Pandora rides

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by gap2368, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    Our experience at Na’vi River ride was definitely mixed.
    From the boarding area, you can also see the unload area. Each area holds 2 boats at a time, which come to a complete stop for loading and unloading. The photo shows the unload area. The loading area is to the left of the photo.
    As we were waiting, we saw one group park a wheelchair, the person walked to the boarding area and got on there while the CM took the wheelchair thru a gate into the unload area.

    A little about my DD - she is about 5 feet tall and weighs about 80 pounds. She has cerebral palsy, which is a movement disorder. She has mixed type, which means she has elements of different types of CP. Her predominant is spastic quad, which means she has very tight and stiff muscles. But, she can switch quickly from being as stiff as a Barbie doll to as loose as a rag doll. When she get excited, everything straightens (goes into extension) . This makes sitting unsupported difficult because she is straighter at the hips than she should be.

    We told the CM who was sending people to boarding that we did not know if we would be able to get our daughter into the boat. The CM asked if she could walk a few steps. We said no and she asked if it would help us to be able to park her wheelchair closer to the boat. We said that should be helpful and she directed us through the gate to the unload area.

    We had a party of 5 and were told that our entire party would fit in this boat. It looks small, but actually would have been comfortable for 4 seated in the back.
    We were told to take our time and load DD in either row - whatever worked best for us.
    We chose the back row and loading was actually not that difficult. We parked her wheelchair close to the boat and had one person inside the boat standing on the boat floor to ‘receive’ her. My DH was outside and lifted her in a seated position to the ‘receiver’, who set her on the seat.

    The ride itself was good, until it wasn’t.
    About halfway through the ride, she got excited and went into extension. The ride seat is not very deep, so when she went into extension, her bottom was partly off the edge of the seat. She tried to push herself back on and we tried to pull her back, but the seat has a rough, non slip texture - kind of like sand was put into the paint. I don’t know if the rough texture hurt her back and bottom where she was pressing against it or not, but she was definitely afraid of her bottom slipping off (she told me later).

    Getting off was not bad. I stood on the floor of the boat and stood her up. My DH ‘received’ her and put her in her wheelchair, which was parked a few feet away.

    FB5A8356-7D12-42B4-821A-C0BD849591C4.jpeg

    So, our experience on Na’vi River ride was definitely mixed. Getting on and off was not as difficult as we thought it would be and she said afterward that she liked the ride. She does not want to go on again though because of the ‘sitting’ issue.
     
  2. mamabunny

    mamabunny DIS Veteran

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    Dang. I'm sorry she didn't have a good experience :(

    I wish more of the ride vehicles at WDW would allow for the Guest to use their own personal mobility equipment.
     
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  4. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    We had a mixed experience on Flight of Passage also.

    Getting our daughter onto the ride vehicle was pretty easy.
    We parked her wheelchair directly behind her assigned seat. DH and I were each on one side of her holding an arm and a leg to lift her out of her wheelchair and place her on the ride seat. That allowed us to have her legs in the correct position to straddle the seat and get her legs into the leg spots. She held onto the arm holds and we lifted her again to get her slid up far enough in the seat. The CM was helpful in getting the backrest restraint engaged.
    The restraints did hold DD very securely.

    She loved the first minute or so, but when the ride was swooping and moving more quickly, she did not like it. She let go of the handholds and then wasn’t sitting straight.

    Some of the things that might have affected her enjoyment:
    - she was not wearing the 3D glasses, so everything would have been blurry. They were loose enough on her face (she is a small adult) that we did not think they would stay in place.
    - she had a very short seizure just after we got into line. It was very short and she seemed recovered after a few minutes of staying in place in line, and she wanted to go. We had Fastpasses, but possibly could have gone back to the CM at the entrance and gotten some accommodation to come back. We did not use DAS because we were not sure we could get her onto the ride vehicle.
    - she absolutely loves Soarin’ and even wilder things like Test Track and Tower of Terror, so we did not think this would be an issue for her. It might have just been too much stimulation or it could have been the stimulation plus the other things I mentioned.

    She is undecided about whether she wants to go again.
     
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  5. mamabunny

    mamabunny DIS Veteran

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    Gosh, I wish she had been able to really enjoy that; having anticipated it, and been so excited to ride must have made the disappointment that much stronger.

