Accommodations and Rides for Guests with Special Needs

I would bet there are a lot of people out there who are afraid to visit a Disney park due to mobility issues, disabilities, or chronic pain. Disney is not only one of the Happiest Places on Earth, it’s also the most accommodating place on earth. Disney has an entire pamphlet called the Guide for Guests with Disabilities to assist guests and families in planning their trips.

Access to the parks transportation including riverboat, monorail, and buses is easily done with assist of a Cast Member to secure a ramp. Most of these transportation options have separate gates for guests who need assistance to alert the Cast Members. Some of these options may require guests to transfers out of electric scooters. For a comprehensive review of transportation access and ride access at the park from wheelchair level, Melissa has great information with personal experiences at Rolling With The Magic.

When dining or shopping in areas with narrow or obstructed pathways, a guest can contact as Cast Member for assistance with ordering or purchases. Generally, guests won’t have to worry about carrying souvenirs around as they can be sent to the front of the park for holding such as the Chamber of Commerce on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom or utilize purchase delivery and have items sent back to their hotel.

Shows and attractions at Disney Parks are very accessible. Some do not require wheelchair users to
transfers out of their chairs at all. The gentlest rides in the park are those with an Omnimover-like system and no sudden turns, smooth transitions, and large vehicles that will dampen the effects of bumps with other ride vehicles. Many of the attractions and shows will also provide great Disney magic without anxiety or fear of jolts or bumps from motion of a ride vehicle. Check out Walt Disney World Made Easy for Everyone for a list of gentle rides and experiences.

For guests who are unable to queue in a traditional line, Disability Access Service cards are available upon entering each park. DAS card allows guests to schedule a return time – similar to a FastPass for a particular attraction – and use it to be directly loaded onto a vehicle. As with the FastPass+ system, another pass cannot be issues until the previous one was redeemed. For guests who are independent at wheelchair level as DAS card may not be necessary. See guest services for assistance. More information is available online and through guest relations at call (407) 560-2547.

Most facility restrooms have areas for those requiring extra space due to disabilities. Specially marked restrooms are available for those who need a helper called “companion-assisted restrooms.” One of these restrooms is located in each area of the park except Liberty Square. First aid stations have further space and additional areas for privacy if more support with personal care needs is required.

If you have mobility restriction or have a family member with them, don’t be left out of the magic. There are many great options to experience Disney for guests with all levels of ability and Disney is here to help make the experience as magical as possible. Disney has additional information for accommodations for guests with hearing limitations, light sensitivity, and service animals online for Disneyland and Walt Disney World.


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