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  1. #1

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    Wheelchair Attitudes

    Howdy Pards,

    Well, ya know, anyone's enjoyment of Walt Disney World or Disneyland is gonna be directly dependent on their own attitudes. Those Cast Members can smile and be nice all they want to, but if the guest ain't got the right attitude...it just don't matter.

    Now, let's talk a little about Wheelchair guests. It's true that some folks can't walk around the parks like they use to...some folks are gettin' on in years, some folks are just plain too big, some folks are ill, or disabled in one way or another.

    So, somebody, somewheres a long, long time ago invented chairs with wheels on 'em.

    Guests sometimes come to the park in wheelchairs...or rent them there. My wife, who has gone on to Heaven now, went to the parks many times in a wheel chair. I know, cause I took her.

    She had a stroke...and couldn't balance anymore...she could walk with my help a little...but not by herself. She hated being trapped in that chair. I took her out of it to get a picture with that Goofy Statue...or when she wanted a picture in front of the castle. I held her up as one of those Disney Photographers took our picture on Main Street lookin' down towards the castle... When I saw that picture I noticed that our hair was turnin' gray...even though we both still felt like kids.

    We had to face facts... there were some things she just couldn't do anymore...like get in and out of those Pirate Boats.

    Oh...but she sure looked forward to the Jungle Cruise, cause they had a boat over there specially rigged for a person to stay right in their chair...she loved it.

    Happiness is a mighty valuable thing...

    Which brings me to the subject of this thread...Wheelchair Attitudes. Taint no doubt that some folks have high expectations of what Disney has to do for them if they are in any way disabled...and they come in expecting to complain about something. They come in with the wrong attitude...and, in many cases, it is very nearly impossible to please them.

    My wife loved the things she could do. She loved that Jungle Cruise...she loved ridin' on the riverboat...she loved the shows...she loved the beauty, and wonder, and magic of the place. She sure didn't waste a lotta time lookin' up at the treehouse and cryin' over not bein' able to climb it...we were much too busy lookin' for exciting, wonderful, delightful, magical things we COULD do. And, just bein' together in this happy place...

    Visiting Disney made us both happy. We went with that goal...we loved the place...and we loved each other.

    Life in general is not easy. If you are confined to a wheelchair it can be frustrating...especially if you lived an active life.
    But...the key to a happy life, both in a wheelchair and out of it, is YOUR attitude. The key to a joy-filled visit to a Disney Park is to do it with someone you love...and to be absolutely determined to stay happy no matter what. That is easier said than done...I know...but it CAN be done. My wife and I did it...many times. Those things, those memories will always be a cherished part of our life together...more and more valuable as time goes by...

    Make up your mind to Be Happy...to meet life's challenges with a smile...and to look for the wonder, the magic, and the joy.

    Count your blessings...and keep a smile in your heart. Cherish every moment you have with the places and the ones you love...and do your best to spread some of that happiness around. The whole world could use more of it. I read somewheres that it is better to light just one candle than to curse the darkness. Let your light shine.

    Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.

    Wild Ol' Dan
    Last edited by Wild Ol' Dan; 06-17-2012 at 11:38 AM.
    "I can see the cattle grazin' o'er the hills at early morn…
    I can see the campfires smokin’ at the breaking of the dawn,
    I can hear the bronco's neighin', I can hear the cowboys sing,
    I'd like to be in Texas for the Round-up in the Spring."


  2. #2

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    Re: Wheelchair Attitudes

    I found that as a Cast Member you can identify who truly needs additional assistance and who doesn't. I had a woman ask me to back door her and her daughter at Rock 'n' Roller Coaster when they got off, claiming she couldn't push her daughter's wheelchair through the line again (both she and her daughter had some serious weight issues). When I told her it wasn't possible, as there was an 80 minute wait outside, and when the line is like that we can't let people ride twice no matter who they are, she started screaming and cussing at me for "not f***ing respecting disabilities." My mom has rheumatoid arthritis and has done the parks in an ECV and never asked for special treatments like backdooring. I had a family at Pirates of the Caribbean ask if the family could wait through the line, then when they had waited the full time, have their autistic son join them because he couldn't handle the indoor crowded queue. They were not asking for special treatment at all, just for the best way for him to handle it. I took the whole family in the back =D. A lot of the time it depends on the attitude the Guests give the Cast Members. If you are nice to us, we will bend over backwards for you!
    WDW Cast Member August 2009 - November 2011

  3. #3

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    Re: Wheelchair Attitudes

    Pard'ner, I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm sorry for your loss.

