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Ideas for Disney Visit with 82 Year Old

Harrisburg...
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Ideas for Disney Visit with 82 Year Old

My husband and I are taking my 82 year old mother for her first trip to Disney in April. I would appreciate any ideas for how to best see Disney with a senior citizen as well as any thoughts on how to make the trip special. We are staying in a suite at the All Start Music Resort.

Baltimore, MD
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1. Re: Ideas for Disney Visit with 82 Year Old

Hi Sparkle. We went to Disney last year with my family and my 85-year-old grandmother came with us to some of the parks. We rented a WC for her in the parks and my mom and aunt took turns pushing it. They toured at a slow speed to accomodate my grandmother's abilities. My hubby and I took the kids and just met up with them at the end of the day (at a designated spot). She enjoyed the parades and the sights. She didn't ride much of anything. I heard she did like the 3D movies, too. When it got hot my parents sat inside one of the restaurants with AC (make sure you know which ones they are in advance) and people-watched with her. One tip - the WC rental places can be a distance away from the parking area (we had a rental car) so that may be a concern if she is not able to walk that distance. Also, since she was very interested in the parades my parents made sure to be on the route way in advance so she got the best views.

Enjoy your trip!

Fayetteville, AR
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2. Re: Ideas for Disney Visit with 82 Year Old

Really depends on how spry this 82 year old is....if I were taking my grandmother, she would want (and be able to do some mild rides) while others can't or wouldn't want to...

But either way, you will definately want to rent a wheelchair if you don't bring one of your own. I really recommend renting one of your own before leaving home if she doesn't own her own. That way you have it at the airport, at the resort and at all parks without having to keep renting at the parks and trying to find one of the limited complimentary ones available at the resorts and the parking lots because you can't take the rental ones from one park to another or to the resort.

There are plenty of shows/parades/activities to keep her busy even if she isn't up for any rides at all. I will recommend some of those as well as very tame rides at all of the parks. Some of the rides she will have to transfer from the wheelchair to the ride vehicle while others she can actually be wheeled right into:

Magic Kingdom: Mickey's Philharmagic 3-D is a don't miss, Monster's Inc. Laugh Floor, Enchanted Tiki Room, Spectromagic Parade and Wishes Fireworks...tame rides: Buzzlightyear, Tomorrowland Transit, Small World, Pirate of the Caribbean (boat has a couple of very very small drops--just enough to keep the boats moving forward really) Train around the Park, and Jungle Cruise

Animal Kingdom: Lion King Show is great, Tough to be a Bug 3-d is hilarious, Wings of Wonder, Jammin Jungle Parade, Safari (is pretty bumpy if you take the regular safari vehicle, but they offer one for handicapped riders that goes really slow and is not nearly as bumpy), walk around both the Trek and the Trail for animal encounters, most other rides here are pretty jerky

Hollywood Studios: Beauty and the Beast Show, Little Mermaid Show, Muppets 3-d, Great Movie Ride, Backlot Tour, American Idol, and Fantasmic (night show that is a don't miss)

Epcot: Living with the Land Boat Ride, Soarin (is very smooth ride but if she has a fear of heights just ask to be in the very back ride vehicle as it only goes a couple of feet off the floor but still is an amazing experience), Nemo and Friends, Spaceship Earth (if you can't find the handicapped entrance just ask someone--it has an elevator to take you up instead of the using the escalator that the regular line uses and it is a very smooth ride--just make sure to tell her to lean her head back and relax because if you don't it gets tiring on your neck because you are slowly slowly going up inside the big ball), Ellen's Energy Adventure, the boat inside the Mexico pavillion, various street shows in the World Showcase (just pick up a schedule when you get there) and Illuminations at night

Of course there are TONS of things to just walk around and look at, but these are the highlights and the mild rides if she is spry like mine

uk
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3. Re: Ideas for Disney Visit with 82 Year Old

That's all really interesting as I'm bringing my 81 year old mum (who thinks she can keep up with the teenagers) for Christmas and NY. We will be a family group of 12 and I am a bit worried about Mum, although she is a trooper and quite fit.

She's only been abroad twice, the first time for her 80th birthday to Barbados as Dad, before he passed away, refused to fly.

We have so far booked Discovery Cove for Christmas day and Mum was adamant she wanted to swim with the dolphins like everyone else. I am worried about that as the water is deep and it may be cold, have been taking her swimming to prepare her. She's really so excited she can't stop talking about it. She swam with turtles in Barbados and loved it.

I can't see her being happy with a wheelchair however tired she gets and this is what worries me most. Am trying to find things that everyone will enjoy that don't involve too much walking around, although we have 3 younger ones aged 7, 8 and 10 who want to go to MK (and Mum wants to meet the Mad Hatter, is he still around)?

Washington, DC
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4. Re: Ideas for Disney Visit with 82 Year Old

My parents (in their 70s and 80s) have been going to Disney every year for many years, and I have also been with mobility-challenged in-laws in their 70s. (My Dad has advanced Parkinsons and uses a wheelchair.) Don't hesitate to use a wheelchair or electric scooter if you don't think your mom can handle all the walking - especially at Epcot.

Epcot is their favorite. They particularly like Soarin, Spaceship Earth, the France, Canada, and China movies, the Living with the Land ride, the street entertainers, lunch at Chefs de France, and Illuminations. At the Studios, they like the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast shows, the Muppet Movie, the Great Movie Ride, and lunch at the Brown Derby.

At AK, they enjoy the Lion King and Nemo shows, as well as the afternoon parade (the Safari is a little to rough a ride for my dad, but my mom would do fine.) At the Magic Kingdom, they love It's a Small World, Peter Pan, the 3-D movie, the Country Bears, the People Movers (go figure - I think they just like the chance to sit), the Spectromagic Parade, and Wishes.

They also love to go to the Grand Floridian, shop in the shops there and sit in the lobby to listen to the piano player or orchestra in the late afternoon, or to take the boat over to the Wilderness Lodge and sit by the lake with a drink.

The key is to take it easy and not rush around to try to do everything. Nice sit-down lunches in the parks are nice to get a rest and refresh a bit, then leave the park in the mid-afternoon, either going back to your hotel for a rest, or if that's not possible, to one of the deluxe hotels for a rest in their lobby, before heading out to dinner or returning to the park for the nighttime shows, parades, and/or fireworks. Don't pack your days full from morning to night - alternating a park day with a "explore the deluxe hotels and hit the park at night" day occasionally. Have a great time!

Washington, DC
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5. Re: Ideas for Disney Visit with 82 Year Old

I forgot to mention - take your camera! The Disney characters really make a fuss over their senior visitors - especially those in wheelchairs.

Harrisburg...
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6. Re: Ideas for Disney Visit with 82 Year Old

Thank you all so much for your ideas. They are really helpful. Does anyone know where I could rent a wheelchair for the trip? Isn't there a chance it could get taken if you are on a ride?

7. Re: Ideas for Disney Visit with 82 Year Old

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