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WDW Theme Parks Discuss WDW with disabilities that people cannot see in the Vacation Planning forums; ...
  1. #1
    unc23's Avatar
    unc23 is offline B-Ticket Holder
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    Oct 2006

    WDW with disabilities that people cannot see

    This topic hits home for me and my family. For those of you who donít know our youngest daughter, Peyton age 9, was born with Adult Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD Foundation: Home), and will eventually need a kidney transplant. The good news is that hopefully she will be able to make it to adulthood before that time comes.

    She looks normal, acts normal, and can do most things that other kids her age can do. With that being said, it amazes people when we tell them about her condition because they expect to be able to see physical signs. She does have some limitations, because of her condition that most healthy nine year olds do not have. She cannot participate in activities that are physical in nature. This eliminates her ability to ride some rides at Walt Disney World such as Space Mountain, or Primeval Whirl.

    The disease also causes her to have high blood pressure and because of this she cannot ride attractions such as Rock Ní Rollercoaster or Tower of Terror. She also cannot stand in lines for a long period of time, as she will get more fatigued than the average child, nor be in direct sunlight for long periods of time as well. We were told by a Disney Cast Member that she would be able to obtain a Guest Assistance Pass because of her condition, which would eliminate her need to wait in exuberantly long lines, or standing outside in the sun for long periods of time.

    As you can imagine, when we use this card, many guests will give us a rude look, or make comments such as "why are they getting to cut?" They look at Peyton and see a little girl who appears healthy. They do not know her true condition. I can say that I have looked at others and made a comment that maybe they arenít as incapable as they are appearing just so they can get closer to the front of a line. But after seeing firsthand what has occurred with my daughter, I have re-thought my position and ways of thinking. I donít know what condition someone else has.

    I guess that when most of us think about disabilities we think of things that you can see, not realizing that there are many other conditions that may require special needs that are not visible. The good thing is that most people at WDW are simply there to have a good time, relax, and donít concern themselves with worrying about things such as this. As we are approaching our next trip to WDW in a few weeks, we know that regardless of what others say, we will live each day to the fullest because we know that nothing is guaranteed.
    I would like to hear your thoughts about this and if you have any experiences in dealing with this subject.
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  2. #2
    harra's Avatar
    harra is offline Fastpass Holder
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    Jun 2007
    Mustang, OK
    Who cares is what I say. My mother-in-law travels on a GAC on our last trip and I cannot see how most guests would even know that you are flashing a GAC. Most of the time, she didn't even need to take it out of her plastic sleeve that she had her park ticket and GAC card in hanging around her neck. Plus, for most rides, you go through the FastPass line anyway. It's not like a big dramatic scene is made when someone with a GAC shows up.

    My sister-in-law has a child that suffers from severe dwarfism which causes him to look like an infant at age 8. At Disneyland such accomodations are more apparent and when people make a comment, she just looks at them and says, "He's 8". That usually shuts them up...LOL
    Head Grump
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  3. #3
    HauntedGabe's Avatar
    HauntedGabe is offline Where'd she go???
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    Oct 2007
    Hamlet, IL
    First off I admire the manner in which you are raising your daughter. Letting her lead as normal of a life as possible with her condition. I have a daughter who is very bright and athletic but has medical conditions that are not kept in checked...well hate to even go there. Allowing them to lead a normal life as much as possible is so critical to their over all mental health and I strongly believe that does help with their overall health.

    I worked at O'Hare Airport out of school in special services with a major airlines for many years. All I can say is there are a great deal of many dumb people in the world of ours and nothing we say or do will change that. As I early boarded many people on to air-crafts with severe disabilities, dimensha, medical conditions, temporary conditions and even unaccompanied children I'd be approached here and there by the dumb. Worst being the first class fliers that believed they trumped all. Many needing to know why they were special and receive better service. Often in front of my passengers. Ugly.
    As annoyed as I became you are pretty much powerless against the dumb.
    Dumb is kinda like their disability in itself. It isn't their IQ it is more like a condition that makes the Dumb, so cold and heartless that they lack the compassion within their very soul. So I opt to pity their condition that they have to (or choose to) live a life stricken with a cold heart.

