Enjoying Walt Disney World: Wheelchair Accessible Rides
Any Walt Disney World vacation can take a lot of planning, but this is especially true for wheelchair users. While many shows are wheelchair accessible, not every ride is. Some require guests to transfer from their wheelchair into a ride vehicle. However, there are rides that people can enjoy from the comfort of their own wheelchairs. Below are a few Disney World wheelchair accessible rides, including some classic attractions and one of Walt Disney World’s newest attractions:
It’s a Small World in the Magic Kingdom
Our first Disney World wheelchair accessible ride is “It’s a Small World” in the Magic Kingdom. The Imagineers have designed a wheelchair accessible boat that allows for smooth boarding for manual as well as power wheelchairs. The wheelchair accessible boat is designed for the wheelchair user to park in a middle aisle. Rubber stoppers are placed at the front and rear tires of the wheelchair to prevent movement. Seating is available on each side of the aisle for up to six party members. To board the specialized vehicle, follow the blue handicapped signs at the ride exit where a cast member will meet you and provide directions. The best part of using the wheelchair boat is that most cast members will allow you to ride again until another wheelchair user requires the special boat.
Jungle Cruise in the Magic Kingdom
No trip to the Magic Kingdom is complete until you’ve seen the back side of water! This exotic river cruise is upfitted with a special loading vehicle that allows a wheelchair user to enjoy the corny humor while staying in his or her own chair. The wheelchair user cruises in the center of the boat where there typically is bench seating. At the docking area, the center wheelchair platform rotates 90 degrees and a ramp unfolds allowing the wheelchair to roll onto the boat. The chair is then secured for safe passage. The chair slot then rotates back to a position that allows the rider to cruise facing forward and elevates so that the wheelchair user is riding at eye level with all other passengers.
Toy Story Midway Mania in Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Not only can the many shows in Disney’s Hollywood Studios be enjoyed from one’s own wheelchair, one of the premier ride attractions can be as well. Toy Story Midway Mania allows guests to be immersed in larger than life, 3D, interactive carnival games. On standard ride vehicles, guests compete in carnival games by aiming their shooter and pulling its string to launch a variety of balls, darts, eggs, etc. The wheelchair accessible vehicle is equipped with shooters that have buttons on top, which can be activated to allow anyone with arm weakness to participate in the games even if they are unable to pull the launch string.
Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney’s Animal Kingdom
No two rides on the African Savanna are exactly the same due to the unpredictable nature of the animals. One journey may include hippos blocking the road while there are none to be found on your next excursion. However, you can count on the ability to stay in your personal mobility device in a specially equipped expedition vehicle for this Disney World wheelchair accessible ride. Wheelchairs are loaded at the front of the vehicle and secured prior to exploration. For individuals with balance, trunk, and head control issues, the ability to stay in one’s personal equipment is especially important for the safaris as the ride can bump and bounce quite a bit.
Living with the Land in Epcot
Located in the Land Pavilion, this educational boat ride is often overshadowed by its neighbor, Soarin’. While Soarin’ is breathtaking, it requires a transfer from your mobility equipment to the simulated hang glider. For this reason, wheelchair users will appreciate that every two to three ride vehicles on Living with the Land can accommodate manual and power wheelchairs. Simply roll onto the back of the boat, and enjoy a relaxing (and mostly air conditioned) tour of the history of agriculture.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in Epcot
One of Epcot’s newest attractions is also wheelchair accessible. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure can be found in the back of the France Pavilion. Like its counterpart in Disneyland Paris, this 4D trackless ride allows guests to shrink down to the size of a rat to follow Le Petit Chef himself through Gusteau’s restaurant in Paris. You can even smell all the delicious culinary delights as you scurry through the kitchen! The wheelchair accessible vehicle for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure can accommodate the wheelchair user and a companion.
We hope you enjoyed this look at some of the Disney World wheelchair accessible rides available to you at the ‘Most Magical Place on Earth’! Visiting Walt Disney World with someone using a wheelchair can take a little additional planning and patience, but there’s still plenty of magic to enjoy for all guests regardless of ability!
Interested in saving money on your next Walt Disney World vacation? Contact the DVC Rental Store to get started!