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Old 08-31-2014, 03:23 PM   #1
katluva
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Planning for a relative who doesn't want ECV

Hello,

I'm heading to FL with the family in about two weeks and my father, who has trouble walking long distances (half a mile is taxing), is coming for part of the trip. He's never really been an amusement park person and I have real concerns that his is overestimating his ability to make it around the parks (both Universal and Disney). I've mentioned several times that it can be 5-10 miles walking around the park, but he insists he'll be fine and that he doesn't want an ECV. He says that as long as we take frequent sitting rest breaks, he'll be fine. I think he's underestimating the toll of walking all day at a theme park.

I'm struggling to finalize park plans (both which parks which day and how to tackle each park) when I'm pretty sure his capacity for movement is not what he thinks it is.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to proceed? Should I reserve one of those off-site multi-day ECVs even if there's a good chance he'll refuse to use it, or should I have it just in case? Are there multiple ECV sites in the parks where I may be able to get him a vehicle if, halfway through the day, the walking proves to much?

Thanks!
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Old 08-31-2014, 03:24 PM   #2
katluva
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I should also probably add that we're looking at BG and SW, too. I'm pretty sure he's not interested in Epcot, MK, or HS. He's into Harry Potter and animals, which is why we're looking at those parks and trying to figure out the easiest ones for him to navigate.

Thanks!
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:06 PM   #3
Gracie09
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I think you need to have a very frank discussion with him about his limitations (for lack of a better word). The line from the entrance to soarin to where you get on the ride is 1/4 mile. That is not the only one with a long entrance. Places to sit are few and far between outside of line and nonexistent in the lines.
Rent from off site. It is less expensive. He would then have access to the ecv at the hotel (it can be a hike from the bus/parking lot to the hotel rooms). Also the parks can run out of Ecvs and then you are stuck. Epcot is the only park with multiple areas to rent an ecv from - main entrance and international gateway.
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:12 PM   #4
Mrsjvb
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he needs to be told that there is almost NOWHERE to sit in the parks outside of restaurants.

this is doubly true for AK. learned that the hard way

you can only rent an ECV from the front of the park and they will sell out by early afternoon on a high traffic park day

he won't last one day.
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:12 PM   #5
gratefulfred
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Each park has one place to rent a Ecv from and it's near the entrance, they are limited in number and can run out of them as the day goes on. Best would be to rent offsite if you have the ability to transport from one place to the next. To me it's sounds like your dad needs one, it's either going to be to much walking for him or to much sitting for everyone else.
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:14 PM   #6
aaarcher86
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From personal experience, if I rented an EVC for my mom after she said she didn't want one (no matter the benefits or the reasoning) she would be really PO'd because I went against her wishes. If you're dad is already being stubborn about it, he might react the same way.

To be honest, if he really won't budge, you'll probably have to start your first day without him using an aid and let him see for himself how difficult it's going to be and proceed from there. Which kind of ruins your day (and I'd tell him that in a nice way).

EVCs and wheelchairs seem to be really hard to accept for some people, and they just won't budge until they have to. If you can talk your dad into one by having a really frank conversation with him, I'd definitely rent from offsite.
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:56 PM   #7
The Hunchback
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I understand how your Dad feels. I cried the first time my husband insisted I use one. Admitting you just can't handle distance is a very hard pill to swallow. He just needs to understand that it will make the trip easier for the rest of you. He can carry the bags, water, etc. for all of you in his basket. Also you as a group will be more nimble and the crowds will seem lighter when you are not looking for resting place.

My husband rented me one without telling me. The he insisted we were sharing it. We did, to start with, but then I discovered how much better I felt when I rode. He does still get it sometimes, but less and less often.

I have not been to SW or BG in years. So no help there. I would not start out at AK. It is just too small of paths and too much to see. People walk in front of you worse there than most parks. Also the paving is realistic and can jar your teeth out. I have been pushed into flower gardens there on my scooter.

I like EPCOT as a learning place. Wide paths, less people and better scooter parking. I know you were not sure he would like EPCOT but if he likes fish, grew a garden, wanted to hang glide, or traveled the world some, he will enjoy EPCOT. Fireworks are awesome too.

At Universal the walk to the theme park from parking will bee too much for him. I have never done a tour bus there, so do not know where they park. I use the scooter to move from area to area, but park outside the attraction area. I expect the HP area is totally congested and is like parking in NYC,

Rent from an outside vendor. Disney is too problematic on number of ECVs available. Outside is cheaper. I like Walker Mobility the best.
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:01 PM   #8
Bete
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Not sure what you have locally, but I would go to a zoo or a museum and see how your father does in that situation. I would say Disney is still harder, but it would be a good indicator. He may realize right then and there he needs a scooter and accept the situation. Doing parks day in, day out, will have a toll on him.

I think with school back in session, you should be able to rent a scooter on the spot at the park. If not, you may have to do a wheelchair for the one day. I believe you will be able to get an offsite rental quickly for a scooter.

Also, think about doing an afternoon nap if your father needs a rest. I wouldn't have high expectations of long days in the park.

If you do get a scooter, practice at the resort first. Let your father build up confidence with the scooter before going to a park. If you are using Disney transportation you may have to help with the scooter yourself. You may have to drive the scooter on and off the bus for him.

