Teri's Disney Travelers' Disability FAQ           in association with Amazon.com


Welcome!    

Whether you are dealing with a permanent disability or physical difference, a developmental or mental disorder, or a temporary medical problem due to recent illness or injury, there are ways to make your Disney vacation more relaxing and enjoyable, so that you get the vacation you really need.

Information in this FAQ has been gathered over 16 years from many friends and castmembers. 
CLICK HERE FOR NEWS ABOUT CHANGES IN THE GUEST ASSISTANCE CARD, which will now be known as the Disability Access Service Card as of October 9, 2013. This is a brand new change, long overdue because some people have abused the system. IT IS MY EXPERIENCE AND OPINION THAT THIS POLICY IS A FAIR, REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION but you will need to PLAN to make it work. As more details are known, the site will be updated.

This site is a "Work of Heart" and is not official information, but I hope that you will find it helpful. Information is subject to change at any time, but at least this way you have an idea what to ask for, and where you can ask. Many of the sites listed have excellent discussion boards with people who are happy to help.  Welcome, Mousesavers.com visitors! Have a great trip!

Purchases made through the Amazon.com link will help support this free site.


 Relax! Vacation is Therapy! Everything will be fine.

Where can we find General Information for Guests with Disabilities?

Official Disney information can be found at the Disney.com website, if you know where to look. You can browse through the website for information now, and print out the Guidebooks for Guests With Disabilities by downloading the PDF-format files on your computer, assuming that you have the appropriate free software to read the files. The information in the Guidebooks will also be available when you go to the parks - just ask for a copy at Guest Services. These links will take you out of this site to the official Disney sites.
Walt Disney World - Official Information for Guests With Disabilities
Disneyland Resort Guest Services - Official Information Page

This recommended book has a wealth of information for families traveling with any kind of special assistance needs:
Passporter's Walt Disney World Special Needs Guidebook by Deb Wills and Debra Martin Koma - available at Amazon.com

Rental Companies for Wheelchairs, scooters (ECVs), oxygen and medical equipment in Orlando and Anaheim


Unofficial information sites also have pages with information for guests with disabilities. In many cases the information on the various sites is derived from the official guidebooks, and may not include of all the information and tips you will need. I don't have links to every page on the internet, but these pages may be helpful to you. Again, these links will take you out of this site.
DIS (wdwinfo.com) - General Information for Walt Disney World visitors with disabilities

AllEarsnet.com  - WDW Planning page

MousePlanet.com - Disneyland Theme Park Access Guide
 
LaughingPlace.com - Disneyland Disabled Access Guide

EmergingHorizons.com - Excellent general travel information site for people with disabilities

What about more information and tips than you will find in the official and unofficial travel sites?

Does someone in your party have serious mobility, medical, or endurance issues? Is someone in your party deaf or hard of hearing? Do you have a child with special needs who might not be able to tolerate long lines? You should go to Guest Services to ask for their guidance in how to best enjoy the attractions at the parks. You may consider asking about the Disability Access Service Card (formerly known as Guest Assistance Card) which is new in October 2013 at Guest Services. This is NOT a front-of-the-line pass, you should EXPECT to be given a wait time at attractions, and there are etiquette issues associated with its use. Read about it...
Please note that people with endurance issues are advised to rent a wheelchair or ECV and use mainstream lines. Do not expect front-of-line access. DO NOT EXPECT FRONT-OF-THE-LINE ACCESS! Do I need to say it again? You do not always have to rely on the DAS. Get to know the FastPass+ System, and learn how to reserve ride times in advance. Disney provides assistance with this at their FastPass+ kiosks, and you can use Disney apps on your smartphone as well.
The Guest Assistance Card (GAC) or Special Assistance Pass (SAP) (Information about the new Disability Access Service Card will be updated as new information becomes available)
Tips for using the FastPass System

Will you need special medical equipment, wheelchairs, or scooters? Some are available at the resorts (usually for free) and parks (at a cost), but you might want to consider renting from medical suppliers to help get to the parks and around the resorts as well. Long-term rentals from medical equipment companies is a more reliable and economical option.
Rental Companies for Wheelchairs, scooters (ECVs), oxygen and medical equipment in Orlando and Anaheim
Practical tips for new wheelchair users
Wheelchair abuse issues -- When is it "cheating" and when is it appropriate to use a wheelchair or ECV?

Does someone in your family have special needs or need special care?
Practical Tips for special needs families
Helping autistic, special needs and hypersensitive kids have a good time
Practical Tips for Fragile Elderly

 Do you have a medical condition that is not completely disabling, but limits your mobility or endurance?
Tips for people with Medical Conditions and Hidden Disabilities

Pacing yourself for hidden disabilities, low energy or fatigue

Will you be able to benefit from access to Sign Language Interpreters, Closed Captioning, or Reflective Captioning?
Access for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing at Walt Disney World



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Last revision April 10, 2014      Copyright 2002-2014 by Teri Doolittle, PA-C, MHP, DHSc       All rights reserved