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Old 12-11-2012, 06:53 PM   #1
JUJU814
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Severe fatigue, muscle pain..enjoying parks during busiest time of year

We are going on a family trip Dec 28-Jan 5. In my heart, I just want this to be one of our most special trips ever. Who wouldn't?

It will be me, my husband, our 9 and 11 year olds, my dd 21 and her boyfriend. We are staying at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

A year and a half ago I had brain surgery and have since suffered from I guess what you'd call "chronic" fatigue. It's *ridiculous*. I have little stamina.

I also have out of control diabetes, though I am on another new med which is finally helping to finally get my blood sugars under 200.

I know the importance of having a good "plan", especially during the busiest time of year. I swore I'd NEVER go during this week, but we wanted to go somewhere, and we all love Disney. So, here we go.

I have the touring plan idea down to a science, but I just don't know if I'm going to physically be up and at a park at rope drop. If I am, I sure as hell won't last the whole day.

We hope to be at Magic Kingdom on NYE and have Crystal Palace reservations that evening. My "plan" was to get to MK later in the afternoon. Even if they are at a stage 3 closing, we'll be able to get in as we are resort guests. My *understanding* is that if they close a park to capacity, they may open/close several times throughout the day but that usually they start letting people in later in the afternoon. I know we would be chancing it, but there's no way I'll last from open to close so I'm not even going to try.

Does anyone have any tips for doing the parks efficiently while also making sure to stay rested?

I'm going to make sure to stay well hydrated and eat well. That's a WHOLE other thing for me: Disney while diabetic. ugh! Never had to worry about that in my prior trips.

I just want everyone to have a great time...especially my children and dd's boyfriend. I just need to be able to get through it physically.

I had even contemplated renting a wheelchair but call it pride, denial or stubborness, I just refuse to.

HOWEVER, if it got unbearable and I HAD to, is that something you can do last minute? or do you have to reserve one?

Any thoughts much appreciated!!!
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:18 PM   #2
disfan07
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You can get a wheelchair anytime however going when you are, there might nt e any left mid day.

I am in a similar position. I have brain surgery 2 1/2 years ago and have some lingering balance issues. That alone is not an issues. But I also have asthma, joint problems and a heart condition. I'm only 23 so I really don't want to rent a wheelchair especially since that means my parents will have to push me around.

But my cardiologist said that might be the only way she will let me go.

My plan for this trip is that since we will be there in December, it won't be too hot which should be better for my heart and joints. So we plan on just taking mini breaks throughout the day. We have TS lunches everyday so that will be a nice break. We will also just sit and people watch anytime I an tired. We plan on doing most rope drops but we are very realistic that I might now make it all day. Even with a wheelchair it will still probably be too much for me to go all day.

We are not as concerned about doing the parks efficiently. Weve been so many times that we have a few select things at each park we want to do but this time, for us, this is going to be a more relaxing smell the roses type trip.

You might be better with getting there for rope drop, taking a break in the afternoon and than going back. If doing the parks efficiently is your goal, that might be the best plan. You'll get a lot more done first thing in the morning. If you're not concerned as much with getting everything done, I say just go a little later when you feel good and go from there

We are going dec 25-31 and we have a very minimal plan. We have ADRs each day and we know we want to see the nighttime entertainment but otherwise nothing else is planned.

I say just make sure to takeit easy. Stay hydrated, take breaks and if you need to, rent a wheelchair.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:29 AM   #3
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My husband has stamina issues, too. He's diabetic. Anyway, we try very hard not to backtrack. It definitely is a waste of time and energy to backtrack. Next, mix up the activities; so, you have rest periods. This means do a ride, then a show, do another ride and then do a meal, and do another ride and then a parade. You get the idea. Definitely, use fastpass. If a wait gets outrageous I would consider skipping the ride.

We like to go early; because, you get more done and there are less people there in the early morn. We like to use the early entry times for the parks. We will leave after lunch and hubby will take a nap in the early afternoon. We head back to the park after he's had a rest. We can average 8 hours a day this way. If you are not an early person then I would utilize the late extra hours; unless, you have very young ones along.

My hubby uses a scooter. They don't need to be pushed and they give you more independence than a manual wheelchair. We rent from outside sources.

Those are my thoughts.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:14 PM   #4
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I have stamina, balance issues among others. I use a scooter in my day to day life as well as WDW. I go at rope drop and get a lot done. Leave right after lunch and take a nap at the resort. Then I go again in the late afternoon/evening. I cannot get through the day without a nap when I am at WDW. I rarely nap at home, but am not as active either!!
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:50 PM   #5
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Rent a wheelchair or scooter. I use a wheelchair in daily life, and it has made an amazing difference in what I can do (not paralyzed - stamina, muscle, and neuro issues). I had neck/skull surgery 9 months ago and I cannot stress it enough - rent a wheelchair!

