Traveling in general is hard on the body, jet lag, different beds, changed climates, different diet, and more physical activity than normal. For some people this is no big thing, they zip around and sleep like a baby never batting an eye. For others, this can be very daunting, and even cause them to think a vacation at Disneyland isn’t possible for them.
Getting around the parks for an able bodied guest can even be a challenge. There are cobble stone pathways, curbs, train tracks, crowded walk ways and even cars in the street to worry about. As if it isn’t hard enough to navigate the guests flooding the park now you have to worry about twisting an ankle while dodging the horse drawn trolley on Main Street USA.
Some guests may require additional assistance to make it to the parks, and enjoy their time inside the parks. Common mobility devices may include:
- manual wheelchairs
- electric wheelchairs
- ECV (electric conveyance vehicles)
- knee scooters
- service animals
Although these topics have a sensitive nature, I would like to touch on them all briefly and provide a few travel tips for those vacationing to Disney with the aid of these items. Not being sure of how to navigate the walkways, queues, or even transportation options can be scary. It doesn’t have to be folks, I am here to provide some tips to arm yourself with before you leave the comforts of home, for the comforts of Disney Property.
- Research on-line, use the tools on https://disneyland.disney.go.com/guest-services/guests-with-disabilities/
- Stop by guest services to obtain Audio Assistance Devices and Assistive Listening Devices for guests with hearing and visual disabilities. (requires deposit fee for daily use)
- Obtain DAS card from Guest Services/City Hall. (for guests with cognitive and other disabilities not mobility related)
- Print out or review the map of the park that locates Service Animal potty locations, locations for companion restrooms, disabled guest attraction loading and unloading areas. (these differ from the main queue sometimes).
- Review the times guide from Guest Services upon arrival for details on entertainment with ASL interpreters.
- Be prepared to enter the tram, buses, and vans, with the lift gate. This is for strollers, wheelchairs, ECVs, and other mobility devices that cannot be folded, and need to be secured with out the rider being transferred. There are special queue areas and loading areas for these guests, usually located closer to the front of the vehicle and labeled by signage for guests.
- Stroller, Wheelchair, ECV rentals are available outside the theme park gates in the Esplanade. (rental fees and deposit required)
- Be prepared for some locations to request the guest transfer from mobility device to seating area, ride vehicle or means of transportation. If guest is physically able they will be requested to transfer in some cases, if the guest is not able to transfer some locations have specialized ride vehicles or seating areas to accommodate the guest in/on their mobility device. (see park guide for guest with mobility disabilities for details on each attraction, dining and entertainment location)
- Viewing areas are set aside for guests with DAS, visual, hearing and mobility devices for most entertainment options. (please see guide for guests with disabilities for up to date location and protocol)
I know I have just scratched the service on a large topic and there is much more to share. This is just a few generic tips to help everyone experience the magic of the Disneyland Resort.
However you travel, be safe and do it well.