Planning Tips for Travels with Handicapped or Older Disney Fans

Grandmother and Mom Enjoying Soarin'

Grandmother and Mom Enjoying Soarin’

Welcome to those of you joining me from Days in the Park and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 4th stop on our Magical Blogorail.

Looking back over the years, my favorite Disney experience has been a vacation to the parks made with my mother, sister, son and grandmother.  When we began discussing and planning the vacation, my grandmother was approaching an age when we would no longer be able to take my grandmother on a longer journey.  Wanting the vacation to be the best possible, my family planned out as much as we could.  We did not want my grandmother to feel uncomfortable with any of the situations we might face.  Being away from my grandfather and her  typical surroundings would already be quite a challenge.  To combine that with the large crowds and longer activity hours may make her uncomfortable.  We felt that the plan made the vacation run smoothly, leaving no bad incidents.

If you plan on taking an older or handicapped friend or family member with you to Disney, here are the important planning  things to consider:

  • Transportation- Be sure to think through the entire vacation’s transportation.
    • If flying, remember to plan for the travel to the airport, from the vehicle to the terminal and then from the terminal again to the rental car or bus.
    • If driving, be sure to also plan for needed rest stops that are at appropriate time intervals.
    • If your party has mobility issues, be sure to reserve an electric scooter from an outside scooter rental company which can be delivered directly to your Disney resort.  If a wheelchair is instead preferred, many of these scooter rental companies also rent wheelchairs.  Note, Disney does rent scooters for $50 per day and wheelchairs for $12 per day (plus a refundable deposit of $20), which can be rented ONLY once inside the parks.  If you do not feel that picking up the wheelchair or the scooter once inside the parks will work for your friend or loved one, look for outside rental companies where the convenience is better and the cost is less per day.

      My Grandmother Posing on her Scooter

      My Grandmother Posing on her Scooter

    • Pack – Be sure to bring along any medicine or other items necessary for the time frame of your vacation.  A good rule for packing these items is to pack twice the amount of needed items.  This will help in case the vacation is lengthened for one reason or the other.  Also, be sure to pack the must-haves with you in any carry-on luggage when possible.
    • Resort – If this friend or loved one is handicapped and requires a room that is handicap accessible, be sure that this is requested in the resort reservation when it is made.
    • Daily activities – Be sure to consider the person when you think through your daily activities.  For instance, you may need to include naps or shorter days in the planning in order for everyone to enjoy the vacation to its fullest.

Since the vacation to the parks with my grandmother, I take great comfort in revisiting attractions we experience together and remembering the fun we shared.  It makes me feel as though she is still riding along beside me once more.  If you are thinking of taking a vacation with your friend or loved one, carefully consider all of the obstacles.

If the fun and excitement of the vacation outweighs the obstacles, make the plunge and create memories of a lifetime!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is Pursuing the Magic .

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop – The CanaDisney Blog

2nd Stop – Disney Babies Blog

3rd Stop – Days in the Park

4th Stop – Meet the Magic

5th Stop – Pursuing the Magic

 

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