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PassPorter is a small business, and for many years it supported our family. But the world changed, print books took a backseat to the Internet, and for a long time now it has been unable to make ends meet. We've had to find new ways to support our family, which means new careers and less and less time available to devote to our first baby, PassPorter.

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Old 10-01-2015, 01:10 PM   #1
Her Dotness
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Pirates of the Caribbean reopens after cosmetic changes (Soapbox Alert!)

Okay, yes, it's very nice that POTC has gotten a long-needed spruce up. Several areas were looking as though they had indeed been battle sites. Character costumes were looking more bedraggled than seemed reasonable despite the presumed pirate attack. New outfits reportedly were part of the refurb. Also, it's pleasant that more special effects have been added such as water-based "cannon smoke" although having respiratory allergies, I'm reserving judgment on the wisdom of Disney's having added scents.

Pirates of the Caribbean Attraction Reopens at Walt Disney World Resort « Disney Parks Blog

Which brings me to the soapbox portion--

C'mon Disney! How about a renovation to POTC that permits people needing ECV's to get up to the boarding point without that horrendously long up ramp haul in a clunky, heavy Disney wheelchair? Anyone lacking upper body strength sufficient to propel self in one of those wheelchairs better have a pretty physically fit companion who can push the chair, or the person simply can't experience this classic ride.

Believe me, it's no picnic pushing one of those wheelchairs all that way, particularly if the queue is long enough that you have to stop and wait at points. "Rent A Companion" could do a booming business at POTC and some other rides requiring a transfer to wheelchair followed by a lengthy access queue to the boarding point.

As well as Disney has done making other rides more fully accessible, I'm convinced they could do a far better job on POTC that would permit solo travelers and especially solo parents with younger kids to enjoy this wonderful classic ride.

Yes, it would cost money and require a lengthy closure, but I hardly think Disney can't afford both.

Truly, such an improvement would be a thrill for a number of guests although admittedly not massive numbers. However, don't we admire Disney for not being as numbers-focused as most theme parks elsewhere are? The park we love so much because it has demonstrated more concern for special needs could and should do more still. It's time to support and enlarge that admiration by enabling more mobility challenged guests to experience Pirates of the Caribbean.
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Old 10-01-2015, 03:33 PM   #2
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I don't see why they can't do it like the one at Disneyland. There, you enter at the exit, take a short trip - which can be a bit difficult as you are going against the traffic flow, then park at the end of the loading dock. I was able to do POTC 5 times in one day because of this.


The one I didn't like was Haunted Mansion. They were testing a new way of loading scooter-people. They were letting us bypass the regular line, wait at a certain point, then we could actually take the scooter into the Mansion, down to the loading area. Unfortunately, they hadn't done their homework. We waited for almost 30 minutes in an unshaded area. Since it was just two days after LA had been grazed by a hurricane, it was horribly hot and humid. This was my worst ever experience at Disney.
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Old 02-06-2016, 09:34 AM   #3
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I have to be honest and say, until my wife badly broke her leg and has had to use an ECV since due to "complications" I never really paid much attention to how "less able" people accessed the various attractions at Disney.

It's another story now, however, and despite all the effort that HAS been made I am still disappointed sometimes at the apparent "complexity" of accessibility at some Disney attractions.

I'm sure my wife isn't alone in not expecting "preferential treatment" however she does expect an effective, discreet way to facilitate her access to an attraction.
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Old 02-06-2016, 10:02 AM   #4
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Believe me, it's no picnic pushing one of those wheelchairs all that way, particularly if the queue is long enough that you have to stop and wait at points
I've had to push Lenny so I know it's no picnic but the thing is, having scooters anywhere near the loading and/or unloading area has to be a huge safety concern. If not, then why on Pooh and Buzz are scooter no longer allowed? Those two rides Lenny always use to be able to ride his scooter through but I guess two years ago (maybe 3), Disney changed the rules and stated for those only wheelchairs would be allowed. Is it a pain to do it? Yes. Should Disney accommodate the people in scooters better but put far more people at risk of not being able to leave due to ungainly scooters in the way? I personally do not think so.

Everything Disney does is done for a reason. They do not always point blank say "we're doing this for that reason" but we all know Disney is very big into guest safety. As I said, yes it's a pain to have to push Lenny around in a wheelchair when he has a perfectly fine scooter but I understand that if they accommodate the one person (Lenny), in the event of an emergency evacuation (witnessed one at Small World) his scooter could be in the way and potentially cause harm to many more than one.
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Old 02-12-2016, 03:40 AM   #5
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I only experienced that once, when I was pregnant in 2012 and had my ankle give out on me partway through our trip. I ended up having to rent a wheelchair. I remember my husband commenting that they should do something better for people in scooters or wheelchairs to access/get off of that ride. I honestly don't remember much of it because I got bad news on the phone as we were exiting, so I was distracted and not paying attention as we left.
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