By: Melissa, Creator of Disney on Wheels
These are a few basic tips if you are planning on visiting Walt Disney World using a wheelchair or if someone in your party is. This is by no means a definitive list but this should help you get your plans rolling.
When you call to make your reservation make sure you tell the cast member exactly what you need. Disney provides a lot of options for guests with special needs like roll in showers, you can see a list at the bottom of the online reservation request form. Also, make sure that the cast member that you are speaking with talks with special reservations. They are the only ones that can reserve a wheelchair accessible room with a roll in shower. I also call around 10 days before we arrive to make sure that everything I have requested is there.
Disney buses are wheelchair accessible with ramps and wheelchair spots. All of the bus drivers I have come in contact with have been really helpful and friendly. If you decide the buses are not for you there is handicap parking available in all of the lots and they are close to the entrance of the parks, excluding the Magic Kingdom. When you are visiting the Magic Kingdom, you park at the Ticket and Transportation Center and then either take the monorail or the ferry. Both are accessible. Parking is free at the parks if you are staying at a Disney resort. Also, if you have a reservation at Disney resort restaurant, you get free valet parking with a handicap parking placard or plate.
Make sure to stop by guest services at the very first park you visit. Here you can get a Guest Assistance Card. The type of card will fit your disability and is good the entire length of your stay. They can be really helpful. For example, if you are using a stroller instead of a wheelchair for your child, the GAC will let cast members know and they will treat the stroller as a wheelchair. You can also pick up guides/park maps for guests with disabilities at guest services. One tip I learned is that you can get a map for each park at the first one you visit, this way you don’t have to stop at guest services at each park.
This is just a short list to get you started. I could write an entire post about each of the topics. If you have any questions you can leave a comment or you can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. And if you have any tips you would like to share, I would love for you to share them in the comments as well.