Rollator advice

Lefi42

Innocent of All but Malice
Joined
Jan 10, 2012
My hubby has severely flat feet that cause really bad pain after 2-3 hours of standing/walking. With the lack of seating in the parks these days I've been trying to convince him to use a rollator so he'd be able to sit more often. He's being very stubborn about it. His 2 big reasons for refusing are
  1. He has no mobility issues so he doesn't need it for walking purposes and doesn't want to deal with pushing it around and being encumbered.
  2. Even if he was willing to push it around he thinks it will cause his lower back pain issues to flair up from leaning over to push it.
I'm wondering if anyone has any advice or suggestions for me on this?
 

mamabunny

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 11, 2012
Hi and :welcome:

Let's talk about hubby - I have one of those, and it sounds like ours might be cut from the same cloth! 🙃

First of all, as you have already noted, there is not a lot of (available) seating these days in the Parks. You'll see *some* - but if y'all are like us, there's never any *available* seating when you need it most! If he needs the ability to sit on demand, the best - and smartest - thing to do is bring it with you, and that means one of the following devices:

- Rollator
- Wheelchair
- ECV

But let's say he's still resistant to the idea (because again, stubborn men...)

Here's what you tell him:

That dreaded Rollator is a TOOL to get a job done at Disney World. Just like he will likely wear sunglasses at WDW - those are a TOOL to help his vision in the bright Florida sun. Has he ever used a calculator to do math? That's a TOOL that we all commonly use to make math simpler, and easier. Does he have special shoe inserts for his feet? Those are a TOOL commonly employed by podiatrists to help folks with flat feet. You get the idea - there are examples of tools everywhere in our everyday lives that make our lives easier, or better, or simply a bit more comfortable or convenient.

Yes, it *sucks* that he has to even consider it. I promise you, the first time I had to use an ECV at WDW, I *cried*. Like ugly-cried right there at Epcot. I hated it, I thought it was the end of the world, I thought it was going to ruin our vacation.

And then a weird thing happened. First of all, it wasn't the end of the world... because... here we are! 🤣 But more importantly, it actually made our vacation *better*. You see, at the end of the day, I wasn't hurting, and limping from bench to planter to QS seating, stopping all the time to rest. I had more energy because I wasn't in pain, and not only did I enjoy myself so much more - because I wasn't in so much pain - but my family enjoyed everything more, because they didn't have to watch me in pain. They didn't have to stop all the time and wait for me to be able to continue. They didn't have to worry about what would happen if I couldn't make it back to the front of the Park. And in a really ironic twist, at the end of every day, I was still ready and eager to go to Disney Springs for a later dinner or a movie, or drinks... and for once, they were the ones who wanted to just go back and go to bed!

At the end of that vacation, I realized that for the first time in years, I was going to go home from vacation actually feeling good, and rested and in less pain than when I started the trip. All because of a tool that I used. An ECV.

Now, he can use anything he wants - a lot of folks in similar situations will skip the Rollator and just push a wheelchair, using the seat when they need it, and walking behind it the rest of the time. I promise - once you start looking for it, it's a lot more common than you realize at WDW.

And it's entirely possible that he might be best served by renting an ECV. The average Guest at WDW walks between 3 & 10 miles PER DAY. With his feet, I don't know a single person who would judge him for using an ECV. And lots of people who don't need one full-time anywhere else will use one at WDW; in fact, I personally believe that probably 80% of the scooter users you will see there only need one when they are at WDW.

No one will ask him why he needs it; most of the other folks at WDW are *way* too busy and self-involved in their own vacations. And anyone who judges him from a distance? Well, they do so from a place of fear and ignorance.

And last but not least? He can park *any* device he decides to use (just ask any CM where a good place to park it is) and leave it while you all explore an area, and then come back and move it with you to the next area you are ready to explore.

Oh - and as to question #2? A *properly* adjusted Rollator should not hurt your back. Most of them should have adjustable height handlebars - make sure that it is the appropriate size for his height and weight, and it should be comfortable to use!

I hope all this helps! 🙂
 

LuvMyEAR

DIS Veteran
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Jumping onto this thread as I need rollator advice!

I have just made peace with the fact that walking even a short distance without back pain has become near impossible without a supporting device. A shopping cart will usually do, but for a long haul through a mall, my rollator has become essential. I have used an ECV on occasion in WDW but would like to stay more physically active on my upcoming trip.

We don’t stay on site, so we arrive by car, and hit the trams with everyone else. Honestly, I have never been observant enough to notice walkers of any sort being loaded, just strollers. Can a rollator be taken on the parking lot trams? I can (I think) still get in and out of the tram myself. If not, that will necessitate making another arrangement.

Definitely a learning curve here!
 
  • mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    Jumping onto this thread as I need rollator advice!

    I have just made peace with the fact that walking even a short distance without back pain has become near impossible without a supporting device. A shopping cart will usually do, but for a long haul through a mall, my rollator has become essential. I have used an ECV on occasion in WDW but would like to stay more physically active on my upcoming trip.

    We don’t stay on site, so we arrive by car, and hit the trams with everyone else. Honestly, I have never been observant enough to notice walkers of any sort being loaded, just strollers. Can a rollator be taken on the parking lot trams? I can (I think) still get in and out of the tram myself. If not, that will necessitate making another arrangement.

    Definitely a learning curve here!
    Personally, I can't speak to that, since we always stay onsite and use Disney transportation to get to the Parks & Disney Springs.

    It's been so long since I rode one, I honestly don't know if there would be room or not! Let's hope we get someone else here who has ridden the trams recently who can comment; otherwise, maybe even make a post in the main DISabilities forum.
     

