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Old 06-12-2014, 10:07 AM   #1
tmaxwell
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Disney & Multiple Sclerosis

Hello there!

I am planning a trip for myself and my family in the summer of 2016. Yes I am starting to plan now! Save save save!

I'm wondering how the new DAS passes are going to work. With my disability, I don't need a wheelchair in my everyday life and I don't plan on using one when I go (if my health continues to be good). From what I've read, you get a DAS pass for the symptoms of your disability correct? I can't stand outside in long lines since I will get fatigued easily and will get numbness on my right side of my body.

I'm new to all of this lingo so any help is welcomed.

Thank you for your help!

Last edited by tmaxwell; 06-12-2014 at 10:12 AM.
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:09 AM   #2
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For a DAS you need to be able to explain your needs since a diagnosis doesn't tell a cast member anything about how it specifically impacts you.

If the reason you can't stand in the line is related to mobility or stamina (the way you describe your problem, they could consider it mobility or stamina problems), they will not issue a DAS. They'll suggest renting a wheelchair or ECV. Even if you don't use one in every day life, you could rent a wheelchair, push it around most of the time, and only sit in it when you needed to sit/a change of position. Another option would be to rent a rollator walker with a seat on it from an outside vendor. If you're fine as long as you're moving, you could have your party take a little more space in the queue so that you have space to walk around a little. Many queues move steadily, just at a slow pace. Otherwise, using your FP+ for rides that usually have long waits, going at or close to rope drop, and with a good touring plan/touring app you can avoid most long waits even in high crowd levels.

I know it's rough to feel forced into using a wheelchair/mobility aid when you have a condition like MS and don't need it for most things. I've been there (I don't have MS, but the combination of conditions I have present very similarly to MS). As a result, for me, I was able to do more because I had a place to sit when needed (also useful for parade watching, waiting for food at CS, and other times when one typically needs to stand for an extended period) and could give my legs a break. That meant I could do more without crashing (sometimes even slightly postponing crashing from heat, not just crashing from fatigue) and had less pain overall. I was the only person who cared in any sort of negative way that I used a mobility aid (a couple friends had been encouraging me for years to use one if needed). I also know plenty of people who use a wheelchair exactly in this sort of way only at WDW and other large locations and have done so for 10+ years. Just because you use one at WDW, doesn't mean you'll need to start using one at home.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmaxwell View Post
Hello there!

I am planning a trip for myself and my family in the summer of 2016. Yes I am starting to plan now! Save save save!

I'm wondering how the new DAS passes are going to work. With my disability, I don't need a wheelchair in my everyday life and I don't plan on using one when I go (if my health continues to be good). From what I've read, you get a DAS pass for the symptoms of your disability correct? I can't stand outside in long lines since I will get fatigued easily and will get numbness on my right side of my body.

I'm new to all of this lingo so any help is welcomed.

Thank you for your help!
INCORRECT.

a DAS is issued based on your NEEDS, not your symptoms. fatigue will be told is a mobility issue and to get a WC or ECV. you do not have to use it the WC at all times. a WC or ECV can be brought all the way through most lines in WDW( MK has the most that are not ADA accessible as that park predates it)
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:24 PM   #4
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We did a family trip last year with my mom who has MS. I can tell you about her experience.

Not sure if it's an option for you - but we rented a manual wheelchair from offsite location (worked great). My mom did NOT want to deal with the electric chairs. And if you have enough adults to assist, I recommend this as the way to go - mostly because you don't HAVE to use it all the time.

What worked for us (because we have many fast walkers) was for mom to ride in the chair between rides. Since she does not use a chair in everyday life she had no desire to sit in it all day. So when we got to our ride and if the wait time was 20 minutes or less then we would park the chair and she would stand in line (agreed about waiting outside though...Might want to use the chair in line for any of those). Usually by the end of our longer days she would stay in the chair.

Between Fastpass and good planning - we didn't even use the chair in lines except for once or twice a day.

