Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Disney’s California Adventure: Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure

Mik in wheelchair on Web Slingers

Date of Visit: June 26, 2024

Dad and I went on Web Slingers back in 2021. As someone that is not at all into Spider-Man or superhero in general, I thought it was fun in that it was a game similar to why Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Toy Story Midway Mania are favorite rides. Since then, I had been trying to convince Mik he should try out Web Slingers next time we visited Disney’s California Adventure. Despite him actually being interested in Spider-Man things usually, he was not interested in the ride, but I finally convinced him because it is a ride he could stay in his wheelchair.

When we got in line for Web Slingers the wait time was about 45 minutes. Mik was quickly annoyed with the wait because as seems to be the case more so at Disneyland than Disney World, the line is outside and mostly in the sun with minimal shade and it was one of the hotter days. They do have some fans at parts that helps some, but really what made it long was that the line moved slow and it quickly became clear it would be longer than 45 minutes. As we were getting close to where you enter the building for the pre-ride “show,” the ride officially went down. We decided to stick it out because we were almost there, finally in the shade, and, well, there is not much other choice with the wheelchair unless they actually empty the line. It was down for only about 15-20 minutes and then another 20 minutes or so and we were loading into the accessible vehicle.

Wheelchair on ramp in queue

When you first enter the building, a group is put in a room and there is a pre-show introducing you to the Open House premise and mission. After you exit this, there is a ramped queue to the boarding area. This was slightly annoying as a stop and go line on a ramp area is not fun, but it is not long usually except the ride did again go down momentarily while we were here.

As we approached the boarding area, a Cast Member asked if Mik could transfer and when told no, they led us over to the separate boarding area where the accessible vehicle was waiting to be loaded. Two can ride on the bench next to the wheelchair. The other side of the vehicle I think sits three, which is loaded first as the door to it ends up blocked by the wheelchair. Mom and Dad rode on that side and I rode next to Mik.

Wheelchair with front tie down on Web Slingers

The wheelchair is secured using the tie down straps like on buses and similar to Toy Story Mania with only one being used in the front. I can’t recall if they just used a wedge for the back or if there were also tie downs from the back. The ride is rather smooth, though, and even with Mik actively slinging webs with his arms he had no complaints about feeling any tippy movement in his chair.

Mik and My Web Slinger Team Score

Mik enjoyed the concept of slinging webs, although he was a little frustrated that it was hard to sling them at the various targets accurately. It was not just him, though, as I felt the same, but for me I think it was more that the ride glasses on top of my glasses just do not work well. We did beat Mom and Dad, though.

Mom and Dad Web Slinger Team Score

Overall Mik did enjoy riding Web Slingers. As no one was waiting for the wheelchair vehicle when we were done, we were asked if we wanted to ride again, but Mik was tired out after one go around. He said he would probably not ride it again, but only because the line was torture and he would not trust the wait time to be accurate. Even if the wait time was accurate the way the line moves so slowly does make it feel even longer and I do not know if that is just how it always is because of the pre-ride “show” style of line makes it not a continuously moving line or if it was so slow because the ride was having issues.

Destination Info:

Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure
Disney California Adventure
1313 South Harbor Boulevard
Anaheim, CA 92802

Monday, July 8, 2024

Disneyland Monorail

Mik riding Monorail

Date of Visit: June 26, 2024

The last time we rode the Disneyland Monorail was probably before Downtown Disney when we stayed the Disneyland Hotel for my birthday in 1997 (Mik’s 1st Disneyland trip). This trip Dad and I used it a few times to save some walking distance, but Mik only used it one time when Dad went back to get Mom and him to join us at Disneyland for the day.

Elevator between stairs

To get up to the Monorail from the Downtown Disney station, there is an elevator between the boarding and unloading stairs.

Wheelchair boarding area

In the boarding area, there is a zone for wheelchairs to line up. When Mom, Dad, and Mik came over in the late morning they did not have to wait, but one evening when Dad and I went over we noticed the wheelchair/ECV line was very long. We are used to Disney World where the wheelchairs and ECVs can be loaded in several different cars and they just have to move the ramp to them for loading/unloading. Disneyland’s configuration seems to have only one place, which can fit two chairs, but only one ECV leading to it easily becoming a very long long of wheelchairs/ECVs.

wedge behind wheels

They do put a wedge behind the back wheel, but since there are no tie downs for the front it really doesn’t help. The route to Disneyland is very curvy and this leads to a lot of chair movement. Mik did not freak out like his has been known to do, but Dad did notice the casters did come off the ground at least once. Mik also said the movement made him nauseous.

