As of June 2, 2020, we’ll no longer be updating content. But don’t worry - Dad’s friends can still help with all your Disney dreaming, planning, and booking needs!
Thank you for your support of Dad’s Guide to WDW for the past 11 years!
Total Knee Replacement at Disney World
by Lisa (New Hampshire)
I am two month post-op Total Knee replacement. Are there any rides that I should avoid.”
Mrs. Mom says all of them
Lisa, I’m pretty familiar with this. I’ve got two total knee replacements. Mrs. Mom has one. In fact, I ask Mrs. Mom what she thought about this question, which rides would she avoid two months out of a total knee replacement? She said, “All of them. All of them. Oh, my goodness. I couldn’t even think about going that quickly.”
Now, it does kind of depend on how your recovery is going. Every recovery is different. For me, one of them super fast. Two months, I was walking three miles a day. The other one was a little slower. Even at six months I probably wasn’t ready to tackle Disney World.
If your recovery is going so well that you feel comfortable about going to Disney World, absolutely, go on.
An unexpected answer
Hard to believe but this is at the top of the list – Photo by Mike Billick
What rides will give you the most problems? This is going to sound silly. You’re going to go whahh? The rides that give me the most problems are the boat rides. I still struggle with It’s a Small World, with Frozen Ever After, with the Gran Fiesta Tour, Pirates of the Caribbean, Living with the Land, because of how your knee has to bend.
In those boat rides you can’t just sit and bend you leg 90 degrees or less. There’s no place to stretch out. It has to be 110, 115 degrees of bending because of the the seat in front of you.
I will say that the Na’vi River Journey, the new boat ride over in Pandora, they carved out a spot under the seat from where your knees and feet can go so it’s very comfortable unlike all the other boat rides, so the boat rides are very difficult.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is always uncomfortable – Photo by Wayne Wood
Another one you’ll have problems with is Space Mountain, you’ll probably not going to be able to ride Space Mountain. Just getting in and out of Space Mountain is hard for people with mobility issues. You’re pretty much not going to be able to do that. Oh, and Tomorrowland Speedway is another one that isn’t fun getting in and out of.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is uncomfortable even without the knee problems. You will want to avoid that.
Another thing to consider is getting an ECV. You may not need it for short walks, but you are going to be on your feet for HOURS every day. The last thing you want is to get that knee inflamed. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Dad’s Bottom Line
I think two months might be a little early. I know I wasn’t ready at two months. But…
If you’re in good shape, you’ve got plenty of range of motion, then you’ll be okay. You’re going to be uncomfortable but you can still ride on most of the rides. If you don’t have a lot of range of motion, it’s going to be a long trip.