    ---------- Post added 06-17-2012 at 12:21 AM ----------

    When I told her it wasn't possible, as there was an 80 minute wait outside, and when the line is like that we can't let people ride twice no matter who they are, she started screaming and cussing at me for "not f***ing respecting disabilities."

    After 11 years at Chuck E Cheese (we used to joke, poor mans disney), I completely get your pain.
    Last edited by englanddg; 06-17-2012 at 11:17 AM.

  4. #4

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    Re: Wheelchair Attitudes

    As a castmember I wish everyone in a wheelchair had the same attitude as Wild Ol' Dan wrote about. Unfortunately, the majority of guests, seem to think that since they are in a wheelchair or ECV, they deserve and are entitled to special treatment. You can easily tell who really needs that wheelchair or ECV, because they are usually the ones refusing the special treatment or the ones actually waiting in the lines until their turn.

    Had a guest once demand that we provide her with a wheelchair at the monorail station and if she didn't she was contacting a lawyer. As soon as she mentioned lawyer, I could no longer help her, a supervisor was called and she told him the same thing. he ended up calling not a only a manager but a security. Before she could say anything, the security guard told her that if she mentioned the word lawyer again, nobody could help her and if a wheelchair was that badly needed they should have brought their own because it is not the monorails responsibility to provide them. So yes attitude goes a long way.

  5. #5

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    Re: Wheelchair Attitudes

    Dan, what a beautiful person you are. You and your wife
    were lucky to have had each other. I can get in and out of my scooter to ride on the attractions. My physical limitations are not obvious,therefore I see a person roll there eyes now and then when moving from the scooter. That is their problem,but I have limits. I have a muscle condition and breathing problems. So, I ask people to stop judging. Thanks. Oh! Everyone should have a spouse like you.

  6. #6

    • Indiana Scott
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    Re: Wheelchair Attitudes

    Dan, I am so sorry for your loss. At my age I have experienced many losses but never a spouse. I cannot imagine.

    Take care,
    Scott

  7. #7

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    Re: Wheelchair Attitudes

    I've toured in a wheelchair and out of a wheelchair, and I've got to say the first way is incredibly frustrating. Mostly due to the attitudes of the people out of wheelchairs who jump in front of you, crowd around you, block your view, let their kids climb and play on the railings of the wheelchair ramps so you can't get through, automatically assume you're out to scam something, act like you're not there, hog the accessible bathrooms and stalls, make snide comments about how it must be nice to sit down all day, complain that you shouldn't be allowed on the regular bus with everybody else, push their kids in front of you end expect you to be able to stop oin a dime, etc., etc.

    It takes a Herculean effort (or the presence of a sweet and helpful husband) to keep all of that from getting to you just a little. Next time an able-bodied person sees a person in a wheelchair acting a little cranky, I hope he or she stops to remember everything that person has had to go through that day, and be grateful for their own privilege. I know I do, now that I've been there myself.

  8. #8

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    Re: Wheelchair Attitudes

    Howdy Pards,

    I wanna thank you folks for your kindness. We enjoyed over 35 years together as husband and wife...and I miss her so much... Love is a mighty powerful thing...and my love for her sure hasn't faded since she moved on to Heaven...if anything it grows stronger with each passing day. The Good Lord sure blessed me the day my wife and I met all those years ago...

    Again, thank you for your kind thoughts. As I said in an earlier post on this thread, cherish the places and the ones you love...count your blessings...and keep a smile in your heart.

    Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.

    Wild Ol' Dan
    "I can see the cattle grazin' o'er the hills at early morn…
    I can see the campfires smokin’ at the breaking of the dawn,
    I can hear the bronco's neighin', I can hear the cowboys sing,
    I'd like to be in Texas for the Round-up in the Spring."


