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Guests with Special Needs Discuss So, rather than me writing about random topics..... in the Vacation Planning forums; You're doing a great service here. Keep up the good work....
  1. #16
    Triviateer's Avatar
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    You're doing a great service here. Keep up the good work.
    "The greatest happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved - loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves." --Victor Hugo

  2. #17
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    MommytoMJM is offline DisneyWorldTrivia Mod - Living Disney as a Lifestyle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triviateer
    You're doing a great service here. Keep up the good work.
    Thank you so much, this is one of my passions!
    Bonny June, Homeschooler, Webmaster and SNK/Adoption Advocate~~Marjorie June Mailani Adopted SNK, Disney Fanatic, Joyous, Cheerful, Incredible Kid~~Andrew, Cast Member, Disney Reservations Center~~Heart Mom to Cody (adoption loss 10-00)
    (linkie fixed...heh heh, thanks Val!)

  3. #18
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    Thanks a lot.I have SMA also knowen as spinal muscular atrophy, not sure about spelling. Our plans are not final but we are probably going Dec. 1st through 11th. Also what disney hotel is the best for transpotation. (closest to a lot)

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by arynn2005
    Thanks a lot.I have SMA also knowen as spinal muscular atrophy, not sure about spelling. Our plans are not final but we are probably going Dec. 1st through 11th. Also what disney hotel is the best for transpotation. (closest to a lot)
    A) Spelling was right......I have done a lot of work with MDA and other types of orgs (before I got sick)

    B) The Contemporary, Polynesian and Grand Floridian are closest to the Magic Kingdom (Boat or Monorail) Wilderness Lodge is also accessible to MK by boat. the Dolphin, Swan, Yacht Club and Beach Resorts are closest to Epcot and MGM (by boat), The Animal Kingdom Lodge is closest to AK (Bus) These are more expensive hotels. All hotels are accessible to the parks by bus and all busses are equipped with at least 2 wheelchair tiedowns.

    Tho we don't stay in resorts since we are local, once we get on property we park in one place and use transportation rather than pack up the car and drive around. We have found transportation very easy to use and the drivers very helpful.

    Please let me know if you need anything else!
    Bonny June, Homeschooler, Webmaster and SNK/Adoption Advocate~~Marjorie June Mailani Adopted SNK, Disney Fanatic, Joyous, Cheerful, Incredible Kid~~Andrew, Cast Member, Disney Reservations Center~~Heart Mom to Cody (adoption loss 10-00)
    (linkie fixed...heh heh, thanks Val!)

  5. #20
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    #1EeyoreFan is offline I love Eeyore! Disney Forever, and ever and ever etc.
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    I am in a wheelchair and I go to Disney every year, what is this Speacial Assistance guest card you are talking about.
    DISNEY IS MY HAPPY PLACE THE ONLY TIME THAT I GET 2WKS OF HAPPINESS AND WORRY FREE TIME!!!!!! This time I will see it through the eyes of my baby girl born 2008.

    Next Trip is December 2010

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  6. #21
    MommytoMJM's Avatar
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    The Guest Assistance Card is one that is available at Guest services, you must go in and ask for it. There are different conditions that require different things, for example....my daughter and I have our wheelchairs hooked in tandem and I really can't push her in front of me for very far, so they will either find a transfer chair for us to use or let us in a wider doorway, we are also both photosensitve and heat sensitive (I know, great place to live for us huh?) so for things like Philharmagic where the wait may go out the door into the sun we can wait indoors (doesn't change the waiting time, just keeps us from passing out), DD can't deal with being very crowded in due to her brain damage, so we wait away from lots of people, her wheelchair is often mistaken for a stroller (tho how I don't know) so on the card it specifies that a stroller is considered a wheelchair for our purposes, I need help with moving walkways (DH is busy transferring MJ) etc....

    There are several different stamps that they give out depending on your individual needs so the CM's know what assistance you may need. Just a wheelchair doesn't ususally qualify (except in those instances where the queue is not WC accessible, then you use the WC entrance)

    WDW has gotten very cranky about all of this since a lot of non handicapped ppl have abused the system. I just read of an awful situation on another board where a person's family member got a card with all of the stamps on it and used it even when her husband (the handicapped persone in question) DIDN'T ride the ride.