I hope your trip is as successful!
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Old 06-13-2014, 01:03 PM   #5
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My 13 year old doesn't use a wheelchair in every day life either. She needs one at WDW. She has issues where she can't walk long distances or stand long periods of time without pain. So, at WDW we rent her a wheelchair. I don't see how a DAS could help this since the FP queues are for the most part just as long as the stand-by queues and walking to find a seat in order to rest while waiting would actually increase the total distance being walked. Somebody who has stamina issues can have their needs met quite well with a mobility device. What you do in your every day life has no bearing on WDW because at WDW you're doing very different things than you do in your every day life.
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Old 06-14-2014, 01:12 PM   #6
Sunnywho
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Multiple sclerosis presents differently in different people. MS fatigue does not mean the same thing as what healthy people mean when they say fatigue. They will hear the word fatigue and they will advise that a wheelchair solves the problem. But with MS, the DAS is better because (for my symptoms at least) it allowed me to wait in air conditioning where coolness keeps the nerves working better or use the bathroom or get cold water or do all the things that keep me functioning instead of having to go back to the hotel room and lie down. A disney world trip is still a symptom gamble and permanent health gamble but so is an everyday day.

With my MS, our August trip was the worst. Heat and humidity making symptoms worse. It took me a month to recover. If possible, I would really recommend a different time of year.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:14 PM   #7
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I have MS as well and my last trip (Feb 2013) was my first time going to Disney World since diagnosis. I do not use a mobility aid at home, except for the rare ocassion I need to take my cane out, but I did rent an ECV from Apple Scooters for our trip. It was 100% the perfect thing for me, I just can't stand or walk for as long as a Disney trip requires usually. I was able to figure out how to use the ECV fairly quickly and never had any issues moving through crowds, the toughest part was honestly parking it on the bus because then my anxiety would kick in. In the future I think we will rent a vehicle as well, and just avoid using the buses.

My main concern would be going in the Summer. I know not everyone with MS has the same symptoms, but I read an article that even when the body temperature is raised just half a degree it can trigger pseudoexcaerbations as the nerve impulses start getting screwy. You may want to consider getting a cooling vest, and/or scarves if you have heat-related issues. That is if going during a different season is not an option for you.
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Old 06-16-2014, 11:12 AM   #8
tmaxwell
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Thank you everyone!

I don't have a choice on when we can go. My husband is a school teacher and cannot get out of school during the year to go on vacation. I'm an accountant so going during spring break is not an option either.

We are taking a rather long trip - we will be down in Florida for a total of 11 days since we are driving down from Connecticut. We hope to get to the parks early and take an afternoon break during the heat of the day to head back to the hotel and relax and then go back to the park around 5 or 6.

The pass would help me just not wait outside in the heat and humidity of the summer. If I could wait inside an air conditioned line and be able to use the bathroom if needed (everyone with MS knows what I'm talking about) that would be helpful.

I'm not going until 2016 - and I hope that Disney revamps their policy. People who abused the system before are making it hard for people who really need the system to use it now.
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:44 PM   #9
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many ride lines are indoors and A/c'd but the DAS will not help you in the rest of the park which is where all the long periods out in the heat will be.
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Old 06-16-2014, 02:32 PM   #10
intheshadows
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmaxwell View Post
People who abused the system before are making it hard for people who really need the system to use it now.
This is not true. While the media had a field day with the "rent a disabled person" story, the majority of the change was due to USE not ABUSE. For instance, in the old days of GAC, a party could go right through the fast pass lane as much as they wanted to, thus clogging up FP, making FP lines 30 minutes long and stand-by 90 minutes.

If you are able to explain your NEEDS you will be issued a DAS. Keep in mind that saying you cannot be in the heat/sun is not going to allow the CMs to do much of anything for you. There is more uncovered space in the parks between attractions than the attractions themselves.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:10 AM   #11
tmaxwell
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So mentioning it's a fatigue issue related to my illness would do the trick? I'm sorry but I just don't see how this is a better system. I have a disability - handicap permit and all - recognized by the government as a disability - and I have to be careful on how I word it so I get a disability card. Just makes no sense to me.
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Old 06-17-2014, 08:32 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by tmaxwell View Post
So mentioning it's a fatigue issue related to my illness would do the trick? I'm sorry but I just don't see how this is a better system. I have a disability - handicap permit and all - recognized by the government as a disability - and I have to be careful on how I word it so I get a disability card. Just makes no sense to me.
not at all as if you say you just get tired easily they will tell you to get an ECV or wheelchair.