    To help mitigate the issue with the glasses, could you take a length of elastic, and sew down a loop on either end, so that when she is wearing the 3D ride glasses, the ends of the temples would go through the loops, and help hold the glasses on? You would have to kind of eyeball the length, and make sure the elastic wouldn't be so tight that it would cause discomfort, but you could even achieve the same effect with safety pins to hold the loops if you don't have easy access to a sewing machine (and safety pins would allow you to make adjustments if needed). It's just a thought...

    I hope if she decides to try again, she has a much better experience!
     
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  6. zaksmom

    zaksmom Mouseketeer

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    I wonder if they will ever add a ride vehicle to NRJ that can handle a wheelchair or with a lift seat of some type. I know the population it would serve is small, but it well represented at Disney. We had to cancel our fall trip and had gotten fast passes, but I doubt we'd been able to get our son on and off. This was the main attraction he wanted to see this time and is hoping they might make some changes before we go back.
     
  7. DisneyOma

    DisneyOma DIS Veteran

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    Does she stay in her wheelchair for all the other bench seat type attractions? The seats on Na'vi seemed just like the ones for PotC, Maelstrom (haven't gone on FEA yet) etc. What do you think it was about this one bench seat that was off for her?
     
  8. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    She used to go on Pirates and has been on Maelstrom, but her last time on Pirates was a few years ago and Maelstrom was even longer ago.

    Pirates is too low for us to easily lift her on and off and the high sides on Maelstrom were too hard to lift her over and clear her legs over the side.
    Frozen Ever After uses the same boats as Maelstrom.

    If a boat ride has a wheelchair boat, we use it (Mexico, Small World).

    I think part of the issue with Na’vi River Ride was that my DH and a friend were putting her on. Normally, it would be DH handing her over to me. But, we were with a male friend who ‘received’ her. He wasn’t used to it and may not have set her down straight.
     
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  9. DemonLlama

    DemonLlama DIS Veteran

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    so, I'm reading the motion on FoP is very smooth. Any jerky drops and twists to speak of? Fractured pelvis is asking.

    After 2 years planning, and scoring FoP FPs at 5:00 a.m. my time at the 60 day mark, I'm loathe to consider ditching the experience.
     
  10. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    I had heard rumors that there was going to be some kind of a custom accessible device - possibly a transfer boat with a seat that lifts and pivots out and back into the boat for easier transfer.
    Obviously, there was nothing available when we got there.
    It is pretty smooth, but very intense. There were times when i was leaned far forward and there were some changes of direction. Those motions would likely put pressure on different areas of your pelvis.

    There is a practice ride vehicle close the ride entrance. I would suggest trying it to see if you can even comfortably get into position and sit for a few minutes for the ride car.
    The other thing I’d suggest (but, no guarantee they would allow) would be to quickly explain your situation and ask at the ride entrance if a member of your group could ride so they can give you an idea of how rough it might be before you decide whether or not you can ride.
     
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  11. bluecastle

    bluecastle DIS Veteran

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    I don't have a fractured pelvis, but I have multiple back issues. Sometimes my pain increases with the slightest movement, like a car accelerating, and sometimes I am fine. The ride that hurt me the most this trip was Pirates! The short drop at the beginning had a harder landing than I ever remembered before and it really hurt. But, on FoP I was fine! I hid a slightly inflated back cushion under my shirt ( it was tied securely) to give me a little extra soft support between my back and the ride support. The ride starts very quickly when the white lights flash so be ready for that. Once it started, I leaned forward and moved with the vehicle in the direction that I felt like I was flying judging by what I saw on the screen. I whooped and hollered the whole time which helped me to relax and enjoy it. I also had motion sickness concerns, so I took Bonine, and bought SeaBands and patches! No problems! I loved this ride so much and I am so glad I tried it. But, every back problem is different. I can only tell you my experience. Keep researching! I agonized over my decision for months and didn't decide until I got on the vehicle! ( we had FP so it didn't take too long to get to the ride) Good luck!
    ETA: I had forgotten that I posted on p.7! Sorry for the duplicate information. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
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  12. Absimilliard

    Absimilliard Mouseketeer

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    I rode both Pandora rides two weeks ago and I had some observations:

    - For Nav'i River Journey, my mom was able to do an easy transfer to the boat. I know the tech behind the ride and its a lot more advanced than it appears: think of it of the Peoplemover in water. Magnets under the water push the boats along and this is probably one of the two reasons why a wheelchair boat could not be designed for the ride. Due to all the tech located under the boat and the fact the boats are so short due to the tight curves, a traditional wheelchair boat with a ramp or slope inside won't work. Perhaps a pool style lift could be installed at unload, but you then run into the challenge that you would stop a boat 1-2 minutes at the minimum, destroying capacity and forcing a lot of boats to wait at the end.

