Enjoy Walt Disney World with a Mobility Disability
Mobility disability should not keep you from getting plenty of enjoyment out of Walt Disney World. The park works hard to ensure that attractions and parades are available, accessible and fun for guests with mobility disabilities. Take advantage of some of the assistance put in place to get the most out of your visit to Walt Disney World.
Getting to Disney World
- Take advantage of the Walt Disney World Resort bus system. All of the Walt Disney World buses are designed to accommodate wheelchairs. If you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort, you can ride the bus from your hotel to the park.
- It is helpful to alert the operators that you will be using a wheelchair when you make your reservation.
- Your wheelchair or ECV must fit on the ramp to access the bus. The average size of the bus lift ramp is 32”x48”.
- Make use of the monorail system. The monorails are accessible by ramps or elevators. All monorails are accessible to wheelchairs and ECVs and are a quick and fun way to get around the area.
- Check with Disney Cast Members to determine whether specific boat access is available to you. Some of the watercraft can be accessed by people with mobility disabilities, but not all of them. Check with a cast member at the dock to explore your options and get assistance.
- Water transportation is available from many of the resorts to the park. Factors which may effect accessibility include high winds and low water level.
- Park in the disability parking lot. A lot is set aside and designated for people with disabilities. Display your tag to make use of these reserved parking spaces.
- Complimentary wheelchairs are available in these lots, should you need to use one to get from the disabled lot to the wheelchair rental office.
- Rent a wheelchair at Disney World. You are welcome to bring your own wheelchair to use at the park, but they are also available for rent from the Stroller and Wheelchair Shop just inside the main entrance. The availability is limited. Wheelchairs cannot be reserved in advance and are rented on a first-come, first-served basis.
- You will likely be more comfortable in your own wheelchair if you have one. If you don’t usually use a wheelchair, but think you would be more comfortable having one for a full day at the park, or if you would rather not transport yours to Disney, arrive early to ensure there is a wheelchair available for you to rent.
- The wheelchair cannot leave the park, so you will need to return it before you leave the park for the day.
- Wheelchairs rent for $12/day, or a reduced rate of $10/day for several days. This reduced rate may not be offered during peak times.
- Keep your receipt and show it at the office when you are picking up a wheelchair for a multiple day rental.
- Complimentary wheelchairs are available to help guest get from the disabled parking area to the wheelchair rental office.
- Ride around in an Electronic Conveyance Vehicle (ECV). ECVs are motorized, four-wheeled vehicles available for rent at Disney World through the Wheelchair Rental Office. The rate for renting an ECV is $50/day. Walt Disney World also requires a $20 deposit, which they will refund when you return the ECV to the rental location before the park closes.
- A limited number of ECVs are available at the park. Disney does not take reservations in advance, so it is a good idea to arrive early for the best chances of having an ECV available to rent.
- Grab a Guide for Guests with Disabilities. These are available online or at the Guest Relations office. Each attraction at Disney World differs in how they are able to accommodate guests with mobility disabilities. The Guide for Guests with Disabilities will point out the different options for accessing each attraction at the park.
Making the Most of Your Vacation
- Visit in the off-season. When planning your trip, consider going between Thanksgiving and December holidays. The holiday decorations will make the park even more beautiful and the lines will be much shorter than peak season, allowing you to more easily access all of the attractions with less wait time.
- The park closes a little earlier during this time, so plan on being there first thing in the morning.
- Bring your own food and snacks. There is plenty of food available at Disney World, but the cost and long lines could put some stress on your vacation and your wallet. The park allows you to bring your own food, and if you have a wheelchair or ECV, it will be easy to carry some provisions to keep you going.
- Don’t bring alcoholic beverages, which will not be admitted.
- If you do want a treat, try a fresh-baked cookie from Main Street Bakery.
- Schedule breaks and listen to your body. You may feel like you need to get everything in while you are at Disney world. This can put a lot of pressure on you and potentially make the trip more exhausting than fun. Choose the attractions you really want to experience and put those first on the list. If you are feeling tired, take a break. Even consider going back to your hotel for some rest in the afternoon and returning in the evening for more fun.
- You can even take a break at the park by visiting an attraction like Mickey’s PhilHarMagic 3D movie. This is a 13-minute film which allows you to be indoors and relaxing for a little movie break.
- Take a little bit of Disney home with you. A vacation is rarely complete without a good souvenir. Visit the shops and choose a gift for yourself to remind you of the great time you had on vacation. You can even make personalized mouse ears at The Chapeau on Main Street.
Accessing Attractions and Parades
- Pick up a Disability Access Service (DAS) card to avoid long waits in line. These are available at the Guest Services office at the main entrance of the park. The DAS card is meant to assist people who cannot wait in line for a long amount of time. The card allows guests with disabilities to receive a return time for an attraction they would like to visit.
- In order to receive the card, you must register in the Guest Relations office and have your picture taken.
- As soon as the guest finishes one ride, they can receive a return time for another attraction.
- Retrieve your return time at Guest Relations kiosks placed throughout the park.
- Return to the attraction at your assigned time for immediate access to the ride.
- Enter some rides through the Auxiliary Entrance. This is a separate entrance for people with mobility disabilities and up to five of their friends. These entrances are more convenient and usable for people in wheelchairs.
- Have a friend help you out of your chair and onto the ride. It is best to contact a Cast Member when you are accessing a ride, but it should be noted that they are not allowed to lift a guest out of their chair and transfer them to the ride. Make sure you have a friend with you who is capable of helping you out of your chair and onto the ride, should you need assistance.
- Watch parades from designated viewing areas. Guest Relations can help you learn the parade times and routes, as well as pointing out designated areas for viewing the parade from a wheelchair. These areas are limited in space and fill on a first come, first serve basis. Arrive early to secure a good spot to view the parade.
- There’s also a Special Requests Department, which you can contact for any special needs.
- Renting a wheelchair accessible van can be very helpful for getting around Enjoy Orlando, Florida. There are many companies in the area that rent them, and some will even drop off the van at the airport.
- DO NOT pretend to be disabled to try to get special perks.
- Most locations in WDW welcome service animals, but remember to keep your service animal on a leash or in a harness at all times. Service animals, however, are not permitted to ride some attractions due to the nature of those attractions. In this case, a member of the guest’s party must remain with the service animal.
- Use a Manual Wheelchair
- Interact with a Person Who Uses a Wheelchair
- Check in at the Airport
- Overcome Your Fear of Roller Coasters
- Ride the Walt Disney World Monorail