Travelling with a Disabled Guest
Traveling with Liz's Dad (who is in a wheelchair) takes some preparation. We booked special rooms that would allow him to have a roll in shower, lower bed, easy acess sink and lower closets. Disney is very good at accomodating physicaly challenged guests and have rooms in every resort for their needs.
Because Bob's scooter is larger than than what will fit on Disney transport it was important that we stay at a hotel that was on the Monorail line. We chose the Grand Floridian for this reason. The monorail allowed us to travel to Magic Kingdom and Epcot via the monorail. Oly when we went to Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and the marketplace did we use our own car.
All of the restaurants were very helpful and arranged for seating that wouldn't block other guests when we were dining. Rides are a different story. Cast memebres are not allowed to assist guest in and out of rides (liability reasons), so be prepared to assist if you want your family member to ride a ride. Not all rides are friendly for people with mobility issues. The haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean and Mickey's Philharmagic were the best for Bob in Magic Kingdom. Soaring was the ride for Bob in Epcot though he did feel rather dizzy from the motion. Animal Kingdom was basically a ride through for Bob, he watched the attractions while we rode. In Hollywood Studio's it was the Stunt show and the Great Movie Ride that worked for him. When you go to ride an attraction a cast member will normally que you through a diferent entrance and put you at the front of the line. Certain cars/seats are designated for disabled riders.
Disney has many handicapped and companion assisted restrooms which made the trip alot less stressful (it's often hard to find these type of restrooms easily). It is a bit anoying though when other guests are rude and bump into the person on the scooter like he's not visible. Bob takes it in stride but I really wanted to knock a few people.
So if you plan ahead and know what you are in for, you can easily navigate Disney World with a wheelchair or scooter.
Food Issues or Allergies
Some people have food issues or allergies such as :Celiac Sprue, kosher, vegan and nut allergies. It's best to check ahead by calling: 407-WDW-DINE to see what restaurants can accomodate your special needs. Most restaurants that are table service can accomodate special dietary needs.
Animal Kingdom -Watch your pocket book
Food and drinks can be expensive here . To avoid the cost of eating breakfast lunch and dinner here we took a lunch in a soft sided cooler. we also took a bottle of water each and packed extra frozen bottles ( to keep our snaswiches cold) for later. we appreciated being allowed to bring in food and drinks it saved us money as well as time . There are lots of outdoor tables to sit and eat.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Theme Park Trips
Smoking is Allowed
It bothers me that smoking is allowed at the Disney Resorts as well as the theme parks. Yes, there are designated "smoking" areas but I still find it repulsive. I was shocked that one of the designated smoking areas in the Magic Kingdom was right by Mickey's Toontown Fair, where all the youngest visitors tend to congregate.
I guess Disney doesn't want to lose money but aggrivating smokers but doesn't mind subjecting us non-smokers to them.
Don't take a swim in a pond during the summer
Florida has lots of small ponds and small lakes, many of them are really just retention ponds for the overabundance of rain water we get during the summer months. In the summer when the temperatures are high and the water is warm, bacteria and parasite levels build up and have been deadly for some people swimming in these waters.
If you are visiting Florida, stick to just swimming in the chlorinated pools or the oceans.
visitng the themeparks and other attractions during summer months can really darin you and make you tired. So better yet always hydrate yourself by drinking plenty of fluids. Taking energy drink like Gatorade can really help!
