Elderly in July Heat @ Disney... Bad Idea?

Discussion in 'Disney for Families' started by Penmac, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. Penmac

    Penmac Mouseketeer

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    My mom is 77 and we are travelling to Disney in July. She is small and getting up there in age, and I think the intense heat could be too much for her. On the flip side, I feel really guilty leaving her home (she lives with me). She is a widow and doesn't have many hobbies or a social network outside of our family.

    I do have other siblings who could keep her company while I am gone, but I am considering taking her with us to give her a change of experience. I don't think she could do a full day at the park the way we do, but maybe could come for a few hours in the AM (maybe in a wheelchair?), and then I could take her back to the condo mid-afternoon. I am wondering how she will even deal with the crowds at the transportation center...?

    I just don't know what to do. She isn't a Disney person and she isn't into crowds so I am not actually sure she would enjoy any of this. But, I have this feeling she will feel left out if I don't take her. I can't ask her to decide on her own because she gets easily stressed with decision-making, and is prone to changing her mind. I have brought it up in the past and her reply is always, "what do you think?"

    We have zero flexibility on the dates of this trip so we can't change it to a less crowded, cooler time of year.

    Anyone with advice on this I would really appreciate how you handled it. Thanks :-)
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  2. Klayfish

    Klayfish DIS Veteran

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    This honestly sounds more like a personal family decision than a Disney decision. If she doesn't like crowds, doesn't like Disney and is a homebody, then maybe it's not the best for anyone if she goes. I would suggest discussing it openly with her and going from there.

    If she does decide to go, I'd discuss with a doctor first, since none of us really know full details of her condition. Generally speaking, WDW is hot in July. Hot and humid, we go in July a lot. But it's not at all unmanageable, if you plan properly. Besides the obvious of cool clothes, plenty of cold water, sunscreen, etc...just plan to do things that are in the a/c during the hottest part of the day. A majority of rides and queues in WDW are air conditioned, so use them. Don't do things like the Carousel, watch a parade or stand in line for Tomorrowland Speedway during the daytime hours. Do things like Philharmagic, CoP, Lion King show, Nemo show, SE, Living w/Land, Frozen Sing A Long, etc...during midday.
     
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  4. Soarin4us

    Soarin4us Mouseketeer

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    Ask her what she'd like to do! She might enjoy accompanying you, even if it's just sitting under a palm tree reading a book. Or she might enjoy staying home....
     
  5. KrazeeK120

    KrazeeK120 DIS Veteran

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    Your mom and my MIL sound kind of similar. Small, old, widowed women. My MIL is also 77, but she doesn’t live with us. (I really think she should not live alone though. I worry about her falling.) and she does have some church friends. But I can’t imagine trying to navigate Disney with her. I think she would kind of hate it, really. If your mom isn’t a Disney person and doesn’t like crowds, I think she may be happier staying home, or at the very least, hanging at the condo while you do the parks. If you don’t think she would really be happy no matter what you decide, try to make the choice that will ultimately make her the least unhappy.

    Good luck to you as you plan your trip.
     
  6. HuskyGal

    HuskyGal Mouseketeer

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    My mom sounds similar to yours except she is fairly independent and very social. She was in Orange County at the same time as us last year and she agreed to one day with us but I changed it to two because I got a good deal - big mistake. She hadn’t been to Disneyland in over 3 decades and she basically only agreed to it to experience it with the grandkids. When we were kids, my parents would drop us off at Disneyland in the am then pick us up at night. Anyway, I don’t think she enjoyed it and I doubt she’ll ever agree to it again. It didn’t help that the 5 of us were crammed into a 2 queen room so I definitely could’ve planned better. If I could have a do over, I would plan only a half day for her to take pics with us, one or two tame rides, one or two meet and greets, then get an uber for her to go back with her friends.
    Do you think she’d like the pools at the hotel? Or would she be ok with resting at a table or bench while the rest of you go on rides?
    I like the suggestion to make the choice that will make her the least unhappy because I could see my mom being hurt if I didn’t invite her but she ended up being kind of miserable and tired.
     
  7. Penmac

    Penmac Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for the perspective. My mom has been to Disney a couple times, but the last time was in 2000 when my Dad was still alive. He was the one who liked theme parks. My plan is to ask her again and present all the realities in as clear and concise a way as I can, and see if she can assist me with a decision. I think if we rent a house, it may be possible for her to come and just hang out there with a book, maybe doing only one 1/2 day at the MK with us. Thanks again!
     
