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Old 06-22-2014, 01:21 PM   #1
Drinehart811
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Hoping for a little guidance

Hi all. A little background on me. I am 32 and have had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 8. This sept will be my 5th trip to wdw and I haven't really felt like I needed any special assistance before. That being said, my knees have been seriously acting up and I'm getting concerned. Walking isn't generally a problem, I take lots of breaks and I schedule sit down meals twice a day. What my real concern is are those times that require just stagnant standing, not necessarily ride lines-those tend to move steadily, and I try to avoid lines over 10-15 min- but waiting for shows (FotLK, Famtasmic!, LMA), and especially those resort buses. Last time I had to stand on the bus a number of times back to the resort and it was extremely difficult for me, since I have arthritis in my hands I have a difficult time holding on to those overhead poles, let alone the pressure on my knees.

I don't want to "take advantage" or anything, I just have never really had to ask disney for "help" before and I'm a little nervous as to whether or not these problems would be sufficient (I guess this is the word I'm looking for) to get assistance. I just know I've seen a lot of stuff about people taking advantage and I don't want to seem like that's me. I think I'm just concerned because I was given a hard time for taking the front row seat "generally reserved for disabilities" on the bus back from our county fair, but my knees had basically given out on me and going to the back of the school bus would have been really difficult for me!

Like I said my honest biggest concern is having to stand constantly 20 minutes or more for those resort buses, and then have to stand on the bus. Also right now I have reservation for the EPCOT Sparkling dessert party, I don't know if they have any accommodations so I wouldn't have to stand the whole time, if not I'll probably have to cancel it. Any advice on what to do or where to start would be much appreciated.

Thanks so much
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Old 06-22-2014, 01:52 PM   #2
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I don't think you would qualify for a DAS the standard answer from Disney for stamina and mobility issues is rent a wheelchair or ECV. I would suggest renting an ECV off site it's about half the price of Disney and you get to have it at the resort
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:14 PM   #3
Drinehart811
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I don't think you would qualify for a DAS the standard answer from Disney for stamina and mobility issues is rent a wheelchair or ECV. I would suggest renting an ECV off site it's about half the price of Disney and you get to have it at the resort Glen
Yeah, I really don't want to do that. I am extremely mobile, I just can't do a ton of stagnant standing, I don't consider that either stamina or mobility. For me, an ECV or wheelchair would be a bigger hinderance than a help. I guess it sounds like I will just be SOL by the disney standard :\
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:21 PM   #4
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Even if you qualify for a das they only work on park lines not bus lines. So you still could have to stand for the bus and then stand on the bus although you can stand aside and take the next bus of it's standing room only. An ecv or wheelchair (outside the park rental) will give you a guaranteed seat on the bus if nothing else
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:33 PM   #5
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If you don't have trouble walking, and your biggest issue is the resort bus lines, perhaps you can rent a car. It might even be cheaper than renting the ECV.
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:33 PM   #6
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I would seriously look at renting a ECV from off site.

I know you can walk fairly well, but honestly this will give you the option to sit while waiting and if you need to walk, another member of your party can always drive the ECV.

Just keep in mind that there is a lot more walking involved than you might think in the parks and possibly a lot more standing, even when not in line.

This would also solve the problem of not having a seat for the dessert party.

That being said, it is possible to work with the CMs to avoid most of the standing in lines by simply having the rest of your party go through the regular line and meeting up with them at the end, just let the CM know this when entering the line.

As for the busses, there are several ways to handle this. The best way is to avoid leaving at busy times, such as park closing, parade ending, fantasmic ending, etc. Good times to leave are usually during the middle of these. For an example, if there are two showings of Fantasmic, go to the first one and then leave the parks about 10 to 15 minutes after the second show starts.

There are also benches nearby most of the bus stops, you can wait on one of them while the rest of your party goes through the line. If it's standing room only, have the rest of your party let people behind them go on, then you can get on the next bus with them and have a seat.

Additionally, you can inform the bus driver that you have arthritis and that it would not be safe for you to stand. He then should ask those sitting in the seats designated for the disabled to move as necessary to allow you to sit. On our recent trip to New York, I found out that all bus drivers are actually required to do so by federal law, although some will still try to refuse to do so. And you do not have to be in a wheelchair or have a cane for them to be required to do this.
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:42 PM   #7
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I would seriously look at renting a ECV from off site. I know you can walk fairly well, but honestly this will give you the option to sit while waiting and if you need to walk, another member of your party can always drive the ECV. Just keep in mind that there is a lot more walking involved than you might think in the parks and possibly a lot more standing, even when not in line. This would also solve the problem of not having a seat for the dessert party. That being said, it is possible to work with the CMs to avoid most of the standing in lines by simply having the rest of your party go through the regular line and meeting up with them at the end, just let the CM know this when entering the line. As for the busses, there are several ways to handle this. The best way is to avoid leaving at busy times, such as park closing, parade ending, fantasmic ending, etc. Good times to leave are usually during the middle of these. For an example, if there are two showings of Fantasmic, go to the first one and then leave the parks about 10 to 15 minutes after the second show starts. There are also benches nearby most of the bus stops, you can wait on one of them while the rest of your party goes through the line. If it's standing room only, have the rest of your party let people behind them go on, then you can get on the next bus with them and have a seat. Additionally, you can inform the bus driver that you have arthritis and that it would not be safe for you to stand. He then should ask those sitting in the seats designated for the disabled to move as necessary to allow you to sit. On our recent trip to New York, I found out that all bus drivers are actually required to do so by federal law, although some will still try to refuse to do so. And you do not have to be in a wheelchair or have a cane for them to be required to do this.
You can't meet your party at the end of the line. The lines are not set up in a way that allows for this. You would have to push your way through the line to meet up with them. Even going through the exit wouldn't work because the exit is not necessarily near where the ride loads