the DAS is for people who physically cannot wait in line due to anxiety, issues with the actual line itself(such as not being able to be jostled due to nerve issues or a broken limb,) that sort of thing. there are those who mistakenly assume that only those on the Spectrum can now get a DAS, but that is INCORRECT.

it also no longer sends you directly to the FP line immediately.. you are still going to be waiting, just someplace else.

it evens the playing field but no longer allows for extra special treatment, which is what the old GAC evolved into(inadvertently)
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mrsjvb View Post
not at all as if you say you just get tired easily they will tell you to get an ECV or wheelchair. the DAS is for people who physically cannot wait in line due to anxiety, issues with the actual line itself(such as not being able to be jostled due to nerve issues or a broken limb,) that sort of thing. there are those who mistakenly assume that only those on the Spectrum can now get a DAS, but that is INCORRECT. it also no longer sends you directly to the FP line immediately.. you are still going to be waiting, just someplace else. it evens the playing field but no longer allows for extra special treatment, which is what the old GAC evolved into(inadvertently)
Adding to this, if it's a fatigue issue the DAS often includes MORE walking and back and forth than an average day. That's why Disney will recommend a wheelchair or EVC - to help with the mobility caused fatigue. The DAS didn't even help with stamina/fatigue issue.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:38 AM   #14
tmaxwell
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I cannot physically stand and wait in line due to my disability. See where this is going? It's the same for kids and no - getting a wheelchair won't solve the problem. Guess I will have to take it up with a cast member when I get down there.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:40 AM   #15
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So mentioning it's a fatigue issue related to my illness would do the trick? ...
Calling it a "fatigue issue" will get you the recommendation of using a wheelchair or ECV. As others have posted, just because you don't use one in everyday life does not mean it won't be tremendously helpful to you at WDW. The average person walks 6+ miles per day in the parks, I doubt you do this much walking day-after-day at home. People have reported that by using a DAS they actually end up walking more because they back-track more.

Most queues at WDW are indoors and air-conditioned. You will find much more exposure to heat and humidity outside -- between rides and while waiting for a DAS return time. You might consider some cooling techniques -- Frogg Toggs cooling scarves, misting fan, cooling vest.

You certainly may inquire about a DAS and discuss your needs with Guest Relations. However, I'd be prepared with back-up plans such as the suggestions others have given already, in the event a DAS is denied. Use of FP+ and a good touring plan can be quite beneficial to getting through the parks with shorter waits. Accommodation does not have to meet a specific person's preference, just adequate for the situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmaxwell View Post
... I'm sorry but I just don't see how this is a better system. ...
"Better" for any system is in the eyes of the beholder. To WDW, this is a better system that manages crowd control to a greater extent than the GAC. Many posters have indicated the DAS combined with FP+ has been a better solution for their family, allowing them to accomplish several rides in a short period of time. There are those guests for whom the DAS system may not be ideal -- there is no one single solution that will accommodate all needs. There are a variety of disability needs not accommodated by the DAS but handled more appropriately by other methods in the parks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tmaxwell View Post
.. I have a disability - handicap permit and all - recognized by the government as a disability ...
All disabilities are not the same, as such there is no one-size-fits-all accommodation. To get a handicapped parking permit you had to submit medical documentation of need for close parking - something not available to the general public. The goal of DAS is to create a waiting system equal to that experienced by the general public, not a preferential experience. To get a DAS you have to explain why you cannot wait in a standard line queue and why other accommodation suggestions are not adequate.

Consider your symptoms. Consider what could be the detrimental impact of waiting in lines. Think about alternative ways to accommodate or alleviate or avoid that symptom/problem. If there are no other options, the DAS may be your best option.

Enjoy your vacation!

Last edited by lanejudy; 06-17-2014 at 09:47 AM.
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