My name is Nick and I have been a C3/4 client of TCC since 2007. I would like to share my experiences from my family holiday to Florida.
I traveled on Christmas day with Virgin Atlantic and once I had pre-booked passenger assistance, I found them very helpful as a high level Tetra, I was prioritised a bulk head seat which was unquestionably vital for a long haul flight. Having arrived at Orlando International Airport, I had no trouble finding a wheel chair accessible taxi to transport me to my villa. The journey took roughly 45 minutes at a cost of approximately 100 dollars.
I stayed in a 5 bedroomed, fully accessible, completely equipped villa in Davenport, with lots to entertain my 2 young nephews, including a games room and an accessible swimming pool with a hoist. Unfortunately, I was unable to use the swimming pool due to the unexpected cold weather the east coast of America suffered in December and January, just my luck! The website for the villa is www.graingevillaflorida.com and you will note that their ‘from that’ prices are very reasonable.
Despite partly choosing America as our holiday destination for the good weather, the main purpose of our holiday was to experience the many parks and attractions. I purchased a 14 day Disney and Universal combo ticket from www.floridaescapes.co.uk. Please be aware, as you may have seen in the press, there are no longer any concessions for disabled people, as far as ticket prices or queuing are concerned, however you will receive priority parking.
As my carer had unfortunately fractured her foot prior to the holiday and was unable to drive, throughout the first week of the holiday, I had to use accessible taxis. This became too expensive and therefore, I made the decision to hire a wheelchair accessible van which I would highly recommend. Website; www.wheelchairvansofamerica.com.
As we were in Florida for New Year we went to the Medieval Times show. Here we were entertained by knights fighting on horseback whilst enjoying a delicious four course meal. The highlight of the holiday was watching my two nephews swimming with dolphins at Discovery Cove and watching the Killer whale show at SeaWorld. I also enjoyed the stunt car show at Universal Studios.
We enjoyed eating out in many restaurants with very good and friendly service. The custom in America is to tip at least 20% unless the service is terrible, as the staff are on very low pay, but in our experience they deserved it.
I would like to thank TCC for their help and support which enabled me to enjoy this once in a life time holiday. I also want to thank my carer Emma for all her hard work and effort during my holiday.
I hope that my experience will help and encourage others to do the same.