Help around Disney: Hi everyone I've got a holiday... - Ataxia UK

Ataxia UK

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Help around Disney


Hi everyone

I've got a holiday booked next year to Disney in Florida. Whilst looking forward to it I am apprehensive about the amount of walking around the park. I am currently getting around using a stick but have my limits. I don't feel not I'll be able to get around using my stick without fatigue and pain kicking in. Any suggestions about what I could use to get around. I've never used a wheelchair or anything like that


16 Replies

🙂 With my family I’ve visited Disney on numerous occasions. It is exhausting walking around the parks even at a slow pace, and shuffling in a queue can last an hour. But the parks are geared up to accommodate people with disabilities 🙂 Check their website, you can probably hire a wheelchair. And, it’s actually a bonus using a wheelchair, usually no need to queue for rides 😉xB

SamGH in reply to wobblybee

Ok will do my wife loves planning so I'm sure she'll get on it ( the website)

Hey Sam, I would just plan on getting a wheelchair and letting Disney know beforehand that you’ll be requiring the use of one of their wheelchairs. In addition to the large amount of walking invoiced it is VERY HOT AND HUMID! I don’t know if you’re used to this kind of heat like myself or not but I can tell you the last time I did this in the Summer, the heat just sapped the little bit of energy I had. I also don’t know if my intolerance to heat is from the ataxia but I think it must be because I lived my adult life in FL AND AZ, I’m acclimated but not any more....anyone else have this?

When we took my daughter to Disneyland Paris we took medical documentation with us and were able to arrange a fast pass which enabled all of us to bypass all ride queues and use the mobility impaired queue instead which was always very much shorter. It was called an orange pass I think. It was amazing and well worth the 20 minutes admin at the beginning of our stay. Hopefully Florida has something similar. Hope you have a wonderful trip.

SamGH in reply to KIrvine2017

This sounds good. I'll investigate

Hi I've not been but family members have. I'd bring my own wheelchair and you can hire mobility scooters or even take a scooter instead of wheelchair. I've taken my scooter on flights, you just need to inform everyone first. My mum hired a scooter there but it does work out very expensive, hence bring your own. You will not need to queue for anything . Have fun

Dear Sam GH, I have ataxia due to Niemann Pick C1 disease. I went to Disney World in Florida with my husband, son, his wife and my three grand children a couple years ago. Like you I use a cane (stick) and cannot continuously walk far distances with it. Therefore, we rented a wheelchair while there (they had a huge supply of them and electric scooters as well) and my husband and son took turns pushing me all over the park. They also have electric scooters for rent, which I'd consider renting if I ever go back there. Disney World is very handicap friendly, as we were able to by-pass waiting in long lines at each event (we had fast passes). The wheelchairs, as well as the scooters they have are very reasonable to rent! I was truly impressed! Have a great vacation!'My best to you..., ;o)

SamGH in reply to february


She great tips!

Since using my wheelchair when going out it so improved things. Scary first time but much more sociable and not concentrating on walking, you can look around much more. Its a long flight too so much easier in a wheelchair, Have a great time x

SamGH in reply to Litty

Thanks. I've started getting assistance at the airport which includes getting pushed around in your chair it does make life a lot easier

Hi Sam, my family and I are Disney World veteans, my son was diagnosed with FA at 4 years old (now 14 years) and has been to Disney World 5 times through various stages of progression. You can rent wheelchairs at the parks but it is based on a daily rate and can work out quite expensive. We always take our sons manual chair with us. The advantage of this is you can use special assistance at the airport for security and priority boarding. There are lots of medical equipment hire companies in Orlando where you can hire a chair from if you decide not to take your own. I can give you the website of the one we use. Disney also offer a disability assistance pass DAD. Just go to guest services when you first arrive at any park and they will sort this out for you. The pass allows for you and upto 6 family members to avoid waiting in lines for rides. If a ride has a 40 minute wait you present the card to the staff member they will then give you a return time minus 10 minutes off the actual wait time (so 30 mins) for you to come back and access the ride via the fast pass area. Also most rides allow you to remain in your chair throughout the queue. You can also apply for a Florida disabled parking permit as you can't use your UK one there. There is a great website and forum called The Dibb where you can get step by step instructions on how to apply for one in the Special Needs section. It's a great planning tool and your wife will love it. My main advice would be take your own chair, it may seem like a hassel but it will benefit you most in the long run. If you have any questions just message me I'm a complete Disney geek and i love to plan. We go in 2020 and the planning has already begun :)

SamGH in reply to Lpm73

Thanks for this my wife is a Disney geek as well as she's an ex cast member. We're actually getting in 20 20 as well as next year 2019 I'll take all your tips on board. Maybe not the driving as I'm not allowed to do that!

Wheelchair for sure when in park. I live 20 miles from Disney just in case you need something

SamGH in reply to Sunny8088

Thanks that's lovely

I visited Florida two years ago, I hired an electric scooter that could be broken down easily to fit in the boot of the hire vehicle (it made going around the parks much easier). I also applied for and got a disabled parking permit for my stay.Certainly go to guest services at the start of your park visit, this helps with booking rides to save standing in line for too long. Although visiting the parks can be tiring (even for able bodied people) there are lots of things that can be put in place to minimize your problems, enjoy your trip!

SamGH in reply to trac67


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