Guests with Special Needs Discuss Mother who had a stroke in the Vacation Planning forums; Hey all,
My fiance and I are getting married next September and instead of having a traditional honeymoon, we decided to make it a huge family vacation. The problem is ...
Mother who had a stroke
My fiance and I are getting married next September and instead of having a traditional honeymoon, we decided to make it a huge family vacation. The problem is that I am afraid that my mother who had a stroke last year will be unable to ride any rides. I know there is a lot more to do in WDW then just the rides but I think she would really enjoy going on a few.
She can walk some distance with a Hemi-Cane as her left leg is still a bit immobile. The real problem is her left arm, she can not use it at all. She has no problem getting in an out of a car, but may take a bit longer then normal. Will this prohibit her from the rides? Any information anyone can give is greatly appreciated. If more information is needed I will reply back as fast as possible. Thank you all for your help.
Disney Stock Holder, D23 Member, DVC Member, AP Holder
I am not anywhere near an expert on this, but on our last trip there were many disabled folks and the CM's help them in and out of the ride cars. I would think a lot of the rides would be manageable and just a few off limits. Most people are very understanding of the process, and if it takes a few extra minutes to load up then, it is what it is. The CM's are really great with helping the "disabled" have a great holiday, so go and have fun. I am sure some of the others will have better of more information.
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Congratulations on making your honeymoon a familymoon!
In 2001, my grandmother had a massive stroke that left the entire right side of her body basically useless. She also had trouble speaking at times. She was restricted to a wheelchair, but that did not stop her from going! She loved Disneyworld, and would marvel at everything in it. It was like watching a little kid for the first time go through Disney World (even though she had there several times before). The stroke left her with the mind of a child. What was even nicer was the way the cast members interacted with her. It is was wonderful! They all came down to her level, treated her like a real person and asked her and us if she needed any help. Of course she could not get on any of the "thrill" rides, but they would actually stop the "regular" rides and let us get her on, and let her have fun! Most of the slower rides (and monorails and boats) even had a ramp for easy entrance and exits to the rides. The cast members are very accomodating in any way they can.
Sadly, my grandmother passed away in November of 2006.
We are going back again this August in memory of her and to celebrate my 40th!
Small tip: Ask for the Guidebook for Disabiliites at the guest services desk for each park. In it you will find every ride, attraction and restaurant with regards to accessibility. I think you can also get them ahead of time from Guest Services if you call.
If you need a wheelchair for you mom, your resort (if they still do this) may also be able to let you rent one directly from them for the time you are there, instead of renting at each park. (like I said, they "used" to do this!)
Even the resorts are accomodating, just call, and they will help you with everything!
I hope this helps you!!!!!!
Walt Disney World, the best place to celebrate family!
I was able to call and have the guidebooks sent to me before our trip. It helped with planning potty breaks for Ollie, the guide dog. The books show which rides wheel chairs can go on and which ones you need to transfer out of the chair. The CMs were much better than I thought they'd be about stopping the rides so the dog could get on easily without trying to get into a moving vehicle.
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My grandfather is handicapped and cant walk without crutches but at wdw he uses his chair and we help him walk onto things... the CMs are more than helpful and they can load those with disabilities in no time they are incredibly efficient we have only ever had one problem and that was on the HM the CM forgot which buggy my grandfather was riding in so when it came time to unload he couldnt get off bc they forgot to slow it and stop it quickly so he started going around again but they stopped the ride and unloaded him in the dark before the buggy swings around to the actual line the CM apologized so much but my grandfather kept laughing and he said he was hoping she didnt notice so he could go again lol!! good luck!
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No worries Lord Qx4,
Disney will bend over backward to make your mother's experience a wonderful one, and you will find that most of the guests who come to this place are equally understanding. From a personal experience, I have been there... everyone is understanding when you take a bit longer. Ask any CM for help on a particular ride - if they need to, they will stop everything to make it possible for a disabled person to ride. Let your mom know what the rides are about and don't push her... but if she does want to participate, don't hesitate. Have a wonderful trip.
Thank you all for your advice. The trip is in Sept 09 and I feel a lot better now that I know my mother will be able to do the rides she wants. Her most favorites rides are the boat rides (Splash Mountain, Small World, Peter Pan's Flight, and Pirates) in the magic kingdom and as long as she can ride them I am sure she will be more then happy. Thanks.
Disney Stock Holder, D23 Member, DVC Member, AP Holder
Hey, I'm with your mom, those boat rides are the best! And though she may need a hand stepping up and down, they are very stable, and I'm sure you will be surprised how supportive and patient the whole process will be. Congrats to you on the wedding, and be sure to let us know how your special trip goes!
I dont have time to read all the previous posts so I might have repeated something somebody else has already said...sorry in advance
1. Get the Passporter Guide Book WDW for Special Needs...its a great guidebook that has all the rides listed with descriptions so you and your Mom can plan what she is going to ride in advance.
2. Get a GUEST ASSISTANCE pass...this is provided so you can have easier (but not always quicker) access to rides...you can get it for the length of your stay the first time you enter a park and each park has a Guidebook for Disabilities which tells you where to go to get the "easier" ride access ...it also tells you which rides have alternative ride entrances for those with disabilities
3. Have your Mother's doctor write a general note about her condition, how she has been treated for it in the past, how the doctor can be reached and what medications she is on. It's not needed to get the Guest Assistance Pass from Disney but I always reccommend that one be carried just in case something were to happen and the person would need to be seen at a hospital in Orlando
4. You can ask Disney to send you park maps as well which would help with planning things like breaks...in cool resturants and where the first aid stations are.
Any questions I havent covered in this post please let me know what they are via my email address...firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a GREAT time and congrats on your wedding!!!!
Kelly D <><