|11-12-2003, 10:21 PM||#1|
Join Date: Jul 2000
My PO-RS, GF, and BCV Vacation With A Disability…
I recently returned from my first WDW vacation as a temporarily disabled person. Traveling to WDW is daunting enough, but traveling with a disability adds a whole ‘nother layer of complexity to the task. Thanks to the folks on the Dis’ disABILITIES board, I was armed with all sorts of information regarding traveling with a disability. I owe the kind folks on the disABILITIES board my deepest gratitude. My vacation went smoothly because of their help. For anyone who is traveling to WDW with a disability, please check out the Dis’ disABILITIES board (click here).
This will be a long post that I will break up into sections over the next several days. I am having a hard time composing it since I am not in the best spirits right now due to my recent health issues. I have actually rewritten this post at least a dozen times this evening and I cannot seem to find a rhythm with it. I guess the best thing for me to do at this point is just to continue writing it even though it is sounding very matter-of-fact (which is driving me crazy – arg!). But before I go any further, I must state right here and now that my vacation was ~magical.~ Beyond magical, actually. I must also state that this vacation will be very difficult to top. Hopefully, as I continue posting, you will begin to see some of the magic that my family and friends experienced during this vacation. We were fortunate to have done a few once-in-a-lifetime events thanks to some wonderful Disney Cast Members at the Grand Floridian Resort. I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to repay the kindness that they bestowed upon my family. If you hang in here with me over the next few days, you will read about a few of those experiences and see some photos of them. Don’t get too excited about my photos. They’re never very good, but hopefully they’ll provide a small glimpse into my magical world of Disney.
First, a little health background. Several months ago, I sprained one leg and broke the other one. Because of my injuries, I underwent surgery in which some hardware was installed in my leg (can you say, “Bionic Woman?”). There is a thread on the disABILITIES board regarding my injury (click here) and everything that I went through in determining whether or not I should cancel my WDW vacation.
Second, a little travel background. Since I live on the West Coast, I normally take the red-eye flight to Orlando because I hate losing a day to traveling. Since I am disabled, I decided that it would probably be better for me physically and emotionally if I traveled during the daylight hours. I also made sure that I had a significant amount of time between my connecting flights. I normally don’t do that but with my medical condition, my doctor decided that I needed the extra time between flights so that I could exercise my leg and get the blood flowing again. Doing so would help decrease my risk of developing Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) -- click here.
Prior to my departure, I had arranged for ground transportation between MCO and WDW with FL Tours, a Dis sponsor (click here). I had requested a van since there were three people in my party, various pieces of luggage, plus my wheelchair. I was very pleased with FL Tours – they were prompt, courteous, and friendly. I will definitely use them again.
Lastly, a little vacation reservation background. For my vacation needs, once again I turned to Dreams Unlimited Travel (click here) for help. As always, Dreams was wonderful to work with and everything went off without a hitch. I will definitely use Dreams Unlimited Travel again (a special thanks goes out to my agent Liz!).
Now for some resort details (after all, this is the Resorts board)…
Since my family was going to arrive in Orlando very late in the evening, I decided to begin our vacation with a stay at the Port Orleans – Riverside Resort. By staying at this resort, I could finally state that I had stayed in each of the Disney Moderate Resorts: Coronado Springs, Caribbean Beach, Port Orleans – French Quarter, and Port Orleans – Riverside. (One day I hope to be able to report that I have stayed in every single Disney Resort, from Value to Home-Away-From-Home.) I should note, however, that I really had an ulterior motive for wanting to stay at Port Orleans – Riverside. You see, my daughter and I wanted to see Bob Jackson’s show again. (Click here to see a photo of Bob.) We had seen Bob’s show for the first time last year after having read about it on the Dis website for years. On this vacation, my husband would finally get to experience Bob’s show too (my WDW vacation last year was strictly a Mother-Daughter one). I will state for the record that my family had a ball at Bob’s show (and the rest of the audience did too). My daughter finally got the opportunity to purchase one of Bob’s CD’s, which she proceeded to play throughout our entire vacation (I have deemed my young daughter the unofficial President of Bob Jackson’s West Coast Fan Club). After Bob’s show was over with, Bob went from table to table and personally spoke with everyone. I thought that was a wonderful touch. When Bob came over to my table, I mentioned that last year I had been a part of the letter-writing campaign that helped bring him back to Disney. Bob proceeded to give me a big kiss on my cheek which I have yet to wash off (yowsa!). I was in Heaven. What a great guy Bob is. I hope I get the chance to see his show during every single one of my future WDW vacations.
Before I go too much further, I should mention that I had requested handicap-accessible rooms via Disney’s Special Needs Department. The folks who work in the Special Needs Department are simply wonderful. They put my mind at ease regarding all things Disney – from the resorts to the restaurants to the theme parks. They even gave me phone numbers for companies in the Orlando area from who I could rent medical equipment from (wheelchairs, electric convenience vehicles, etc.). For anyone traveling to Disney with a special need, please get in touch with those folks. They’re so helpful.
When I first walked (okay, wheeled) into my PO-RS room (click here to see some photos of my resort room), I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to have a room with a roll-in shower. I have had handicap-accessible rooms like this in the past when I was not disabled, and I know that a lot of folks don’t like them, but they never bothered my family. Since I was now disabled, I found my handicap-accessible room to be an absolute Godsend. The day before I left for Orlando was the first day in months that I had been able to take a full shower (my final cast had been removed). Since the bathroom in my own home is not handicap-accessible, I almost passed out during that shower – taking it was just physically too much for me (I know, that’s way too much information for everyone!). With the handicap-accessible bathroom in my PO-RS resort room, I found myself simply in Heaven – I could sit on the roll-in shower’s bench seat (click here for photo) and shave my legs to my heart’s content for the first time in months (again, way too much information!). I may have begun my WDW vacation with gorilla legs, but I quickly put an end to that stage of my life thanks to the handicap-accessible bathroom in my resort room (and the death of quite a few razor blades). Ah, the little things in life that I had taken for granted before my disability.
Last edited by Janet2k; 01-15-2005 at 06:50 PM.
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