Just back - our DW experiences

kylieh

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 18, 2006
We're just home from 11 nights staying at POFQ. DD16 has hEDS and related issues and often uses a walking cane/stick or wheelchair depending on the day she is having. DH sometimes required an ECV from a recent knee injury. I preordered both the ECV and wheelchair from Buena Vista rentals so we didn't need to be there for drop off and pick up. We did all three After Hours events and otherwise mainly mornings and evenings.

POFQ - I requested a ground floor room mentioning that we'd have a part-time wheelchair user and ECV. That was acknowledged and they placed us in a fully accessible room (I didn't book that category but the check-in CM said no one else had booked it and we may find it easier.)

Buses - DH and I found all the drivers to be polite but thought that many of them didn't want to know about putting the ramp down in the bus. When DD and I went and she was feeling up to it, she stepped on the bus and I carried the wheelchair like a stroller. She transferred to a normal seat on the bus. DH thought if he needed the ECV again on another trip he would just rent at the park where possible.

Parks - No issues at any of the parks. Most of the CMs were happy in keeping the wheelchair close by for after. A couple of notes...
  • Buzz, we entered just before another gentleman in a wheelchair and they slowed down the moving walkway for him getting on which also helped us out. But when we came to get off for whatever reason it wasn't slowed down and he didn't have an easy time getting off it.
  • Test Track I noticed a lady using a wheelchair and her friend using single rider - they did go in separate cars and the friend was allowed to push her through that line.
  • BTMRR - they gave us a fast pass return time and the other sent us straight to the exit. Each time they asked if we'd prefer the front or back which was great.
  • FOP - you need good muscles to push the wheelchair through and controlling coming out. My DD's very athletic friend, also 16 and is used to pushing a wheelchair for her mum with MS, even struggled a little.
So overall a successful trip with the wheelchair and walking stick. DD said she didn't feel any different to anyone else and was happy to always have a seat. Thank you everyone on Disboards for the help and advice along the way to help make it a great trip for her.
 

mamabunny

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
We're just home from 11 nights staying at POFQ. DD16 has hEDS and related issues and often uses a walking cane/stick or wheelchair depending on the day she is having. DH sometimes required an ECV from a recent knee injury. I preordered both the ECV and wheelchair from Buena Vista rentals so we didn't need to be there for drop off and pick up. We did all three After Hours events and otherwise mainly mornings and evenings.

POFQ - I requested a ground floor room mentioning that we'd have a part-time wheelchair user and ECV. That was acknowledged and they placed us in a fully accessible room (I didn't book that category but the check-in CM said no one else had booked it and we may find it easier.)

Buses - DH and I found all the drivers to be polite but thought that many of them didn't want to know about putting the ramp down in the bus. When DD and I went and she was feeling up to it, she stepped on the bus and I carried the wheelchair like a stroller. She transferred to a normal seat on the bus. DH thought if he needed the ECV again on another trip he would just rent at the park where possible.

Parks - No issues at any of the parks. Most of the CMs were happy in keeping the wheelchair close by for after. A couple of notes...
  • Buzz, we entered just before another gentleman in a wheelchair and they slowed down the moving walkway for him getting on which also helped us out. But when we came to get off for whatever reason it wasn't slowed down and he didn't have an easy time getting off it.
  • Test Track I noticed a lady using a wheelchair and her friend using single rider - they did go in separate cars and the friend was allowed to push her through that line.
  • BTMRR - they gave us a fast pass return time and the other sent us straight to the exit. Each time they asked if we'd prefer the front or back which was great.
  • FOP - you need good muscles to push the wheelchair through and controlling coming out. My DD's very athletic friend, also 16 and is used to pushing a wheelchair for her mum with MS, even struggled a little.
So overall a successful trip with the wheelchair and walking stick. DD said she didn't feel any different to anyone else and was happy to always have a seat. Thank you everyone on Disboards for the help and advice along the way to help make it a great trip for her.

Curious about your issue with the bus drivers - we stay at POFQ frequently, and have never encountered any pushback from drivers. Were you asking to walk up the ramp while pushing the folded wheelchair? Or was there some other issue?
 

kylieh

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 18, 2006
Curious about your issue with the bus drivers - we stay at POFQ frequently, and have never encountered any pushback from drivers. Were you asking to walk up the ramp while pushing the folded wheelchair? Or was there some other issue?
When it was folded, which wasn't often, we used the normal line. Or I'd push her on and she would change to a normal seat and I'd fold it up then. I'd let the driver know this before they did everything. At the destination I could sometimes get her out without using the wheelchair so I'd let the driver know and just ask the bus to be lowered and I could step or carry her down without the ramp. So no problems with the wheelchair.

