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  1. #1

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    Wheelchair questions

    We are going to DL with my inlaws tomorrow for 1 week and had some questions about wheelchairs. I know where to get them and also how to get an assissted pass but was wondering about the fireworks,parades and shows like Alladin. Is there a special place we should be so that we don't get in everyone's way? We got the special Fantasmic seats so that we wouldn't have to worry about seating but I was concerned about the fireworks especially.

    Also, when we get the pass or wheelchair, do they tell us what rides to use other entrances or routes?

  2. #2

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    Re: Wheelchair questions

    I have no idea but u don't even need to be handy cap to get one. anyone who's anyone can get it even if you can walk.
    LOTS of people do this.

  3. #3

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    Re: Wheelchair questions

    Quote Originally Posted by twingirlsmom View Post
    was wondering about the fireworks,parades and shows like Alladin. Is there a special place we should be so that we don't get in everyone's way? We got the special Fantasmic seats so that we wouldn't have to worry about seating but I was concerned about the fireworks especially.

    Also, when we get the pass or wheelchair, do they tell us what rides to use other entrances or routes?
    You can go to City Hall and ask for the Disneyland Guide for wheelchairs and it will provide a lot of info. As far as the Aladdin show you line up just like everyone else and when the doors open they have seats that you can park the wheelchair right next to or if you are renting a scooter you leave it behind and a CM will direct you to 'handicap available seating'. There is select wheelchair seating for the parades and any CM will show you where this is located. But unfortunately for fireworks there is no 'handicapped viewing area'.

    Quote Originally Posted by DannyLand View Post
    I have no idea but u don't even need to be handy cap to get one. anyone who's anyone can get it even if you can walk.
    LOTS of people do this.
    Just to be clear, no, not anyone who is anyone can get one and please do not judge whether someone is handicapped or not just because they are or are not using a wheelchair. There may be some fakers but I am not willing to be the judge of someone who may have a hidden disability.

  4. #4

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    Re: Wheelchair questions

    My husband has to use a mobility scooter in places like Disneyland. When we watched the fireworks on Nov 1st, there was a special place near the front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle for the handicap section. We camped out about an hour early with everyone.

    Not sure about parades. Once you see the ropes going up for the parades, just ask any castmember along the route. they have been super friendly and helpful for us for the past 4 years.

    A lot of rides use the exit like Peter Pan, Snow White, Pirates, Pinocchio, Tea Cups, Indy (up to point where there is a sign to stop and wait for castmember), Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain (might be line near photo place- ask castmember if there. if no castmember, follow arrows and push chair all the way through to where you get on ride. They have a cool special car where you are not rushed to get on or off.)

    Monorail - use either the usual ramp, or there is an elevator tucked behind Nemo. Castmembers will steer you towards the usual ramp, but if you walk along the water's edge past the Mine Mine Mine seagulls, you will find the elevator under the station.

    Buzz Lightyear and Toy Story in DCA - use regular line as it is big enough for the chairs. until you get to placque.

    Bobsleds - regular line until you reach the inlet with the handicap plaque

    Haunted Mansion - regular line for about 100 feet - then a castmember at the handicap sign to show where to park and walk up the steps (short distance). If she can't walk at all, they have a special entrance. Just ask!

    Big train - no chair access at Main Street, but at every other station. look for sign.

    Autopia - use regular entrance until you get to placque and chair will be taken to a special elevator.

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  5. #5

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    Re: Wheelchair questions

    Here is my experience with bringing a guest with mobility issues to Disneyland. I don't know too much about the shows and handicapped seating, but I remember someone posting that there is a seating area for wheelchair guests for Fantasmic - but it is close to the cannons so it might be too loud. Ask at Guest Relations when you get there, about seating for the shows.

    A month ago I took my Mom who is 91 and in a wheelchair to Disneyland for her birthday. Definitely take your in-laws; don't let her mobility or stamina problems deter you from taking them. If some members of your party balk at bringing them along, with the complaint that having them may slow them down, let them break off into their own group and do what they want. I suspect that your in-laws would probably have little interest in going on the faster thrill rides such as Space Mountain and Matterhorn Bobsleds anyway. Keep in mind that rides are only part of the Disneyland experience. Shows, live entertainers, walk-through attractions and the park itself are also to be enjoyed.

