Disney is continuously working to make visiting its parks a fun and comfortable experience for guests who use wheelchairs. Its parks are well known for being accessible to visitors with disabilities. Hotels, monorails, boats, and walkways are all designed with wheelchair accessibility in mind.
New rides are built with features to accommodate guests with limited mobility. Several older rides have been retrofitted with special cars that allow for a level transfer from a wheelchair. Some rides allow visitors to remain in a power wheelchair. Guests are given a map that highlights rides that are wheelchair accessible.
Scootaround provides a Meet and Greet service at Disney World Properties. Guests can rent personal mobility equipment through Scootaround’s reservation service in Orlando and Winnipeg and have the equipment delivered to them when they arrive at Disney World. Staff explain the features and are available to answer questions.
Disney introduced the Guest Assistance Card two years ago to help visitors with disabilities avoid long lines and other problems. The GAC was helpful for many guests, especially those with developmental disabilities. However, it was also abused, and in 2013 the GAC was terminated and the Disability Access Service card was introduced.
The Disability Access Service card is designed for guests who are unable to wait in long lines due to a disability. A card is issued at Guest Relations main access locations. Guests are given return times for rides based on the current wait time. Ride return times can be added at kiosks located throughout the park. After finishing at one attraction, a guest can receive a return time for another. The DAS card can be used in addition to the FASTPASS Service and Disney FastPass+.
FastPass+ is a virtual queuing system. Guests make an appointment for an attraction, show up at that time, and avoid waiting in line. Guests are limited to using FastPass+ for three rides per day.
Disney has shown a commitment to making its theme parks accessible to children and adults with disabilities. We applaud Disney for serving as a model for accessibility and providing its guests with the most comfortable and enjoyable experience possible.
Have you visited a Disney theme park and taken advantages of the services they offer for disabled guests? If so, please share your experience with us.