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  1. #1

    • Former Cast Member
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    Thumbs up Wheel Chair accessibility

    Went to D-land/DCA March 27 with our wheelchair bound parapalegic nephew and was quite impressed with the demeanor of the cast members and relative smoothness of the trip.

    This was the first time I was accompanying someone who was completely wheelchair bound for getting about (I had come through with some elderly folks who just couldn't do all the walking but could get into lines when we parked the chair) so I didn't exactly know what to expect. I knew the routes for a number of rides and the need to go in the exit (POTC, SM, BTM, Matterhorn, etc...) but wasn't sure about how easy it would be for him to transfer. We were able to get a 1 page sheet on the accessibility and routes for every attraction in both parks. This was a great reference sheet.

    Well frankly, without any use of your legs it takes a little bit of time to transfer into most every ride since there really aren't convenient bars or handles to move oneself into the ride vehicles. Boat rides are especially hard (POTC & JC) because you must lower yourself and raise yourself a few feet without well positioned railings. But here is where I thought the CM's did a great job-- they continually said to take our time and patiently waited for us to maneuver even though it held up the ride for a bit. I applaud the CM's for not making it a spectacle or trying to rush us. That really made the day enjoyable.

    Over at DCA, we seemed to have fewer difficulties in transferring and I don't recall the need to use the exit for accessibility (I did split from the group for some rides that I was watching our 2 year old and didn't see how the group got into the rides). This park was nice in that each queue was set up to handle accessibility and keep the party together.

    On HM I learned a bit more about the ride. There are around 137 cars(numbers are on the side of them at about seat level, but about 4-6 of the ride vehicles are shaped differently and more open so that it is easier to transfer into them from a wheel chair. I think it they were the cars around 1-10 (I don't recall exactly) I had never noticed this before and really liked that they had included these so seamlessly. The CMs had us all go through the stretching room together and then sent us down the left side of the lightning and changing picture hall so that we could wheel the chair over to the end of the conveyor belt you stand on to get into the cars. Then they had us all ride together after they had seated everyone from our elevator. We all went through the ride and stayed on until we ended up back at the front of the queue and disembarked. We then rode the stretching room back up to the front. Our CM told us to lay down on the floor (in the DEAD center of course) and watch the room contract. It was somewhat surreal even though you know what is going on. So that ride ended up being a great one because of all the help and directions from the CMs.

    Overall, I say Kudos to D-land for making accessibility less of an issue.

    Now if only guests would be so kind as to not cut off a person pushing a wheelchair up hills or coasting down hills or on flat land for that matter...

  2. #2

    • Shablagoo!
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    Re: Wheel Chair accessibility

    Great story. Isn't getting to ride in the "Unstretching Room" neat?

  3. #3

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    Re: Wheel Chair accessibility

    Great TR, glad you had a good time....I think the transfers on Space and Mattterhorn are the coolest, because you have your own private train and it shifts onto the track, I always like watching that unload/load. =D

  4. #4

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    Re: Wheel Chair accessibility

    Great TR I have personal experience with this since I have been to DL many times with my dad and my friend who both require wheelchairs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thisguy74 View Post
    Over at DCA, we seemed to have fewer difficulties in transferring and I don't recall the need to use the exit for accessibility (I did split from the group for some rides that I was watching our 2 year old and didn't see how the group got into the rides).
    This is because the entire park was built for accessability. Since Disneyland was made before ADA laws were in place, you have to go through the exit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thisguy74 View Post
    On HM I learned a bit more about the ride. There are around 137 cars(numbers are on the side of them at about seat level, but about 4-6 of the ride vehicles are shaped differently and more open so that it is easier to transfer into them from a wheel chair. I think it they were the cars around 1-10 (I don't recall exactly) I had never noticed this before and really liked that they had included these so seamlessly.
    I think it is about cars 1 - 10 ish. From what I remember it is.


    Quote Originally Posted by Thisguy74 View Post
    We then rode the stretching room back up to the front. Our CM told us to lay down on the floor (in the DEAD center of course) and watch the room contract. It was somewhat surreal even though you know what is going on. So that ride ended up being a great one because of all the help and directions from the CMs.
    This is probably the coolest thing! I remember the many times we rode it back up and it was AWESOME! Gives a whole new take on things.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thisguy74 View Post
    Now if only guests would be so kind as to not cut off a person pushing a wheelchair up hills or coasting down hills or on flat land for that matter...
    Seriously.... you think people would have the courtesy to not do that. They should be almost thankful that they can walk on their own two legs and not have to wheel around all day. But I guess we'll never be able to teach everyone. My advice, run em over if they get in front of you lol. My dad and i would totally do it too if we could Thanks again for the TR!
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  5. #5

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    Re: Wheel Chair accessibility

    Wow, thanks for that TR! Now i know what to expect when i go with my Dad. He was only recently bound to a wheelchair due to cancer and we've always gone at least 2-3 times a year so i worried about what the difference would be but from what I've read it sounds like it wouldn't be a problem at all!
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  6. #6

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    Re: Wheel Chair accessibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Thisguy74 View Post
    ...
    We then rode the stretching room back up to the front. Our CM told us to lay down on the floor (in the DEAD center of course) and watch the room contract. It was somewhat surreal even though you know what is going on. So that ride ended up being a great one because of all the help and directions from the CMs.
    ...
    Never knew about this. Very cool!

  7. #7

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    Re: Wheel Chair accessibility

    In HM, its Doombuggies 5-10 that are designated. They aren't shaped differently, but they use these specific ones so they aren't stoppping all the time.

    HMH is even MORE fun in the Unstretching room, as you get to watch Jack reset!
    If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

  8. #8

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    Re: Wheel Chair accessibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    In HM, its Doombuggies 5-10 that are designated. They aren't shaped differently, but they use these specific ones so they aren't stoppping all the time.

    HMH is even MORE fun in the Unstretching room, as you get to watch Jack reset!
    That would be something to see Jack.

    Are you sure about not being shaped differently? I don't mean the whole car either. I thought that I saw that just the curve next to the seat area was open just a little more than the other cars. I will need to go back on and watch for those cars. (I can see a CM wondering why I am loitering and refusing to get on the ride when I am just steps away)

    Nevertheless, I am now much more aware of the ADA compliance at the park. Today I went with my 2 year old and there are a lot of signs talking about accessibility that I never noticed before. This whole thing has been eye opening and good for me.

  9. #9

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    Re: Wheel Chair accessibility

    Quote Originally Posted by Thisguy74 View Post
    That would be something to see Jack.

    Are you sure about not being shaped differently? I don't mean the whole car either. I thought that I saw that just the curve next to the seat area was open just a little more than the other cars. I will need to go back on and watch for those cars. (I can see a CM wondering why I am loitering and refusing to get on the ride when I am just steps away)

    Nevertheless, I am now much more aware of the ADA compliance at the park. Today I went with my 2 year old and there are a lot of signs talking about accessibility that I never noticed before. This whole thing has been eye opening and good for me.
    Nope, nothing different. About 3 years ago, they stopped stopping the ride to allow WC users on 3-4 times around and opted to only stop once and load 2-3 WC groups at once. They use buggies 5-10 as needed. So, as soon as we get to the wait area, we look at the buggie numbers to see how long it will be. If they are on buggie 25, we know we have about a 7-10 minute wait. It has been much better since they started only stopping once.
    If you see a cute yellow lab puppy with a yellow cape, WAVE! It might be us! (Or it may be someone else that lurks here!) Thank you for asking before you pet! Next trip, Dec 22-Jan 3rd.

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