We had a problem with the Ramada Inn Resort Eastgate that hotel in 2005, I wrote to make my complaint known to the manager. A few weeks later I received a letter of apology and I given a voucher asking me to give them another chance. It was one year later I was coming back to Orlando on a late flight and rather than drive two hours to my home I thought I would use that voucher. I called and made a reservation informing them I was using my voucher, I and that I would be arriving at 11:30PM. When we and I arrived at the Ramada Inn it was almost mid-night when we arrived at the Ramada Inn Resort Eastgate, I showed him my voucher along with the other information to the deck clerk who then took it to the night managers office. He returned about ten minutes later with the night manager who then informed me that there were no rooms available but that he had contacted the manager at Ramada Main Gate (which was a few miles away) and that he was expecting us and that we were on our way over to check in. When we got there, the man at the front desk informed me that he also was completely full and had no rooms available. I asked him to call the manager at the Ramada Inn Resort Eastgate and ask him what was I suppose to do? He called and informed me that I was to go to another Hotel just down the road from there and tell them I was over-booked at the Ramada Inn and that I could use my voucher there. When we arrived there that hotel desk clerk would not accept the voucher from Ramada and I was told that I would have to pay for the room myself. I also know that there were two other people in front of me who were also sent to that hotel by Ramada Inn and given the same uncalled for treatment by the managers of the Ramada Inn. To this day I have not gotten an apology from Ramada Corporate Office nor have they tried to compensate me in any way. I want to inform anyone looking to come to the Orlando area not to book any rooms with the Ramada Inn Eastgate or Maingate because they do not honor their reservations.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Strong under-toe at Thpoon Lagoon!!
At last visit to my favortie place on earth i went to disney's thpoon lagoon water park and took a nice refeshing dip in the one of the parks largest pools call hurricane hador a wave pool located at the center of the park! the floor of the pool is a little rough for traction so you don't fall, but it works in the opsite way! when they blow the wistle and the wave came i was sweep under by the wave and the current drug me across the rough pool floor! i recomment if if are going to risk a swim don't go too deep and wear a shirt and water shoes so your'e good time isn't spoiled by a sun burned Bruised body.Related to:
- Family Travel
Don't blame themeparks for bad parenting!
resently i read in an article on mouseplanet about a 4 year child Accidental death at disney's EPCOT park, on a ride called Mission Space. the child it turns out had heart problems, but his parents allowed him to ride a motion Simulator type ride anyway! you don't have to be a rocket scienceist to know if you have heart problems you shouldn't ride rides that to cause your heart rate to jump up. specialtly a little kid which nartually will get more excited about a ride than an adult due to children gentrally will have more entergy that say a 25 year or even a teenager! furture more all diseny attractions have a common discliamer that planly states is 3 differenet Languages that you should ride if you have: back problems, heart problems, motion sickness, low blood sugar, or any other medcial contdishtions that mite cause you injury by riding this ride! the EMT's arived on seane 4 mins after 911 was called! when have you ever seen a responds time better than that! since this terrible even disney has taken more precoutinary measure to enser this short of danger never happens agian! on the rides thier are now 2 different lines a green team an a orange team! the green team goes threw the same trianing, but the montion simuliar part stays still. while the orange team this the full teams and agian another warning by video it given to park goers to take green team for less instense ride experince! so please don't blame the parks if you put your own child life at risk atfer being warned.Related to:
- Family Travel
FYI....Your hotel key can be used anywhere at Disney for anything. Any purchase can be applied on your hotel room and you will be billed at time or departure. So easy to buy and do without taking out your wallet or credit card. This is however linked to the credit card you used when you booked your room.Related to:
- Theme Park Trips
Take out a Membership
Not having stayed at a Wyndham in recent memory, I did not bother to check out the details regarding this hotel chain. After talking to one of the other conference delegates over dinner, he mentioned that there are great benefits to be had if you join their membership club. When I got back to my room, I did it on-line via my laptop and was immediately given an ID number. As it turned out, this allowed free unlimited access to the internet and phone (as long as you were using a 1-800 number). In the day before I had done this, my business conference call and lap-top chores had chalked up over US$50 in fees because I had exceeded their 30-minute limit per connection (even when using a 1-800 number). Basically, it is a good idea to join a hotel chain membership as long as it does not cost you anything - there are definite benefits! Photo taken on the short walk from the hotel over to the Downtown Disney area.Related to:
- Business Travel
they JUST DON"T GET IT!!!
