Help me plan an 80th BD to Disney.

Old Aug 17th, 2003, 08:50 AM
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Help me plan an 80th BD to Disney.

We want to surprise my mother in law with a trip to Disney. We will be pushing wheel chairs for her and her husband. We want it to be nice, but we may not be able to afford extravagant. She really wants to see Epcot, and we think Animal Kingdom might be nice too. I have not been to Animal Kingdom so I can't judge.

What's a good time frame to see both parks if we're not able to push too hard? Waht's a good place to stay? We can better afford the Swan than the Dolphin, but we haven't been there for awhile so we may not be up to making the decisions. There will be 6 in the group.

How do they handle lines for wheel chair groups?

Thaks for any help in this matter. We're looking at going in March 2004.

Diane
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Old Aug 17th, 2003, 09:44 AM
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Disney World is very accomodating of people with special needs, including wheelchairs. This link will take you to their own site regarding this.

I would look into African Kingdom Lodge which is a spectacular hotel (although not luxurious in a Ritz or Four Seasons context)
Great restaurants on site and there are balconies on which to view the animals feeding around the hotel. I remember there were ramps everywhere so everything would be very accessible. LMF

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/wal...QGrping&bhcp=1
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Old Aug 17th, 2003, 02:12 PM
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Actually, the Dolphin is a bit cheaper than the Swam right now. They just refurbished the Swan and are in the process of doing the Dolphin. They also offer discounts. They offer the Entertainment discount, goverment worker discount, nurses discount, teachers discount. To find good rates for the Swan/Dolphin go to www.dreamsunlimited.com For LOADS of great info on Disney, go to www.disboards.com They even have a section on disabilities.
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Old Aug 17th, 2003, 03:00 PM
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If I am lucky enough to reach the age of 80, wheel chair or not, I certainly hope nobody "surprises" me with a trip to Disney. Just IMHO.
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Old Aug 17th, 2003, 05:02 PM
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Of course she will know in advance. We just want to do the leg work. She's asked us too many questions about it, so we know it's something she would like to do. They just couldn't do it on their own. We thought it would be a good thing. We're only planning on
Epcot and maybe Animal Kingdom. I haven't been to Animal Kingsom. Is it something an 80 year old couple would like to do for the day?

Diane
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Old Aug 17th, 2003, 05:09 PM
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Aminal Kingdom probably will only take you half a day as I can't picture 80 year old doing most of the rides there. They will enjoy the safari and the shows in Animal Kingdom. Again, I suggest you go to www.disboards.com and www.wdwig.com for everything you ever wanted to know about Disney.
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Old Aug 17th, 2003, 05:21 PM
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Unfortunately, I did Epcot in a wheelchair. It took the entire day to see what we wanted, but it would have under the best of circumstances. They made it easy for us...my dh, son and daughter were able to accompany me going to the front of the lines with my chair. The only negative was that my chair disappeared after one ride at the very end of the day. We think some non-English speaking kids were playing with it (we saw them doing wheelies with one)...but, because we couldn't question them, we couldn't be sure that was my chair. (Rented). We were at the back of the park at that point and out of desperation, we took another that was in the vicinity--I could never have made it back on crutches!! If you have a rented chair, tie something to it to make it identifiable, just as you do your luggage to find it on the carousel.

When we did Animal Kingdom a couple of years later, I was fully ambulatory again, thank goodness!! We spent about half a day there. Although we didn't stay at the lodge, I hear it is WONDERFUL. Singita without the expense.
 
Old Aug 17th, 2003, 05:37 PM
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My cousin took her mother to Disneylast year and she also was older and in a wheel chair.
She loved both parks you have mentioned. They took a whole day at each one. But they also went back to their room for a while in the afternoon to rest etc...
I have heard wonderful things about the Animal Kingdom lodge but not much about the Swan or Dolphin.
Have fun. I know many seniors who really enjoy Disney.
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Old Aug 17th, 2003, 06:36 PM
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Thanks for all of your help and ideas. I am leaning towards the Animal kingdom hotel, but it is coming up very expensive right now, and we need 3 rooms. I am glad to read that you think we can Epcot in a day and the animal park in half a day. We're givin ourselves 4 nights. That should give us time to do it all and a little extra if they want.

