Sunday, December 6, 2015

Great Tips for Taking Grandma to Disney World!

 My sister and I decided to take our mother to Disney World for her 87th birthday

Karan and I

Mom is the mother of four, grandmother of twelve and great grandmother of 31
 (and two more on the way!)

We all call her GG

The wheelchair was essential!

We decided that since GG needed to bring her wheelchair, she wouldn't have to walk the park.
She could really enjoy herself and not get too tired. 

Tip:  We made sure she got up and walked a few steps here and there to keep the circulation going in her legs since she normally uses a walker at home.  

We booked a room at the All Star Music Resort.  She was treated like Royalty!
She was given a birthday balloon, a birthday pin and a balloon Mickey Mouse made just for her!

Booking a resort was best.
You are allowed to check in as early as 7:00 in the morning, 
We parked by the bus stop, checked in and then took a bus directly to the Magic Kingdom.
We didn't have to go through the transportation area, the resort busses take you right to the front of the park.

Parking was free at the resort.

Using the bus was the fastest transportation and since I parked in front when we returned we had the car to take us around to our room at the back of the resort instead of having to walk.  


WDW has a way to make it fair for all guests.  
Those in wheelchairs and scooters get a pass for what the wait in line is. 
If the line is a wait of 60 minutes the pass is good when the 60 minutes is over. 
This allows the handicapped and elderly not to have to wait in tiring lines that are often in the sun.  

Some rides, such as The Haunted Mansion have you in line for part of the wait and then you are directed to a place to park the wheelchair and escorted to a special place to board the ride.  The ride is then slowed down or stopped according to the individual's ability.  

On other rides, such as boats, assistance is available to help the guest board the boat and seated comfortably ahead of the rest of the passengers.  
GG loved the Jungle Boat ride!

The carousel was a ride we thought we might have to pass on, but was surprised to find that it
 had an ornate bench like a two seater sleigh!  

Many of the rides are roomy and slow enough to accommodate those who are elderly.
Mom originally thought she wouldn't ride rides, just enjoy the park but as you see
she loved them!!   

Her all time favorite ride was the "It's A Small World"
One of the few ways to see the Taj Mahal by moonlight! 

We did these Attractions:

The Magic Carpets,
Jungle Boats
Pirates of the Caribbean
It's a Small World
Country Bear Jamboree
Haunted Mansion
Liberty Square Riverboat
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
The Hall of Presidents
Under The Sea Journey of the Little Mermaid
Enchanted Tiki Room 

There were more we could have done, but we ran out of time!  


Make sure you catch the Parades!!
A little planning is essential to make sure you get a spot in the handicapped area.  

The wheelchair area was roped off and designed to give those a good view.  No one is behind standing people when seated in a wheelchair.  

I was across the street and captured many pictures of  GG enjoying the parade.  
The split picture is a blown up part of GG as you see her to the left of Alice.

The parades are so beautiful and colorful!

Elaborate floats are the rule not the exception.

Characters also interact with the crowd and pay special attention to children and the elderly!
At night they also have the Main Street Electrical Parade!  


Don't just walk by strolling entertainers!  Stop and listen!
It's a rest for those pushing the chair and
when you are wearing a special button,like her Happy Birthday button,
you may be singled out by the cast members.  

Here on Main Street USA the barbershoppers are singing "Happy Birthday" to GG.
 It was extra special to her as she was a long time original member of  her local
Sweet Adelines Chorus and also a member of a competition quartet "The Coastal Chords".  

The stage shows are often overlooked by most,
but are very entertaining and enjoyable to
Grandparents.  They aren't too long and they are loud enough for 
the hard of hearing.  


We also had a front row area for the castle show.  Disney turns on the lights at dusk and there is a big show at the castle starring the "Frozen" characters.  I've seen the show from afar, but with the wheelchair we were directed into a prize spot!  My pictures were really bad, but the experience was amazing!

Make sure you catch the fireworks!!

Disney has a wonderful show called Wishes.  It it quite a spectacular show. 
It begins with Tinkerbell gliding down from the top of the castle.  
To get a good view of this choose as spot between Main Street and Tomorrowland.  

It's a little more effort to manage a wheelchair for those pushing it around all day, but The Magic Kingdom is pretty level.  Stop often, for rides, restaurants, bathroom breaks.  

You'll do more than you think!  
We did 11 attractions, 3 restaurants, 2 parades, 2 outdoor shows. 
We started at Main Street and went around the park.  Try not to backtrack.  It takes so much extra time.  Try to have all use the restroom at the same time.  Restroom breaks are numerous.  

Overall, you will move at a more leisurely pace with grandparents but it's a very relaxing day.  

My mom, at age 87 stayed 14 hours and loved every minute. 
It was a wonderful day at the happiest place on Earth! 

Sharing with
Sundays in my City
Alboma Adventures
Blue Monday