Please note: most general practioner physicians do not have all of the vaccines. You will probably need to go to the local health department, a hospital clinic, or a travel doctor.
I'm a global business traveler, and visit my local travel clinic in Atlanta before a major (non-western trip).
Dusty, thanks for the concern! I am so pleased I didn't listen to the naysayers and got my scooter! The last few trips I've "managed" to make it around the world, but this trip I really enjoyed myself again!
Wec, thanks! Red just happens to be my favorite color!
Asylim, thanks for sharing your story! I really believe that if more folks hear these positive experiences fewer people will be scared to rent a scooter. I was in absolute denial back in February until my cousins and husband pointed out exactly how worn out I had looked on that trip. It still took a few months for me to commit to renting the scooter, but like I was told when I had my gallbladder out a couple years ago...best thing I ever did!
Thanks for sharing this story.
My mother has many physical issues as well and during our last family trip to Disneyland we were fortunate to find out that it was possible to rent a scooter from an offsite company. (Thanks to the Disneyland Hotel Concierge for that bit of info.)
This was her first time ever using a scooter to get around after resisting the initial suggestion, it turned out to be the best thing she could have done.
The concierge made all the calls and dealt with the paper work and the scooter was delivered to the bell desk. Once we were ready to leave we were able to leave the scooter at the bell desk and the company picked it up from there.
I can't for the life of me recall the name of the company though. But if you want to rent a scooter that can be used around the entire Disneyland Resort, you can probably ask the concierge at your hotel.
Hey Laura, sounds like the scooter made your trip much more enjoyable.
And you look great in red!
Laura, I'm so glad the scooter worked out for you! I've been thinking about you nonstop since your last article.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I'm sure you've helped a lot of people in similar circumstances.
Andy, your essay is a great read for all guests! Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for all the great tips to make the vacation a little cheaper...I really hope to go next summer, so they will definitely come in handy!
I haven't been to Aulani yet, but I'd think you could use a cost-saving trick we've employed at Walt Disney World. Go for a week and spend five nights in low-cost lodging, followed by two nights at Aulani. You get a full day to enjoy the awesome pool and other recreation. When you first arrive at your cheap-o room, the thrill of just being in Hawaii will sustain you. There is so much to see and do on Oahu. The Polynesian Cultural Center is a must-see in my book, as are Diamond Head and the grounds at the Royal Hawaiian. This is the phase of the trip where you don't spend much time in the room. Then, when you move up to Disney, it will be an an added thrill, and you can slow down and enjoy the surroundings. You might also ditch your rental car at this point. (I recommend never scheduling a vacation so that you move DOWN in lodging price...)
We used this strategy twice in Orlando, once going from the Fairfield by Marriott to the Dixie Landings (now Port Orleans Riverside), and another time going from the Fairfield to the Coronado Springs, with excellent results. The kids loved the Disney pools and were happy to spend a whole day at the hotel. Be sure to book everything in advance so you don't end up on the street!
Aulani is so beautiful-thank you for sharing the pictures and stories. .
I can't wait to go there!
Aulani really was one of the highlights of my life. So beautiful and Zen. Even with the kids around, it was a peaceful experience unlike any Disney resort I've ever experienced before (and I've seen them all).
It would be such a pleasure to sip Mai Tais on the beach with our MiceChat readers this coming June. If you are up for a new Disney adventure, contact us soon. This is a very limited time offer.
Wow! Thanks for posting this. Great photos and description. I can hardly wait.
I just completed my reservation for a DVC one-bedroom for early June 2012. The photos and description just make it a more difficult wait.
Thank you for posting this! The more people see us (the scooter and wheelchair users) as just regular folks who want to have a good time at Walt Disney World, Disneyland or anywhere, the better.
You experience reminds me of my own first experiences using a scooter at WDW.
Back in 2003-2005 I posted an essay on using a scooter at WDW, it is quite a long essay, but I also added my experiences and tips. I think I need to update it with my experiences since 2005, though most of the info and tips remain the same.
If anyone wants to read it, it is at: WDW On A Mobility Scooter
Since I wrote the original essay I have been back to WDW 3 more times, to Europe on a Mediterranean cruise twice and to Alaska on a cruise and to Maui. All with either a Full size scooter (WDW) or a travel scooter to Europe, Alaska and Maui.
Just because we need to use mobility devices doesn't mean we're ready to stop traveling.
Thanks for all the positive feedback! I must say I had a great trip with very few negatives related to the use of a scooter. I plan to do a follow up on this in the next blog so won't spill the details. I will just say that for anyone contemplating the use of a scooter or wheelchair...get it! The positives outweighed the negatives!
I so understand what you are saying in this article. We are planning a big family trip to Disneyland next year and I am contemplating renting a scooter for myself. I am 51 but have reached stage 5 kidney failure and am on dialysis now. While Disneyland is really small compared to Disney World, the trip to the land in 2008 was exhausting. I look at the pictures from that trip and I can see the exhaustion getting worse and worse as the days progressed. While I can see that I really need a scooter, a part of me keeps whispering that it will be different this time, it will be better. Then the rational side says no it will be just like the last trip. It can be a real tug of war inside yourself when needing to make this decision. Please be sure to write an article for us detailing your experiences. I would like a heads up as to what to expect. And have fun!!!!
