Disneyland Accessibility Guide and Insider Tips

Understanding how Disneyland accommodate different guests with disabilities is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable vacation experience. For individuals with mobility challenges, knowing what to expect and how to navigate the park can make a significant difference in their enjoyment of attractions and activities.

Personal experiences from friends with disabilities offer valuable insights into the challenges and considerations involved in using wheelchairs at theme parks. From navigating crowded walkways to accessing attractions, these experiences highlight the importance of preparation and awareness.

We will also address other disabilities and the accommodations available from Disneyland in this article.

Wheelchair Rental at Disneyland

At Disneyland, visitors have the option to rent manual wheelchairs or Electric Conveyance Vehicles (ECVs) to aid in their mobility throughout the park. Manual wheelchairs, suitable for individuals weighing up to 350 pounds, can be rented for $15 per day, with an additional refundable deposit of $20 required upon rental. Alternatively, ECVs, accommodating individuals weighing up to 450 pounds, are available for rent at a cost of $60 plus tax per day, with the same refundable deposit requirement.

These rental services are conveniently located just outside the Disneyland Park gates at the stroller rental kiosk, situated on the right side when facing the entrance. Additionally, manual wheelchairs can be rented at select Disneyland Resort hotels, providing guests with accessibility options even before entering the park.

It’s important to note that rental reservations cannot be made in advance, so visitors are advised to arrive early in the morning to secure a wheelchair or ECV, especially on busy days when rental supplies may be limited. While both types of equipment can be utilized between the parks and around Downtown Disney, they cannot be taken outside of the park’s security perimeter. Therefore, visitors requiring mobility assistance beyond the park grounds may need to explore off-site rental options.

Off-Site Wheelchair Rentals

For visitors in need of mobility assistance for more than just their time at Disneyland, off-site wheelchair and ECV rentals offer additional flexibility and convenience. Rental locations situated across from Disneyland provide alternatives to on-site rentals, with some services even offering delivery directly to hotels or theme park entrances.

Off-site rental options may offer competitive pricing compared to park rentals, particularly for multi-day rentals or use outside of the parks. ScooterBug, Disneyland’s preferred site for wheelchair and ECV deliveries, ensures convenient drop-off and pick-up for guests staying on-site. Alternatively, other rental services such as One Stop Mobility and Select Mobility provide additional options for visitors seeking off-site rental solutions.

Choosing an off-site rental can also streamline the arrival process, allowing visitors to have their wheelchair or ECV ready for use upon arrival at the park. By exploring off-site rental options, visitors can ensure they have the mobility assistance they need throughout their entire vacation experience, both within and beyond the theme park grounds.

wheelchair disneyland

Parking and Transportation

Accessibility of Parking Lots:

  • Disneyland offers disabled parking in both the Toy Story Lot and the Mickey and Friends Structure.
  • The Toy Story Lot is particularly convenient for visitors with mobility challenges due to its closer proximity to accessible buses.
  • Accessible parking trams are available at both parking structures, but the Toy Story Lot often results in a shorter walk to the accessible transportation.

Choosing the Most Convenient Parking Location:

  • Arriving early increases the likelihood of securing a parking spot closer to the park entrance.
  • For those relying on rental services, the Toy Story Lot is recommended due to its proximity to the wheelchair rental area and accessible transportation.
  • The dedicated buses at the Toy Story Lot provide a convenient and accessible means of transport to the security checkpoint and park entrance.

Access to Rides

Variability in Ride Accessibility and Queue Policies:

  • Accessibility varies among Disneyland attractions, with some featuring accessible queues while others require alternative entrances or transfers.
  • Guests can obtain a Guide for Guests with Disabilities at Guest Relations booths or Information kiosks to identify accessible rides and collect return times.
  • Disability Access Service (DAS) offers guests with disabilities a virtual queue system, allowing them to enjoy other park activities while waiting to board attractions.
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Disability Access Service (DAS) and Ride Entry Procedures:

  • Visit City Hall (Disneyland) or Chamber of Commerce (California Adventure) after entering the park.
  • No doctor’s note required; just explain your situation.
  • DAS provides qualifying individuals with return times for select attractions, minimizing wait times.
  • Guests can collect a return time at the ride or from an Information Guest Relations kiosk.
  • Once the return time is active, guests proceed to the wheelchair-accessible entrance and present their park ticket for entry.
  • DAS enhances accessibility and ensures a seamless experience for guests with mobility challenges at Disneyland.

Transfer Assistance and Accessibility

For guests using wheelchairs or electric conveyance vehicles (ECVs), transferring onto and off of attractions can be a crucial aspect of their park experience. Disneyland Resort provides various transfer options to accommodate guests with mobility impairments.

Transfer Options:

Disney offers assistance for guests who need to transfer from their wheelchair or ECV to the ride vehicle. Cast members are trained to provide patient and respectful assistance during this process. Depending on the ride, guests may be required to transfer independently or with the help of a companion. Some attractions feature conveyor belt-type walkways that can be slowed or stopped to facilitate easier transfers.