    I did find the Dumb come out in droves when there were delays, cancellations or if I needed to change someones seats to accommodate someone with a disability. Every try to seat a paraplegic at the back of a plane or in a window seat. Not happening. Someone has to be moved. Duh. Tired, stressed Dumb, are so annoying.

    My son was a CM in the College Program last year. He saw a lot of Dumb.
    The CM's are really stuck in trying to control the Dumb. Have far more power to help out the guests in need and create some magic. I have found that the Dumb rarely seem to feel the magic at WDW or anywhere. That is their cross to bear.

    Hope you have a wonderful family vacation.
    Last edited by HauntedGabe; 07-10-2008 at 11:39 AM.

  4. #4
    Bubba88 is offline B-Ticket Holder
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    Aug 2007
    I work with people that have phyiscal and non-phyiscal disabilities, and I too have seen and heard the moans and groans from park guest when you escort some one in a wheelchair to the front of a line or through fastpass line without handing cast members a ticket. I just ignore it, because the bottom line is that my client that I'm there with at the time is enjoying Disney and the attraction there going on. The parks are there for everyone to enjoy, no matter who they are or what there ability is. Walt Disney World is one of very few places that accomodates to people with disabilities, believe me I've had to work around other parks that are much smaller and could not accomodate to disabilities. Enjoy the time you have spent with your daughter at Disney World and forget what others thought, and I hope you and your family do well.

  5. #5
    TinkAttitude's Avatar
    TinkAttitude is offline grumpy too
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    Feb 2007
    885 miles from the magic
    we visit disneyworld once to twice per year, including my husband who has survived a traumatic brain injury, and my father-in-law who is plagued by pain from a leg injury involving lots of metal rods and screws, etc. you could not tell by looking at either of them that they also are unable to wait in hot lines, stand in long lines, etc. my husband could have a seizure, and my father-in-law would not otherwise be able to enjoy the parks at all since he would be in too much pain. it's not practical for him to get an electronic scooter either since he would become to stiff and uncomfortable that way; he is an avid walker and in great health. we always use a guest assistance card to insure that everyone stays as healthy and comfortable as possible. we are often able to use the fast pass line, and no one even notices; castmembers have never denied our entry. perhaps we're not the sharpest tools in the shed, but we also have never been made to feel like 'cheaters' by other guests. i appreciate your sharing your story, because i have often felt that it is so difficult to deal with disabilities that no one else even realizes you are struggling with every day. i wish your family and especially your daughter the best of luck in all that is to come.

  6. #6
    SunnyBunny86's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    Ok, I realize this post hasn't been active in a little while, but I just saw it for the first time. I am in the same type of situation with my disability, so it is exciting to see other people who can relate. I have Muscular Dystrophy, and it makes it hard for me to walk and stand. I also get very tired, and sick if I'm in the heat too long. However, just by looking at me, there is seemingly nothing wrong. I have to use a little scooter to help me get around, and people can get really nasty, when I get off of the scooter to board a ride or something like that. I've not had much luck in trying to find out about services for people who are disabled, and I had no idea about the card for disabled guests that you mentioned. How do you go about getting more info on these? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    "Reality: That annoying thing between Disney trips!"

  7. #7
    newdrama12's Avatar
    newdrama12 is offline D-Ticket Holder
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    Sep 2008
    Vincennes, IN
    Here is an article that I found that might be of some help to you:
    Visiting Walt Disney World with a Visual Impairment

    Hope that this helps.
    You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality" - Walt Disney

  8. #8
    Dale-not-Chip's Avatar
    Dale-not-Chip is offline B-Ticket Holder
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    May 2007
    I found that people are rude. I don't like people.

    However, Individuals can be wonderful, helpful, understanding, and compassionate.

    You and your daughter just has to come to terms with that. And focus on the Individuals.

  9. #9
    kellpooh's Avatar
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    Brunswick, GA
    In a perfect world people would learn to think before they act rudely. But I say no matter what, you go to WDW to experience fun and magic. And do not let anything keep you from doing it.

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  10. #10
    MJMcb's Avatar
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    In a related topic, have you guys checked this out

    WALT DISNEY WORLD WITH HEALTH CONDITIONS & DISABILITES - Unofficial in-depth planning guide for your fun, comfort & Safety

    There might be some helpful info on various disabilities here

    Celebrating Disney's Animal Kingdom

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