    My husband required me to get an use the card if hewas gonna get tix to WDW. I was just going to suffer through or not go as often, but he was right, it has been a blessing for us. We often have to wait since the CM's aren't all trained in dealing with Special Needs, but once we know what needs to be done at each ride it gets more expedient. One thing that able bodied folks don't understand is just how hard it is to do WDW in a chair (or two in our case) and another is that not all disabilities are obvious.

    Feel free to keep asking questions.....
    Bonny June, Homeschooler, Webmaster and SNK/Adoption Advocate~~Marjorie June Mailani Adopted SNK, Disney Fanatic, Joyous, Cheerful, Incredible Kid~~Andrew, Cast Member, Disney Reservations Center~~Heart Mom to Cody (adoption loss 10-00)
    (linkie fixed...heh heh, thanks Val!)

  7. #22
    viks is offline A-Ticket holder
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    Quote Originally Posted by MommytoMJM
    The Guest Assistance Card is one that is available at Guest services, you must go in and ask for it. There are different conditions that require different things, for example....my daughter and I have our wheelchairs hooked in tandem and I really can't push her in front of me for very far, so they will either find a transfer chair for us to use or let us in a wider doorway, we are also both photosensitve and heat sensitive (I know, great place to live for us huh?) so for things like Philharmagic where the wait may go out the door into the sun we can wait indoors (doesn't change the waiting time, just keeps us from passing out), DD can't deal with being very crowded in due to her brain damage, so we wait away from lots of people, her wheelchair is often mistaken for a stroller (tho how I don't know) so on the card it specifies that a stroller is considered a wheelchair for our purposes, I need help with moving walkways (DH is busy transferring MJ) etc....

    There are several different stamps that they give out depending on your individual needs so the CM's know what assistance you may need. Just a wheelchair doesn't ususally qualify (except in those instances where the queue is not WC accessible, then you use the WC entrance)

    WDW has gotten very cranky about all of this since a lot of non handicapped ppl have abused the system. I just read of an awful situation on another board where a person's family member got a card with all of the stamps on it and used it even when her husband (the handicapped persone in question) DIDN'T ride the ride.

    My husband required me to get an use the card if hewas gonna get tix to WDW. I was just going to suffer through or not go as often, but he was right, it has been a blessing for us. We often have to wait since the CM's aren't all trained in dealing with Special Needs, but once we know what needs to be done at each ride it gets more expedient. One thing that able bodied folks don't understand is just how hard it is to do WDW in a chair (or two in our case) and another is that not all disabilities are obvious.

    Feel free to keep asking questions.....

    That is so useful to know, i didn't have a clue about the stamps/card or the fact you could wait away from crowds if needbe. Do you know if theres a list online of all the different catagories?

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by viks
    That is so useful to know, i didn't have a clue about the stamps/card or the fact you could wait away from crowds if needbe. Do you know if theres a list online of all the different catagories?

    No Viks, there isn't. Because of abuse of the system, you must go into guest relations and explain your specific disabilities and needs and they will determine what you need. It is more of a hassle for those of us who are disabled, but at the same time, it means thee is less abuse of the system but ppl who are not handicapped.
    Bonny June, Homeschooler, Webmaster and SNK/Adoption Advocate~~Marjorie June Mailani Adopted SNK, Disney Fanatic, Joyous, Cheerful, Incredible Kid~~Andrew, Cast Member, Disney Reservations Center~~Heart Mom to Cody (adoption loss 10-00)
    (linkie fixed...heh heh, thanks Val!)

  9. #24
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    I understand Disney with being picky about the cards and what not. When i worked there. I had to oversee a veiwing section in epoct for illumination and every other day or so a guest would come up with the card. and try to use it even though that person in the party was clearly not there. Those guest however that truely do need the card. it is a wonderful thing to really have. I found it helpful for the guest that had a diability that was not in a wheel chair. General speaking if you dont not see a chair u dont think disabiled. well thats my two cents.