The dislike was with DH's and other people's ECV - there was often a sigh or some excess banging or similar when the ramp needed to come out. We noticed this too when waiting for our bus to come and watching other ECV users get on buses to other destinations. DH practiced reverse parking behind a bin at POFQ to make it faster to get on and off and that worked well for him, but watching others they did struggle parking the ECV on the bus taking quite some time and some drivers getting annoyed with the user.
 
  • jo-jo

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2011
    FOP- My DH has bad knees and only uses wheelchair at disney--first time through FP line , I pushed him, second time he walked pushing the empty wheelchair, we said never again. Great ride but not worth it. I can't believe disney made the ride so hard to get on to. I'm guessing the standby line has a more gentle slope, but we aren't going to wait and hour or two for the ride.
     

    Selket

    Been there - done that
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2000
    The dislike was with DH's and other people's ECV - there was often a sigh or some excess banging or similar when the ramp needed to come out. We noticed this too when waiting for our bus to come and watching other ECV users get on buses to other destinations. DH practiced reverse parking behind a bin at POFQ to make it faster to get on and off and that worked well for him, but watching others they did struggle parking the ECV on the bus taking quite some time and some drivers getting annoyed with the user.
    Thats unfortunate he encountered that issue. I have two badly arthritic knees and no way can I do the parks without an ECV. WDW is about the only place I feel like I can vacation and actually do just about everything I want - which is wonderful... but I do hate the ECV part and the bus. If there was a better way to do it even if it meant more waiting for me I would do it. I always feel uncomfortable that they would load me in the ECV first even if I joined the line last minute and so I generally hang back if the stop is crowded until that crowd goes...especially if there isn't an ECV already waiting. Often I just try to travel at off peak times so almost no one is waiting. Of course that's impossible to do sometimes. I prefer being in the regular line then pulled out towards the end when I get close enough to where it would be my bus. They do that at the MK sometimes.

    I've always thought the same about the FOP line and wondered how someone could push a WC through there - even all of AK seems challenging for a WC user (vs something motorized). I'm glad DD had a great trip!
     

    jkbd03

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2012
    Thanks for the post. My DD 9 has hEDS as well as POTS. She can get around pretty fine on her own for the most part, but this will be our first year using a wheelchair for her when she needs it. Last year we rented a stroller in the park. Our plan is to park it in stroller parking when she does not need it and fold it up for the buses as she can sit in a normal seat. Her biggest need is to and from the gates to the bus/hotel room.
     

    mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    ...The dislike was with DH's and other people's ECV - there was often a sigh or some excess banging or similar when the ramp needed to come out. We noticed this too when waiting for our bus to come and watching other ECV users get on buses to other destinations. DH practiced reverse parking behind a bin at POFQ to make it faster to get on and off and that worked well for him, but watching others they did struggle parking the ECV on the bus taking quite some time and some drivers getting annoyed with the user.
    The "excess banging" is often a byproduct of the ramp itself being deployed. Some of them (and I believe it's just a wear-and-tear issue) have a tendency to get to a certain point in the deployment cycle, and then the ramp drops to the ground, or the interior of the bus - very quickly - and very hard. There are a couple of buses that actually have the *opposite* problem - the ramps don't go all the way down, and so the driver has to go and step on the ramp to make sure it is fully down.

    I'm not really sure that a driver could cause the ramp to bang around very hard; the red button that they push to either open the ramp out, or bring it in, is basically a switch that tells it to go in the opposite direction of where it's currently deployed.

    Overall, I haven't noticed any driver attitude; maybe we have always been lucky. We have had some very funny, very friendly and personable drivers, some of them are downright chatty! :) However, we tend to try and avoid "rush hours" like @Selket and often find that when things are a bit slower, the drivers are more relaxed and personable.
     
  • DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    Question about the Buzz part - was the gentleman in his wheelchair during the ride, or was he a transfer? If he was a transfer, how would anyone know to slow it down? Do they mark the vehicle in some way?
     

    Lauren in NC

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2010
    I'm not sure if it's the same at WDW as it is at DL, but when I was super pregnant they'd slow the walkways for me on Buzz, HM, etc. The CM at the unloading portion would have to signal the person at the loading station to slow the ride. If that CM was busy assisting another guest, it often wouldn't happen.
     

    kylieh

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2006
    Question about the Buzz part - was the gentleman in his wheelchair during the ride, or was he a transfer? If he was a transfer, how would anyone know to slow it down? Do they mark the vehicle in some way?
    It was a transfer. I've seen it on other rides when we took my mother-in-law that somehow they knew to slow it back down, with a different cast member don't know if it was a mark or a flag or something.
     

    ttintagel

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2011
    POFQ is the best! Yeah, some of the ramps they expect wheelchairs to go up are absolutely ridiculous.
     
