Today’s Ask the Doctor and the Dad question comes from the Doctor herself! It’s a question she asked herself repeatedly in the days leading up to our big family trip to Disneyland last week, and it went a little something like this:
Should I rent a wheelchair at Disneyland because I’m eight months pregnant? Or should I just try to tough it out? Maybe I should tough it out and walk. After all, I’m a badass chick, so I should be able to do this! But being super pregnant also makes me get tired just walking across the living room right now, plus my butt hurts constantly. So maybe I should get a wheelchair? I don’t know. Hmmm. What do you think I should do?
– Amber (The Doctor)
After lots of deliberation, we ended up renting a wheelchair. It was only $12 (plus a $20 refundable deposit), which is approximately 0% of what we’d already paid for admission to the park, so it seemed like a good deal. We picked up the chair just outside and to the right of the entrance gates. And it’s a good thing we did, because it came with lots of benefits.
Here’s why you should rent a wheelchair at Disneyland when you’re pregnant:
- Your butt won’t ache at the end of the day. When you have sciatica or pelvic girdle pain during pregnancy, lots of walking and standing can lead to pain radiating down your butt cheeks and back of your legs. Add to that lifting a two and a half year old, and you’ve got a recipe for lots of discomfort. But the wheelchair was really great for alleviating that strain for the day.
- Getting great show seats. We went to two shows: A production of Frozen at the Royal Theatre and Mickey and the Magical Map. Both shows were great, especially because we had the wheelchair. In both cases, we got to get into the show first and choose our seat from lots of handicapped accessible locations that also had great views.
Reduced waiting at rides. The ride benefits varied. Some Disneyland attractions let us get onto a ride immediately by entering at the exits, while others had us come back, or just wait in the handicapped line, for an amount of time equivalent to the current wait time. But at least in those cases we could either leave to do something else while we waited or just rest in one place rather than walking through the regular line. We didn’t go to California Adventure, but apparently all the lines there are wheelchair accessible, so none of these benefits would apply there.
- Kids can take rides on your lap. Occasionally Amber would hold one of our kids on her lap, which was fun for everyone. But we wouldn’t suggest using this as a stroller substitute, since Disneyland management discourages it and because at 8 months pregnant, Amber didn’t have a whole lot of lap for the little ones to sit on anyway.
- Grandpa gets to use it too! By the time the nighttime parade and fireworks started, our kids’ Dzia Dzia was pretty pooped. So it worked out really well that Amber could lend him the wheelchair to rest in.
Here’s why you should not rent a wheelchair at Disneyland when you’re pregnant:
The only negative we ran into with our Disneyland wheelchair experience was that Amber felt like she needed to keep apologizing to Andy for making him push her around the park. But that concern was a mere figment that was created by her pregnancy-hormone-riddled brain, since Andy didn’t actually mind at all.
All in all, we highly recommend getting a wheelchair at Disneyland when you’re super pregnant. It doesn’t make you a wuss at all – it just helps you get more out of your magical day!