Disney World Health Tips
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I have an ECV tip, this one geared toward one-day-only visitors to Epcot. My spouse and I are both mobility impaired, so we rent ECVs for our trips to Epcot. (We have the "Epcot After 4" annual pass and go at least once a month.) Neither of us is very strong, and disassembling and reassembling a portable travel ECV and loading and unloading from our SUV is difficult and energy-sapping. We solved this problem by renting from an off-site vendor. Even with delivery and pick-up, it's less expensive than renting at the park. We have the scooters delivered to the Walt Disney World Swan. We collect ECVs and take a pleasant drive along Disney's Boardwalk to the International Gateway entrance to Epcot. This entrance never seems to be crowded, and you enter the park between the United Kingdom and France. When your day is done, drive back to the Swan, park the ECV in the designated area and collect your car (we valet park). - Colleen E.
I have found that the best thing for preventing motion sickness are the wristbands marketed for this purpose. They are great because you can put them on right before the ride or even after you start feeling a little ill. Before I started using these I couldn't go to any of the 360-degree movies or on simulator rides. Now I am able to really enjoy these rides. - Susie S.
I use an ECV to get around the parks. Several years ago I rode Toy Story Midway Mania [at Disney's Hollywood Studios] and was given a car with a push-button cannon. It made a world of difference as I am spastic and cannot pull the string fast enough to ever score very well. When they built the addition to the ride, they started routing me to the new "regular" load platform since I can walk a bit, but it only had regular cannons and the ride lost its magic. On my most recent visits I asked if they still had the push-button cannons, and lo and behold they sent me to the "old" handicapped load platform. It was such a wonderful experience, and shout out to cast member Melissa -- she let me ride twice because it wasn't crowded. In fact when I went back two months later, she recognized me and said hello. It made both trips absolutely magical for me. So if you are handicapped and can't pull the string, ask the ride attendant for the button car. There is only one car with the buttons so I'm adding to my future wait time, but it makes the ride so much more enjoyable! - Melissa Henderson
If you have the least problem getting around, get an ECV. Don't let pride keep you from having a wonderful time at Walt Disney World. I just returned and it was so easy to get around. I was solo and everyone was very kind to help me. Transportation and attractions are easy to navigate. - Ruby Ramey
For those of you with strollers, wheelchairs or ECVs, be sure to keep any food items you may have stowed in the storage compartments or baskets well-sealed. I recently noticed several opportunistic squirrels having a nice picnic lunch after they'd raided a bag of snacks that had been left open and stored in the bottom of a stroller while the family was off riding an attraction! - Editor Deb Koma
We've run a tip about distilled water before, but Albert G reminds us: Before my last trip in December 2016 I looked everywhere to find out where I could purchase distilled water for my CPAP machine without going offsite. We used the Magical Express and didn't have a car. Taxi cab and Garden Grocer seemed a little expensive for a gallon of water. Even the Disney Mom's Panel said that there is nowhere onsite to purchase distilled water. I decided to ask a cast member at Pop Century and found that they indeed do stock distilled water by the gallon, it's just not out on the shelves. You have to ask and they will be more than happy to get it from the back, and the cost isn't bad. I got sick on my previous trip without water in my machine. I'm not sure if all the resorts sell it, but it's worth asking for.
ECVs aren't just for the disabled. Some seniors are stronger than youngsters, but a lot of us tire with a lot of walking. Don't be embarrassed to get an ECV, you will enjoy WDW so much more. Rent one from a private company that will bring it right to your hotel and you will be sure to have one. WDW transportation is easy to manage. If you want to drive your own car to WDW, you can get a portable ECV that comes apart for easy transport in your car. After my first visit as a senior without an ECV, I will never again be without one. - Ruby
If a member of your party uses an ECV at Epcot, you may find it helpful to know that there is a HUGE area next to Club Cool where ECVs can be recharged in air-conditioned comfort while you enjoy a drink from Club Cool or a drink or snack from Starbucks on the other side of Club Cool. Tables and chairs throughout the room let you spread out and there are restroom facilities within this area. This space was a lifesaver for us as our ECV batteries were perilously low! - Colleen Ezzell
We are Annual Passholders and frequent the parks at least weekly. Unfortunately, I was hit with a breast cancer diagnosis and with surgery, chemo and radiation. I thought the days at the park with my kids would be over. One day, I went into the First Aid Station and asked if I could just sit quietly in the lobby to rest since it was quiet and air-conditioned. They showed me to the back where they have semi-private areas where I could lay down and rest and then return to the park and enjoy my day with my family. It's a wonderful bonus for anyone who needs that little bit of rest due to an illness or condition, and it helps you get through the day. - Michelle C.
To keep cool and hydrated on those very hot days in Disney, my daughter had the idea that each of us should bring to the parks a pint-sized bottle (with a wide opening) filled with ice and wrapped in a washcloth to insulate it. This serves two purposes. You have very cold water to drink as the ice melts, and when you get really hot, you can put the bottle and damp washcloth on your forehead or on the back of your neck to cool you off. When the ice is gone, just refill the bottles at any quick serve restaurant or water fountain. - Julia Liucci
I have read several tips about using water mister fans in the parks, but my family has found a way to cool off that we think works just as well with the added benefits of being cheaper and more convenient. We use the small (about 4" tall) pump-type bottles one can usually find in the "travel and trial size" section at the grocery store or pharmacy. The bottles are inexpensive ($1-$2) so it is not a big deal if one is lost (as happened to me on Tom Sawyer Island) and require no batteries. They are very lightweight, just a couple of ounces even when filled with water, and small enough to fit into a pocket. One or two quick spritzes on the face, back of the neck, arms and legs is all it takes to make even the hottest day enjoyable. To make it even better, the bottles can be used for other things after vacation is over, which really can't be said about the mister fans. - K.
When traveling by air with a wheelchair, whether it is a manual or power chair, always take a photo of it from all sides beforehand, and protect your equipment as best you can. On a power wheelchair, remember to take your cushion and the control. I forgot one time and discovered that my joystick control was damaged when they brought my chair to me. - Matt Harbin
A few months ago, I was started on a once-a-day insulin injection in the evening. I needed to take the shot around the same time each day. While we were in the Magic Kingdom, I didn't want to use the restroom to do this, so we walked over to First Aid to see if I could take my injection there. Much to my surprise, this is pretty common. I signed in and they led me to an exam room where I could give myself my injection in a sanitary and private location. And they were so nice and accommodating and discreet. While I was there, others came in for minor stuff and they were treated with the same respect that I was. If you need anything of a medical nature, do not hesitate to visit First Aid. Also, they can store your medications for you, especially if they need refrigeration. - David S.
If renting a scooter (through Disney or off-property) bring your own keychain. I recommend a coil bracelet- type of keychain. That way you can put it on your wrist whenever you park your scooter and you won't lose your key. I bought mine at Wal-Mart (in the jewelry section), but I've also seen them on Amazon.com. Cost is about $2.00. With all the hustle and bustle while on vacation, this prevented my mom from losing her key. - Stephanie Cornell
If you have a handicap tag/placard on your cars at home, and you're planning to rent a car at Disney World, don't forget to bring your tag with you to use on the rental. We were able to park in the VIP parking areas of the parks for free each day, first row if we got there early enough. - Rita Thomason
EDITOR'S NOTE: This tip in AllEars® Issue #889 gave the impression that vehicles using a handicap tag or sticker were granted free theme park parking. While it is true that there is special parking for those with such a hang-tag or sticker, parking is free only to Disney-owned resort guests or annual passholders.