“Disneyland is your land.”-Walt Disney
Walt spoke these eternal words during his dedication speech on opening day of Disneyland. His dream for his new theme park was that it would be for everyone. Adults and children, rich and poor. Now, more than ever, inclusivity is a huge part of Disney parks, especially for those with mobility restrictions or disabilities!
Do you, or someone in your traveling party, require a wheelchair or struggle with walking or standing for long periods of time? If so, do you feel like that restricts you from visiting Disney Parks? If your answer is “Yes,” allow me to elaborate on why I think that is not the case.
Mobility Resources in the Parks
Let’s start with mobility restrictions. Disney Parks are more than accommodating to guests who require a mobility device. Even if you do not use a mobility device, like a wheelchair or an electronic conveyance vehicle (ECV), on a regular basis, it may be worth looking into utilizing one for your trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World. The parks require a great deal of time spent on your feet, and having an option to alleviate some of that time is well worth it to make your vacation as enjoyable as possible.
You are able to enter the parks with your own wheelchair or ECV, but Disney does offer wheelchair and ECV rentals on property for the convenience of their guests. Rentals are limited in availability and are given out on a first come first serve basis. In other words, you are not able to make a reservation in advance. The rental period is only for the day and it cannot leave the property from where it was rented.
Disneyland’s Convenience Vehicle Rental is located just outside Disneyland’s gates on the right side. You can use your rental in both Disneyland and California Adventure.
Here are the rental prices:
- Wheelchair – $15, plus $20 refundable deposit with the return of the wheelchair and receipt
- ECV – $60 plus tax, plus $20 refundable deposit with the return of the vehicle and receipt
*Disneyland Resort hotels also offer a limited supply of wheelchair rentals, but ECVs are not available for rent at the hotels.
Walt Disney World offers wheelchair and ECV rentals at all of their parks, as well as Disney Springs and their water parks. The rental cannot leave the park or area from which it was rented, however, your rental is good for the entire day at any of the rental locations throughout Walt Disney World. This means if you start your day at Magic Kingdom and plan to park hop to Animal Kingdom, you can rent a wheelchair at Magic Kingdom in the morning, then drop off your chair before you leave and pick up a new wheelchair rental at Animal Kingdom with your receipt – subject to availability.
Here’s a price breakdown:
- Wheelchair – $12 per day ($100 refundable deposit required at Disney Springs and Water Parks rental locations, which is refunded when the chair is returned)
- Length of Stay – $10 per day – This option allows you to pre-pay for multiple days at once and save a bit of money, but may not be available during peak season.
- ECV – $50 per day ($20 refundable deposit required at Theme Parks; $100 refundable deposit required at Disney Springs and Water Parks rental locations, which is refunded when the chair is returned)
While it is convenient to be able to rent wheelchairs and ECVs at your destination, in most cases, it is even more convenient to rent these devices from a third party company. These companies will rent the mobility device to you for the entire duration of your trip, and delivery is included. Your rental will be delivered directly to your hotel, and picked up from there, as well. Some vendors do require you to present for delivery and pickup. You’ll also be able to use your rental outside of the parks, instead of just within the specified parameters set by Disney. A lot of times, renting through a third party vendor will also be less expensive. Your Vacation Planning ConciEAR will be happy to put together a quote for you!
Now, let’s talk about navigating the parks with a mobility device. Most attraction queues in Disney Parks have been built to allow wheelchairs and ECVs to fit, with the exception of some of the older rides. For those attraction queues that can’t accommodate a wheelchair, you will receive a return time from a cast member and utilize a different entrance.
The accessibility for each attraction is broken down into the following categories:
- Guest Must be Ambulatory
- Guest Must Transfer from Wheelchair/ECV
- Guest Must Transfer to Wheelchair, Then to Ride Vehicle
- Guest Must Transfer to Wheelchair
- Guest May Remain in Wheelchair/ECV
Here is a quick breakdown of each category:
Guest Must be Ambulatory
Guests will need to be able to stand in the regular queue and board the ride vehicle.
Guest Must Transfer from Wheelchair/ECV
Guest will be able to access the ride queue while remaining in the wheelchair/ECV OR will be given a return time and/or use an alternate entrance. Guest will need to be able to transfer from the mobility device to the ride vehicle.
Guest Must Transfer to Wheelchair, Then to Ride Vehicle
Guest will be able to access the ride queue in a wheelchair only. If utilizing an ECV, the attraction may be able to provide a wheelchair OR the guest will be given a return time and/or use an alternate entrance. Guest will then need to be able to transfer from the mobility device to the ride vehicle.
Guest Must Transfer to Wheelchair
Guest will be able to access the ride queue in the mobility device OR will be given a return time and/or use an alternate entrance. Guests can either transfer to the ride vehicle or transfer to a wheelchair (if utilizing an ECV) and board the ride in the wheelchair. **In some cases, you may end up waiting a while for the special ride vehicle that accommodates a wheelchair.
Guest May Remain in Wheelchair/ECV
Guest will be able to access the ride queue while remaining in the wheelchair/ECV OR will be given a return time and/or use an alternate entrance. Guest will be able to remain in the mobility device for the attraction, as well. In some cases, you may end up waiting a while for the special ride vehicle that accommodates a wheelchair/ECV.
If you’re curious to see which attractions fall into each category, you can view them either on the parks website or app. While viewing a list of the attractions, simply filter by the accessibility category to see the attractions within. Spoiler alert: There is no shortage of attractions for those with a mobility device! For example, Space Mountain at Disneyland is in the Guest must transfer from wheelchair/ECV category. For this particular attraction, the wheelchair entrance is at the exit. As long as the guest is physically able to board the attraction and endure the nature of the ride, they are welcome to enjoy it!
Disability Access Passes
In addition to being accommodating to guests with mobility restrictions, Disney parks are also aware of guests that may have other disabilities that can affect their ability to wait in line for long periods of time. For those guests, they offer the Disability Access Service or DAS Pass. This pass will allow guests to book return times for attractions through the app. It works very similarly to the lightning lanes, in that you gain access to the lightning lane after your return time and you can only book one attraction at a time. In order to obtain the DAS Pass, you can either register online prior to your trip or visit Guest Relations inside the parks. If approved, the pass will be valid for 60 days.
Now that we’ve gone over all of the ways Disney accommodates guests with mobility restrictions and disabilities, I hope that I’ve been able to shed some light on why it is still very much possible to enjoy the parks with these types of restrictions. If you’re ready to visit Disneyland or Walt Disney World, contact me to get started!