Showing posts with label Alaska. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Alaska. Show all posts

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Disney Wonder Alaska Cruise: Catching Harry Potter in Ketchikan

Date of Visit: July 17, 2011

Mik didn't plan on getting off in Ketchikan, but when Mom and I got off and discovered the movie theater was not too far I went back and made him get off the ship. He had been wanting to see the new Harry Potter movie and was glad to get a chance to see it in Ketchikan instead of having to wait a week to see it.

The movie theater in Ketchikan was right in the downtown area within walking distance of the dock. It is a small town theater, but they just got 3D that weekend, so we got to see the new Harry Potter in 3D. It was not a 3D necessary movie, but it was cool to see a 3D movie the first weekend it came to Ketchikan.

The theater is the older ramp aisle style. The only spot for a wheelchair, though was in the back off to the side. Thus you get an odd angled view of the screen, since the theater is also wider than typical modern ones. However, it was still good enough to enjoy the movie.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Disney Wonder Alaska Cruise: Walking around Skagway

Date of Visit: July 15, 2011

Skagway was the main port we explored with Mik. Getting into town was a short walk, although there are several sets of train tracks you have to cross over on the way. Some of them are a kind of oddly lined up with the sidewalk, so that if you try to cross them straight on you aren't lined up right with the cutout onto the sidewalk on the other side of the tracks. The Free Wheel came in handy this day, although kind of annoying in the shops since we don't yet have the bracket to put in on back of chair when not using.

Once over the last train tracks you are in town and it is overall was easy to go around, except the Klondike Gold Rush National Park Visitor center not having a cutout way up on one of it's corners. Skagway was also a pretty flat town, especially compared to Juneau.

Getting off in Skagway the gangway was on Deck 4 and was rather steep, but they always had someone that would roll Mik down backwards for us at the ports. When we got back the Gangway had been moved to a lower deck due to the change in tide and it was only a tad steep. The only thing to watch for is that everyone is up into the ship, so you don't end up waiting on the steep gangway while they are checking IDs and going through security. I waited to push Mik up and did not let anyone pass us until I knew we could roll into the ship when we got to top.

Disney Wonder Alaska Cruise: Klondike Gold Rush National Park, Skagway

Date of Visit: July 15, 2011

The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park in Skagway was the one and only thing Mik wanted to see in Alaska. It was not bad, but the museum part in Seattle is much better. However, the movie they show in the main visitor center building by the train station is pretty good.

The Visitor Center is up on a raised platform from the street. You have to go up to it on a ramp from the side by the train tracks or back around halfway down the block on the other side. Not a big deal and they have signs to point out that it is the accessible way to the visitor center. However, it does mean you should cross the street by train tracks to go further into town without having to awkwardly cross mid street where there tends to be regular tour vehicle traffic.

There is not really much to the Visitor Center. There is a room they show a 30 minute movie about the Klondike Gold Rush. The movie was totally worth seeing, but it is not well laid out for wheelchair access. You just end up with the wheelchair next to wherever you sit, which mostly blocks the aisle.

There is also a little museum next to the Visitor Center. This is well laid out with plenty of room to roll around, but there really isn't much in it, especially compared to the part in Seattle. It does have a cool look into a safe where gold was stored, though.

The most interesting part of the Klondike Gold Rush National Park in Skagway in our opinion was the restored Mascot Saloon a couple blocks further into town. This building is set up to look like the original saloon that was on this site. It includes some artifacts found under the floorboards during restoration. This building also has plenty of open space for navigating through no problem and the entrance was propped open, so even easier to get into than the Visitor Center.

Of course, one of the highlights of the visit was stamping our 25th Anniversary National Park Passports, which we are using only for 2011. The Klondike Gold Rush National Park not only had the standard cancellation stamp, but there was also a 25th Passport Anniversary stamp and a special logo design Klondike Gold Rush National Park stamp.

Photos by Kjersti
Text by Kjersti with Mik's wheelchair accessibility input

Destination Info:
Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
Skagway, AK

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Disney Wonder Alaska Cruise: Tracy Arm/Endicott Arm

Date of Visit: July 14, 2011

Our second full day at sea was a scenic cruise day. We were supposed to go into Tracy Arm, but when we got there it was too foggy, so we turned around and went into another nearby fjord, which I think was called Endicott Arm.

The scenery of the fjord was great and at the end we got to see a pretty good glacier. Mik was too lazy to go out on the verandah much, but it was nice that we had one, as he wouldn't have seen any of it if we hadn't.

I enjoyed seeing the various icebergs and bergy bits. The really fun part, though, was eating ice cream while cruising through the fjord.

The best part of the day was seeing whales. We saw at least 10. We mainly saw the blowholes, but also saw a few of the tales.