  • kaytieeldr

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2005
    Question about the Buzz part - was the gentleman in his wheelchair during the ride, or was he a transfer? If he was a transfer, how would anyone know to slow it down? Do they mark the vehicle in some way?
    Each ride vehicle is numbered (or other unique indication); the CMs are supposed to note where they slowed access for boarding so they can repeat at end of ride.
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    Each ride vehicle is numbered (or other unique indication); the CMs are supposed to note where they slowed access for boarding so they can repeat at end of ride.
    I'm trying to remember Buzz - don't they exit at a different place than boarding? How would one end know what the other was doing?
     

    ttintagel

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2011
    I'm trying to remember Buzz - don't they exit at a different place than boarding? How would one end know what the other was doing?
    I think they usually have radios to communicate with each other. But I'm sure there are occasional miscommunications.
     

    gap2368

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2015
    I'm trying to remember Buzz - don't they exit at a different place than boarding? How would one end know what the other was doing?
    Yes you get off in a different place when on buzz

    Most of the time people with mobility device are sent to the exit ( the cm in the load and unload can see each other they will stick out there arm all the way and the CM that close the bar will see this and make the announcement thst the ride will start. ). My guess for having guest go to the exit is so they can slow it down and not have guest try and hurry around someone trying to get on and that
    They should know how need it slowed down when getting off
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    Yes you get off in a different place when on buzz

    Most of the time people with mobility device are sent to the exit ( the cm in the load and unload can see each other they will stick out there arm all the way and the CM that close the bar will see this and make the announcement thst the ride will start. ). My guess for having guest go to the exit is so they can slow it down and not have guest try and hurry around someone trying to get on and that
    They should know how need it slowed down when getting off
    That's interesting - I've never seen a Buzz attraction vehicle come through the exit area into the loading area with people already on. Still not sure how a CM would know/remember when it needs to be slowed down though - they see thousands of people a day, and it's got to be hard to remember which ones used a mobility device to get on. They should have a removable magnet or something to stick on the ride vehicle!
     

    gap2368

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2015
    That's interesting - I've never seen a Buzz attraction vehicle come through the exit area into the loading area with people already on. Still not sure how a CM would know/remember when it needs to be slowed down though - they see thousands of people a day, and it's got to be hard to remember which ones used a mobility device to get on. They should have a removable magnet or something to stick on the ride vehicle!
    well people in mobility devices do get on at the exit ( they still go through whatever line and then right before you will get on there is a door and you pretty much walk 20 feet to the exit( right before you turn and get on the moving walkway you can see where you will get off every now and then you can see a guest or the CM there.

    I am not sure how they remember who had it slowed down I do know that they did not put anything on the car to mark it as needing to slow it down
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    well people in mobility devices do get on at the exit ( they still go through whatever line and then right before you will get on there is a door and you pretty much walk 20 feet to the exit( right before you turn and get on the moving walkway you can see where you will get off every now and then you can see a guest or the CM there.

    I am not sure how they remember who had it slowed down I do know that they did not put anything on the car to mark it as needing to slow it down
    huh? They queue, and then go to the exit to get on? What does going to the exit gain them in accessibility? This makes no sense to me whatsoever. Do the ride vehicles come off the track or something? When you get off, don't you step onto a moving walkway for a bit? If people are getting off there, wouldn't it make it harder for people to get on?
     

    gap2368

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2015
    huh? They queue, and then go to the exit to get on? What does going to the exit gain them in accessibility? This makes no sense to me whatsoever. Do the ride vehicles come off the track or something? When you get off, don't you step onto a moving walkway for a bit? If people are getting off there, wouldn't it make it harder for people to get on?
    Look I am just saying what I know from going with a few people that use mobility device. I am sure Disney has reason why for things they do. If you really want to know next time you are at Disney ask a CM they might be able to tell you. I can not
     

    lanejudy

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2011
    They queue, and then go to the exit to get on? What does going to the exit gain them in accessibility?
    Yes, at Buzz mobility devices go through the main queue until shortly before loading, when they are directed down a small passage to the exit area. I believe this is to have the mobility device st the exit post-ride without involving CMs to move them. It’s more due to efficiency of ride operations than to offer any enhanced mobility access.

    It’s been years since we took DD’s stroller through Buzz but I swear I recall the CM putting something (magnet or such) on the ride vehicle.

    Enjoy your vacation!
     

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