  10. #25
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    I completely understand and support their being cranky too. It is to protect those of us who really need the services, we have had nothing but excellent help (occasionally we get a new hire who has no clue how to work it, but we just ask for another CM's help or a coordinator in that case) We also activley discourage people that we see using it incorrectly. We personally never, ever use our card incorrectly. We don't ever want to be the guest that CM's talk negatively about
    Bonny June, Homeschooler, Webmaster and SNK/Adoption Advocate~~Marjorie June Mailani Adopted SNK, Disney Fanatic, Joyous, Cheerful, Incredible Kid~~Andrew, Cast Member, Disney Reservations Center~~Heart Mom to Cody (adoption loss 10-00)
    (linkie fixed...heh heh, thanks Val!)

  11. #26
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    Thats good to hear you use the card for its true purpose. As i am sure you know the card is a very helpful tool in the park. lets just hope this is something Disney does keep around and it doesnt magically disappear.

  12. #27
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    When I was in Disney back in 2001, we rented a wheelchair almost every day because my sister was a transplant recipient and couldn't walk for long amounts of time. Because of the medication she was on, she had gained a lot of weight and her legs would swell. All the heat and walking made for a very miserable time so we would rent a chair. I know there were tiems people looked at us because she didn't look sick or anything and we were practically walking on rides. I did abuse the system once. We were going to watch Illuminations, but my sister didn't want to sit up front. She was tired of sitting in the chair and opted to sit way behind us on a bench. I took my nephew with me and we sat in the chair. Looking back on this, it probably wasn't the right thing to do and I am sorry about it now. I think these cards are a great idea as long as people know what they are and know what to do with them. I give so much credit to people like you guys and legitimately feel bad about the chair thing...even though my nephew is legally hearing impaired. I just wanted to say how happy I am that even people with diabilities can share in the magic of Disney. You guys all rock.
    -Kevin

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  13. #28
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    Hi MommytoMJ

    I just wanted to let you know that I love reading the stories about your trips to WDW, especially with regard to your daughter's enjoyment of the Tarzan show - I am sad it will not be there when we go back next year

    I have been to WDW three times in the past with my mother, who has arthritis through her body and both artificial hips, which makes a lot of walking and, even more so, a lot of standing, very uncomfortable for her. We would often hire a wheelchair for her to use but some days she preferred to try and walk with her walking stick, but she could only do this once every few days because it tired her so much - either with or without her wheelchair CMs always went out of their way to be helpful to us - they completely understood that she couldn't stand in queues so we would get taken into the disabled entrance - yes, we're one of the families for whom Spaceship Earth has to stop

    I onyl wish facilities in the UK could be as welcoming and understanding of disabled people as they are at WDW.

    A funny story took place once at Universal Studios - my mum had chosen this as a day she didn't want to use a wheelchair, but the staff there had seen her at the first show we went to and insisted she shouldn't have to queue for anything - as usual she felt guilty about this and said we must queue for one ride - ET adventure - and guess what happened? As we got near the front of the queue, it broke down It was the only ride we saw with a breakdown all day - how ironic!!

    Anyway, I've rambled on now, but I guess you understand what I'm trying to say My fiance and I will be coming alone in April and we have no children as yet, or else we would love to bring them to meet MJ - she sounds like a wonderful little girl and I hope you are having a great summer!
    Jen xXx


  14. #29
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    Jen-

    Thanks so much for your kind words! Even tho you don't have kids, we'd still love to meet you if you want, we love to meet our internet friends! MJ loves people. I love your story about Universal, that was cute!

    We are so sad about Tarzan too, we love the show and see it at least once every weekend, sometimes twice! Looking forward to getting to know you more!
    Bonny June, Homeschooler, Webmaster and SNK/Adoption Advocate~~Marjorie June Mailani Adopted SNK, Disney Fanatic, Joyous, Cheerful, Incredible Kid~~Andrew, Cast Member, Disney Reservations Center~~Heart Mom to Cody (adoption loss 10-00)
    (linkie fixed...heh heh, thanks Val!)

  15. #30
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    HI again I'm home from work now and about to order Lou's book

    When it gets nearer the time and we have out timetable sorted out, I'll let you know the details and we can hopefully meet up We're staying at POFQ (hope it will be romantic!) so on Disney property most of the time. I'm lucky that I've met a lovely lady on a UK scrapbook forum who lives in Florida, also, and we hope to meet her too
    Jen xXx


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