And a bus driver can ask people to move but can't make them.
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:48 PM   #8
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Even if you qualify for a das they only work on park lines not bus lines. So you still could have to stand for the bus and then stand on the bus although you can stand aside and take the next bus of it's standing room only. An ecv or wheelchair (outside the park rental) will give you a guaranteed seat on the bus if nothing else
Yeah, I think maybe I'll just be out of luck. It seems silly to have to rent a wheelchair or something just because I can't stand on a bus (or in general a long time In a single space without being able to sit or move much), and having to wait another 20 minutes for another bus defeats the purpose of not standing on the first one.

I think I'm just feeling upset because I know one day I will need an ECV, but that is not yet, and I don't want to be forced into one years before I need to be just because I need a little help. I'm not trying to skip lines, I just don't want to blow out my knees on day 4 of a 9 day trip standing on a bus and falling or slipping because I can't physically grip the handle well enough. Or not be able to see the fireworks because I can't stand for 30 minutes to see the whole projection show and fireworks.

I guess all I can do is talk to GR at my resort, see what they have to say, and not really expect much of anything. I'm trying to not get emotional but it's difficult because it seems like disney is used to people trying to steal the whole cake and I'm just asking for a bite so to speak. I would just bring a camping stool to rest for those long unmoving waits but I'm pretty sure that's not allowed either.
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:52 PM   #9
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Yeah, I think maybe I'll just be out of luck. It seems silly to have to rent a wheelchair or something just because I can't stand on a bus (or in general a long time In a single space without being able to sit or move much), and having to wait another 20 minutes for another bus defeats the purpose of not standing on the first one. I think I'm just feeling upset because I know one day I will need an ECV, but that is not yet, and I don't want to be forced into one years before I need to be just because I need a little help. I'm not trying to skip lines, I just don't want to blow out my knees on day 4 of a 9 day trip standing on a bus and falling or slipping because I can't physically grip the handle well enough. Or not be able to see the fireworks because I can't stand for 30 minutes to see the whole projection show and fireworks. I guess all I can do is talk to GR at my resort, see what they have to say, and not really expect much of anything. I'm trying to not get emotional but it's difficult because it seems like disney is used to people trying to steal the whole cake and I'm just asking for a bite so to speak. I would just bring a camping stool to rest for those long unmoving waits but I'm pretty sure that's not allowed either.
Camping stools are not allowed because they are a tripping hazard besides the lines tend to move a slow but steady pace so you wouldn't have time to set it up, sit down and then have to stand and move.
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Old 06-22-2014, 03:02 PM   #10
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That being said, it is possible to work with the CMs to avoid most of the standing in lines by simply having the rest of your party go through the regular line and meeting up with them at the end, just let the CM know this when entering the line.
Do nto count on his working. At almost every attraction this would be impossible due to the way the lines are set up. A good touring plan and fast-pass + are going to be a big help to you. As others have said an EVC might work out very well for you. I know at home you don't need one, but with your condition I personally think it would be a benefit for you. My son does not use a wheelchair at home, but when we go to Disney he has to bring it. He is only 10 and the first time he had to take a chair he was very hesitant to use it because he did not want anyone to think he needed it, but after all walking around and the up and down of getting in and out of rides he was glad we had it. He has joint issues so I can sympathies with your pain.
As for buses, if you wait till park closing you will face the biggest crowds. We try to either leave before fireworks or leave an hour before the park closes. If we watch fireworks then we will hang around the park, poke into gift shops and people watch while the masses leave and then slowly make our way out. Once we get to the buses the mass of people are gone.
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Old 06-22-2014, 03:09 PM   #11
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Thanks for all your advice, unfortunately I still haven't found anything that will work for me, as I am against an ECV, just the thought of being forced into one already is making me start to cry. I'd rather deal with the pain than have to do that.

It will just be me and BFF so I won't make him stand all by himself all the time. This defeats the purpose of going together.