It is just a tool. Like glasses. Would you leave your glasses at home because you think someone in Disney (where you know NO ONE ANYWAY), might think you are somehow less cool? You survived brain surgery. You are cool forever. Poo on what other people think. This vacation is about you an your family.

I am pretty sure Mike will be along shortly to help drive home the point.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:55 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by KPeveler View Post
Rent a wheelchair or scooter. I use a wheelchair in daily life, and it has made an amazing difference in what I can do (not paralyzed - stamina, muscle, and neuro issues). I had neck/skull surgery 9 months ago and I cannot stress it enough - rent a wheelchair!

It is just a tool. Like glasses. Would you leave your glasses at home because you think someone in Disney (where you know NO ONE ANYWAY), might think you are somehow less cool? You survived brain surgery. You are cool forever. Poo on what other people think. This vacation is about you an your family.

I am pretty sure Mike will be along shortly to help drive home the point.
I kind of WANT to rent a wheelchair..but I'm afraid to tell my family that and I think it would really upset my kids to see me in a wheelchair...all three of them, but especially my college aged daughter.

I'm only 41. I know this isn't the time to whine (big girls don't whine!) but I'm SO pissed off at myself that I haven't taken better care of myself that I have to even be thinking of renting a wheelchair to do Disney. I know that sounds awful.

Last time I was in Florida with dh we were at a homeschool convention and I came SO close to renting one. I couldn't make it around the convention center. Mind you, I was 5 months post op. Brain surgery kicks your A**!!!

I'll talk more with my husband tonight about it. I think I'm going to cry.

I just spent 14K on this vacation. The only thing crazier than going at Christmas time, is spending that on a vacation! But I upgraded to AKL from POP and we need 2 rooms soooooo..... I should just rent the freakin wheelchair huh?
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JUJU814 View Post
I kind of WANT to rent a wheelchair..but I'm afraid to tell my family that and I think it would really upset my kids to see me in a wheelchair...all three of them, but especially my college aged daughter.

I'm only 41. I know this isn't the time to whine (big girls don't whine!) but I'm SO pissed off at myself that I haven't taken better care of myself that I have to even be thinking of renting a wheelchair to do Disney. I know that sounds awful.

Last time I was in Florida with dh we were at a homeschool convention and I came SO close to renting one. I couldn't make it around the convention center. Mind you, I was 5 months post op. Brain surgery kicks your A**!!!

I'll talk more with my husband tonight about it. I think I'm going to cry.

I just spent 14K on this vacation. The only thing crazier than going at Christmas time, is spending that on a vacation! But I upgraded to AKL from POP and we need 2 rooms soooooo..... I should just rent the freakin wheelchair huh?

I completely get where you are coming from. I'm only 23...the thought of renting a wheelchair again does not thrill me (last time we went in 2010 I was 6 months post brain surgery...stamina was not quite there) but I also realized that I can barely make it through a few hours at Disneyland (we're local) and there are days where I can barely walk around campus so the thought of making it through 5 days in disneyworld...not gonna happen the way I want it to.

It's hard...i'm used to working with kids (I still do but cut my hours from 10 to 3 per week adn i am sitting most of the time). I'm used to being up adn around and very active and the past few months have kicked my butt with being so sick.

But my mindset is also that this is not a cheap trip. $5500 for 3 people at a value resort for a 6 night/5day trip is crazy. But my family needs this trip and the way fo rme to be able to get teh most out of the trip is to be able to enjoy without being in tried and in pain. My assumption is that for me, that is going to mean a wheelchair...at least at some point.

I dont like it and I dont have to like it. I just have to accept that thats the reality at this moment.

But in reality, I know that once I'm there, whether or not I need a wheelchair will not matter one bit because I will be in DISNEYWORLD!!
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:36 PM   #8
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Rent a scooter. I'll say it again: RENT A SCOOTER. Your pride will take an even bigger hit if you struggle and have issues managing. And no one else's opinion or view of you should come before your health and safety. It is cheaper to reserve one from an offsite vendor, and during the busy season they go fast if you rely on the park rentals. (You can alternatively rent a push chair offsite as well if you would prefer that. An ECV is pricier yes but gives you more freedom.)

I'm 28; my partner and I started scooting in the parks and it was the best decision we ever made. I have zero shame.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:46 AM   #9
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Without the scooter my husband couldn't last without many breaks. It would cut our enjoyment time by half at Disney. He's in a better mood through the day, as well. He would be hurting if he tried to walk all day. He uses it everywhere and he doesn't walk except to go to restaurants. The cost of a scooter is so worth it to double our time at the parks and to give him relief all day.