Mik on Monorail

Overall we found the Monorail not really worthwhile at Disneyland. Dad and I did find it useful to spend a little less time on our feet. It did not really save any time in getting to the park other than walking to the park other than maybe the ticket line took longer and it does put you in Tomorrowland. Even if it was a time saver, Mik will never go on the Disneyland Monorail again because it was too much of a thrill ride in the wheelchair.

Destination Info:

Disneyland Monorail
1313 South Harbor Boulevard
Anaheim, CA 92802

Friday, July 5, 2024

The Villas at Disneyland Hotel: Accessible Studio w/ Tub

The DVC Tower at Disneyland Hotel

Date of Visit: June 24-28, 2024

When I told Mik about the new DVC at Disneyland, he was interested in trying it out and doing Disneyland as part of his 30th birthday trip, but if I was not able to get a reservation when the booking window opened, he was also good with not going to at all. I ended up being able to get an Accessible Studio w/ Tub. Glad I had not gone with a one-bedroom because I later learned you pay the taxes here like at Aulani and it certainly would not have been worth using points and still owing the one-bedroom tax amount at checkout when there are many just as close hotels we have had good experiences at when visiting Disneyland.

From the start the stay was non-magical. First off the check in process is chaotic and not clear. When we drove up to the building, they basically expected us to unload in front and use bell services, which we never do at DVC. After we explained we wanted to just go in and check in, we were directed to go around to where there are some spots for check in. There were no accessible spots available, though, as the row of them here seems to be not just for check in and can be used for your whole stay. Later when Dad parked the car he found there were none in self-parking available and in the parking garage there are not even any accessible spots.

Check in inside was slow because apparently they expect you to use online check in, go straight to your room, checkout online, and basically never interact with the front desk. Well, I have found the Disney apps to be glitchy, not user friendly, and my account in particular has long been messed up because it merged with Mom’s DVC and mine for other Disney making my experience even worse than most. I could not even check in online using the app. I did eventually get it to work on the browser, but I do not trust the digital key working and I certainly was not going to log the others into my account for them to have a digital key or trust Mom could reliably figure it out on her own. Thus, we checked in to get real key cards. Later we learned we could add everybody’s tickets to each person’s account and app and maybe that would have worked if we linked the reservation for the digital key for the others, but mine never showed digital key as available to use so did not even try. The front desk staff at check in at least was friendly and as expected. It just was having only 2 cast members at main check in time made for a slow check in.

What really got us hating the Villas at Disneyland Hotel was bell services. First, we were surprised that they did not have carts you could use yourself because we have never stayed at a DVC or Hilton timeshare that we could not do that and even all the Best Westerns we had stayed at in the week and a half leading up to this stay had carts you could use. We travel with two large storage containers and a cooler, so taking it all to our room was not exactly an option. Thus, we used bell services. We knew they probably expected a tip, but we were not expected to have to use them and had no cash. I expected the awkward pause at the end with them waiting for a tip, but the guy refused to leave without a tip and when we told him we had no cash he still refused to leave because they take Venmo. I do not use that and even if I had cash at this point I no longer even wanted to tip at all because of their attitude, especially his. At this point, Mik came out of the bathroom and told us to take the cash in his wallet and we finally got him to leave with Mik’s 5 $1 bills (Mom being Mom, then realized she had a $5 bill and paid Mik back…).

Now we were only an hour or two into our stay and done with the Villas at Disneyland Hotel. The rest of the stay really was okay to good and if the start had not been so horrible, it might have actually have been a place we would consider staying again when visiting Disneyland.

The next big issue we ran into was the room was hot. At first I thought it was just that the settings were off until we entered the room. It was set at auto and 65 when we first came in and was 75, but overnight it only ended up cooling to 71. It certainly did not feel like 71, though, as we are used to keeping our house at 77 and lower than that in a place that does not have the same humidity is cold to us. We found if we put the fan on high it felt mostly comfortable. However, anytime you touched the thermostat, it reverted back to auto and then it got uncomfortable again because Mom is known to mess with the thermostat whenever she is hot or cold. One evening we came back and it was actually off (she says she did not touch it, but more than likely she did) and again it took until morning for it to be almost comfortable in the room.

