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    • Taylor Strickland

      (IMPORTANT) What's next for our community   03/24/2016

      Today we're excited to announce the start of our new Facebook group: Universal Community by Orlando Informer. We're also announcing we're closing our forums. This is probably the hardest decision I've made so far with Orlando Informer. This week marks the 2nd anniversary of our forums. Monday will mark 2 years from when I first applied to work with Orlando Informer. I was entering a pool of over 50 applicants, didn't meet the requirements, and didn't think the odds were very high that I'd get the position of Forum Moderator. It never even crossed my mind that not only would I get the position, but that position and these forums would be the start of being able to do what I love as a fulltime job. At its core, our forums have always had two goals: A ) Help families receive specific answers to specific questions, feedback from folks who have been in their shoes, and help them maximize their investment into their vacation. B ) Build a community of people who love to visit Universal, with a foundation of respect and tolerance. I can speak for our entire team on our forums (both past and present), especially our Community Manager @Chuck Plagmann, when I say that we have devoted hours of time every day of the year working towards these two goals. We feel that we've made major strides towards both of our goals, but see the opportunity to help a significantly greater amount of people plan their vacation and add on to our established (and amazing) community. Unfortunately, as time goes on, forums like ours have a tendency to slow down and be replaced by social media. It's the cycle of life for forums. We believe that this Facebook group is the logical next step for our community. Our forums and the content within will remain browseable for the foreseeable future, however you will not be able to submit new content. Our Facebook group, Universal Community by Orlando Informer, will be curated by our same team that ran the OI Forums. @Chuck Plagmann and I will be on the group daily to provide insight and help families plan their vacation. @debi will be monitoring for any Special Needs questions. Our (very talented) authors, like @Marc N. Kleinhenz, will be on the group to talk about their latest articles and your feedback. Finally, @Park Beast will even be dropping by from time to time to talk about our weekly podcast. You can access our Facebook group by searching "Universal Community by Orlando Informer" or visiting UOR.community from any webbrowser. We know this is a substantial change from our forums, but are hopeful you'll be willing to give it a shot. Additionally, we're launching a Facebook group for Universal Hollywood: "Universal Community by California Informer" or visit USH.community. This is the end of the forums, but it is just the beginning of our community. One thing we consistently hear from members of our forums is how different our community is from some of the others found online. We are committed to maintaining this reputation in our Facebook group. I have met a countless number of people, many I call friends, from our OI Forums. I know real bonds (and even relationships) have resulted from the time spent on these forums. I'm looking forward to seeing these bonds develop and new ones form on our new outlet. Please know that this decision was not made lightly or without considering the amount of time many of you have spent on here. I fully believe this is the next step forward to growing our community and helping as many people as possible have the best trip to Universal. I'm looking forward to interacting with everyone for many years to come. As always, please don't hesitate to reach out with feedback -- taylor [at] orlandoinformer.com See you on the Facebook Group, Taylor P.S., Unlimited likes on Facebook, you can thank me in advance.
debi

Have a disability question for SNAU's debi? Post it here!

87 posts in this topic

I have a question regarding the Universal riding guide. According to the document on their website, it doesn't say people in a cast can't ride Forbidden Journey. However when I called Guest Service, they said they can't. Is there a chance that when we get to the parks we might be able to get on the ride even if one of us has a cast? Anyone knows? 

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I have a question regarding the Universal riding guide. According to the document on their website, it doesn't say people in a cast can't ride Forbidden Journey. However when I called Guest Service, they said they can't. Is there a chance that when we get to the parks we might be able to get on the ride even if one of us has a cast? Anyone knows? 

An arm in a cast or a leg? Full body cast? ;)  A walking cast?

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I have a question regarding the Universal riding guide. According to the document on their website, it doesn't say people in a cast can't ride Forbidden Journey. However when I called Guest Service, they said they can't. Is there a chance that when we get to the parks we might be able to get on the ride even if one of us has a cast? Anyone knows? 

An arm in a cast or a leg? Full body cast? ;)  A walking cast?

Full body cast :P Foot cast. Not sure what kind just yet. I'm mostly confused by getting conflicting information on this. 

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I have a question regarding the Universal riding guide. According to the document on their website, it doesn't say people in a cast can't ride Forbidden Journey. However when I called Guest Service, they said they can't. Is there a chance that when we get to the parks we might be able to get on the ride even if one of us has a cast? Anyone knows? 

An arm in a cast or a leg? Full body cast? ;)  A walking cast?

Full body cast :P Foot cast. Not sure what kind just yet. I'm mostly confused by getting conflicting information on this. 

To ride FJ you have to be able to negotiate the moving floor and get into the RV before you fall off the end  so if they are hobbling with crutches and want to hop to get on the ride I doubt they can be accommodated but maybe they can be boarded like a reduced mobility guest. If it is a walking cast I think they will let you ride.

