Traveling with a disability, or traveling with someone who has a disability, can be a very stressful time for everyone involved. While it is stressful, Disney tries to be accommodating and helpful to you. Some things work well and others not so much. However, there are some things that I would like to point out to help you before you go. This is my top 5 tips for traveling to Disneyland with a Disability.
Top 5 Tips for Traveling to Disneyland with a Disability
Rent a Scooter
The first tip is to rent a scooter. (If it is possible. I know that in some circumstances it may not be possible.) Rather than renting a wheelchair, I highly recommend renting a scooter. While a wheelchair is the cheaper route to go, it comes with a price (different than money).
First of all, It is way more difficult to maneuver around the park in a wheelchair. The second reason to not get a wheelchair is that you need someone to push the wheelchair around the parks. This gets tiring very quickly.
Trust me. My brother and I switched off pushing my Mom around. After one day of miles and miles of pushing her up and down hills, our hands and backs were hurting really bad. After that first day, we talked her into renting a scooter. While it is still challenging to maneuver around the parks, it was easier to do compared to the wheelchair. It was also nice to save our hands and backs.
Reserve a Scooter Ahead of Time
If you are staying at a Disney Hotel, you can reserve a scooter before you go. This way when you arrive, there will be a scooter waiting for you. It is a huge plus to reserve one. Because of having the scooter there at the hotel, it saves you from walking to the main entrance of the parks to rent a scooter. Plus, you can take this one to your room. The scooters you reserve are smaller than the ones you rent at the park. As a result, it makes it easier to handle while inside the parks (maneuvering around the park and making tight turns.)
When you are in Disneyland, most of the lines for the rides are not wheelchair accessible. As a result, if you have a disability while visiting Disneyland, you will need to enter the attraction from the exits. Disney has a cast member there to assist you. They will scan your park ticket and give you a “return time”. Then when you come back at your designated time, they will scan your ticket again and send you inside to the ride.
Most noteworthy: Disney will only allow you one return time, at a time. If the park is busy this can be a problem. A lot of sitting and waiting can be very frustrating. One thing we found out later on during our trip is that you can get a FastPass in addition to your one return time. The Fast Pass is essentially the same thing as the return time. Only you get it from a machine and not a Cast Member.
You can only have one FastPass at a time as well as one return time. But in essence, you can have 2 return times at a time. One return time and one fast pass. Hopefully, that will help you during your trip.
I did an in-depth post on how the new handicapped system works, (it has some flaws) if you would like to read more details on our experience with it, you can check it out here.
Disneyland will set aside a viewing area for wheelchairs/scooters and their families at various spots along the parade routes. To find out where they are located, you can visit Guest Relations on Main Street. These Cast Members can mark a map for you to know which rides and attractions you have to enter through the exits, the parade view spots, and anything else that you need to know.
Time and Patience
Most of all, you will need patience! It is going to take more time to get from attraction to attraction. Trust me, we saw a whole other side of Disney Parks when we traveled with my Mom’s broken leg. It was a very trying trip.
However, if you just realize it will take more time, have patience and try to go with the flow, you will have a nicer time than if you stress, get upset, or angry at everything. Easier said than done. I know.
Bonus Tip: Ask a Cast Member
If you are traveling with a disability, don’t be afraid to ask a Cast Member for help. Whatever your need or concern is. Ask a cast member! Even if they just reassure your concerns or explain how the process works, it can really help to settle your nerves (or stress).
I have an article you can check out on how helpful Cast Members can be when you are traveling with a disability. You can find it here.
Traveling with a disability can be very stressful. However, Disneyland has things that can help make your trip more enjoyable. From renting scooters to parade viewing areas, to Cast Members to help you out! Don’t be afraid to ask. Have a go with the flow frame of mind and enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth!
Questions or Comments?
I hope you enjoyed today’s post! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to make them below. I would love to help!
For more information on the Disneyland Resort, you can check the official website here.
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