Think about having an off day where you just relax at the resort.

You may even have to consider letting him stay behind at the resort here and there.
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:14 PM   #9
MOpGrad2013
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DH has degenerative disc disease. He can walk short distances without aid, but sometimes he needs his cane or the shopping cart to assist. I gave him the information about the ECV. He was adament he would not need one and would not ever use one.

I quietly put money aside in the budget for renting one (onsite). If we didn't need it, good deal, but if we did..no biggie.

Day 1 in the parks, he began hurting. DHS had several places he found to sit down. Next day, we spent at the resort. Day 3 was AK. He spent alot of time grabbing the stroller and leaning on it (not so good because it is lower handles). Another down day. Then we went to Epcot. He went on Spaceship Earth and came off asking where to get the ECV. And for Magic Kingdom, I went through the bag line and he went without bags. I finished with security and he was sitting on his "horse."

Renting the ECV from WDW is more expensive than having an offiste company bring it to you, but he was able to keep his dignity and make the decision. I avoided the confrontation. Believe me, if I would have rented it in advance, I would have been given a "leave it here, I don't need it."

Overall cost: $100 (we also received the deposit back)

This next trip, we are hoping the pain relief procedure will work, but again, it's in the budget. This time, no argument from DH.
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:42 PM   #10
katluva
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Thanks so much, everyone! This is all really good advice.

I think I'll reserve an ECV at Universal (our first day and the only thing that's nailed down on the schedule). That was a great point that the walk from the parking lot alone will probably give a good indication of how far he can go and we can make the call when we get to the gate and reserve off property later for the other days.

I really appreciate everyone's input! I'm still learning how make practical decisions without overstepping my bounds into his right to self-determination.

THANKS!
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:21 AM   #11
hsmamato2
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Oh my....I could be the OP here.... I was just wondering the same thing.... planning a trip with my dad, 2 knee replacements,and he can't walk too far without a big struggle.... had the conversation last night " I don't need a chair, just places to sit" (every 5 feet) so I was thinking about how to manage this.... since we will be staying at a value resort for 5 days, and he wants to see each park, I would think an offsite chair or scooter rental would be best, since the walk to the hotel room could be an issue for him.either bus or car- I am also wondering, do I need to help him get a card for standing in lines,(can't remember the new name for the card) or is he allowed to have his 'seat' with him in line till he can get on the ride?
I don't think he can take more than about 10 minutes in a line before he needs to rest his knees, he is ok, but he cannot stand/walk for a long period of time. any advice is appreciated....I know renting some sort of scooter/chair would make the trip so much nicer for us all....
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:34 AM   #12
WantToGoNow
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You can take the chair/ECV through most lines. Since this is a mobility issue, he won't qualify for the DAS card.

My dd is 30 and has had to use the ECV the last three trips. Last trip I rode it while she walked some so it helped both of us. She did have a hard time at first with the disapproving looks of complete strangers who knew nothing about her. She even had a very rude CM at Epcot (at Spaceship Earth) that made her friend cry when he told her to get off her lazy a$$ and walk (this young 25 y/o has been on disability from work for two years because she passes out all the time). My dd will be purchasing a ECV before our next trip because she is starting to need it for everyday trips to them all, grocery, etc.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:39 AM   #13
Lisa loves Pooh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gracie09 View Post
I think you need to have a very frank discussion with him about his limitations (for lack of a better word). The line from the entrance to soarin to where you get on the ride is 1/4 mile. That is not the only one with a long entrance. Places to sit are few and far between outside of line and nonexistent in the lines.
Rent from off site. It is less expensive. He would then have access to the ecv at the hotel (it can be a hike from the bus/parking lot to the hotel rooms). Also the parks can run out of Ecvs and then you are stuck. Epcot is the only park with multiple areas to rent an ecv from - main entrance and international gateway.
This.

After several trips with my mom and all those rest breaks, it was no longer a viable option. Us kids gave an ultimatum. Her husband finally did also. No more parks without an ECV. For her, it was a pride issue. But she needed to accept her limitations and the trip as better for ALL involved when she had an ECV.

As while it is nice if everyone in the party is patient, there has to be consideration for everyone and it is not fair to everyone else to "rest frequently". It will put a damper on things and upset the person who clearly needs to sit often. A mobility device eliminates that conflict.
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Old 09-01-2014, 03:17 PM   #14
The Hunchback
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I liked the reference to the "horse" in the post. Since the basket on the ECV will help everyone, the person on it is just handling the pack animal. Neat idea.

You can also hang a small backpack on the rear of the seat with ponchos or water in it. Just be sure it does not drag and if stolen, won't ruin the trip. The outside vendors units are better for backpacks than Disney.

Add a few keychain blinking lights for night and things will be much more magic for the rider.

Yes, I get the looks too, until I stand up. You just learn to ignore them. Sorry you ran into a rude cast member. I would have reported them. There is no place for such comments from a Disney employee. The only way to change the attitude is to let management know it is happening.
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:57 PM   #15
mom2agirlandboy
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OP, I am in the same predicament with my husband. He is insisting he can do it and I even told him that I am planning this because it is my vacation too and I don't want/need to deal with a hot-headed guy when his knee starts to hurt making our vacation miserable.

Hate dealing with a grumpy man. We still have 3 weeks and we will see how he will be.
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