Accessible tub

The last major issue we had was there was no hot water in the shower. Having just come from a hotel that only just barely got comfortable warm, not even getting to that was extremely disappointing. The shower felt even colder because of the style of shower head that made it is so you had to keep ending up out of the water stream to get the toiletries and lather up. For once Mik was glad we did not have a roll in shower! However, a roll in shower could not have been as bad as this tub that had too short of a shower curtain resulting in way more water in the bathroom than the roll in showers we have experienced lately.

barn door for bathroom

Besides the shower, the bathroom was good. We liked that it had a barn door (and that it did not have a bottom track to potentially get messed up and trap you like the Hampton Inn we had just been at).

toilet and grab bars

The bars worked for Mik to be able to get on and off toilet himself.

mirror with fairy godmother lights

The fairy characters lights in the mirror were fun and we found them to be bright enough that we only needed the main lights in bathroom when using shower.

big lotion bottle

We appreciated that they have a large refillable for the lotion compared to most places still seeming to do just a small bottle of lotion when they have the wall mounted other toiletries.

TV and kitchenette area

The one big positive of this place was the TV. Mik liked that he could connect his iPad and stream to itThe kitchenette area is under the TV, which made this feel very much like staying in a hotel room versus a studio. While it did allow for more “counter space” than the typical studio, it was more inconvenient that you could not leave stuff on it much because then it blocked the television. It also meant that instead of having a dresser for clothes you only had cabinets for your food (or you could have used them for clothes, but then no where for the food, which I guess if we had not been on part of a larger road trip we would not have had as much to food store as we do eat at the parks especially for a Disneyland trip). We did like that it had three power outlets as well as USB and USB-C ports for charging, though.

mini fridge

The fridge was small with no freezer, which was kind of expected, but also part of what makes the studios feel like a hotel instead of a studio and being “home” like DVC is supposedly trying to be with the whole Welcome Home thing. Really do not much care about having a freezer, but really was one of the smallest fridges we had during our three week trip that also involved staying at ~10 different Best Westerns and a Hampton Inn.


The Keurig was nice compared to a coffee pot as it allowed us to easily do decaf and regular. It still feels so wasteful and a step back when the toiletries have gone away from single use, but we now travel with reusable k-cups and ground coffee so we do not request and use more than initially stocked.


The sofa is a Murphy bed. The ottoman in front of it was nice in that it opened up to be storage, but we moved it to be by the window and just kept the bed down the whole time so did not actually use it.

sofa bed down

Once the bed was down, there was a light, 2 outlets, and 2 USB ports.

light up headboard

The bed side “tables” also had power outlets, but not USB ports. The bed also had a light up headboard. The way they had black panels covering part of it made it looked messed up and poorly done to me.

view out window

When we first got our room assignment as 1st floor, I was disappointed because I never even thought that was a possibility. It did not end up being bad, but it did odd being at the end of the hall that also had the fitness center, the model rooms they were showing, and that led out to the grill area (only even realized that was there because it was viewed from our room window). Not having to deal with elevators was nice, though, and did help it not take quite so long for us to make the four trips to get our stuff to truck at check out.

bench between window and closet

Between the closet and the window there was a bench. This worked out to be a good place to put mine and Mik’s suitcases and just not unpack them.

thick carpet

Mik liked that the only carpet in the room was the rug under the bed. The carpet in the hall from the lobby to the room, though, was annoyingly thick. This was especially a problem when we were trying to be more efficient to get everything to the truck at checkout and I could not pull a suitcase and push Mik with the other hand like I usually can because I needed two hands to push him on the thick carpet.

Overall I guess it was worth using our points to stay here as we have not been using them for anything other than our annual family trip and I had them to use, but certainly not somewhere we would ever stay again as for not much more than the room taxes we still had to pay we could have had a better stay experience with breakfast included at a nearby hotel as we have mostly done for Disneyland trips. Also, would even use DVC points for a hotel room at Pixar Place over the Villas at Disneyland as at least you know you are getting a hotel room and are closer to the parks (stayed there once with Mik using DVC points when it was Paradise Pier and we enjoyed it). 

Destination Info:

1150 Magic Way
Anaheim, CA 92802

Saturday, June 29, 2024

Hampton Inn Tucson Airport

Date of Visit: June 20-24, 2024

While for longer stays, we prefer to have a roll in shower, when booking in February I could not find anything to book that was central or at least near something we planned to do. We ended up booking a King Accessible w/ Tub at the Hampton Inn Tucson Airport to at least have toilet grab bars in a location that works good for the various things we like to do when visiting Tucson.

