Florida Guide > Travelling
Travelling to Florida with a Disability - Key Facts!
We are lucky enough to travel to our home in Florida at least twice a year, accompanied by our 7year old son ‘Zak’ who has cerebral palsy. Zak’s cerebral palsy affects all 4 limbs and he has difficulty in both walking and holding anything in his hands. However, his disability does not stop him enjoying life to the full! He just loves visiting his home in Florida (his favourite thing to do “in the whole wide word! ”), swimming in his private pool and relaxing in the hot tub. He also, of course, loves visiting the many fabulous theme parks.
His favourite park is the Magic Kingdom and his favourite ride is the “racing cars” that is located in Tomorrow Land. Here he is able to be like any other 'normal' child and drive his own racing car at “super fast speed” around the racetrack. He doesn’t like the ride at Splash Mountain (“too splashy”), or anything that goes above one foot in the air! He does however love all the Disney characters and having his picture taken with them gives him (and us! ) great pleasure, his most recent acquisition being a very nice photo with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Whilst visiting Florida is really great fun, getting around with a disability can be both time consuming and a constant worry ie will there be facilities for this or that. Zak is not able to walk very far unaided and for a lot of the time is confined to a wheelchair. However, we have discovered a few key things that make our lives easier when travelling to Florida, such as:
· We always make sure all luggage is tagged with a blue disabled ticket (you can get these at check in). They make your luggage easier to spot and pick off the carousal and other travellers are more accommodating to your needs if they can see you are travelling with someone with a disability
· Upon arrival at Orlando Airport, we head for the customs desk on the far right hand side (that is marked, if you look closely with a disabled badge on the wall, it took us about 3 years to discover that we could use this lane! )
· When we go to the parks, our first stop is always at Guest Relations, we ask for a disabled guest pass for the whole duration of our holiday that means we can take the ‘fastpass’ queue all the time and don’t have to stand in line for lengthy periods
· We hire a 7 seater van (big for three! ) but essential we feel if you are having to carry heavy equipment and luggage as we do (the 7 seater also has sliding doors that make getting in out of the car so much easier).
· We take his blue badge for parking. We just display it in the window wherever we park which means that we are able to park close by the entrances for the parks, shopping and dining out
Whilst none of the above tips are ‘earth shattering’ they do make our lives so much easier and our holiday so much more enjoyable. I hope therefore that you will find them a useful and practical tool in enjoying your own holiday if travelling with a guest with a disability.
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