    Hippomom

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 7, 2013
    I use a Rollator at the parks, I’m 52. I’ve always had back issues with standing . But used to just sit down to take breaks. Now As you mentioned there are fewer places to do so. Add knee instability and I knew I needed something. Tried a scooter which was great during my knee injury. But now that my knee is better I don’t want to rent a scooter I want to walk, finally caved and got a rollator and it’s the best thing I ever done. I use a nitro drive here at Disneyland. And I just purchased one on sale that folds up like an umbrella stroller for flying/wdw. Ps Disney bus drivers are very accommodating for the rollator.
     

    Hippomom

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Dec 7, 2013
    Hi and :welcome:

    Let's talk about hubby - I have one of those, and it sounds like ours might be cut from the same cloth! 🙃

    First of all, as you have already noted, there is not a lot of (available) seating these days in the Parks. You'll see *some* - but if y'all are like us, there's never any *available* seating when you need it most! If he needs the ability to sit on demand, the best - and smartest - thing to do is bring it with you, and that means one of the following devices:

    - Rollator
    - Wheelchair
    - ECV

    But let's say he's still resistant to the idea (because again, stubborn men...)

    Here's what you tell him:

    That dreaded Rollator is a TOOL to get a job done at Disney World. Just like he will likely wear sunglasses at WDW - those are a TOOL to help his vision in the bright Florida sun. Has he ever used a calculator to do math? That's a TOOL that we all commonly use to make math simpler, and easier. Does he have special shoe inserts for his feet? Those are a TOOL commonly employed by podiatrists to help folks with flat feet. You get the idea - there are examples of tools everywhere in our everyday lives that make our lives easier, or better, or simply a bit more comfortable or convenient.

    Yes, it *sucks* that he has to even consider it. I promise you, the first time I had to use an ECV at WDW, I *cried*. Like ugly-cried right there at Epcot. I hated it, I thought it was the end of the world, I thought it was going to ruin our vacation.

    And then a weird thing happened. First of all, it wasn't the end of the world... because... here we are! 🤣 But more importantly, it actually made our vacation *better*. You see, at the end of the day, I wasn't hurting, and limping from bench to planter to QS seating, stopping all the time to rest. I had more energy because I wasn't in pain, and not only did I enjoy myself so much more - because I wasn't in so much pain - but my family enjoyed everything more, because they didn't have to watch me in pain. They didn't have to stop all the time and wait for me to be able to continue. They didn't have to worry about what would happen if I couldn't make it back to the front of the Park. And in a really ironic twist, at the end of every day, I was still ready and eager to go to Disney Springs for a later dinner or a movie, or drinks... and for once, they were the ones who wanted to just go back and go to bed!

    At the end of that vacation, I realized that for the first time in years, I was going to go home from vacation actually feeling good, and rested and in less pain than when I started the trip. All because of a tool that I used. An ECV.

    Now, he can use anything he wants - a lot of folks in similar situations will skip the Rollator and just push a wheelchair, using the seat when they need it, and walking behind it the rest of the time. I promise - once you start looking for it, it's a lot more common than you realize at WDW.

    And it's entirely possible that he might be best served by renting an ECV. The average Guest at WDW walks between 3 & 10 miles PER DAY. With his feet, I don't know a single person who would judge him for using an ECV. And lots of people who don't need one full-time anywhere else will use one at WDW; in fact, I personally believe that probably 80% of the scooter users you will see there only need one when they are at WDW.

    No one will ask him why he needs it; most of the other folks at WDW are *way* too busy and self-involved in their own vacations. And anyone who judges him from a distance? Well, they do so from a place of fear and ignorance.

    And last but not least? He can park *any* device he decides to use (just ask any CM where a good place to park it is) and leave it while you all explore an area, and then come back and move it with you to the next area you are ready to explore.

    Oh - and as to question #2? A *properly* adjusted Rollator should not hurt your back. Most of them should have adjustable height handlebars - make sure that it is the appropriate size for his height and weight, and it should be comfortable to use!

    I hope all this helps! 🙂
    this was my experience too using the rollator not only improved my trip but everyone’s trip. It’s the best thing I’ve done.
     
  • LuvMyEAR

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    I use a Rollator at the parks, I’m 52. I’ve always had back issues with standing . But used to just sit down to take breaks. Now As you mentioned there are fewer places to do so. Add knee instability and I knew I needed something. Tried a scooter which was great during my knee injury. But now that my knee is better I don’t want to rent a scooter I want to walk, finally caved and got a rollator and it’s the best thing I ever done. I use a nitro drive here at Disneyland. And I just purchased one on sale that folds up like an umbrella stroller for flying/wdw. Ps Disney bus drivers are very accommodating for the rollator.
    Yes! 40 years of trouble standing... and it is all I can do to not scream when encountering attractions where you stand to wait and then stand to “enjoy” the show (Canada Pavillion, I am talking about YOU!) I have only seen wedges of parades and most fireworks, because I have to find a seat where only an oblique view is possible.

    Rivers of Light and Fantasmic have become favourite shows because they allow lots of seating with good viewing. We have done a couple dessert parties but these get expensive fast, and don’t all even offer show seating. WTH?

    Hearing that you found a rollator to be such a good solution Is extremely encouraging. I can’t walk the 10 - 12 miles/day, but we will control our distance with shorter park days this trip and I will still get to be more active. A big plus!
     

    elaine amj

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 26, 2012
    We don’t stay on site, so we arrive by car, and hit the trams with everyone else. Honestly, I have never been observant enough to notice walkers of any sort being loaded, just strollers. Can a rollator be taken on the parking lot trams? I can (I think) still get in and out of the tram myself. If not, that will necessitate making another arrangement.

    Definitely a learning curve here!
    Yep. Mine folded up so it was easy to bring it on the parking lot trams just like a stroller.

    It really wasn't too difficult to manage in the parks and it made my days much better.
     





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