Access aisle with no ramp

The parking in front was initially rather disappointing. The space for unloading is great in that it basically a whole parking spot turned into access aisle between the 2nd and 3rd accessible spots, but the sidewalk there is not ramped. At first I thought you had to go around to the front entrance, but there is a ramped sidewalk on the side of the first accessible spot, which was not a van accessible spot. Later when we came back and all the spots were full, we discovered there were more accessible spots around back and those were better in that the ramped sidewalk was between the two spots, although the ramped sidewalk did cause there to be a slight trip hazard where the front passenger gets out.

Barn Door to bathroom

Mostly we really like that more places have gone with a barn door for the bathrooms. This barn door was messed up, though, and the first time I used the bathroom I got trapped. Luckily, I was not alone and Dad figured out that the bottom track holder was loose so that it turned when you closed the door all the way and then blocked the door from reopening. We did not feel like dealing with maintenance during our stay, but we reported it as we were checking out and they were right on sending someone up to look at it, so pretty sure they would have at least attempted to promptly fix if we had reported it when we first noticed.

Toilet and grab bars

For once, the grab bars were in a way that Mik could get on toilet himself. Surprisingly, he did not knock the toilet paper off like usually happens with the single side holders.

Tub with bench and grab bars

The tub had a fold down seat on the back wall. It also had pump bottle toiletries. I was somewhat disappointed the water never really got hot even when turned as far as it goes, but at least it did get reasonably warm which our next hotel did not even do.

Roll under sink

The roll under sink was a little awkward with the faucet on the side. It was a problem and maybe that makes it easier for some to use.

microwave, fridge, and shelves

Under the TV, there was a microwave (low like Mik likes). To the left was a fridge behind the door. To the right was a cupboard with pull out drawers.

Desk and sofabed

By the TV was a desk area on each side. Only one side had a chair, though. By the desk was the sofa bed, which I ended up sleeping on without pulling out as a bed because Mik did not feel there was enough floor space for him if we pulled it out due to the somewhat awkward layout of it being between the bed and the TV. The rolling ottomans and the side table were handy, although it caused extra clutter that contributed to Mik feeling there was not room to have the sofa bed open.

King size bed

Next to the bed was the closet area. At first I thought it was rather lame with it only having a small hanging area in the corner mostly blocked from accessing by the night stand. I then realized the curtain was hiding the rest of the closet area.

Full closet area

Mik's waffles with raspberry syrup and whipped cream

The breakfast was good. There was decent variety of things available and the hot breakfast varied each day (eggs, omelettes, sausage, biscuits). Mik really enjoyed the waffles as they had different sauces, whipped cream, and fruit to put on them.

Mik eating breakfast

Other than our first and last morning, Mik had us bring his breakfast up to the room because the seating options for breakfast are not the best, Most of the seating is at a high top table and small short coffee tables by the couches. There are a some regular tables, but especially the first day it was too crowded to get one.

Overall Hampton Inn Tucson Airport was a decent place to stay, but Mik says he’d probably try somewhere else than stay again. The room layout was too awkward and just did not work out well for all of us. His biggest complaint, though, was the TV as there was no regular Fox channel and the TV signal frequently cut out.

Destination Info:

6971 S. Tucson Boulevard
Tucson, AZ 85756

Best Western Discovery Inn

Best Western Discovery Inn building and parking lot view

Date of Visit: June 19-20, 2024

I booked a Mobility Accessible room with 2 Queen beds and tub. Upon check in they did make it clear that the room was in the pet section and offered to move us when we said we did not have pet, but as it was the only accessible room left we preferred to stick with it. The hotel did end up pretty full that night and the only time we even noticed we were in the pet section was when leaving in the morning and two dogs briefly barked at each other when they met in the hall.

3 cookies

We all enjoyed the cookies we got at check in.

Desert view and Interstate

The room was located on the back side of the building which was near the Interstate, but was still quiet.

View of room with 2 queen beds and tile

Mik loved that the room was tile throughout.

Table and Chairs

We moved the table and chairs into the corner and piled our stuff in the area right where we came in and Mik still had plenty space in the front of the room to hang out on the floor as he likes.

TV Stand

It was the smaller style mini fridge. Mik liked that the microwave was low. The power for charging stuff in the TV stand was helpful.

Closet to right in bathroom

The closet area was in the bathroom.

Roll under sink

Roll under sink.

