http://allearsnet.com/ *** Edited 2/23/2005 3:54:32 PM UTC by supermandl***
If you stay at the resorts, you'll be able to use Disney's Extra Magic Hours. A park will be either open early or open later almost everyday. This can only be done by those staying at Disney resorts. It'll let you ride the more popular rides with low lines.
Its hard to give general tips, and I work here. Make sure they come by the Living Seas and say hi to Jeremy!
* Review the latest Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World. It's published by Fromers, and includes a section for guests with disabilities.
* If possible, stay in a Disney Resort and take advantage of the Disney Transportation system, which includes wheelchair accessible busses.
* Have each guest (including the 3-year-old) select one or two 'must see attractions' for each park. Disney's free Magical Gatherings software might help. Differentiate betweeen 'must sees' and 'would be nice to see' because there probably isn't time to experience everything. (I've spent ~10 days in Disney parks and never once took time to watch a parade.)
* Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom are very stimulating for kids and may build expectations for EPCOT and Disney-MGM Studios, which are more education-orientated. With typical 3-year-olds in mind, I suggest going to EPCOT and Disney-MGM Studios first.
With wheelchairs, you can approach the Cast Member at greeter at each attraction (Every attraction has one) and they will be happy to point you into the direction of the entrance for wheelchairs. At the Living Seas, its the same entrance as everybody else.
Like someone said and I did as well, definitely stay at a Disney hotel. You'll get their free transportation as well as Extra Magic Hours where before opening or after closing a park will be open extra for resort guests only. There will be short lines more than likely.
If you guys have any other questions, I'll be more than glad to do my best to answer!
Also, if you're going after May 5, check into the free luggage service. Disney will get your bags for you at the airport, and transport you to your Disney resort. Quite a nice service, but it's only available on certain airlines.
My friends mom uses an electric scooter and stayed on site their last trip. She said not every bus could accomadate her scooter and often had lengthy waits for another bus. She also was not given a handicap room upon check
in. So just make sure if they plan on staying on site they inquire just how many busses are equipped to handle wc and before they leave the front desk make sure the room is handicap accessible.
Good point RedLaFrance. I forgot about that. The buses I saw almost always had room for normal-sized wheelchairs, but not all could accomodate electric scooters. In 2001, while waiting for a bus to the Value Resorts, I also witnessed problems with a scooter whose batteries were drained from running around Animal Kingdom all day. The scooter could still move, but didn't have enough power to drive up onto the bus's elevator ramp. At the time the driver said that he was not allowed to touch wheelchairs or scooters -- the guests had drive onto the elevator ramp themselves, then he would hoist and secure them in the bus. 7 minutes later (when my bus arrived) both the driver and the guest still frustrated in their efforts to board.
*** Edited 2/25/2005 3:03:34 PM UTC by greatwhitenorth***
I had a few ideas that I posted last week, but for whatever reason got deleted. I suggested things like the "Wishes Cruise" or "Illuminations Cruise." These things really can set your trip apart from a 'normal' visit to WDW and can make for a VERY memorable evening.
There are several other 'behind the scenes' tours and events that you can look into from some of the links above that people have already mentioned that would be very appropriate for the group you mentioned. They aren't that expensive when you consider what you are getting in return, and it's something that not a lot of people do. If you're looking for make a trip 'special' this is the way to do it!
When Elissa and I got married at WDW, we did several of these things (Wishes Cruise, Segway Tour, Private Illuminations Party, etc) and it made our trip much more 'magical.' All within a very reasonalble budget.
I'd post a link to our photos here as an example, but I think that's what got my first post deleted. Anyway, if you want to see the photos, you know where our site is. ;) And if you have any questions about it, please feel free to email me as I'd be happy to help you with suggestions to make your trip more 'memorable'
--Robb "Visits WDW more than the Disney park 60 miles away from me!" Alvey
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