Sunday, October 4, 2015

Central Florida Theme Park Life

As previously noted, I recently moved to Kissimmee, FL - a suburb of Walt Disney World (lol). That places me VERY close to numerous Theme Parks and other recreational spots. I will cover some I have frequented in more detail, later. Meanwhile, a brief synopsis.

Walt Disney World - I am there very frequently, and have found a few accessibility issues. Let me say that Disney WILL try to make things right ... BUT you HAVE to let them know there IS a problem - they aren't mind readers (and they really DON'T want you to be angry over an issue they aren't aware of)! A good example has been the accessible parking durin the recently opened Food & Wine Festival at EPCOT. I had the same issue on numerous days, and at first dealt with Parking Supervisors to try to resolve it, but they were only dealing with it as an isolated instance and were not making long term solutions. What was the problem - I have a ramp on the driver's side for my wheelchair, and need the extra space like a van accessible spot has. They were sending me to the far lot (Imagine, I think)that only has ONE, small row of accessible spots, and were attempting to place me in "overflow" - which is a regular parking spot and almost guarantees that someone would be parked on my driver's side and end up blocking my ability to load my wheelchair.  I went to Guest Relations - The first time I spoke to a CM and they assured me they would pass on my concerns; The second time, I spoke to a "Coordinator" - they assured me it would be sent to the appropriate people. Yesterday it was worse than normal, so I went to Guest Relations and asked to speak to a Manager - that got their attention. I ended up speaking to a "Leader", and she took my phone number and told me I WOULD be called back with a resolution!  Yesterday evening, I spoke with the GM of EPCOT! My situation had been discussed extensively, and there were looking at possible long term fixes (at which point I gave a viable fix - but it would require staffing changes, which can always be an issue). My suggestion was gladly accepted as a possible fix, and it WOULD be sent to the "right people" to see if it was the best fix - at least in the short term. Meanwhile, for the short term for me - my name and a description of my car has been sent to ALL the parking personnel to insure I have minimal issues with parking ... I am now in their nightmares, I'm sure.

Lots of changes are taking place at the ex-Downtown Disney - it's now Disney Springs and has a lot of new restaurants to try.

Sea World - Another of my Annual Pass locations. I have been there rarely, because of the HOT weather. There are few locations to get out of the sun and heat - unlike WDW. Now that the weather is changing, I will probably go more often.

Lowry Park Zoo (in Tampa, FL) - a VERY nice zoo with some interesting special happening. Well worth a visit - or multiple visits.