Disneyland for Dummys

Anaheim Travel Blog

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During a summer back about 25 or 30 years ago we decided to take in Disneyland. We, is our family of five. Myself, my wife, and three children, ages 13, 11 and nearly 3.

We had never taken on a large amusement part before. This was a first for us. We planned to arrive at about 10 a.m. and stay until closing at 10 or 11 p.m.

One of the first things we did on our way in was to stop at the rental shop. Strollers and wheelchairs were available for a nominal charge. We rented two wheelchairs. Now it should be noted that although I have asthma, the rest of my family suffers from no handicap, lack of strength, abnormalities, or illnesses. Our purpose in renting the wheelchairs was strictly for rest and relaxation, as well as fun.

Here was our thinking. My wife and I would let the two boys ride and our daughter would ride on a lap while we pushed. Then we would switch and let the kids push my wife and I for a while. You know the idea… best-laid plans. So in go the boys, with the daughter on a lap and we start pushing. If you haven’t been to Disneyland, it is easy to roll these around. The place is almost level everywhere and paved with very fine asphalt or concrete.

Our first little unexpected experience was at the entry to the waiting line at Pirates of the Caribbean Ride. This was a fairly new ride at this time and the waiting line was long. Probably close to an hour.

We were looking around for a place to stash the wheelchairs while we stood in line when a young ride attendant came walking towards us motioning for us to follow her. She headed towards the rides’ exit and wanted us to follow her. She had assumed that our boys were somehow in need of these chairs and it was her job to make sure we got on the ride as quickly as possible. No wait for handicapped kids!

We tried to tell her that we were fine just waiting in line but she wouldn’t have anything to do with it. We looked at each other trying to figure out what to say, and the boys were trying to do the same.  No matter what we said she just wouldn't listen.

As we got into the rides entry and exit point, one of my sons turned to me and asked if he should limp as he got out. I smiled, but couldn’t say anything. We were too embarrassed!

In just a couple of minutes we had gotten on to the ride and had a memory to remember forever.

Needless to say, we didn’t get anywhere near a line in those wheelchairs the rest of the day. We hid the chairs and then got in line.

But we did have another interesting, and amusing experience.

It was during the evening, after sunset. Our kids wanted to watch a show that was going on at the Tomorrowland Stage. We decided to allow them to stay, made sure that they were safe, and my wife and I took the two wheelchairs and headed for the Big Band stage just outside of the Cinderella Castle. We had fun sitting and riding the chairs across the short area to the band stage.

As we rolled up close to the large round gazebo style bandstand and dance floor and of course could hear the band playing. But the crowd around the outside of the nice white railing was so thick we couldn’t see through.

Within a few minutes, people noticed us in our chairs and moved so that we could get up close enough to the rail to see and of course we wouldn’t block their view because that were all standing.

We accepted the graciousness and rolled in closer.

But the music was so good we soon wanted to get out on the floor. However, we were also wise enough to know better. Those nice folks who let us in close would have broken our legs had we jumped up and done the jitterbug! :)

cneoridium says:
I hadn't found this entry before - I'm so happy someone else tried this! In college we'd always rent a couple wheelchairs when we'd go to the zoo or whatever. Just to have a place to rest during the day - we'd switch off pushing. There were always tons of them available, and as long as we didn't run people down with them we figured it wasn't hurting anything. The only hard part was fending off the good Samaritans who'd be shoving the children and elderly out of the way to let the "poor crippled boy" get closer to see the monkeys... I like the part where your son asked if he should limp : )
Posted on: Jun 22, 2008
ConstanceAshley8 says:
Thanks for the blog...my husband actually does need a wheelchair and yet he feels uncomfortable using one in an amusement park ...from how your story sounds it seems like we would all have had more fun if he just would have used the thing.
Posted on: Mar 23, 2008
glennisnz says:
Wow what an excellent idea, you had fun and got extra attention, without really inconveniencing anyone. great story.
Posted on: Feb 21, 2008
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