Rides with Transfer Devices:

Several attractions at Disneyland Resort are equipped with transfer devices to aid guests in transferring from their mobility devices to the ride vehicles. These devices serve as portable benches or similar aids to assist guests with mobility disabilities. Rides such as Autopia, Grizzly River Run, and Space Mountain offer transfer devices to facilitate smooth transitions onto the attractions.

Rides with Transfer Devices:

  • Autopia
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Space Mountain
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Access Vehicles:

Additionally, certain attractions feature designated transfer access vehicles to assist guests with mobility impairments in transferring from their wheelchair or ECV to the ride vehicle. These vehicles are specifically designed to accommodate wheelchair users and ensure a safe and comfortable transfer experience. Attractions like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Haunted Mansion, and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance provide access vehicles for guests requiring assistance with transfers.

Rides with Access Vehicles:

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Golden Zephyr
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Incredicoaster
  • Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
  • Star Tours — The Adventure Continues
  • Star Wars Rise of the Resistance

Wheelchair AccessibleWheelchair Accessible Rides

Ensuring that all guests can enjoy the magic of Disneyland Resort, several attractions are designed to accommodate guests who prefer to remain in their wheelchairs throughout the ride experience.

List of Wheelchair Accessible Rides:

Disneyland Resort offers a variety of attractions where guests can remain in their wheelchairs without the need for transfer. These attractions include favorites such as Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, “it’s a small world,” and Jungle Cruise. Guests can consult park maps and signage for accessibility icons indicating wheelchair-friendly attractions.

Rides Allowing Wheelchair Access:

  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • it’s a small world
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Disneyland Railroad
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island
  • Mark Twain Riverboat
  • King Arthur Carrousel
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
  • Disneyland Monorail
  • Red Car Trolley
  • Monsters Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
  • Toy Story Midway Mania!
  • Pixar Pal-A-Round
  • Jessie’s Critter Carousel
  • The Little Mermaid — Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
  • WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure

Accessibility Icons and Ride Options:

Each park map prominently displays accessibility icons, indicating whether guests can stay in their wheelchair or if transfer to a standard ride seat is necessary. Familiarizing yourself with these symbols is key to crafting an efficient park itinerary and prioritizing wheelchair-accessible attractions.

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Genie+ and Lightning Lane

The Genie+ and Lightning Lane services provide guests with the opportunity to bypass regular queues for select rides by opting for expedited access, albeit for a fee. Genie+, accessible through the Disneyland app, allows users to reserve rides at certain attractions directly from their smartphones. Meanwhile, Lightning Lane replaces the traditional FASTPASS entrance, offering access through either individual purchases or as part of the Genie+ package.

To make the most of these services and optimize your time at the park, consider the following strategies:

  • Invest in Genie+ to reduce wait times for popular attractions.
  • Take advantage of Lightning Lane selections to access additional rides.
  • Combine Genie+ and Lightning Lane to maximize your experience and minimize wait times.
  • Pay attention to return windows and ensure you arrive within the allocated time slot.
  • Prioritize attractions based on their popularity and your personal preferences.
  • Strategically plan your itinerary to minimize waiting and maximize ride availability.
  • Remain flexible and open to adjusting your plans based on ride availability and wait times.

Shows and Entertainment

Accessibility is a top priority throughout Disneyland, and that extends to the shows and entertainment too. There are plenty of accommodations in place to ensure that everyone can enjoy these experiences to the fullest. Here’s what you need to know to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience:

  • Accessible Seating: Disneyland provides seating options tailored to guests with mobility challenges or other disabilities, ensuring everyone can comfortably enjoy the entertainment.
  • Designated Viewing Areas: Look out for specially designated viewing areas that offer optimal vantage points for guests who use wheelchairs or need extra assistance. These areas guarantee an excellent view without compromising accessibility.
  • Helpful Cast Members: Disneyland’s dedicated cast members are always available to offer assistance to guests with disabilities. Whether you need directions, seating guidance, or any other support, they’re there to help make your visit as smooth as possible.

Parades and Fireworks Viewing

Watching parades and fireworks displays is a highlight of the Disneyland experience. To make the most of these spectacular events, consider the following tips:

  • For the best spots to catch the parade or fireworks, getting there early is key. Aim to snag a good spot along the parade route or close to where the fireworks will go off.
  • If you’re after those classic views, you can’t go wrong with Main Street, U.S.A., or the spots around Sleeping Beauty Castle. They offer some of the most iconic views for parades and fireworks.
  • Guests with disabilities can ask for special viewing arrangements, like reserved seating or designated viewing areas that cater to their needs.
  • For insider tips on where to get the best views, especially considering accessibility, check out the Disneyland app or chat with the helpful cast members. They can point you to the perfect spots for your experience.