Thanks anyway, I guess it's back to square one.
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Old 06-22-2014, 03:25 PM   #12
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Thanks for all your advice, unfortunately I still haven't found anything that will work for me, as I am against an ECV, just the thought of being forced into one already is making me start to cry. I'd rather deal with the pain than have to do that.

It will just be me and BFF so I won't make him stand all by himself all the time. This defeats the purpose of going together.

Thanks anyway, I guess it's back to square one.
Don't make yourself upset. You can make this trip work, you will just have to modify the way that you have done things in the past. Since you are not going to use and EVC, can you talk to your doctor before you go and find out if there may be addition medication that you can take to help with swelling and pain? I would not want to take a big does of pain meds while in the park as you may get sick, but it may help at night after being in the park.
Take a look at some of the web sites that predict park attendance and chose the park that will have the lowest for the day. Then with fast pass and a touring plan you should be able to avoid longer lines. Be sure to take a few breaks during the day, such as catching a show, eating a snack or if your staying on property heading back to the resort for a swim or nap.
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Old 06-22-2014, 03:45 PM   #13
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Don't make yourself upset. You can make this trip work, you will just have to modify the way that you have done things in the past. Since you are not going to use and EVC, can you talk to your doctor before you go and find out if there may be addition medication that you can take to help with swelling and pain? I would not want to take a big does of pain meds while in the park as you may get sick, but it may help at night after being in the park. Take a look at some of the web sites that predict park attendance and chose the park that will have the lowest for the day. Then with fast pass and a touring plan you should be able to avoid longer lines. Be sure to take a few breaks during the day, such as catching a show, eating a snack or if your staying on property heading back to the resort for a swim or nap.

Thanks. Yeah, these are the types of things I have been looking into. Big concern was mostly resort bus so hopefully the driver will be able to ask someone to give me a seat if there are none.

I think my biggest take away is that I shouldn't expect any help from disney. It seems like their solution is to force me into a ECV or wheelchair

I always make sure to take afternoon breaks since I don't regulate temperature overly well. so I usually plan to be out of the parks from 12 or 1 to 4 or 5. This just doesn't work on AK day since they are only open 9-5, but I have a late breakfast at TH and I know they have some shows so that helps too.

I booked Dessert party at MK to see fireworks, but it seems like dessert party won't help for viewing of illuminations since they make you stand there too. I haven't been able to get a Fantasmic Lunch at HBD for any of my possible days at HS but hopefully one will open up as dinner reservations tend to just be available when I'm usually out of park for afternoon breaks. I'm trying to do HS and AK on lower crowd days so I won't have to stand still for so long waiting for shows to start seating.
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Old 06-22-2014, 04:01 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Drinehart811

Thanks. Yeah, these are the types of things I have been looking into. Big concern was mostly resort bus so hopefully the driver will be able to ask someone to give me a seat if there are none.

I think my biggest take away is that I shouldn't expect any help from disney. It seems like their solution is to force me into a ECV or wheelchair

I always make sure to take afternoon breaks since I don't regulate temperature overly well. so I usually plan to be out of the parks from 12 or 1 to 4 or 5. This just doesn't work on AK day since they are only open 9-5, but I have a late breakfast at TH and I know they have some shows so that helps too.

I booked Dessert party at MK to see fireworks, but it seems like dessert party won't help for viewing of illuminations since they make you stand there too. I haven't been able to get a Fantasmic Lunch at HBD for any of my possible days at HS but hopefully one will open up as dinner reservations tend to just be available when I'm usually out of park for afternoon breaks. I'm trying to do HS and AK on lower crowd days so I won't have to stand still for so long waiting for shows to start seating.
I'm not entirely sure what accommodation Disney could make for you when it comes to the resort buses. The only way to guarantee a seat would be the ECV or sitting and waiting for another bus if the current one is full. There isn't a DAS accommodation for resort buses.

As far as getting a DAS for in the parks, if you tell them you can't stand in place for long periods of time, they will direct you to rent a wheelchair or ECV. That's what Disney has taught it's CMs is the answer to stamina/mobility issues. The CMs will only see that issue in black and white, no shades of gray. The DAS is given for people who need the ability to wait away from the line, to tend to their symptoms.
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Old 06-22-2014, 04:03 PM   #15
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You can't meet your party at the end of the line. The lines are not set up in a way that allows for this. You would have to push your way through the line to meet up with them. Even going through the exit wouldn't work because the exit is not necessarily near where the ride loads
That was exactly what I have heard GR advise that someone with the same situation as the OP do on several occasions. Pretty much word for word what I said by the way.

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And a bus driver can ask people to move but can't make them.
Actually, he can make them move by kicking them off the bus for not complying with his instructions. Which is technically what he is required to do under federal law. This law is unfortunately not enforced, as there is no agency that enforces it. The only way would for it to be enforced would be if someone who was affected by the driver not doing this decided to sue over it. It's obviously simpler to just wait for the next bus, so this will most likely never happen. But the law is indeed on the books.
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