If you can handle a scooter I would do this approach over a wheelchair. You can see how one is by using a scooter at a grocery store. The grocery store models are cumbersome and the travel scooters you rent would be better and easier. If you get one from an outside source you have it at the resort, as well. AKL is a lot of walking and a scooter would help there especially if you plan to enjoy all the areas.

With an outside scooter rental you do have to get a scooter on and off the buses which is is probably the hardest part. If a scooter can't go through a ride queue Disney offers wheelchairs at those rides. An example is Buzz Lightyear's at MK. You can park the scooter safely and walk onto rides and shows if you prefer to do it that way. Some ride queues can be hard with all the turns and such. Keep in mind that many people use a scooter without any issues. You do have to pay attention to darting guests who will come in close contact to you and your scooter; so, you do have to learn to yield. Your family can surround you and that helps a lot to keep others away. Finally, you do have to get your scooter in and out of your resort room and you do have to charge the battery every night. If you don't want to be bother by this then rent at the parks. Even with a higher price with a Disney scooter it's still a great help. The one issue here is park scooters are first come, first serve and they can run out of them at busy times. If you go early there usually isn't an issue. If you leave the park then you can return and get a park scooter without paying again, but one has to be available.

I pushed a wheelchair for my mom for about 5 years. I managed, but it was tiring. Your hubby is younger and your college daughter should be able to help, too. If you don't feel a scooter is a good answer for you I think a wheelchair will work. You have a lot of money invested in this trip and I would make sure to have a plan that will allow you to enjoy the parks better. Your condition doesn't sound temporary; so, I think it's time to use the tools that will help you on your trips.

Last edited by Bete; 12-13-2012 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 12-13-2012, 08:38 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JUJU814 View Post

HOWEVER, if it got unbearable and I HAD to, is that something you can do last minute? or do you have to reserve one?

Any thoughts much appreciated!!!
I broke my foot the first day of my 2011 trip and thought the vacation was ruined.

My sister called Walker Mobility, and they had a wheelchair at the resort for me that evening.

When it became clear after one day that there were too many hills and ramps in the park for me to self-propel a manual wheelchair or for anyone to push me all day, we called back and they had a scooter at the resort for me before breakfast the next morning.

So, there is hope for some flexibility there if whatever your original plan is doesn't work out.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:40 AM   #11
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I bet 90% of us that rent or bring our own scooters didn't want to. But after the first time I rented a scooter I never went back and m,y family was so happy not having to stop every 10 minutes. I was 43 the first time I rented a scooter as soon as I started to use one my life changed so much I bought one. I thought my family would be embarrassed and to be honest they were upset with me for the first 10 or 20 minutes but after a couple of hours they loved it and that night at the hotel both of my daughters hugged me and said I wasn't allowed to go to Disney without a scooter. Rent a scooter you will love it
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:19 AM   #12
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There is nothing wrong with needing a scooter if that's the difference between you enjoying your trip or being sad that you hold up all of your love one's. if stamina is a problem due to a medical problem no one cares.The problem with scooter users are the ones who abuse this tool by running into you,wanting to get on rides first,not needing one at all or just being extremely over weight and using it as another crutch not to loss weight.
In no means should you feel bad using a scooter if physically you need it and I have read all your stories and truly can see that you all do.Waste no time and secure your scooter today for that memorable Disney vacation.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:55 AM   #13
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I usually do not need any mobilty devices, but one visit I came down with a horrible cold that started for my chest and triggered my asthma. I could walk but it was so fatiguing I wasn't enjoying myself. I broke down and rented a scooter from Disney for my World showcase night because I just couldn't face that 1.2 mile walk around the lagoon.

BEST thing I ever did. I enjoyed the evening so much more since I was breathing easier and was less tired. I would use it to get around and then park it to wander in each country.

I found that it was a little colder on the scooter sicne I was traveling at a faster pace than my previously trudging pace (this was January).

Please just consider this need temporary and get the scooter for this one visit. I think you'll be happier that you did!
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:15 PM   #14
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I guess I don't understand the whole pride thing. If you don't have the stamina for DW, and let's be honest there are many people with NO health problems at all who find the pace difficult, why should needing a scooter or wheelchair bother you? I doubt your kids will be bothered by it. My goodness, you had brain surgery and you're still here. I'm guessing they know how difficult it was and I'm sure they want you to enjoy this trip as much as they will. Just tell them your body is still recovering and that wearing it out everyday isn't a good idea. I bet your doctor would even recommend a scooter for you, if asked. If you're exhausted & slowing everyone else down, you're not being fair to anyone including yourself. Just tell the kids that the more energy you have, the more time you can spend in the parks and the more fun you can all have.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:05 PM   #15
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