[nagdu] Guide dogs and theme parks

Ed Meskys edmeskys at roadrunner.com
Fri Jul 18 19:49:59 UTC 2014

I have brought my guide dogs to various theme parks over the years, and have 
had few problems. In the early 90s my wife and I vacationed with our 
teen-age son in Orlando. We were there for the World SF Convention, but 
after the con we spent several days in a campground in Disney World, \ a 
tent and camping supplies from a vendor which was used to dealing with 
Disney. They had the tent set up for us when we arrived. I am totally blind, 
and my wife was a bit shook up when an armadillo approached our tent, but 
the dog paid no attention. I am not a fan of thrill rides, but did try Space 
Mountain roller-coaster. Son Stanley kept the dog while Sandy and I did the 
ride. Other rides, like the Norse mythology ride with roaring gods, etc, in 
the Epcot Norway pavilion, didn't bother him at all. We only had two 
incidents with Gerry, a yellow lab, who had been my second dog. We spent a 
whole day at Sea World, which was very stressful. It was a hot, sunny day, 
and there was no shade. In the early evening there was a stage show with 
fireworks. It started with a mock radio program, which was VERY loud. I do 
not remember whether it was during the "radio" show or the fireworks 
afterwards, but it was just too much for Gerry. We were near the front row, 
he went under our seats, and tried to climb into the of the people sitting 
behind us. Sandy grabbed his leash and took him to the rear of the stadium, 
where he was OK. Another day we were in an open trolley for an adventure 
ride, which mocked various disasters, including a great fire with fire 
engines, flooding waters, etc., which he handled fine. On our last day we 
did an Indiana Jones stage show. There were many gun shots, an exploding 
gasoline truck, etc. This was at the end of our two week vacation, and Gerry 
slept thru the whole show.

The second incident was a few years later, with third dog, Judge, a Golden. 
We were in Anaheim for the World SF Con (the same year our National had been 
there two months earlier), and we went to Knots Berry Farm. The American 
Indian show involved very sharp flute music, and it must have hurt the dogs 
ears. He really panicked, and we had to take him out. Only other incident 
happened was when we were in Chicago for the SF Worldcon, and went to a 
stage show in a theater based on Georgette Heyer's short stories in the 
collection PISTOLS FOR TWO. Two actors were in a shouting confrontation, and 
then they pulled guns and shot at each other. We did quickly calm Judge 
down, and did not have to take him out of the theater.

Ed Meskys 

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