Monday, April 2, 2012

WALT DISNEY WORLD IN A WHEELCHAIR


"WHEELCHAIR USERS POCKET GUIDE TO MAGIC KINGDOM AT WALT DISNEY WORLD"

The Best $1 (actually .99 cents!) You'll Ever Spend!
As we all know, visiting a theme park in a wheelchair or scooter is not an easy task. Any preparation you can do beforehand will make your trip go much smoother.

"Wheelchair Users Pocket Guide to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World" will tell you exactly what to expect at all rides and shows and more importantly how to get on and off the rides.

For example, I will tell you which rides:

Employ a steep uphill moving sidewalk as an exit. Even with the wheelchair wheels locked this was a very scary and unexpected way to end the ride.

Use a hidden back exit as the wheelchair entrance.

Allow the wheelchair to roll directly onto the ride without transferring.

Are not wheelchair accessible (though they’re indicated as so on the disabilities map) unless the person can stand up and walk quite a distance without assistance.

I will also explain how to get priority seating and shorter wait times.

All of the four theme parks at Walt Disney World offer disability maps noting whether the person in a wheelchair or Electric Convenience Vehicle (ECV) needs to transfer out of their wheelchair for the ride or attraction. Unfortunately, Walt Disney World has a wide definition of the word “transfer.” This is where the major problems may arise.

On a trip to Walt Disney World in March 2012, I erroneously assumed “must transfer” simply meant my teenage daughter in a wheelchair could be rolled up to the ride where she would step over into the car, rocket ship, etc. While this is the case for a few of the rides, many others require walking quite a distance or stepping quickly on moving sidewalks then hopping into a rolling car. These are things you don’t want to find out at the end of a 30-minute wait time.

We also learned you can’t depend on Cast Members to give you accurate information about transfers even if they’re standing at the entrance. One Cast Member told us the transfer process would only take a couple of steps of walking when in reality my daughter needed to walk a distance approximately the length of our house from the area we parked the wheelchair to the boarding area. Luckily she was on the end of her healing process or this would have been impossible.

Maybe it’s my imagination but it also seemed as if the Cast Members wanted to keep the wheelchair accessible vehicles a secret. Not one single time were we told there was one available when we approached the attraction entrance in a wheelchair. The Cast Members simply asked if my daughter could transfer. If we said yes, they never mentioned the option of staying in her wheelchair and rolling onboard the wheelchair accessible vehicle. If we said no, then they came forth with the information about other boarding options. 

It's hard to ask for something (a wheelchair accessible ride vehicle) if you don't know when and where to ask for it. 


OUR GUIDE WILL TELL YOU EXACTLY WHAT TO EXPECT AT EACH RIDE AND SHOW BEFORE YOU SPEND PRECIOUS TIME WAITING ONLY TO FIND OUT IT MIGHT NOT BE POSSIBLE FOR YOU TO RIDE.

The book is now available in the Kindle bookstore on Amazon.com for $.99 cents.

Paula Hughes Court and Claudia Court, Authors