  8. KenHutch

    KenHutch DIS Veteran

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    One of my daughters relative (great aunt) who comes with us is not very mobile. She tires out after only 2 or 3 days but what she does is take a tablet with her and she spends hours sitting in the Polynesian Lobby and sometime at GF and just taking in the place and talking to people. She wants to be invited to come along but realized her limitations and seems to have a lot of fun just talking to other people in the lobby.
     
  9. Penmac

    Penmac Mouseketeer

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    The lobby idea is great! I don't think my mom would ever do that, but I could see that being something my Dad would have loved to do in his later years. He would chat with anyone!
     
  10. Macprincess

    Macprincess Mouseketeer

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    As someone who currently has my Mom, early 70's, living with us I'm going to make a different point. I know it's easier said than done but please try to let go of the guilt your feeling about not taking her with you. You have already altered your life to have her live with you. I'm assuming even if she is independent and requires little care giving having her live with you does change your life style. It's okay to take a break for a vacation with out Mom. Especially if it going to change the way you typically do Disney. You have her with you every day. It's okay to ask a sibling to come stay with her or have her stay with them for a week or so in order for you can take a vacation. If your like most of us caring for your parents you probably don't even realize how much you can use a break to recharge. Maybe the two of you can make a shorter weekend trip somewhere she would enjoy a month or two before you travel to Florida to give her a little get away.

    I live in Florida and if I can find any excuse to leave here in July I'm all over it because it is hot, humid, downright awful weather. It will be difficult on your Mom even if your only in the parks a few hours. Another thing to consider is we often get a great deal of rain showers in the summer. They come in strong and fast. Typically they only last about an hour or so. They're no big deal if it's just your family but add in a wheel chair or someone who isn't a fast on their feet and it becomes a whole other obstacle.
     
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  11. allison8033

    allison8033 Earning My Ears

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    We went with my parents who are in their late 60s. My mom is active, but my Dad has limited mobility and a lot of health issues. We went in August and it was a challenge. Taking a break every day was an absolute must. It's hard, but not impossible as long as you're able to slow down and take breaks. We also found it helpful to alternate late nights with days that we slept in. My dad is not good with crowds, and he was unwilling to use a wheelchair or scooter even though he really needed it. If your mom is willing to use one I think that makes it a whole different situation. My dad actively hates Disney (and other humans lol) but he didn't want to be left out and wanted to experience it with his grandkids. We got through it, but I swore we'd never go in the summer again.
     
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  12. Penmac

    Penmac Mouseketeer

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    Thank you! I think I needed to hear that.
     
  13. katyjeka

    katyjeka DIS Veteran

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    Our last trip with my father-in-law was in September, we took our family for the MNSSHP. It was very hot and by day two I knew we would have to change things up as the heat was getting to him. We left him sleep in the morning and he enjoyed the balcony all afternoon. We returned in the evening to get him for dinner and toured the park with him as the sun went down. He seemed to perk up and said he enjoyed the quiet at the resort.(We were at Bonnet Creek so he was able to stretch out)My dad lived with us for many years and I remember feeling guilty if I didn't include him in everything including a night out. I was afraid he would be lonely...it can be a very tough position. Whatever your choice enjoy your vacation.
     
  14. NotUrsula

    NotUrsula DIS Veteran

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    I'd say that if you bring her along, plan to only take her to the parks at night. Mornings are much more crowded and the lines are longer, and in the evening the number of small children dwindles a bit. Get her an ECV for the parks (rent one at home and have her practice a bit first!), and focus your park time with her on shows rather than rides.

    Try to arrange for fun resort experiences for her if you can; like spa time or just a hair appt. Also, consider spending one morning at a water park; as long as she's not a hater of sand, she may well enjoy lounging in a shady cabana, reading and watching the children play.
     
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  15. bobgobblin15

    bobgobblin15 I've got the disney fever!!

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    We took my hubby's parents with us for a quick trip. They aren't in the best shape we rented one of those electric scooters for both of them. I know they have them at Epcot not sure about the other parks, I don't see why they wouldn't have them at the other parks. But they loved them and had no problem getting around driving those scooters. My Mil has fallen on different occasions and there was no way we could of done epcot with out the scooters.
     

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