  9. #9

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    Re: Wheelchair Attitudes

    Quote Originally Posted by ttintagel View Post
    I've toured in a wheelchair and out of a wheelchair, and I've got to say the first way is incredibly frustrating. Mostly due to the attitudes of the people out of wheelchairs who jump in front of you, crowd around you, block your view, let their kids climb and play on the railings of the wheelchair ramps so you can't get through, automatically assume you're out to scam something, act like you're not there, hog the accessible bathrooms and stalls, make snide comments about how it must be nice to sit down all day, complain that you shouldn't be allowed on the regular bus with everybody else, push their kids in front of you end expect you to be able to stop oin a dime, etc., etc.

    It takes a Herculean effort (or the presence of a sweet and helpful husband) to keep all of that from getting to you just a little. Next time an able-bodied person sees a person in a wheelchair acting a little cranky, I hope he or she stops to remember everything that person has had to go through that day, and be grateful for their own privilege. I know I do, now that I've been there myself.
    If you truly need a wheel chair because of some misfortune beyond your control then I have sympathy for your plight.

    However, I've known of too many people that abuse the system not only in Disney but also in many other places... I've known of people that rented the electric scooters simply because they were fat and lazy, and thought by using one they would be able to cut through lines. I've know people that legitimately had handicap hang tag offer them to completely healthy friends as a way to get better parking for various events. I'm certain that many other people have had the misfortune of knowing people in that same category.

    The reality is that the more times someone witnesses this kind of abuse the less sympathy the person will have for anyone in a wheelchair... cynicism doesn't sprout up over night it slowly grows. You are simply feeling the effects of that and for good or bad it will continue and likely grow as long as the system allows people to abuse it.

  10. #10

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    Re: Wheelchair Attitudes

    I have never seen as many in wheelchairs and in scooters or what to call them as I do when in America. I have been all over the world and the situation can not be compared to any other place. They even have them in the supermarkets. To a person from Europe this is very exotic but not strange.
    We all know why most people need to use these things.
    My sympathy goes out to all the people that need help and not to those that can´t get enough of cheese.
    But I must admit... the american way is very twempting.



    A warning to all americans: They don´t have these things in the rest of the world. Keep that in mind before you go and discover the world.

    I also want to add that some of the best gyms in the world are in America.
    Last edited by TimmyTimmyTimmy; 06-18-2012 at 08:50 AM.
    The world according me: http://www.youtube.com/user/TimmyME

  11. #11

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    Re: Wheelchair Attitudes

    Howdy Pards,

    To those who are young and healthy, who go to the gym everyday, can walk for miles and miles without any problems whatsoever, and have traveled the world in search of fun and adventure...keep a smile in your heart and count your blessings.

    To those who are confined to a wheelchair for whatever reason...keep a smile in your heart and count your blessings.

    Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.

    Wild Ol' Dan
    "I can see the cattle grazin' o'er the hills at early morn…
    I can see the campfires smokin’ at the breaking of the dawn,
    I can hear the bronco's neighin', I can hear the cowboys sing,
    I'd like to be in Texas for the Round-up in the Spring."


  12. #12

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    Re: Wheelchair Attitudes

    The reality is that the more times someone witnesses this kind of abuse the less sympathy the person will have for anyone in a wheelchair... cynicism doesn't sprout up over night it slowly grows. You are simply feeling the effects of that and for good or bad it will continue and likely grow as long as the system allows people to abuse it.
    I keep hearing this, but I have a lot of trouble believing that a significant portion of the WDW wheelchair-using guest population is using wheelchairs they don't need. Firsthand experience tells me that touring in a wheelchair is significantly less fun than doing it without. You can't see as much. You can't get close to things. You're slowed way down. There are attractions you can't experience at all. I have a tough time believing that a large number of people would voluntarily take the much-less-fun route if they didn't need to.

    People may think they're seeing rampant abuse, when the truth is that they're only seeing part of the story. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blind_men_and_an_elephant

  13. #13

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    Re: Wheelchair Attitudes

    Quote Originally Posted by ttintagel View Post
    I keep hearing this, but I have a lot of trouble believing that a significant portion of the WDW wheelchair-using guest population is using wheelchairs they don't need. Firsthand experience tells me that touring in a wheelchair is significantly less fun than doing it without. You can't see as much. You can't get close to things. You're slowed way down. There are attractions you can't experience at all. I have a tough time believing that a large number of people would voluntarily take the much-less-fun route if they didn't need to.

