An Afternoon in the Park
Not everyone who has a chronic illness or disability is able to handle 8-12 hours in the parks. Although I try to spend full days myself, I have discovered that I can equally enjoy visits that are under 6 hours. There’s no reason to feel pressured to open or close the parks. Nor should you feel like you would need to sacrifice naps. Continue reading to find out what my family and I were able to do in less than 4 hours at California Adventure.
12:30PM We arrived and parked at Mickey and Friends parking garage.
1:05PM Through security and the park gate. I was disappointed that Disney returned to randomly selecting people to go through the metal detectors instead of having everyone go through as they had been for my past few visits. I know it sounds silly, but I get annoyed when not asked to go through the metal detector. Having every guest subject to screening helps me feel a bit safer in this crazy world
.1:30PM It was another hot summer day and our goal was to cool off right away. We made a beeline for Grizzly River Run. We were disappointed when we discovered a 75 minute wait time. However, we were pleasantly surprised when we saw that the Fast Pass return time was within 30 minutes! So we grabbed FP’s with a return time between 2-3. In the mood for a snack, we grabbed some popcorn and found a shady spot to park ourselves for a bit.
1:55PM With our hunger curbed, we still had a few minutes until we could return to Grizzly, so we popped into The Little Mermaid. This ride rarely has a wait over 30 minutes and today there was only a 10 minutes wait.
I love this ride for many reasons. Most importantly is that it has a vehicle for guests who are unable to transfer from their wheelchairs. It is also a wonderful attraction to cool off in. There is a moving walkway in the loading and unloading area. If you are worried about falling ask a cast member to either slow it down or request that it be stopped. Your safety is important to Disney. In my video you will notice that we came to a stop several times. Anyways, the only things that may deter someone from riding this attraction is having a sensitivity to noise or being in the dark. A pair of headphones could help with the noise factor. I suggest watching my video to determine if the amount of darkness is too much or not.
2:15PM We returned to the FP line for Grizzly River Run. I am worried that I may have to give up this attraction in the near future. Surprisingly my reason has nothing to do with the speed, the dips, falls, or sharp bumps. Instead it is the spinning that has me turning green. In the past year I have given up a few attractions because the urge to vomit wasn’t worth the ride. Oddly this attraction wasn’t an issue before this summer. I have tried to figure out if there was a way to distribute the weight of my group to limit the amount of spinning, but nothing has helped. The only thing that I can think of and that I am hoping is the issue, is that this attraction is designed for guests to get wetter in the summer than in the winter. I guess I will have to wait until this winter to see if that makes a difference or not.
2:40PM While I had gotten my fill and was feeling a bit woozy, my daughter didn’t feel like she had gotten wet enough. So her and my husband grabbed another set of FP’s for themselves. Their return time was between 3:20-4:20.
2:45PM We crossed the park to ride Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters. There was only a 20 minute wait. After waiting for 10 minutes the ride broke down and all guests that were in line received a Front of the Line Pass good for any ride except Radiator Racers.
3:20PM My family returned for their second round of Grizzly while I took a break in the shade.
3:45PM We decided to use our Front of the Line Passes on Toy Story Mania. We chose this attraction because it is one that we don’t go on often as it always has a 45 minute wait and doesn’t offer a FP or Single Rider queue. This attraction is both a ride and a game. However, unlike Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters this attraction has many fast turns. The game portions are in 3D. Typically I don’t compete with my family when riding because the repetitive motion of shooting kills my arm. However, I decided to endure the pain this time and for the first time ever I beat my daughter! While exiting my daughter noticed something different about one of the guns in the handicap vehicle. One of them had a button on the top. Not knowing what it was for, I asked a cast member about it. Turns out it is an alternative way to shoot. So next time I will use the button instead of the pulley that causes my arm muscles to seize up. Note: there is only one special gun per handicap vehicle.
4:00PM Time to go home! Hubby needed to get to bed early for his manic Monday, while I looked forward to a mellow Monday.
Wishing you a magical day!
Tagged: abdominal adhesions, arthritis, California, California Adventure, cars, chronic illness, chronic pain, degenerative disc disease, Disneyland, fibromyalgia, grizzly, handicapped accessible, invisible disabilities, psoriatic arthritis, spoonie, The little mermaid, thrill rides, toy story midway mania, vacation, wheelchair