    Right now, download and study the park's Guidebook for Guests with Disabilities.
    You can download it from this page:

    Disneyland Resort | Mobility Disabilities

    That will be your "bible" for visiting the park with a wheelchair, though any cast member can also answer questions while you are there.

    There is almost nothing in Disneyland that can't be accessed by a disabled person, although most require a transfer of the person from the wheelchair to the ride vehicle. Some attractions require no transfer at all, and the person can remain in their own wheelchair entirely, without having to get up at all. These include:

    Main Street Cinema
    The Disneyland Story Featuring Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln
    Disney Gallery
    Enchanted Tiki Room
    Jungle Cruise
    The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh
    Golden Horseshoe Stage
    Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
    Frontierland Shootin' Exposition
    Mark Twain Riverboat
    Big Thunder Ranch
    Disneyland Railroad
    Mickey's House, Minnie's House
    Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters
    Disneyland Monorail
    Honey, I Shrunk the Audience
    Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage*
    Disney Princess Fantasy Faire
    "it's a small world"
    King Arthur Carousel
    Sleeping Beauty Castle*
    Pixie Hollow

    All of the above are able to be enjoyed, at least in part, by a person without them ever having to get out of their wheelchair. For most, you can just roll the chair right into or onto the attraction or its vehicle. For Mark Twain Riverboat, they load wheelchair guests first, since when the boat is full of people it drops a few inches below the level of the dock.

    For "it's a small world" and the Jungle Cruise, they have specially adapted boats with platforms that you can roll a wheelchair right onto. You may have to wait longer for these boats to cycle through the ride. We waited quite a long time at "it's a small world," far longer than most guests. You may have a long wait to get on the Disneyland Railroad or Monorail too, as wheelchair space is limited on those.

    For a few rides such as Winnie the Pooh and Buzz Lightyear, they have specially adapted ride vehicles that the wheelchair can roll right into. The rafts that go out to Tom Sawyer Island are fully wheelchair accessible but the island itself is not and there will be almost nothing she can do there, unless she gets up and walks around. The island was designed for kids, or the kid in all of us.

    The Disneyland Railroad has wheelchair-accessible cars at the end of each train, and you wait at the exit gate of the station for a cast member to assist you. The only station you can't get on or off at is the Main Street Depot, because there are stairs there and no elevator or wheelchair ramp.

    For Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and Sleeping Beauty Castle, there are "alternate experience" facilities which allow the guest to see a simulation of the attraction without actually going into it. For Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, you simply approach the waiting line, and a cast member will probably recognize and either notify you that getting onto the sub requires going down a spiral staircase, or if they are smart, ask you if you want to view the alternate experience. This is a small theater called Marine Observation Outpost. When the remodeled Submarine Voyage was opened as Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, the park took a HD camera into one of the subs and videotaped in HD exactly what you would see if you were on the sub as you go through the ride. In the Marine Observation Outpost they show this video on a large HD TV screen, with top-of-the-line picture quality and high-quality stereo sound. You see and hear everything that a person who actually got on the sub would see and hear, and some people argue that the theater is actually better. In any case it's nice and cool inside, a great break on a hot day.

    All cast members working on rides are trained in the procedures for guests with disabilities, and will be helpful and attentive. However if the guest must be transferred from the wheelchair to a ride vehicle, cast members are not allowed to transfer the guest or even help with it - an accompanying member of the party, such as you, must do the transfer. There may be a couple of glitches if a person is not fully trained in operation of an accessible vehicle. At "it's a small world" the cast member could not figure out how to get the platform that holds the wheelchair to raise up, so they had to send the poor lady who was on it before us through the ride twice, and had to call another cast member who found a key and opened up a box which made the platform raise up. I wouldn't expect the wheelchair-bound guest to mean you get to "cut to the front of the line" in all cases or even any case. It may mean you have just as long or even a longer wait at some attractions, due to space limitations or due to difficulties with the disabled-adapted vehicles.