Restroom Accessibility

Disneyland offers wheelchair-accessible restrooms throughout the park, equipped with features to accommodate various needs:

You’ll find wheelchair-accessible restrooms scattered across every section of the park. Just look out for the accessibility symbols on the maps or signs, and you’ll know you’re heading in the right direction. Plus, there are companion restrooms available in certain spots, offering more room and privacy if you need a hand.

If you’re tech-savvy, the Disneyland app is a handy tool. It’s got all the info on restroom locations, including what accessibility features they offer and what other facilities are nearby. When in doubt, just ask a cast member.

Tips for Using a Wheelchair at Disneyland

  • Plan your route in advance, considering accessibility and terrain, throughout the park.
  • Maintain visibility by choosing elevated viewing areas for shows and attractions, allowing for better sightlines and enjoyment.
  • Take advantage of accessible transportation options, including wheelchair-accessible trams and attraction vehicles, to navigate between different areas of the park.
  • A van equipped with a wheelchair lift can transport you between the Mickey & Friends Parking Structure and the Downtown Disney District.

Hearing Disabilities

Hearing DisabilitiesDisneyland Resort offers a range of services catering to guests with hearing disabilities:

Assistive Listening Systems:

These portable captioning systems are ideal for guests with mild to moderate hearing loss. Devices amplify sound through headphones or induction loops, available at designated locations throughout the park.

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Sign Language Interpretation:

American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation is provided for specific live theme park offerings, with interpreters rotating between Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park.

Text Typewriter Telephones (TTY):

Available in the Downtown Disney District and select hotel rooms, TTY phones facilitate text-based communication for guests with hearing impairments.

Handheld Captioning:

Utilizing wireless handheld receivers, this system displays text in areas where fixed captioning is impractical, such as moving attractions.

Video Captioning:

Caption-ready monitors in select attractions’ pre-show areas provide access to video captions upon request.

Written Aids:

Attraction dialogue and narration packets, equipped with flashlights, pencils, and paper, are available upon inquiry at Guest Information Locations.

How to Access Services

To access these services, guests can approach Guest Relations for assistance. For Sign Language Interpretation requests on non-designated days, advance notice of at least 14 days is recommended to accommodate special requests.

Visual Disabilities

Exploring Disneyland Resort can be a delightful experience for guests with visual impairments, thanks to various services and devices tailored to their needs.

Audio Description:

Disney’s Handheld Device provides additional audio descriptions, offering detailed insights into attractions and entertainment.

Braille Guidebooks:

These comprehensive guides, available for each theme park, provide thorough descriptions of attractions, restaurants, and stores in Braille format.

Portable Tactile Map Booklets:

These booklets feature tactile representations of theme park layouts, aiding in navigation of walkways and landmarks.

Stationary Braille Maps:

Large print maps with clear Braille overlays and raised graphics offer vital information about key landmarks and amenities.

Service Animals

service animals disneyland

  • Trained service animals are welcome.
  • Keep your service animal on a leash or harness at all times.
  • Park maps indicate locations where your service animal can relieve itself, and cast members will assist with cleanup.

How to Access Services

Guests can obtain Audio Description, Braille Guidebooks, and Portable Tactile Map Booklets from Guest Relations on a first-come, first-served basis. These services require a $25 USD refundable deposit, and devices must be returned on the same day for a refund.

Braille maps are available at or near Guest Relations locations, with additional maps located throughout the theme parks and Downtown Disney District.

Services for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities

Disneyland Resort prioritizes the comfort and convenience of all its guests, including those with cognitive disabilities. From arrival to departure, the focus is on making your experience magical.

Preparing for Your Visit

Plan ahead to make the most of your Disneyland experience. Consider creating a visual schedule, watching informative videos, studying location maps, selecting a meeting spot, and practicing queueing to familiarize yourself with the process. Bring along essential items such as a safety bracelet or nametag, earplugs or headphones, a preferred device or activity for entertainment, rewards for positive behavior, and a sensory toy for comfort.

Services and Accommodations

Disneyland Resort offers a range of services tailored to meet the needs of guests with cognitive disabilities. Take advantage of Disability Access Service (DAS) for smoother park visits, designated break areas for relaxation, and companion restrooms for added convenience. Access helpful guides specifically designed for attractions and the overall Resort experience, crafted with guests with cognitive disabilities in mind.

Before your visit to Disneyland, consider consulting your personal physician if you or a member of your party has photosensitivity or seizure disorders. Throughout the park, you’ll encounter various lighting effects, including strobe lights, pulsating effects, and dynamic dance club lighting.

These elements are integrated into building accents, dance club atmospheres, and show experiences. As show environments evolve throughout the day, it’s challenging to predict specific lighting combinations. To ensure a comfortable experience, guests with lighting sensitivities should take proactive measures and stay aware of potential triggers during their visit.

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