    People may think they're seeing rampant abuse, when the truth is that they're only seeing part of the story. Blind men and an elephant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    According to a friend of mine who worked as a CM renting wheelchairs, strollers, and ECVs in the MK for the past four years, close to half of the people she rented wheelchairs and ECVs to obviously did not need them.

    Anecdotally, I was at DHS Guest Relations last month to have an issue resolved with my ticket when a guest came up to the CM next to me and informed the CM that their son had a disability. The CM asked the guest what kind of assistance was needed and the guest's response was, "He has ah, um... Oh gosh I can't remember..." (Who forgets the name of their own child's disability?) The CM quickly responded, "Sir, I don't need to know the name of your child's disability, I just need to know what kind of assistance he needs." The guest's response? "He needs to go to the front of the line." I was honestly trying not to laugh at how blatant this was, but the guest ended up getting the assistance card they wanted.

    Obviously, there are many, many legitimate reasons one may need a wheelchair or ECV and those people certainly have my sympathy, but it's equally obvious that there are quite a few people who game the system (or at least try to).
    I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
    -Walt Disney



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    Re: Wheelchair Attitudes

    Quote Originally Posted by PSUMark View Post
    According to a friend of mine who worked as a CM renting wheelchairs, strollers, and ECVs in the MK for the past four years, close to half of the people she rented wheelchairs and ECVs to obviously did not need them.

    Anecdotally, I was at DHS Guest Relations last month to have an issue resolved with my ticket when a guest came up to the CM next to me and informed the CM that their son had a disability. The CM asked the guest what kind of assistance was needed and the guest's response was, "He has ah, um... Oh gosh I can't remember..." (Who forgets the name of their own child's disability?) The CM quickly responded, "Sir, I don't need to know the name of your child's disability, I just need to know what kind of assistance he needs." The guest's response? "He needs to go to the front of the line." I was honestly trying not to laugh at how blatant this was, but the guest ended up getting the assistance card they wanted.

    Obviously, there are many, many legitimate reasons one may need a wheelchair or ECV and those people certainly have my sympathy, but it's equally obvious that there are quite a few people who game the system (or at least try to).
    It is also pretty clear when someone has no clue how to drive one of the little ECVs, the odds are the person is just a lazy abuser when they start running over peoples ankles. I have to believe that if someone actually uses one on a daily basis they are going to know how to use it without running over people... yet I can't remember the last time I visited WDW without having someone on one of those things run into me from behind... I might understand it if I suddenly stopped walking but I've had it happen too many times mid-walk. I'm often temped to grab the keys from their scooter and pitch them in the trash, but thus far have manage to ignore their stupidity.

  15. #15

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    Re: Wheelchair Attitudes

    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas998 View Post
    It is also pretty clear when someone has no clue how to drive one of the little ECVs, the odds are the person is just a lazy abuser when they start running over peoples ankles. I have to believe that if someone actually uses one on a daily basis they are going to know how to use it without running over people... yet I can't remember the last time I visited WDW without having someone on one of those things run into me from behind... I might understand it if I suddenly stopped walking but I've had it happen too many times mid-walk. I'm often temped to grab the keys from their scooter and pitch them in the trash, but thus far have manage to ignore their stupidity.
    Or they could just be uncoordinated/poor drivers? My grandmother didn't own an ECV because she could get around with a cane at home, but in the parks that was too far to walk. She was comically bad at driving the ECVs she rented, and on a couple occasions did happen to run into people. I'm sure there's some who can't drive that are abusing the system, and obviously it sucks to have someone run into you, but grabbing the keys is a little harsh...
    I knew if this business was ever to get anywhere, if this business was ever to grow, it could never do it by having to answer to someone unsympathetic to its possibilities, by having to answer to someone with only one thought or interest, namely profits. For my idea of how to make profits has differed greatly from those who generally control businesses such as ours. I have blind faith in the policy that quality, tempered with good judgment and showmanship, will win against all odds.
    -Walt Disney



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