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Not sure if this is the right place to post this but I figured you wonderful people in this forum might be able to help.
My mom and I are heading to the World Dec 15-23, 2012 and I have an ECV rented for me as I am recovering from blowing my knee out over the summertime. My mom, on the other hand, doesn't know if she should rent one for herself.
Here's the situation. Since August my mom has been dealing with a TON of stuff, my grandparents needed to be put into long-term care but they fought her on it until Social Services stepped in and the process was started. They were finally placed in a long-term care facility in mid-October. Since then, we ourselves have moved to a new apartment (we used to live in a basement apartment in my grandparent's home), my mom's company is in the process of moving offices and we have to deal with cleaning up my grandparents hoarded home and eventually selling the house. Needless to say this has been an extremely hard four months on my mom and our trip is now less than 4 weeks away.
Given everything that my mom has been dealing with, she is not just physically, but emotionally and mentally exhausted. She's lucky if she can stay awake in the evenings past 8pm and when she gets up in the morning she's still just as exhausted as the night before. She's concerned that she won't be able to handle the amount of walking/standing and generally long hours that come with a trip to Disney, especially at Christmas time.
On the other hand, she's concerned about not being 'disabled' enough to require an ECV for the trip. She's also concerned about using the Disney buses with 2 ECVs. We've done a trip before with me in an ECV and managed okay despite how people would swarm the ECV to hide it from view. She's concerned that it will be too difficult to get to and from where we want/need to go with a second ECV. She's also concerned about how she would drive an ECV as she's never had to drive one before and not sure how they operate.
Any help or insights or recommendations you could provide would be greatly appreciated.
I would say for her to get one. When my DW and I go she has one because of medical issues and I usually end up getting one by the end of our trip just to keep up with her (lol). If you both are not sure if she needs one you can always see how she feels when at the parks and rent when you get there. Most of the ECV Rental Company’s that are Disney preferred have ECV’s they can be dropped off at where you are staying should you decide to get for the rest of the time once you are there.
As far as transportation goes traveling with 2 ECV shouldn’t be that bad. In the past, At most locations if you make your self visible (go to where the front of the line is) the drivers will try to get you first. But that said, with 2 traveling together, if you do not want to split up on to 2 busses you may have to wait for another bus.
Hope this helps. It has been a while since I have been there.
One word, Yes! If she gets worn out easy at home, triple it at WDW. We have gone with two ECV users many times with out too much trouble. You are going at a busy time, But with a little practice you should be fine.
It's not worth hurting yourself & putting a damper on a magical trip to over do.
Take Mom to the market, have her shop around the store on a ECV.. The ones you will be renting will be easier to use than the giant grocery ones. Good training Have her back up & do some U-turns to get the hang of it.
Enjoy the magic of the holidays at WDW..
I used one on our last trip about a month ago and was so glad to have had it. In regard to the buses, resort and park's area have a special place for ECV/ wheelchairs to be positioned so they can be seen. Buses can hold 2 scooters so if the bus isn't full you can both get on. We had to wait for another bus only a couple of times in our 10 day trip. The bus drivers will fold up one/two seats to make room for scooters and they are willing to position the scooters if you don't feel comfortable doing it.
Get one! My step-mother insisted she didn't need one when she went with us quite a few years back. The continuous walking about did her in the first day, and was she ever so happy when she woke up on day 2 to a scooter being delivered to her room! (compliments of DH)!!
We were told years ago to NOT go to the front of the line with the wheelchair/scooter, but to rather go to the BACK of the line - right by the curb, but slightly away from the end of the line. WAVE to the driver as they pull in. Never had a drive not notice us.
I know about the designated waiting areas for ECVs in lines. The problem comes when you're waiting for a bus in an area where there is no 'designated' line area and people just congregate. Twice on our last trip with the ECV, I got swarmed by other guests trying to make the driver not see me.
There are two boarding places on buses, front and middle. Disney buses use the middle of the bus to load. If there is no designated area then wait in the middle of the loading zone. During crowded times have one person at the front door ready to alert the driver. Firmly and loudly say "There is a disabled guest needing to load, thank you." The driver is supposed to lock the front door or if nice people just ask them to wait.
Monorails are able to handle about 4 disabled vehicles. Ask the driver which side the monorail will unload. If it is the same as you entered then back the scooter into the monorail. This will let you see the jerks walking on the ramp and in front of the ramp. I hate backing out then finding people where I cannot see them. I have limited vision when backing up and do not need the distractions.
Some buses take 3 chairs, the third is on the right side. Monorails are supposed to take 2 per car. I had my scooter in position to back onto the monorail. A man parks next to me and waits for the monorail. When it is time to load the jerk passed me on my left and boarded. I barely got my scooter on the monorail as he parked so badly that he took up most of the space. Never got an apology, never did he acknowledge that I was there, and tried to get off while I was still waiting for a ramp.
As for parades I prefer the perfect locations. Liberty Tavern area all the way to the parade exit near Splash Mountain has few people, close to restrooms, no rude people leaning on you, easy to get to food, and lots of room. Over in the good spots you can see everything without folks being rude to you. I hate using disabled spots because I can squeeze my rump in small spots and can get there early to get me a good spot. I feel sorry for the ones who cannot get there early enough so I leave them spots for them. Just because one is disabled does not mean that one has to use disabled services.
Mom calls to check on me and reminded me to pay the gardener. I love her so much.
Disneyland was fun with flag retreat and pickles. I have a home here, thank you. GAC is NOT a "front of the line pass".
She is gone but keeping signature. Laundry is getting done. My purpose in life is to help poor people in FL. Farewell, will miss you.
I agree that taking her to a supermarket or discount store that provides ECV's is a good idea so that she gets a feel for how they operate generally speaking.
I further agree that she'll enjoy WDW far more with a scooter than without. I felt guilty once when I used one at the supermarket only because I was getting over a bad case of flu and still felt too weak to walk all over the store. As DH said, "Don't be silly. That's what they're there for--people who need one for whatever reason."
"Too many people grow up. That's the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up."--Walt Disney
I agree with everyone, get a second ECV. BTW, both my mom and I use them when we are together, I asked for a discount on the second ECV and the vendor gave us one. Worth a try!! Practice at a store like walmarts or your supermarket, it will help her get a feel for it.
I did end up renting a second ECV for my mom to use on our trip. It may have actually turned out to be a good thing as she fell walking down the stairs yesterday and has popped the tendon/ligment in her right foot. She's able to walk on it today but it does still hurt and I know that by the end of the day it will REALLY hurt. At least now she doesn't have to worry about what to do if her foot starts hurting her at WDW. The fun will come in getting both of them into our room at POFQ. At least we have small ones.