Last week I discussed touring Disneyland with DAS pass due to a cognitive or invisible illness that cannot be assisted with a mobility aid. This week it’s all about getting through Disneyland when you have a Visual Indicator. A visual indicator could be a wheelchair (manual or electric), a scooter, a walker, cane, or a red tag on a stroller. A red tag states that your stroller is acting as a wheelchair. This red tag can be obtained at Guest Relations inside either park. One thing to note is that all of Disney’s California Adventure (DCA) park is fully accessible, but what does that mean?
All the rides at DCA you will enter the standard entrance line and wait with everyone else. These lines offer wide aisles to maneuver through and if an area is not accessible then they offer a split off point near the front of the line so that you can safely get to the ride vehicle. An example of this is Radiator Springs Racers. When you get almost completely through the line there is a split off point. If you can navigate through stairs than you continue in the regular line, but if you are unable to access stairs they send you to the left where there is a ramp and a car that is pulled off the track. This car allows you to safely load at your own pace. Once you have loaded the car will be put back on the tracks and you ride the ride like normal. When the ride is over the car is pulled back off the track and you are able to safely unload at your own pace and then exit without any stairs. Since all the rides are ADA compliant at this park it is suggested to get a FastPass for any of the larger rides so that you can ride smaller rides while you wait for your return time for the larger rides.
If you are unable to wait in a standard que line it is suggested to rent either a manual push wheelchair or an electric conveyance vehicle (ECV). You can rent an ECV from Disneyland for $50 + a $20 refundable deposit or you can rent a manual push wheelchair for $12 + a $20 refundable deposit. The issues with renting on site is that you will not have your aid from the car until the front gates as the rental location is next to the front gate of Disneyland. In addition, you are unable to guarantee that an aid will be available for your use once you get there. Personally, I think the best way to handle this is to either bring your own or rent from an outside company. If you are staying at one of the many hotels in the Anaheim Resort area almost all the wheelchair rental services will deliver to your hotel for free. If you are coming more locally and will not be staying at a hotel then there are a couple, such as Cloud of Goods that will deliver to your home for a fee. Just keep in mind that if you are having a wheelchair delivered from your home you will need to have a vehicle that can transport the wheelchair.
Disneyland on the other hand is not fully handicap accessible since most of it was built before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was put in to place. As such, many of the rides have alternative entrances for those that have a visual indicator. Before 2013 all the rides in Disneyland were just walk up to the exit and get on, but due to a large amount of people taking advantage of the system this was changed. And, honestly, I always felt bad about this system because I felt like I was getting a weird advantage. Since the changeover, if a ride has a stand by wait time longer than about 20 mins they will provide you with a return time the length of the stand by time at either the entrance or the exit of the ride if the ride is not ADA compliant. There are a handful of rides throughout Disneyland that are ADA compliant but, not many. For those rides it is suggested to get a FastPass for the rides. I have included a Word document to this post that goes into detail for each ride on how to get around and where to go as well as some fun tips for shows and restaurants.
Next week I will discuss how Disney aids those with hearing and visual concerns as well heading to the park with a service dog. Please feel free to download the attached document and if you have some fun tips for getting around Disneyland please share them in the comments. I always love learning new ways to get around the parks.
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.