At Disney Parks, Disabilities Are Always Accommodated

December 24, 2018 BY ELISA EDELBERG
Updated: June 7, 2019

It’s that time of year – the days are shorter and colder, the holidays are upon us, and many are off seeking warmer weather and enjoying family vacations. Family vacations can be a lot of fun, but also a lot of work. If you have a child with a disability, finding the appropriate accommodations and services can be an added challenge, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible. It may not be a surprise that Disney (known as the happiest place on Earth) makes it easy to accommodate every kids’ needs. If you’re traveling to Disney with a child with disabilities, there are certain things you should know.

Disability Access Service (DAS) Pass

Lines are pretty much synonymous with theme parks. If waiting in long lines all day is not feasible with your child’s disability Disney’s Disability Access Services (DAS) pass might be the right solution for you.

The DAS pass allows you to be given a return time for rides and attractions, rather than waiting around in long lines. After you’re given your return time, you can enjoy the rest of the park before heading back to your “virtual spot.” It’s important to note that the DAS pass is good for one return time, but once it’s redeemed, you can receive a return time for another attraction.
There’s still plenty to do while you wait – be sure to use the time to meet characters, get food, or just wander the park!

If the DAS pass seems like the right solution for you and your family, you can learn how to obtain a DAS pass here.

Visual Impairments

Disney offers a number of services to help those with visual impairments, including audio description devices, braille guidebooks and maps, portable tactile booklets, and more.

blind woman with a walking stick

  • Handheld audio description devices provide supplemental audio information and narration at certain attractions. These devices describe visual elements including actions, settings and scene changes. To obtain this free audio description device, visit Guest Relations when you first arrive at the park.
  • There is a limited number of braille guidebooks available for rent at each theme park, attraction, and at multiple restaurants.
  • Disney offers Portable Tactile Map Booklets which feature a tactile representation of buildings, walkways, and other attractions. These booklets are available from Guest Relations at all four parks.

*Note: Although free, several of these devices do require a fully refundable $25 deposit.

Hearing Impairments

A number of services are available to guests who are hard of hearing or deaf including Assistive Listening, Sign Language interpretation, special hotel room amenities, and more.

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  • Disney’s handheld Assistive Listening devices amplify sound through headphones or an induction loop at specific theme park attractions. This technology is best for those with mild to moderate hearing loss. These devices are available from Guest Relations at all of the parks and are offered on a first-come, first served basis.
  • Handheld Captioning devices are also available. These portable captioning systems display on-screen text in locations at select theaters and attractions. This service is available from Guest Relations at all four of the parks on a first-come, first served basis.
  • Open captioning is available on select monitors in many pre-show and exhibit areas, and are designated by a “CC” symbol. If you need further assistance you can also see a Cast Member at the location.

*Note: Although free, several of these devices do require a fully refundable $25 deposit.

Walt Disney World Resort provides Sign Language interpretation for their Guests at specific live theme park shows on a rotating basis. The schedule of interpreted performances is updated on a weekly basis. You can find out more about current schedules on the Disney Guest Services website, or by e-mailing WDPRsignlanguageservices@disney.com. You can also obtain a copy of this schedule at a Walt Disney World Guest Relations location upon arrival. If you have more questions or needs, you can learn more about special requests for interpreters.

Service Animals

blind person with service dogService animals are welcomed at many locations throughout the Disney parks. There are, however, some restricted areas where your service animal may not accompany you, simply because of the nature of those attractions. It’s important to consider the safety of all individuals as well as the animals. Due to the nature of some attractions, animals may not be permitted to ride. Disney provides substantial information on restrictions and safety precautions for traveling to the parks with service animals so that you can plan in advance and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Mobility Disabilities

handicap sign

Those with mobility challenges can rent an electric conveyance vehicle (ECV) or wheelchair when they arrive at the park. Wheelchairs are available for rent for $12 per day, and ECV rentals cost $50 per day.

There are several different categories of attractions which offer access for guests with mobility disabilities. Some attractions allow guests to remain in their wheelchair during the experience. Additionally, wheelchair and companion-assisted restroom facilities are also available at various locations in each theme park.

Disney states right on their website, “Disney Parks have an unwavering commitment to providing and welcoming and inclusive environment and accessible experience for all guests.” They truly live up to this standard and provide extensive information and services for those with varying abilities – whether it be behavioral, sensory, or mobility.

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