I love Orlando, I really do. But people here just don't understand the simple rule: when on an escalator/moving sidewalk, stand to the right and let people pass on the left. A friend pointed out this is more prominent in Orlando because of the vast number of tourists, but isn't this a universal rule? If you are on the left and someone is yelling/demeaning you, it could very well be me. Lazy-Asses stand to the RIGHT! Got that people? SAY IT! SAYYY IIITTTTT!!
Disney World Will *** You Up
- Children that live in or around Celebration (a Disney community) are PAID to jump rope and play hopscotch for a "community feel."
- People DO die there - like the little girl a few years ago that was crushed by a sandwich board outside EPCOT's mock-Italian restaurant - but Disney employees drag their bodies off before they are declared dead.
- Disney secretly purchased 27,433 acres of swampland in central Florida in the mid-’60s for about $180 an acre. Today, Disney World encompasses 43 square miles - approx. the size of San Francisco and twice as large as Manhattan.
- Walt Disney accepted a special medal from the League of Nations using the voice of Mickey Mouse.
- In 1996, the National Labor Committee filed a report that detailed worker abuses in Haitian factories manufacturing Disney apparel. It was reported that Haitian workers took home about 28 cents an hour while Disney CEO Michael Eisner garnered $189 million in salary and bonuses that year.
- A dozen exotic animals died at or en route to Disney’s newest theme park, the $800 million "Animal Kingdom", including four cheetah cubs, two rhinos, two hippos and four "unidentified creatures."
- In order to deny full benefits to a substantial amount of its work force, Disney classifies them under terms such as "Casual Regular," "Permanent Temporary" and "Casual Seasonal."
- "I’ll never forget when we were all fighting for a twenty-five cent raise, it came over the papers that Eisner made a $43 million bonus. And we were fighting for a quarter." --Unidentified Disney employee, quoted in Inside the Mouse: Work and Play at Disney World
-Disney World receives an unprecedented degree of autonomy as part of the "Reedy Creek Improvement District," which allows the company to have control over its roads, utilities, licensing and inspections. Disney even has its own nuclear power license.
Need more reasons to resist the mouse?
See the complete list:
- Theme Park Trips
The kids are safe
Some kids are scary but most of them seemed overwhelmed and harmless to me. This one had biting power! He was so stunned when he saw himself that tears welled up in his eyes, poor lil guy. The parents had the biggest laughs.
Just to say that with the crowds, and the excitement, I saw a few harried-looking parents and grandparents. Lots of them frantically screaming in their mobile phones "Get back to the Tea Cups right now you jerk!" or "We're in front of GOOFY, and we're fed up looking for you!"
But have no worry, everything is super well organised and no child would be left crying for more than a second. Still, I realised that giving the kid a cell phone to keep in touch at all times is a good way to go.
New Visa Requirements
I`ll put this here as I think it is a warning to you to make sure you are prepared before you travel and not be dissappointed when you get to the airport.
New visa rules for travel to the USA have been widely reported in the UK media over the last few days and many people are confused as to whether they need a tourist visa or not.
At present, British holidaymakers do not need a tourist visa under the US Visa Waiver programme and this will continue for UK travellers provided that they hold a machine readable passport (two typeface lines at the bottom of the biographical page) that was issued in the UK before 25th October 2004 and is valid at the time of travel. Most UK holidaymakers can therefore continue to travel under the visa waiver scheme.
UK travellers who obtain or renew a UK passport after 26th October 2004 and before the introduction of biometric data passports will need a visa to enter the USA. This must be applied for in person at the US Embassy at a cost of £67.
ABTA and Visit USA suggest that those travellers whose passports are due to expire during and following the 26th October changeover date and before 2006 when biometric passports should be available, can avoid any potential problems by renewing their passports at any time preceding 26th October 2004.
In addition from 26th October 2004, all children must have their own documentation to enter the US and can no longer travel on a parent's passport.
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