    - For Flight of Passage, I had concerns since I am 6'3, 270 lbs. I was able to push my legs all the way forward and the restraints did not feel tight at all. If this is considered tight, I am scared to think of what will happen when TRON Lightcycle Power Run opens at the Magic Kingdom. Those TAV's will see a ton of use! For people who can't navigate stairs or use an ECV or wheelchair, level 1 it will be for you. Level 2 and 3 all have stairs to go back down to the ground floor. Thankfully, the screens are so big that even on Level 1, it does not break the illusion like it does on Soarin'.
     
  13. Absimilliard

    Absimilliard Mouseketeer

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    Without going into spoilers, expect two startling drops: one at the start and another halfway through the experience after a break. Even with those drops, the ride motions are very smooth and there were no jerky movements. My mother with severe back issues was able to ride with no issues and I was scared about the back rest, but I kept an eye on it when it lifted and warned her when it touched her.
     
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  14. mamabunny

    mamabunny DIS Veteran

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    Why couldn't a "gate" be made in the side of the boat, a ramp that flips out, and a turntable that the mobility device sits on installed? (if engineered correctly, the "gate" could also be the ramp... but I digress)

    Solutions could be found - but just like with POC and many other rides at WDW, no one has taken the time to consider it from the viewpoint of the mobility device user. I can't make the steps into or out of any boat ride at WDW, even with assistance; unless there is a wheelchair or ECV friendly vehicle, I can't ride.

    Although WDW is one of the most "friendly" places for me to vacation, the reality is that access is NOT equal across the Parks; there remain many rides where there is virtually no access for many full-time mobility device users like myself.

    WDW knows better; I personally feel that by designing these most recent rides in such an exclusionary fashion they have no one to blame but themselves if a ride has to be stopped or slowed because someone requires more time to load or unload. They know better.
     
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  15. Absimilliard

    Absimilliard Mouseketeer

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    Vertical clearances. The ride is at the bottom of a crowded building and if you add the solution that you mention, you're going into rider's enveloppe issues. Think about Its a Small World: whoever is using the accessible boat is in a much higher position than the regular riders. On Nav'i River Journey, there are theme elements hanging from a lower than usual ceiling and if you sat any higher, you could touch the scenery and other things. I won't go into backstage details, but let's just say they could not make the ceiling any higher than it was.
     
  16. BeerMe

    BeerMe DIS Veteran

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    My wife has serious back issues and has had several disks fused and lots of instrumentation in her back We use WC and/or ECV in the parks. She really wanted to go on FoP especially after hearing it was similar to Soarin. Well, long story short, she went on it and loved it. Everyone is different, so take this with a grain of salt if you have back problems/
     
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  17. blondietink

    blondietink DIS Veteran

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    We are going to WDW in October and should be able to ride the river journey, but my adult son with low muscle tone will never to able to ride Flights I'm afraid. He would need support all along his torso to keep himself on the ride and it doesn't sound like the back support would do it for him, especially when you have to lean forward (he's considered a vertical child). Also, his general fears of new things and inability to wear/use 3D glasses would make it a waste of time even waiting in line. So, it looks like me (mom) will have to find something else to do with him while Dad and other son go on Flights. So disappointed that WDW did not make truly accessible rides in Pandora, especially when the main character in the movie has a disability.
     
  18. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    there is a trial seat outside of the attraction that you can try if you want to make sure whether or not he could ride.
    We did not think our daughter would be able to ride, but after seeing the trial vehicle, we were sure she could. The ride vehicle itself was a fairly easy transfer and she did feel secure.
    I think the issue was just too much sensory input for her.
     

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