Toilet by tub with grab bars

Mik couldn’t get on toilet himself with the grab bars, but it seems rarer and rarer he is able to do that in new situations. This design so close to wall and tub, I imagine is probably not the best for many others either.

Tub with grab bars and mounted toiletries

The tub had a bench leaning against wall. This was the first time I had stayed at a Best Western that had switched to the on wall toiletries. While we did not end up using the shower, these are the squeeze style and I have found these hard to use at other places and the high height probably makes them even harder if you cannot stand. At least the shower wand head was left low, though, as so many times we have noticed it is put up on a bracket up high.

Threshold out

The threshold on the way out of the room was a little high.

Breakfast menu

The breakfast here was one of the best we’ve had a Best Western. They had a lot of variety including yogurt, fresh fruit (bananas as well as fresh fruit like watermelon cut up in cups to grab from the fridge), Uncrustables, biscuits, eggs, sausage, and oatmeal.

Overall we really enjoyed the Best Western Discovery Inn. If Mik had not decided he wanted to go straight home and skip the Petrified Forest National Park, we would have stayed her a night on the way home, too.

Destination Info:

Best Western Discovery Inn
200 Estrella Ave
Tucumcari, NM 88401

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Best Western Tulsa Airport

Date of Visit: June 18-19, 2024

The Best Western Tulsa Airport was our first stop to sleep on our way from Chicago to Tucson. When we were starting our day with our first (and really only) planned stop before Tucson being Pops in Oklahoma we considered getting there on our first day, but found that there was an mobility accessible room at the Best Western Tulsa Airport available to book that night and no accessible rooms at the closest Best Western past Pops. We mostly do not mind not getting an accessible room when it’s just a stop on the road to sleep, but since we noticed it was an option we booked the room in the morning rather than our usual in the evening as we are getting ready to be done for the day.

Mobility Accessible room with 2 beds

This definitely is a low end Best Western and the price does reflect that at least (nothing since I used points…or $58/night if I hadn’t). The rooms are rather worn and it had a musty smell to it. It was clean, but they did not stock the bathroom adequately with there only being bath towels and wash cloths (no hand towel) and 2 bottles of shampoo (no soap and no conditioner). Since the room was on the far back side, we did not bother asking for toiletries and just used one of the extra bars of soap I had saved from earlier in our trip.

The biggest concern we had when we first got to our room was that there were kids that were playing around outside the room next door and kept going back and forth to other rooms (it seemed there were families staying here long term/living here). It was noisy with them knocking next door every time they came back and you had to watch out for one of the little kids riding his trike down the walkway. It was around 7pm when we got there, though, and it was not excessively loud. Overnight there was no noise, so they did seem to respect what would be considered typical quiet hours.

toilet with grab bars

The toilet grab bars were interesting. Mik could almost get up using them, but they were slightly too high for him. They then made it hard to help get him the rest of the way on, especially for me, because of how they stick out and are so close on both sides.

roll in shower

The mobility accessible room description I booked said it was a tub, so we were surprised to find it was actually a roll-in shower. That worked out well for us as Mik was due for a shower after being in Mom’s condo where there is a tub and while I have three accessible rooms book our trip only the one night I have booked as we head back east is a room with roll in shower. The water pressure was not the best, but it did get hot fast and it was well designed slanted inwards that there was no water mess outside the shower like you often have to deal with.

Fridge, Microwave, and "closet" area with low clothes hanging bare
Fridge, Microwave, and Low "Closet" area

open floor area by bed when you first come in room

Mik found the area right when you came in before the first bed a good area for him to hang out and there was an outlet by the chair for him to use for charging his phone and tablet.

The breakfast was okay. The selection was somewhat limited, but there was eggs, sausage patties, individually packaged muffins, bread for toast, oatmeal packets, and waffle maker. Kind of disappointing there were no bananas and the only fruit available was one apple. They very well might have had bananas and more apples as even though we were at breakfast just a little after it supposedly opened at 6am, there were several other groups already eating.

Overall it was worth what we paid for and it was worthwhile for the roll in shower. Also, it worked out as  the right location to stop for the night as it was close to a Walmart to get a needed oil change first thing the next morning and going any further would not have allowed for our leisurely driving day that included an unplanned stop to eat at Cozy Dog Drive In. The extremely slow internet that was unusable was rather disappointing, though.

Destination Info:
Best Western Tulsa Airport
222 N Garnett Road
Tulsa, OK 74116