    For all other rides and attractions not listed above, you will have to transfer the person out of the wheelchair and into a ride vehicle. Some rides such as Haunted Mansion have specially designed ride vehicles to make the transfer easier, though you will have to do the transfer, as mentioned, the cast members cannot pick up the person. The ride can be stopped by the operators in order to make the transfer easier. For some rides such as Pirates of the Caribbean there is no specially adapted vehicle and you just have to transfer the person from the wheelchair into the ordinary boat or other vehicle. They usually can arrange for you to do this ahead of other guests boarding the same vehicle.

    Before you go to Disneyland I would practice doing the transfers so you can do them easily when you are at the park. Lift up the person with both of your arms, by putting one hand under each armpit and pull them up that way. Then pull their body closer to you and rotate them in or out of position to sit down on the wheelchair or whatever you are transferring to. Don't try to get them to stand up by pulling on their hands or arms. It is easy to dislocate a shoulder if you try to get someone to a standing position by pulling on their hands or arms.

    Familiarize yourself with the location of the First Aid Center in Disneyland, it is located between Main Street and Tomorrowland, near the "hub" (Central Plaza). If you can't find it, ask any cast member where it is. The nurses who work in the First Aid Center are very knowledgeable, kind and helpful. If your inlaws have any fatigue or discomfort of any kind, take them there. They have about 12 beds and if necessary they can lie down and rest on one of the beds for a while, then then will be refreshed and ready to experience more of the park again. They doesn't have to have a medical problem and there doesn't have to be an "incident" in order to go there. Just tell them that they are fatigued and need a rest. They will be very accommodating and helpful. Also there are 2 large restrooms there with grab bars, and they are much easier to use for a wheelchair-bound guest than the regular restrooms throughout the park.

    I think your inlaws will enjoy the many shows and live entertainment that the park offers. Be sure to pick up a show schedule at the entrance gate or at any information or guest services counter. The Golden Horseshoe stage in Frontierland has a country-western comedy show called Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, there is often live jazz at the French Market and Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square, and the ragtime piano players at the Coke Refreshment Corner on Main Street are outstanding musicians. There are also roving entertainers such as the Dapper Dans singing group on Main Street, the Disneyland Band, the Trash Can Trio which plays in the mornings in Tomorrowland, and the Buccaneers, a singing group in pirate costumes on a street in New Orleans Square. The live entertainment is one of the key elements that gives Disneyland its famous atmosphere.

    There are also other scheduled shows such as Fantasmic! on the river in Frontierland at night, and the fireworks show which is nightly during the summer season, and there is usually at least one parade per day. On Saturday evenings, a swing band plays at the Plaza Gardens stage, playing big-band music of the era that your inlaws probably grew up in. If you are there on a Saturday I'm sure they would enjoy listening to them. The guest relations department should be able to assist you with information on seating for the shows.

  6. #6

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    Re: Wheelchair questions

    Quote Originally Posted by twingirlsmom View Post
    Is there a special place we should be so that we don't get in everyone's way? We got the special Fantasmic seats so that we wouldn't have to worry about seating but I was concerned about the fireworks especially.








    Yes, they do have available handicapped areas for viewing the parade and fireworks (at least they did last year when we needed them).

    They are not mandatory though (you can view either of them wherever you are comfortable), they are there for your convenience. They do fill up though, so if you want to utilize one of the handicapped viewing areas, get there early.

    And as already mentioned, you can ask for a guide that will give you all of the information that you need regarding folks with disabilities.

    Enjoy!

