Hakuna Matata! If you are planning a trip to any Disney location and stressing because of a disability, you can put your worries away.
Disney caters so well to people with disabilities and this blog will outline a few ways we've witnessed Walt Disney World accommodating...often with a little pixie dust along the way.
When we were planning our 2011 family trip to Walt Disney World, I was almost in tears when I called to explain that we needed to change reservations so that we could accommodate my husband's wheelchair. The cast member on the line was so understanding and compassionate. I will always remember what she said, "There are a quite a few things that Disney does really well and helping those with disabilities is something they do very well!" She modified our reservation so that we had a roll in shower. When we checked in we had a little extra pixie sprinkled. We found out that they gave us an extra room to adjoin so the kids could still have a bath tub! I think I shed a tear or two. Now, I'm not saying Disney will give you an extra room and it is something we've never requested but it happened twice in 2011 for us. Whatever your needs are, explain them and Disney will let you know how they can help. For example, if you need a room for the hearing impaired, ask. If you need a shower chair or handheld shower in your resort room, simply ask and see if Disney can accommodate.
If you have ever been to Disney, you recall seeing a host of motorized scooters or ECVs. Disney buses, monorails, boats, and other vehicles accommodate wheelchairs and ECVs. These people needing special accommodation typically board the bus first and can take up to 5 additional people with them. Larger parties need to split up and wait in the regular line. We have found the bus drivers to be very kind and helpful. At times, John has transferred from his chair into a regular bus seat and other times they go to great care to buckle him securely with his wheelchair secured. During our 2011 trip, he had multiple seizures when he was very crowded on the bus and it was over packed. We have learned since then that if a bus is crowded or there is a long line, we may choose to wait for the next bus.
With rides and attractions, there is often a handicapped entrance also. This entrance usually accommodates wheelchairs and scooters when the normal line may be too narrow or have stairs. While this has often seemed to cut down on our wait time, Disney's policy is that axillary entrances "are not intended to bypass waiting lines." It may be possible to wait longer in an alternate entrance line (i.e. waiting on a boat to accommodate a wheelchair or scooter at It's a Small World or the Jungle Cruise). Sometimes a guest must transfer from an ECV or wheelchair and some attractions or shows allow the guest to remain in their chair.
Check the park map for details. Additionally, know that each Disney Park has a special guide/map for guests with disabilities. Check with guest services or the park's wheelchair rental location for these special guides.
These special Guides for Guests with Disabilities outline things like:
- Where to find companion restrooms (I love these as a mom with boys)
- Where to find service dog relief areas (Since we are on the waiting list to get a service dog, this caught my eye.)
- Service dog restrictions
- Special parade viewing areas
- Accommodations for guests with visual disabilities (Braille guides, audio descriptions)
- Accommodations for guests with hearing disabilities (handheld or video captioning, assistive listening devices
- Courtesy Wheelchair locations/use
- AED locations
|2012 Birthday Trip with Extended Family|
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