Traveling to Disney World can be quite a feat for anyone, and for guests in wheelchairs, the thought may be downright intimidating. Rest assured, however, because Disney goes above and beyond to make sure the “most magical place on Earth” is indeed magical for all guests including visitors with limited mobility. From the specially trained cast members ready to assist you to the hundreds of accessible rides and attractions, Disney ensures that your wheelchair will not get in the way of your enchanting experience. Read on to discover important information for guests visiting Disney in wheelchairs.
You may drive your own vehicle, or if you are staying at a hotel on Disney property, there are three main ways to get to the theme parks: bus, steamboat, and monorail. All three are wheelchair accessible.
If you and your party are driving to the theme parks, medical parking is available in specified lots that are much closer to the park entrance. Disney provides a complimentary wheelchair if needed for transportation from your vehicle to the Disney wheelchair rental station. There are also trams available that will take you to the park entrance.
Wheelchair rentals are available inside each park for $12 a day. Electric Convenience Vehicles (ECVs) are available for $50 a day plus a $20 refundable deposit. Daily rentals are NOT transferrable between parks and can only be used at the same park on the same day. If you leave the park during the day, your ECV will be held for you if you plan to return later during the same day.
If you plan to visit multiple parks over the course of several days, there is a reduced-priced rental option you may choose. You can purchase a length of stay rental, and you will be able to transfer your rentals to other parks in the Disney Resort throughout your stay.
**Please note** Wheelchairs and ECV rentals at Disney are subject to availability. Make sure you reserve your rental ahead of time.
Disney provides a Guest Assistance Card (GAC) for visitors with disabilities. Your GAC will be valid for the length of your stay and can be used at all of the Disney parks. This is not something that Disney automatically gives upon entrance. You will have to ask for it at the Guest Relations window.
These let Disney cast members know of your disability. In some cases, a wheelchair or ECV is sufficient in itself to allow you to use the more accessible entrances or to board a ride with a wheelchair. However, if you have needs beyond that of the wheelchair such as additional medical conditions, it is a good idea to obtain a GAC.
Be advised, this is not a pass that takes you automatically to the front of the line. Instead, you may enter through a separate, more accessible entrance. In most cases, there will still be a wait time to board the ride, but you may be waiting in a different place than other guests.
Disney provides a “Guide for Guests with Disabilities” available at the Guest Relations window inside each theme park. This guide includes a map as well as detailed information about each specific ride within a park and what is required for boarding. You will also find information about parking, restrooms, and transportation in this guide.
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You will be able to take your wheelchair or ECV on many of the rides at Disney. For some rides, you will need to transfer, and very few require walking. The “Guide for Guests with Disabilities” will let you know specifically which rides require a transfer.
A Disney cast member will take your wheelchair to the ride exit. You will have it ready and waiting when you get off the ride.
If there is a ride that requires you to enter through the auxiliary entrance, you and up to 5 companions will be allowed to use this entrance.
Many of the rides are accessible for a wheelchair using the regular line. In some cases, you will enter the attractions through a separate entrance. The cast member at the line entrance will let you know the most appropriate entrance for that particular ride. A Guest Assistance Card may also be used to bypass the regular line for a more accessible entry to the ride.
You may remain in your wheelchair or ECV to view any of the shows and parades. Each has specified viewing areas for guests in wheelchairs and their party. These areas are available on a first-come-first-serve basis.
Most of the restrooms are accessible to guests with wheelchairs. In addition, there are several companion-assisted restrooms located throughout each park. The “Guide for Guests with Disabilities” will provide a specific list of these locations.
Most restaurants within the park are wheelchair accessible. If you are looking for a quick snack at the counter service stations, many of these have narrow lines that may not be wide enough for some wheelchairs. In this case, you can find a Disney cast member to assist you or have another member of your party order for you.
In summary, Disney works hard to ensure that all parts are accessible to guests in wheelchairs. Do not hesitate to speak to a cast member at any time if you have any questions or concerns, and most importantly, enjoy the magic!