presumptuous and can lead to unreasonable expectations: "What do you mean, you can't spare two employees to stay with us and push us in wheelchairs? You did it for _____! (or, ...did it last time; or, ...Universal does it!!!)"

    No. Visitors expecting or requiring personalized assistance should, reasonably,he expected to provide it themselves.

    Sarcasm absolutely not required. I was being tactful.
     
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  17. catm

    catm Mouseketeer

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    I don't know about Space Moutain, but I've used a ECV in the Buzz Lightyear Que as well as Toy Story Mania. The only two rides I can think of that you have
    to transfer to a regular wheelchair are Pirates and Tower of Terror. I've never been able to figure out why,because both have large enough Ques to move through.
    Maybe there are steps and cast members can't transfer them fromt the loading area to the end of ride?
     
  18. kaytieeldr

    kaytieeldr Post hoc, ergo propter hoc

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    Pirates because you exit in an entirely different building, so there's generally no efficient way for CMs to move ECVs.

    Tower was explained to me as the lines being too narrow or having too many turns to navigate for all ECVs, so they don't accommodate any ECVs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
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  19. gap2368

    gap2368 DIS Veteran

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    they would not let my friend take her ECV in the buz line
     
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  20. Mrsjvb

    Mrsjvb DIS Veteran

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    no. its a liability issue. they won't assist any guest with anything more complicated than a steadying hand getting in and out of ride vehicles. it is the guests responsibility to get themselves through all lines and ride vehicles regardless of how they do so. FTR the ones at Universal are no more 'willing to help like decent people' than the ones at WDW.
     
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  21. gap2368

    gap2368 DIS Veteran

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    I have had to use a wheelchair a few times and at space ( I was alone) the CM asked if I needed someone to push me ( never asked) this happens at lest 2x one i asked. One time I was being bushed the CM got a call and said I am doing a code ( forgot the number ) I asked him what that meant and he said that was the code for pushing a wheelchair guest though the line. He told they did this at space since the line is so steep and long and since at the end of the line is a wheelchair cut off so it does not take that long. He also said that if there was anyone else in your group they would not do this that it was only for single people. I have also seen CM pushing other guest in and out of the line The other thing a CM can do is give you a hand or an arm to steady your self only of the CM feels that can do it this is up to the CM at the time
     
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