Welcome back as we discuss the different ways to access Disneyland with disabilities. In previous posts we have discussed how to get around the park with an invisible illness as well as those with a mobility concern, but there are more ways to receive assistance at the park as well. Ok, I know what you are thinking. What other disabilities are there? Invisible and visible should be it. That just isn’t the case. We also have those that utilize service dogs, have hearing concerns, and those with visual disabilities. Disney also has a way to assist people with these types of disabilities as well.
Those that are visiting the park with a service dog can easily go on rides thanks to discreet dog kennels located around the park and at attractions. Typically, individuals will use the DAS system or the Visual Indicator system to get on the ride but once they get there the rides have kennels for the dogs to wait in while the owner is on the ride. It is important to note that Disney only allows true service dogs or surprisingly enough mini horses that are trained to do a specific task to aid their owner. Disney does not allow Emotional Support Animals (ESA) in the park. In addition, your service animal needs to be on leash and controlled while at the park. There are also designated spots where you can take your animal to relieve themselves.
I know we have all seen the video of a character using sign language with a child that is hard of hearing and watching their face light up with glee because their favorite character can speak the same language as them. If you haven’t, don’t worry, I will post a link to one below; it truly is a must see. I was lucky in that I got to see a child experience the pure excitement of knowing Mickey and Minnie knowing how to sign first hand. I was helping a family visit the parks with their son that was hearing but non-communicative due to a permanent tracheotomy. Because of this tracheotomy he used sign language to communicate. When he discovered that Mickey and Minnie knew sign language he was so excited he was signing as fast as he possible could and his parents were in tears.
On top of many of the characters being able to sign, Friday thru Monday you can request for a cast member to sign the shows as well. If you haven’t seen this, it truly is heart warming since many of the cast members really get into it. If you are not deaf but have difficulties hearing you can also rent an Assistive Listening System which amplifies the sounds at several rides through either headphones or an induction loop. This system can be rented at Guest Relations for $25 and is refundable if you return the device in the same day. There is also a device that you can rent for the same price that does handheld captioning for several rides and there are even a couple that offer reflective captioning. The experiences that offer reflective captioning can be found at the individual experiences for no rental fee. I will leave a list of the rides that offer these different experiences below for your reference.
In addition to hearing disabilities Disney also accommodates visual disabilities. And this is much more than a simple map in braille. Disney offers a hand-held device that will give you an audio description of the ride. This device can be picked up at Guest Relations for $25 that will be refunded when returned by the end of the day.
Disney truly is a special place, and this is one of the many reasons why I return to this park time and time again. Disney has always been a leader in the theme park industry. When it comes to how they assist guests with disabilities Disney not only goes above and beyond, they also set a shining example of how to keep people coming to your parks simply by accommodating those that need extra assistance. I hope that these last few weeks have been informative and if you have a specific question related to Disney make sure to drop a comment!
Sign Language Interpretation
The Disneyland Resort provides Sign Language interpretation for our Guests at specific live theme park shows on a rotating basis as follows:
For a list of Sign Language interpreted performances, you can visit the Disneyland Website to download the current schedule or request information via email at WDPRsignlanguageservices@disney.com. You can also call (714) 781-4636 (select option 1, and then option 0) for more information about the services they offer.
You can pick up a schedule of Sign Language interpreted performances at any Disneyland Resort Guest Relations locations. It should also be noted that the schedule is released approximately one week in advance.
Audio Description is available for the following locations:
My name is Amanda and I have a disability. I have fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I love to go on adventures but my illness' makes that a challenge. I didn't want to spend my life living in bed so I got an electric wheelchair (thanks to my parents) and I am hitting the road. Going to some of my favorite places, exploring new places, and sharing with you how I get around with a disability.
I wanted to give a special thank you to my amazing husband Jon. In addition to being my travel buddy he is also my editor. It's thanks to him that these posts aren't nearly as rambling as they could be.