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  • Writer's pictureKyrby Brown

Churchill Fellowship Day 31 and 32: Rest Day and Rollercoasters

Day 31 was a pure rest day which was very much needed. We enjoyed a late breakfast, some grocery shopping and time by the pool. Swimming is such a therapeutic activity and is of great benefit after a day of cramming myself into ride vehicles. We also visited the cinema, which is a 5 minute walk from our hotel.

In most UK cinemas I walk to my seat and leave my chair somewhere at the bottom as the wheelchair seats are right at the front and far too close to the screen. This was a Cinemark cinema and the second cinema I have visited whilst in the US. The seats were about half way up and the companion seat was reclining which made for a far better and more equitable experience, definitely something I hope will catch on in the UK someday.

On day 32 we made our way back to Hollywood. Our first stop was the Griffith Observatory which offers free parking and a straight shot view of the iconic Hollywood sign. The accessible parking right at the top was limited but there was plenty of spaces with ample room for the ramp. The whole area was very accessible and I was able to make my way all the way round the Observatory to see views across Los Angeles. There were also several hiking trails on offer but, although surfaced and wide they looked fairly steep and not very inviting in a standard powerchair.

Image Description: Me and Mel with the Hollywood sign in the distance between us.

After this we went on to return to Universal Studios. Our visit this time was not quite as smooth as far as rides as it was much busier and some if the ride hosts appeared under pressure. For example the ‘Secret Life of Pets Ride’ the entrance host asked me to leave my chair unattended 100ft from the ride entrance with the strollers. I was not comfortable with this as my chair is very valuable and had quite a few necessary items attached to it. We waited for a supervisor to see if there was a better location when another ride host said I could store my chair in the ride storage area. This whole debacle must have taken over 30 minutes and could have been avoided entirely with a little patience and common sense.

I often find that people under pressure fail to communicate clearly or listen and this can lead to accessibility issues. Despite a couple of hiccups, we still had a really good day. I’ll spend some of my free time creating a ride guide, as I found Universals own guide to be lacking in the necessary details I wanted to know ahead of visiting, particularly around transfer procedures and ride vehicles.

Image Description: Me sitting in an over the shoulder style ride seat inside Harry Potter: The Forbidden Journey - in my opinion this is the best ride in the park.

Today (Day 33) we are driving over to San Diego for the last of our adaptive adventures. I truly cannot believe that my fellowship is nearly over!

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