Great article! My mother, who has severe arthritis, is afraid to visit DL due to her lack of mobility. In the past we have rented both a ECV and wheelchair for her. Due to the crowds, it was easier for us to have her in the wheelchair. Although the ECV was fun and has extra storage room. With using the wheelchair, it is advantageous to have multiple people who are able to push the chair, you do get tired! As far as other visitors, some grumble at the wheelchair, but most are generous with room and give extra space.
My mom recently passed away, but was increasingly dependent on wheelchairs for the last 15 years of her life. The first time (of many) that we visited Disneyland with a wheelchair was a little different than we had expected, but I can assure you it was definitely worth it. Having the electric chair gave her an independence she could not have otherwise approached. Additionally, you often get to use the handicap entrance to many rides (at least in California - not sure about WDW's designs), not jut the person in the chair, but the whole party.
Cast members are almost always extremely eager to please people in chairs (as long as you are patient and nice), and go out of their way to accomodate the party. Mom loved having an independence that she couldn't have had otherwise - she was happy to spend an hour shopping or crowd-watching while we went on the more physically demaning rides. If you feel your party starting to get dragged down by your speed limitations, find times where you can split up for an hour. Once, she even decide she was going to leave the park and head back to the hotel for a nap - a real treat for those of us who otherwise would have had to cut our time in the parks short to accomodate her needs.
Yes, it can get tricky in very crowded parks, as people don't see you, but the scooters are generally easy to drive, adn have variable speed options so you can feel like you're in control.
Don't feel bad about using the chair - I can assure you it will make your trip SO much better for you and your family, that you'll never want to go on two feet again. What could have been the end of our trips to Disney became better than ever with Mom's newfound freedom. Better for her, better for us. Have a great trip!
A couple of years ago I was walking down the steps at the Wine Country Trattoria in Disneys California Adventure and twisted my knee really badly (my fault - not Disney's...old injury that I just irritated by putting my foot down wrong). I tried to rough it out the rest of that day, but the next day it had rained heavily and I was afraid of slipping (or being jostled in the heavy crowds -- and falling), so I resorted to renting a scooter. Not the best thing to do in a crowded Disneyland Resort park, I can tell you.
Before I go on, this is experience talking. Take what I say with a grain of salt, but definitely understand it is said to try to help alleviate some of the guilt you may feel due to using a scooter. At 43, the feeling that I could not walk in the resort unaided was embarrassing. I had my pride -- and that went out the window quickly. Being in a scooter in a Disney park means that you are automatically slower than normal people usually want to walk. You are also 1/2 as high as the rest of the populace -- and not seen by many of them. You are unable to reach many things on a shelf in a store. You have to swallow your pride and realize that you are unable to manuveur like you can on two legs. No more taking the short cut between/around slow people, for instance.
I was even harassed when simply driving down the walkway (because the scooter would not move as fast as those behind me wanted to go). Grow a thick skin and you will be fine. If someone sneers at you or gives you a bad comment, simply remind them that they are in Disneyland or Walt Disney World. Do they really think that is the best way to behave here?
The ONLY thing you need to understand (and accept) is that you will end up 'slowing down' your party. To stay sane, simply accept that they understand that. They are not upset. They love you and know that, in order to enjoy the park, you need to travel like this. You will have more energy at the end of the day, and be in less pain. That will make them happy! You will leave the park having had a much better trip than previous trips.
Like Dusty said, I don't think a lot of people realize what a tough decision this is for honest folks like yourself to choose to use one of these during their vacation. There are a lot of good and bad factors to it, but when it's a necessity for you to enjoy your vacation, it is most definitely worth it. Thanks for the insightful article about how you made an informed decision. It was very good!
I really appreciate your sharing the tough decision to add a set of wheels to your WDW vacation. Many may not realize just what a difficult personal decision that is for millions of people. Looking forward to hearing how your vacation goes. It was very nice to meet you on the Dream!
Thank you for this article. I'll be interested in hearing how your WDW on wheels adventure turns out. My mother is in her 80's (though she stopped counting at 35) and has trouble walking, standing and using stairs. She can do these things but it's difficult for her. We live 75 miles from Disneyland and all get together for Mickey's Halloween Party where she rents an ECV for the night. It does help her get around the park easier but it also has its frustrations. Number one on the list is people getting in her way as if she wasn't there. Even when the rest of us try to blaze a trail by walking in front of her, people will still try to cross between us and she'll need to hit the brakes to avoid hitting them. This frustrates her to the point that it almost ruins the evening. So I wanted to warn you to expect other guests to get in your way and to try and not to let it bother you. It sounds like you already have some experience by way of your cousin but I wanted to throw this one out there anyway. Thanks again and have a great time.
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