 

There may be a concern about the extra weight on the leg as your legs are swinging free but I am not the expert @debi is. Don't know why I can't tag her here

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I have a question regarding the Universal riding guide. According to the document on their website, it doesn't say people in a cast can't ride Forbidden Journey. However when I called Guest Service, they said they can't. Is there a chance that when we get to the parks we might be able to get on the ride even if one of us has a cast? Anyone knows? 

An arm in a cast or a leg? Full body cast? ;)  A walking cast?

Full body cast :P Foot cast. Not sure what kind just yet. I'm mostly confused by getting conflicting information on this. 

To ride FJ you have to be able to negotiate the moving floor and get into the RV before you fall off the end  so if they are hobbling with crutches and want to hop to get on the ride I doubt they can be accommodated but maybe they can be boarded like a reduced mobility guest. If it is a walking cast I think they will let you ride.

 

There may be a concern about the extra weight on the leg as your legs are swinging free but I am not the expert @debi is. Don't know why I can't tag her here

Yeah that's what I've been wondering. Right now I'm thinking I'll check with the TMs working when we're there and see what they say. 

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Sorry about the replies! I didn't get a notification that I even HAD a post in this section! We were at the parks all day on Tuesday and busy with doctors yesterday. I apologize I didn't see it last night! (Thanks for handling it in the meantime, @HPTR.

Okay - I checked with the Rider's Guide, and there are only 2 rides that specifically now say casts are forbidden: Dragon Challenge and the Hulk (which is currently closed for refurbishing). It says so specifically on Page 9 of the Guide (current copy online and the hard copy which I also picked up recently in Guest Services).

"Guests with casts or braces will be restricted from riding Dragon Challenge™ and The Incredible Hulk Coaster™, where the cast or brace may present a hazard to the guest or others. Casts or braces, where permitted, must fit comfortably in ride unit and not interfere with proper functioning of ride restraint. If in doubt about your ability to safely experience a ride, please consult with an attraction attendant or Guest Services for further information."

Also, I checked the Guide for the information about Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (page 18) - there is nothing there that indicates those with casts cannot ride. I wrote a blog about this back in 2013 and casts were prohibited then, but not now, according, once again, to the Rider's Guide.

However, I have always said that if you are in doubt, ask to speak with someone with the ADA team (or the manager, if he's available) in Guest Services and be evaluated. That way Mr. Huff or his TM can write on his business card (which I've been told is how he usually does it) that you are able to ride certain rides. Ask for a hard copy of the Guide or have it downloaded to what ever device you are using for quick reference. It's obvious that those you spoke to actually don't have the updated Guide!

I think maybe the person you spoke to may have been looking at the information for Guests with Prosthetic Limbs on the UOR website.

Once again, I really apologize for the delay!!

 

 

Edited by debi
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Sorry about the replies! I didn't get a notification that I even HAD a post in this section! We were at the parks all day on Tuesday and busy with doctors yesterday. I apologize I didn't see it last night! (Thanks for handling it in the meantime, @HPTR.

Okay - I checked with the Rider's Guide, and there are only 2 rides that specifically now say casts are forbidden: Dragon Challenge and the Hulk (which is currently closed for refurbishing). It says so specifically on Page 9 of the Guide (current copy online and the hard copy which I also picked up recently in Guest Services).

"Guests with casts or braces will be restricted from riding Dragon Challenge™ and The Incredible Hulk Coaster™, where the cast or brace may present a hazard to the guest or others. Casts or braces, where permitted, must fit comfortably in ride unit and not interfere with proper functioning of ride restraint. If in doubt about your ability to safely experience a ride, please consult with an attraction attendant or Guest Services for further information."

Also, I checked the Guide for the information about Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (page 18) - there is nothing there that indicates those with casts cannot ride. I wrote a blog about this back in 2013 and casts were prohibited then, but not now, according, once again, to the Rider's Guide.

However, I have always said that if you are in doubt, ask to speak with someone with the ADA team (or the manager, if he's available) in Guest Services and be evaluated. That way Mr. Huff or his TM can write on his business card (which I've been told is how he usually does it) that you are able to ride certain rides. Ask for a hard copy of the Guide or have it downloaded to what ever device you are using for quick reference. It's obvious that those you spoke to actually don't have the updated Guide!

I think maybe the person you spoke to may have been looking at the information for Guests with Prosthetic Limbs on the UOR website.

Once again, I really apologize for the delay!!

 

 

Hi Debi! Thanks for the answer! I had no idea you could get evaluated at guest services for this. That's very good to know. I did end up calling again yesterday because the guide didn't fit what I was being told. The TM I got pulled up the guide and then talked to her manager who said a lot of it depended on what she'd have, what she was able to do and the discretion of the TM working. But I'll definitely look into the evaluation thing. Thanks!

