Well our numbers have decreased, but we are still going! Flights are booked and the rest will be finalized next week, just waiting for confirmation invoices and info.
I must say I’m a little impressed with some of the information that is available on the Disney site regarding accessibility and information for multiple disability types. I will also say, it involves ALOT of clicking to go through everything! I’ve printed out over 60 pages of information to go over rather than having to click around and find my way back to it all. Here are some of the pages on their site:
- Guests with Mobility Disabilities
- Guests with Hearing Disabilities
- Guests with Visual Disabilities
- Guests with Service Animals
- Lighting Sensitivities (scroll down on the page)
- Rooms for Guests with Disabilities
More clicking throughout these pages to get more detailed information is required, but these pages are a place to start. They have printable guides for each of the parks, which when printed out, is quite small in font size.
You will read quite a bit about how you should plan ahead as much as possible, and I completely agree. For myself, I like to be as prepared as possible, know exactly what we’re getting into and how to best organize things to make things as relaxing and enjoyable as possible for everyone.
We are fortunate enough to have both respite workers coming with us to help out. It’s amazing how much arranging and planning you have to think about to pull a trip like this off. I’ve been doing the bulk of it thus far with laying the ground work and making sure we will be in accomodations that will work for everyone, especially Patrick. Mom has appreciated this very much. It’s a little more stressful, for me anyway, having someone else do it when they don’t ‘live it’ like you do every day. I’m sure many will agree, when it comes to things like this, you feel better knowing that the necessary things are in place to ensure a good time when you have had input.
We have a great travel agent! Heather has contacts and has worked with the people who arrange the Sunshine Trips for the kids. She has used those contacts to help plan our trip as well.
I would suggest, as would Heather, to make sure you double check your booking and explanations of what type of accommodations you need and are getting. We have found Disney really needs to update their website and look at some of their terminology. They also need to better train their agents. Twice Heather has called to double check bookings and been given mis-information. We had to change our accommodations this morning as the accessible room we were given at one resort was not what they told her yesterday and it didn’t work for us. We are thankful she has been diligent and making sure everything we need is in place for us.
Medical insurance is another thing we needed to look at. Patrick had done so well for about 6 years, but in the past year, his health has not improved back to what he was previously. For those who don’t have coverage with other companys or through work, there are some fairly strict guidelines to go with the coverage. It is wise to check into exactly what you are/will be covered for to make sure there are no surprises. One of the girls has medical insurance through her work, but still needed to have the coverage added for this trip. Basically for us, as long as Patrick doesn’t end up in the hospital or have any change in medication between now and the trip, AND it isn’t for the same reason’s he was just in for, he will be covered. Keep your fingers crossed, because if there were to be issues, they would likely be for the same issues. Send a few prayers up for him 🙂
Heather has also looked into extra luggage for us for some of the extra stuff needed to bring for Patrick, and also found out I’m able to bring the Chopper with us as long as it’s in the checked luggage. With Patrick’s medication needing to be refridgerated and such, they are supplying a small fridge for us at no cost because it’s for medical needs. They have arranged accessible transporation for us from the airport right to our resort and back again when we leave.
We are working on some other details while waiting for the final confirmation numbers, but things are moving along fairly well at this point. Aside from the ‘hiccup’ with the accommodation (which has been sorted) and the particulars of the medical insurance (didn’t surprise me), we are quite happy with things so far.
Our travel time falls during a week that offers a free Dining Meal Plan, which is great, and as recommended MANY times about reserving your sit down meal as far ahead as possible as they fill up quickly, Heather will do that for us next week.
Next week is passport photos for Patrick and I, and going through the information I found and printed to see what attractions and rides are accessible, which require transfers and which one’s Patrick would be more interested in seeing. We already know he’s very interested in Animal Kingdom, so that’s a given. 🙂
One more note before signing off for the night. My sister’s SIL (sister-in-law), gave me a site to take a look at also. They also have some great information and more photos of rooms and attractions and accessibility (Disney has very few accessible room photos, and I’ve not seen any accessible ride/attraction photos at all so far). allears.net
It just so happens, when I shared this site with our travel agent, her contact with Sunshine Foundation, gave her the same site 🙂
Feel free to email any comments, suggestions/feedback. I’ll be happy to reply.
Till next time…. 🙂