View Full Version : MS & disney world???
02-01-2008, 11:24 AM
My mom has MS and cannot walk at all. She uses an electric wheelchair. She always dreamed of taking her grandkids to Disney. I'd like to convince her that she still could!
I am just interested in other's experiences at Disney World with MS. Winter would be the best time temperature wise. Did the heat affect you at that time?
Also how does airplane work with electric wheelchair? Would she have to transfer to seat or could she stay in chair?
How accessible are the rooms and do they vary from resort? Which resort is best for accessible rooms?
02-01-2008, 12:03 PM
I can't give you specific info as I don't have MS but I can tell you WDW is one of the best destinations for anyone that has physical or mental challenges. They will make every accomodation they can for wheelchairs, scooters, food issues, anything. Just make sure that any reservations that it's clearly listed as they have certain rooms at all of the resorts that are handicapped accessible and should be bigger to accomodate mobility issues. My boss and my aunt have MS and I wouldn't hesitate in a second to recommend a trip to WDW because I know they would have a great time and not once have a difficult time getting around or experiencing the "magic"
I hope your mom decides to go! She'll have so much fun seeing her grandchildren having fun at the park! Take care! :thumbsup:
02-01-2008, 12:45 PM
My brother has MS but is not in a wheelchair. We have done WDW several times with his family. The plans are almost the same whether we go with them or on our own. The heat really affects him so the time of year is crucial for him... You do not want to go to Florida in July! also, eating on a schedule is a priority for him so ADRs are a must. We also plan an afternoon break (we do this anyway). It gives him a chance to lay down and relax while we take the kids and swim etc.
Room location can be crucial. This will depend on your needs. My brother tried not to miss a moment so he wanted a room close to the pool to be able to watch his girls swim in the afternoon. We picked a room with a quiet pool about eight feet from the room. This way he can stay out of the heat and watch us from the room.
Hopes this helps!
02-01-2008, 12:57 PM
First I would hope our resident expert on MS will see this post. Marilyn ??? I'll drop her a PM and point her in this direction.
I did go to WDW w/ my dad who has very limited mobility after 3 strokes and he was difficult but WDW wasn't. He is dying to go back and we have him in OT now hoping he can adapt his skills to improve his ability to travel.
The most difficult thing we ran across was the sleeping arrangements. We had a 2brdm at BWV and he can't sleep flat b/c his spine is too curved and it was very difficult for him to get rest at night w/out a recliner or bed that raises. We traveled with a foam wedge but it was still difficult. He was up and down all night and kept us up.
We also spent one night at the AllStars when we came in and that was more difficult b/c we didn't have the ECV there. We rented one from an outside source which was wonderful but I know that people take their own.
You can request a handicap room and I strongly suggest you do that b/c many bathrooms are very tight. I would say that was our biggest mistake.
Again I know very little about MS but I did speak to a woman the other day who lost her son in Hurricane Katrina because his health was compromised with MS and the sudden drop in barometric pressure caused both his lungs to collapse and they couldn't save him. He was a very young man and I would have never thought that would be a problem.
Mid winter you can have a lot of variability w/ weather. My dd has asthma and struggles there when the humidity is high, the air is warm and a low pressure system is coming in it causes her a lot of trouble.
Specific questions may help like which resort are you planning to book and what accommodations are available or what are the best choices etc. :thumbsup:
02-01-2008, 02:02 PM
I'm Marilyn, and have had M.S. for 35 years. (That sounds like an introduction at a `12 step program).
Disney is wonderful for people on wheels. I bring my own ECV on the plane, and it's waiting for me when I get off. OR, if you don't want to risk baggage problems, rent one in Florida. It will be waiting for you at your resort, and you just leave it to be picked up when you check out. The only reason I bring my own is because it's a bit smaller than some.
If your mom is like me, humidity and heat just **** the life out of body, soul, and spirit. We go in early Dec. for the moderately low crowds, the festive Christmas sights, and cooler temps.
We don't do long days, because we're both "just too old". With the grandkids, your mom won't want to pack it in as early as we do, but make her pace herself.
The bus's are not too bad, especially if you're used to being in an ECV. People actually groan when I go to board first, but, (brag, brag), I can three point into the spot like I still lived in Philly. Have her practice parallel parking, and let her strut her stuff on the bus.
The attractions are all equipped pretty much for HP guests. Some require transfer. (Get a Birnbaums and research). CM's are the best at Disney AND Seaworld, if you want to do that.
Parades, fireworks, and special events have HP seating - for parades, come early, and don't let a couple of newlyweds stand in front of you (that's another story). Maybe being a newlywed is a handicap, but we won't go there.:mad:
I think your mom will have a WONDERFUL time rolling around Disney. Basically, pace yourself, do some planning, and ask lots of questions here on Intercot. Oh, and make sure your resort knows you have a 'special" mom on board so you get a room that's as special as she is.:cloud9:
Keep us posted. Sounds like fun for all of you.:thumbsup:
02-01-2008, 02:15 PM
Thanks so much for all your replies. It really helps! We've been with my fil who used a wheelchair, so I now how accessible it is.
I'm trying to convince mom that it would work. So on the plane she would have to transfer or could she stay in her power chair?
02-01-2008, 06:42 PM
The plane is easy. She will board first, with you, before families with small children, or others in airport WC's. She will drive her ECV to the very door of the plane, where she will be assisted to her seat. The airport personnel will then CARRY her power chair down the steps, (at least in Phoenix), and load it into cargo. When you land, she will be one of the last off, and the chair will be waiting by the gate. A chair, if needed, will be provided to just inside the terminal.
Love it when we fly SW, with open seating, cause we are the first ones on.
Hope that helps.:)
02-07-2008, 12:01 PM
Just a quick note from someone else who has to use an ECV when going to WDW - the majority of busses are the new ones that let you drive on frontwards. This is a real improvement from years past when it was mandatory to back in and then have to turn it around. After 3 trips now to WDW using an ECV, I too can really get on and off the busses like a seasoned pro. The only time I have any problems any more is if I get over tired and at by the end of the day I seem to lose focus as well as my energy.
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