Disneyland is known as the Happiest Place on Earth, and Disney desires anyone who comes to the parks to enjoy themselves. For individuals with disabilities and mobility challenges, attending a theme park could be daunting, but Disney has made it possible for these individuals and their families to experience the magic like everyone else.
Renting a Wheelchair or ECV
Available outside the main gate of Disneyland is the Stroller Shop where you can rent a wheelchair or an ECV (Electronic Convenience Vehicle). These are available for day rentals and can be used throughout Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventure, and Downtown Disney. A deposit will be added to the initial payment for the rental, but if you return the wheelchair or ECV to the Stroller Shop you will have your deposit refunded.
Waiting in Lines
Back in the early days of Disneyland, when they were building attractions they weren’t conscious of making the lines accessible for wheelchairs and other mobility devices. Because of this, many wheelchair and accessible entrances will be through the exit, the FASTPASS line, or a different entrance all together. These rides include many of the Fantasyland dark rides. On the other hand, Disney’s California Adventure was built with accessibility in mind, so all the lines are wheelchair accessible. For more information on specific attractions and where to go, you can get a Guide for Guests with Disabilities Map from Guest Relations.
Getting on the Ride
Many Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure attractions require you to get out of your mobility device, or transfer, to enjoy the ride. However, for these attractions cast members will do their best in assisting you and your party when a transfer is needed. If you worry about holding up the line or attraction because of the time you need to get into the ride vehicle, don’t! The ride will wait for you and you can take whatever time you need to get in or out of the ride vehicle.
There are a handful of rides where you do not need to transfer and you can take your wheelchair or mobility device on the ride with you. To know which attractions will allow you to do this, you look at the Guide for Guests with Disabilities Map.
There are some attractions that are too difficult for some to transfer from their wheelchair or mobility device, so Disney created Observation Decks so everyone can experience these attractions.
Disability Accessible Service Pass
Some guests who visit Disneyland may struggle with waiting in lines. Disney has created the Disability Accessible Service Pass (DAS Pass) that allows you and your party to wait to ride an attraction outside the normal line. For example, if you wish to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, you can go to a guest relations kiosk that are located throughout both parks and ask for a return time. If the current wait time for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is 45 minutes, then the guest relations cast member will give you a return time for 45 minutes later. During this time you can relax, shop, enjoy other attractions, and then after 45 minutes you can go to the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad accessible entrance and enjoy the ride. You can only be given one return time at a time and you the pass is limited to 6 guests.
To see if a DAS Pass is the best choice for you or a member of your party, you can go to City Hall at Disneyland or the Chamber of Commerce at Disney’s California Adventure to speak to a cast member.
shows, parades, and Nighttime SpectaculaRS
Disneyland has many live shows, parades, and nighttime spectaculars that are a must-do when you visit. These different live events have accessible seating areas for guests in wheelchairs and mobility devices and their party. To locate these viewing areas you can ask a cast member or look at the Guide for Guests with Disabilities Map. On select days, ASL interpreters will be at various shows at the parks. You can get a schedule for the ASL accommodations for shows at Guest Relations or on the Disneyland website.
Assisted Listening Devices
If you are hearing impaired or blind, you can get Audio Descriptive device which will provide additional audio descriptions for specific attractions and outdoor locations. This device can also do handheld captioning and assistive listening. These are available to rent at City Hall at Disneyland or the Chamber of Commerce at Disney’s California Adventure. There is a $25 deposit, but that will be refunded to you once you return the device. Braille guidebooks are also available as well as stationary Braille maps.
The Disneyland Resort is a welcoming place for trained service animals. Throughout the parks, Disney has provided relief areas for these service animals. All service animals must be on a leash at all times and cast members are not permitted to take control of service animals. Guests with a service animal will follow the same entrance guidelines for those guests in wheelchairs and mobility devices. When a service animal is not permitted to accompany their party on an attraction, the cast member will inform you of the various options available to you: either a rider switch or a portable kennel.
Walt Disney once said, “To all who come to this happy place; welcome!” Disney strives to live up to this statement everyday by making sure everyone is able to enjoy the magic that is found at the Disneyland Resort. No matter who you are, Disney is for everyone. For more tips on making your Disneyland visit more enjoyable check out more posts on this blog, our videos on YouTube, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @provostparkpass.