You can still see Disneyland with Oxygen
For those reading my blogs, you would know I recently took a trip to the USA to tick a few things of my bucket list. One of the things was Disneyland with the family.
Not only am I on oxygen almost full-time, but I have a five year old son that wanted to be on every roller coaster the park had to offer, he wanted photos taken with most characters and wanted any snack food with sugar. I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with all this on my own, fortunately I had my husband play a major role that day as I kicked back and followed them around on the electric scooter that I hired from the park. I would wait at the exit of every ride they took to hear all about the fun they had and ready with the camera for any pics I thought would be great.
I complicated my bucket list wish to take my son to Disneyland in California, but wanting it to be Christmas day. Not only was this a huge day filled with loads of people, the park was at its capacity… but It was cold – as it was a winters day and a lot of the locals kept saying it was one of the coldest days they have had in a long time…. Of course it was, but Christmas Eve was totally opposite, it was warm and we got around in a tshirt all day until late afternoon.
One of the biggest fears is getting the flu in another country when you are already on oxygen and battling to breathe as it is… but with the right clothing and the constant oxygen I was ok, I also packed a pack of antibiotics for backup in case I felt flu symptoms starting up.
Was I crazy to have such a request to take my son at Christmas to see all the Characters dressed in Christmas clothing and Christmas carols playing all around us… maybe… but I’m going to go with ambitious.
Disneyland hire out strollers, wheel chairs and electric scooters, they have really set the park out to make the happiest place on earth accessible to everyone and anyone. (Link for Disability facilities of the park)
At first when my husband suggested that I use the scooter, I’ll be honest; I wasn’t keen on the idea… I thought it would be hard to use and maybe uncomfortable… I wanted a wheel chair and he push me even though I felt a little bitter that I wasn’t going to feel so dependent, After speaking with my husband, he was right, I realized I wouldn’t be able to move while waiting for him to come off a ride that had an hour waiting time. A scooter is also a good option because it saves trying to walk around and there are a few hills and way too much walking for someone with Pulmonary Hypertension and Pulmonary Fibrosis.
The scooter was EASY to use and comfortable. I put my belongings in the basket in front of me, my portable oxygen between my feet and I left the trolley I use to wheel the oxygen, with the people at scooter hire. They gave me a ticket and I picked it up once I had finished with the scooter.
I stayed at a hotel near the park – The Marriot. Most of the hotels have these bus stops where they run these ART buses every 20 minutes that take you to and from the park as many times as you like with a day pass, they even have a scooter loading facility if you bring your own scooter.
The scooter cost me $54 to hire for the day and I had to leave an additional $20 holding fee that I got back at the end of the hire. You can hire it from park open to park close. The only shitty thing was that you can’t hold the scooters the night before for the next day even if you offer to make prior payment, I know they have approx 100 available, but on a busy day I was lucky to get one of the last 4 left even though I got to the park at opening time, the lines were insane. If you go on a day when it’s not a festive day, you should be fine.
The scooter has a horn… a pointless horn that sounds like a squeak… no one can hear it and on a busy day like Christmas day, my scooter was at times invisible to some people who were in a major hurry to get from point A to point B. The secret to surviving the rush is to avoid trying to get through after a parade, just wait 5 minutes and things slow down a little. Always ask staff to assist with finding the scooter and wheel chair seating areas for the parades, they do have them, you will have to get their help finding them.
I thought, If I lived in the USA, I would have taken my own scooter, that way there is no risk of missing out. But the good thing about using the parks one, is if something happens to it they replace it, where as if you bring your own you may encounter a problem and then struggle getting the chair out. The park gives you the keys and a key ring with an emergency number on it.
You may be thinking, why I didn’t go on any rides and was I bored? I wasn’t bored; I took a book with me to jot down some notes and something to read while I waited. I’m not keen on rides and I get nauseous very easily. It was more for me to see my son having one of the best experiences I can give him at this age. Mission accomplished!
What I noticed was that people are always willing to help if you ask for it, I had plenty of people offering to lend a hand and the employees at Disneyland are amazing and so HAPPY! It really feels like one of the happiest places on earth.
If going to Disneyland was always on your bucket list, don’t let a disability stop you, and find out how you can make it happen with a bit of research and ENJOY LIFE!! It’s too short to live it any other way.
Be curious, if not for yourself, for your family.