Orlando Vacations for Special Needs Guests: A Primer
Orlando has consistently been ranked as one of the most accessible cities for special needs travelers, and after reading this blog you’ll begin to understand why. This is not an exhaustive lists of the options available for special needs visitors, but it gives you a starting point.
Mobility Scooter Rentals (ECVs)
Flying with your own ECV can be a pain, and in some cases the batteries may not even be allowed on board. The easier option is to rent one, which can be done at any of the major theme parks: Disney, Universal, and SeaWorld.
Each park offers day rentals for use within the park, based on a first come first serve basis. Keep in mind that in the busiest times of the month these scooter rentals may run out as early as 10:30 am. The other option is to find a local company that rents scooters for the duration of your trip. Many of these companies provide free delivery within 10 miles of Disney if you rent for more than 3 days.
Disney World parks have separate handicap-only parking sections that are very close to park entrances or access points. If you’re visiting Universal with a specialty lift or modified vehicle, make sure to let the parking attendant know so they can direct you to a special parking area. Just don’t forget your pass: all parks will require it and will not offer temporary passes.
All Orlando resort hotels are required to offer accommodations for mobility-impaired guests, just be sure you call ahead to let them know what you need. These rooms will have ADA-accessible rails and special bathroom facilities. If you’re renting a smaller hotel room, consider a mobility scooter that folds up or can be disassembled in order to maximize space in a smaller room.
More and more resorts are offering zero-entry pools with gradual ramps, and some even offer waterproof wheelchairs. Just transfer from your scooter into the waterproof wheelchair and you can enjoy a relaxing sunny Florida day in the glittering pool.
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