  7. #7

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    Re: Wheelchair questions

    Fantasmic!*
    (Nighttime special effects show)
    A viewing area for Guests with disabilities is available in front of the Golden Horseshoe. Please contact a Cast Member for assistance.
    *Shows may not be presented daily. Please refer to your Entertainment Times Guide for current show schedule information, available at the Main Entrance.
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  8. #8

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    Re: Wheelchair questions

    Everyone has already given some great answers and i really don't have anything to add, except to say that i've found that 99.9% of the CM's on attractions and parades are always very cool. On some rides (Pirates, BTMRR, Indy) there will be CM's standing at the exits or on certain parts of the que to guide you the right way in or to hold you up for a minute till it's clear to go. I always smile at them and ask how things are going for them. I have met some of the coolest CM's on the Wheelchair access entrances for rides. Mad props to them.

    On another personal note I am SICK AND TIRED of people on these boards bi***ing about wheelchair abuses. Yes they do happen, and yes it makes even those that need them, like me, so upset (mainly because they are taking them away from people who need them), but just because you see someone in a ECV or Wheelchair not missing a limb or "looking" handicapped (How does someone do that anyways) does not mean that they are not needed by that person. IF you took one look at me, i don't look "handicapped" most of the time. I see those judgmental looks a lot of people give me and it saddens me that we've become this country where we STILL judge by looks first.

    I'll tell you what sunshine, you can take my ECV and judge me, if your also willing to take the tremors, bradykinesa, difficulty walking, not being able to run around the park with my son, pain, fatigue and dozens of other symptoms of Parkinsons.

    If not then [b]SHUT THE UP!!!!, and have some respect!
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  9. #9

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    Re: Wheelchair questions

    ^^

    no one in this thread has judged anyone...
    -plagued

  10. #10

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    Re: Wheelchair questions

    Er um ... yeah
    Quote Originally Posted by DannyLand View Post
    I have no idea but u don't even need to be handy cap to get one. anyone who's anyone can get it even if you can walk.
    LOTS of people do this.

    Second
    Quote Originally Posted by sgtpeper
    On another personal note I am SICK AND TIRED of people on these boards
    I did not mean that it was isolated to just this thread.

    Sorry if i wasn't more specific or less harsh. But I'm tired of the endless harping and judging of people who use Wheelchairs or ECV's at Disneyland. If people were doing this towards different races or sexual orientations, then everyone would be up in arms, rightfully so, about it.

    I'm just tired of it!
    "Here you leave Today and enter the world of Yesterday, Tomorrow and Bankruptcy!"


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  11. #11

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    Re: Wheelchair questions

    Thank you all for your help. I like to go into these trips totally ready but this is one area that's new to me and I hate to not know what to expect. All your wonderful help is definitely easing my mind!

  12. #12

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    Re: Wheelchair questions

    Practice doing the transfers into and out of wheelchairs before you go, so that it will be second-nature and routine for you. Always make sure the brakes are locked and chairs are stable, always be face-to-face with the person you are transferring, never try to pick them up from behind, always make sure their feet are back before lifting them, always have your hands on both sides of their chest, at the armpit level, never pull on their arms, always use your leg muscles to do the lifting work instead of your back muscles, always keep them close to you when you rotate them to the new chair, always make sure the backs of their legs are touching the new chair before lowering them to it. After they are sitting in the new chair or vehicle, if they need to rotate to be in the proper position, place one hand behind their neck and the other hand under their knees and pivot their whole body all at once into the proper position. Practice transfers with different types of seats so that the process becomes routine and you will be well-prepared for the different types of vehicles they may be getting into and out of. Whenever they are walking, stepping up or down, or even just standing on their own, always have your hand gripping the top of their pants in the back, just in case they do stumble, fall or collapse you will be able to prevent a fall or at least minimize the speed or extent of the fall and prevent any injury. Have a great trip!

  13. #13

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    Re: Wheelchair questions

    I hope you and your in-laws have a great trip.

    The only think I would add, is if you can be to the parks when they first open, that would help. It will make it easier on your group with the wheel chair. As the park gets crowded, its harder and harder to move around, due to there is just so many people.

    Stay off Main Street by the shops right after fireworks, its a mad house. My mom got stuck in the crowd with her ecv one night and it took 4 of use blocking people to help her move. People just don't see ecv.

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