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Holiday in Orlando

We are looking at going to Orlando Florida late next year & I wanted to find out if anyone here has any advice on transport over there. We did go 10 years ago when my MS was mild with only occasional relapses, I am now SP & need a wheelchair for any distance but can manage the odd step with my 2 crutches. Are the shuttles on International Drive to the various theme parks suitable ?

My other problm is the urgency when I need an pee… As a man at home this is not a problem as I can use my pee bottle, but on a 9 hour flight & spending the whole dayin a park it worries me.

Any advice gladly received…

Thank you

Innel

ll

Not sure about the shuttles,never used them,but the trolley buses have w/c spaces where your chair is properly secured,tey usually letyou on first. Penty of toiets at the parks Phone your airlineto get all their info and don’t foget to book assistance at the airports.Some of the rides and all of the shows are w/c accessible. You could even get somene to push your chair (at a price I’m sure!) last time went,3 years ago. We went to Miami too,OK,not so good and never intend to go there again. We spent a lot of time watching an engossing trial on telly which was taking place in Orlando,set off home as the jury retired and got home in time for the verdict (live on Fox news) only remembering as I’ve seen that some Americans are up in arms about it all again! Have a great time when you go!

Alison x

Orlando is a brilliant holiday destination for anyone in a wheelchair. The parks are extremely disabled friendly. As to the shuttle busses from hotels - I’ve never used them but they look like ordinary coaches so I’m not sure if they have low floors/wheelchair spaces. The best way to find out would be to post a question on one of the Disney forums like the Dis boards (there’s a uk version) somebody will be sure to know.

On the flight you can ask to be seated near the loo - if you contact the airline they will let you know if you need a drs note to get special seating. As Alison says plenty of loos in the parks - don’t let urgency ruin your time - have you seen an incontinence nurse for help with this. I use to be glued to the toilet before I started taking solifenacin but can go 3 hours now

Jane

I can not answer for any other resort, but at DisneyWorld the coaches to the parks from the Disney Hotels were all wheelchair accessible. The floor of the bus could be lowered and the middle doors had a ramp for access. Seats opposite to middle door could be moved and teer was strapping to tie down the scooter/wheelchair. I beleive they preferred it if you could transfer to a seat on the bus if possible. Hope this helps.

Jane is spot on; everywhere and everything is wheelchair friendly the question is do you hire aa w/c on arrival or do you hire one at each venue (they are always available).

My advice is hire one for the duration of your stay; for use at your apartment/house. Google it theres tons available like http://www.yellowscooters.com/?___store=default

Travelling by aircraft seems a daunting experience for anyone Disabled in wheelchair or not, but in reality it isn’t it can be a seamless experience as you are helped every step of the way, (that’s not meant as a pun).

I worked for British Airways for 26 years, as such travelled to many parts of the World. In fact in 1988 I travelled twice around the World, some 48,000 miles in 5 days on aircraft, sponsored for Charity. Not something I would recommend but shows you it is possible.

Stick to these guidelines and you will really enjoy the experience. First on booking your flight tell them you would like assistance from check-in to the gate. This could be a wheelchair with someone pushing or a lift on a Golf type buggy. The gate could be over one mile away so don’t think your doing any favour’s by not asking for help. The aircraft has a certain slot for take off, if you are late because of walking difficulties, THE AIRCRAFT HAS TO GO without you, otherwise it costs mega bucks.

If you have problems walking down the isle when you get aircraft side, no problem, quite a few aircraft now have small wheelchairs especially to take people up and down the isle. If you can’t walk whatsoever, no problem, tell them and facilities will be put in place from check-in to take you to the aircraft by ambulance, high lift you to the aircraft and trained medical staff to lift you in the seat. The golden rule here is ‘tell them.’

With some airlines you can pre-book your seat. If so get one that has more leg room and near the toilets, probably a bulkhead seat. The Civil Aviation Authority has made a ruling that no Disabled person can have a seat by an Emergency Exit for obvious reasons.

If for some reason you get to your destination and your wheelchair is missing or worse still damaged it is the airlines, or should I say good airlines signed up to something called the Haig Protocol to restore or repair your chair, see the airlines staff.

I remember I went to San Diego from Gatwick once and they left my chair behind. I was in a rush had to go down to Tijuana and the only one they had to loan me had a large sign above my head saying ‘AVIS Rent a Car.’ The times I was stopped in my Hotel by people saying “hey fella, where can I get a car.”### ### Have a good time, don’t worry as far as flying is concerned you will be looked after.

As a matter of interest wheelchairs go to the front of any que. Do not think you are being rude you and your pusher go to the front.### George

Hi

i have a second home out in orlando. We bought it after I was diagnosed with ms and did a few trial trips to see how easy or difficult it would be as I am much better in warmer weather.

as the other posts have said, all is really good.

I have not been to a place which is so disabled friendly. We have just returned from a months stay and have toured florida, even been on a cruise, train and buses. I even noticed macdonalds have wheelchair space tables with signs.

not quite sure what you mean shuttle, do you mean from the airport or the hotel to the parks?

Best advice already given it to communicate in advance. I take my medication with me which sometimes mean boxes of syringes as I am on daily injections. Airline allows to to take an extra bag for hand luggage, my medication bag.

My only niggles I get is the seats if booking economy. Virgin have medical seats and are allocated on first come and priority basis. These are the bulk head seats and are great. Others claim to have them but it has been abit hit and miss. I think they like to charge extra for them… I did get them with US airways but not all of the time. Also sometimes you get allocated them but them they change the plane and the seating configuration has changed. My last flight I had a guy in front who permanently reclined his seat even through meals. This made it difficult to get out as I was on crutches as I was trying to get out virtually diagonal!

Please feel free to contact me if you need any advice or info

I believe that Orland/Orange County are good at recognising UK Blue Badges (much of the US will not).
Best to enquire of the Department of Motor Vehicles (Google “Orlando DMV” and ask). Their expression is Disability Parking Permits.

One thing that you should not miss (as a break from the theme parks) is the Harry P Leu Gardens (you can Google this as well). It’s a turn off North Mills Avenue, and easy enough to find. They even do free wheelchairs (first come, first served).

Real close to the Leu Gardens is the Orlando Science Centre - worth checking out as well

Enjoy

Geoff