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Hey Debi, 

I wanted to ask you if you knew if there were any simulated/3d rides, besides Shrek, that have a "motion free" section or car?  Friends of mine are going to the parks, and I know that getting thrown around is not going to be good for them.  Bad backs, and stuff.  I wish FJ had something like that, but I guess it wouldn't be possible.  

Also, question about wheel chairs; how easy/hard are they to push in the parks and what do you do with the chairs when you get to the rides?  I am asking this for people who are ambulatory, but may need to take wheelchair breaks for getting around all day.  

As always, appreciate any info:)

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5 minutes ago, Kathkat said:

Hey Debi, 

I wanted to ask you if you knew if there were any simulated/3d rides, besides Shrek, that have a "motion free" section or car?  Friends of mine are going to the parks, and I know that getting thrown around is not going to be good for them.  Bad backs, and stuff.  I wish FJ had something like that, but I guess it wouldn't be possible.  

Also, question about wheel chairs; how easy/hard are they to push in the parks and what do you do with the chairs when you get to the rides?  I am asking this for people who are ambulatory, but may need to take wheelchair breaks for getting around all day.  

As always, appreciate any info:)

Debi probably knows some more.  But Despicable Me has a non motion row, and special access line.  The queue at DM can be large, but the non motion line is usually much shorter, so it you choose to do the non motion, be sure to get the right line.  That queue is near the building entrance, not the main & express queue start.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Chuck Plagmann said:

Debi probably knows some more.  But Despicable Me has a non motion row, and special access line.  The queue at DM can be large, but the non motion line is usually much shorter, so it you choose to do the non motion, be sure to get the right line.  That queue is near the building entrance, not the main & express queue start.

 

 

Thanks Chuck - very useful information - even for myself - I didn't like the jerking motion of that ride.

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16 hours ago, Kathkat said:

Hey Debi, 

I wanted to ask you if you knew if there were any simulated/3d rides, besides Shrek, that have a "motion free" section or car?  Friends of mine are going to the parks, and I know that getting thrown around is not going to be good for them.  Bad backs, and stuff.  I wish FJ had something like that, but I guess it wouldn't be possible.  

Also, question about wheel chairs; how easy/hard are they to push in the parks and what do you do with the chairs when you get to the rides?  I am asking this for people who are ambulatory, but may need to take wheelchair breaks for getting around all day.  

As always, appreciate any info:)

 

16 hours ago, Chuck Plagmann said:

Debi probably knows some more.  But Despicable Me has a non motion row, and special access line.  The queue at DM can be large, but the non motion line is usually much shorter, so it you choose to do the non motion, be sure to get the right line.  That queue is near the building entrance, not the main & express queue start.

Thanks, Chuck! That's a new one to me about a different entrance for DM and must be recent. In the past we've tried to use it with our GAP but were told we had to get in line first, even though I now use the stationary seating while DH and EE ride in a car. They actually put EE and me in the stationary line once inside the building then save DH and EE a seat in the very last car in the bottom row. I have started using the stationary seating because this ride is just too jerky for me, too.

Despicable Me, Shrek-4D and Terminator 2: 3D all have stationary seating. I would not recommend The Simpson's Ride or any of the coasters. We don't ride water rides, so I honestly don't know how jerky they are. I introduced a Sensory Guide for those with Special Needs but it's in the process of being updated since so many rides have closed or opened since I produced the original. Right now, the old version is sitting in one of the Clouds. Cat in the Hat used to be jerky, but they've taken out the spins and strong jerks that made the ride fun. The spins on MIB don't bother me at all. The best bet for your friends would be to check out  Universal Orlando's Rider's Guide for Rider Safety and Guests with Disabilities. All the info needed about each ride is located in this booklet. 

As for the rented wheelchairs, they are all very easy to push. Universal keeps them serviced and lubricated. We used to rent one for EE until we realized we were spending more than if we'd just buy her one! Each ride is different for the wheelchairs but the occupant can remain in them right up until they board, which I would suggest doing. Sometimes TMs move them outdoors to a holding area; after several years of having them snitched at WDW and once at Universal, I've found if you tell the TM you need it when you disembark, it will be waiting for you as you get off and lessen the chance of having it disappear later in the day (when people are getting tired...).

Wow! Wouldn't it be terrific if a stationary version of Forbidden Journey could be available for those who can't ride? Maybe a small theater with a screen similar to what is used inside the Hogwarts Express cars? Better yet, maybe a 3-D version like in Hollywood but without the flying benches....

Hope these links and info will help!! Let me know if I can be of further help!

 

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5 hours ago, debi said:

Hope these links and info will help!! Let me know if I can be of further help!

Yes, Debi, thank you so much!  This is such great information!   So relieved to hear that the wheelchairs are easy to push.  thanks again!

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