Thanks

Diane
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Old Aug 17th, 2003, 08:13 PM
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our entire extended family made yearly trips to disney world beginning with my father-in-law's 70th birthday until his 80th! the last 2 years, both he and my mother-in-law were in wheelchairs, and it was no problem at all. we usually stayed in the contemporary, because it was monorail convenient. we ate in the restaurant at the swan , and the hotel looked very nice, but only has boat and bus access to the parks, except epcot, i think you can walk.as far as the animal kingdom goes, it is a beautiful park, but extremely hot(if you can believe it is hotter than the other parks), and the attractions are very far apart from one another, so it was an extremely tiring day when we journeyed there. actually, we only went there one year
(i think the year it opened) because it was too tiring for my in-laws, and, frankly, for us, too, pushing them. but, you will have a ball.
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 03:14 AM
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I suggested the Animal Kingdom Lodge thinking of it as a substitute for the park. The hotel has superb theming and has a private safari tour for guests which would eliminate actually going to the park separately. The only draw back is that it is not a monorail resort and is off the beaten path.

I think a day at Epcot and perhaps one at MGM focusing on the movie aspect and the movie sets would be fun. Lunch at the Brown Derby might be nice as this restaurant was an icon of Hollywood for years and would be known to them.

If AKLodge is out of budget, I'd try to go there for dinner (very special evening) and see the animals feed from the balconies, etc. LMF
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 03:33 AM
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We have stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge and absolutely loved it. The only way to do it, however, is if you get a savannah view room (preferably on the 2nd floor). There is nothing like sitting on your balcony in the morning watching the animals.

LilMsFoodie said the hotal has a private safari tour for guests. That is ONLY for guests staying at the concierge level. Those rooms are around $600/night.

Did you try Mousesavers.com for discount codes at the hotel? That's how we are able to stay at the deluxe resorts.
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 04:13 AM
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If you are spending most of your time at Epcot, I would suggest one of the Epcot Resorts--Beach/Yacht Club, Boardwalk, Boardwalk Villas, Swan/Dolphin. These resorts are actually in walking distance to Epcot and MGM. While pushing a wheel chair, you would probably prefer to take the Friendship boats to the parks from these hotels. It is VERY easy to board the boats with a wheelchair. Also, the Boardwalk is RIGHT THERE for you to stroll around and enjoy the entertainment after the parks close.
As someone else mentioned, the Animal Kingdom Lodge is off the beaten path.
Check for discounts at mousesavers and Dreams Unlimited.
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 07:13 AM
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Some of my fondest memories of my grandparents were with them at Disney. They are extremely accommodating to wheelchairs and you can rent a motorized one in advance. I personnally would choose the Yacht and/or Beach club over Swan/Dolphin. You may also want to check out the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We've recently stayed at Riverside and like that too, but request the "plantation houses" vs. the log cabins if you want a quieter locale. Definately plan on a day a park with breaks in between. Have a great trip!
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 08:31 AM
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Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which requires all public facilities to be 100% accessible to everyone, you will have no problems with wheel chairs.

FYI, this act was very difficult to get passed through Congress several years ago. Conservaties tried to knock it down siting government intrusion in the private sector. I don't think they cared about disabled people IMHO. As an Architect I have designed for full accessibility for Many years. This includes projects at Disney World.

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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 12:06 PM
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When will be a good time to start reserving March? Right now none of the saver sites have March dates available.

Diane
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 12:20 PM
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I'd start trying to book around Nov-Dec but you're going to have a hard time with sales during March since it's Spring Break time in March.
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 04:05 PM
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If you book your hotel through dreamsunlimited.com, they keep watching for discounts and will apply them to your reservation. So much easier than doing it yourself.
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Old Aug 18th, 2003, 07:00 PM
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Thanks for all of your help and input.

Diane
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