Disney Parade Rules for Wheelchair Users in Different Countries

  • Disney Parade Rules for Wheelchair Users in Different Countries

    Posted by Josh Grisdale on July 20, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    So, I have some questions about how wheelchair spaces work at different Disney theme parks around the world…


    A friend has a 6 year old son with a severe disability that requires him to have a machine measuring his oxygen saturation at all times because he has a tracheotomy and his parents need to drain excess liquid from his throat via the tube if he gets congested or SpO2 gets to low. He is also fead by stomach tube and has other medical complications. They also have a 3 year old daughter without a disability.

    They went to Tokyo Disneyland as a family and had a good time until the Electric Parade. They went to the wheelchair seating area and that is where the problems started.

    First of all, in the wheelchair area they limit the space to the wheelchair user and 1 companion. So, while the mother stayed with the son, her daughter burst into tears because they had to be separated. (So much for a place to enjoy as a family…)

    The second, potentially dangerous(!), problem was that they required her to sit behind her son so all the wheelchair users were front row. However, due to his wheelchair size, she cannot see him from behind – making it difficult to monitor his Sp02 and discomfort level etc. She told the staff and they said “you can go to the front to drain his trach tube if needed” – but she can’t tell if it is needed from behind him!

    She didn’t want to take away his opportunity to see the parade, so she had to constantly go back and firth while crouching to check on him.

    Needless to say, it was a very upsetting and sad experience for the family.

    (On a side note, I went there a number of years ago and remember a similar situation but it was a mother in a wheelchair beside me with her 3 yo son that they wouldn’t let in the front row…)


    They are planning on creating media awareness and bringing a formal complaint to Tokyo Disneyland. I would like to know: is this system used at Disney theme parks worldwide, or just Tokyo Disneyland? I have heard that Tokyo Disneyland is the only one not fully owned by Disney but run by another company (Oriental Land Co., Ltd.). If it is different in other countries, maybe Disney should be called on to put pressure on them…

    If anyone knows, please let me know!

    Vickster69 replied 11 months ago 4 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Carlos

    July 20, 2023 at 12:55 pm

    Yes, Tokyo Disneyland/DisneySea is the only Disney Park not owned by Disney at all. I think the property is leased to Disney, though. Because of this, policies are not the same as in other Disney Parks.

    I don’t have a trach, nor have I gone to the Parks with someone who has. I can only tell you my experience as a past Disneyland Annual Passholder and one-visit WDW visitor who uses a power wheelchair.

    For the parades, the wheelchair sections can accommodate two to three rows of wheelchairs deep, about two wheelchairs wide. Generally, there isn’t enough room for a parent to be in front, as the front row goes right up to the line of the sidewalk. Nobody is allowed to cross that line, as performers use the entire width of the ‘street’. (Also, there are no chairs for anyone to sit on.) Cast Members (all Disney employees are called this) ask that wheelchairs go in front, while everyone else stands behind them. (I’ve seen ambulatory kids sit on grandma’s lap or crouch in front of their loved one’s wheelchair.) I have never seen a Cast Member ask an ambulatory child to be separated from their parent. To prevent this, people will secure their spot about an hour before.

    I hope this helps. For the situation you describe, the family could get to the section early and mom claim her spot in front of the wheelchair. Reasonable fellow attendees should be okay with this. As for Cast Members, you can only hope so.

  • Vickster69

    July 20, 2023 at 3:51 pm

    We travel with my adult quad CP daughter and also had this happen at Paris Disneyland when viewing the Princess Show in front of the castle, seating was restricted to 1 carer/ family member.

    Never happened in Florida or LA.

    We are going to Tokyo Disneyland this week and this makes me very concerned as it takes two of us to help my daughter regulate her emotions and like the posters son, we can not leave my daughter unattended if one of us has to use the restroom and she requires continuous observation to avoid choking.

    I would be happy to assist if anyone wishes to join up to seek a solution from Tokyo Disney Resort board members and CEO.

    Thanks V

    • Josh Grisdale

      July 20, 2023 at 9:18 pm

      I really hope it goes well 💦

      Will you please give us an update afterwards? What day are you going?

    • Vickster69

      July 21, 2023 at 4:27 am

      Thanks Josh, I will update after.

      We are there Sunday through Wednesday, decided to do 4 days in case there are issues as mentioned.

      Our biggest problem will be the show lotteries, if we miss out completely, my daughter will melt down unfortunately. There are so few rides we can manage because of the manual lifting so the alternative is always a show.

      The US parks have a huge choice and no lottery, never missed one, but Tokyo is a whole other level.

      The main show we wanted was Polynesian Terrace, but it is only open to Club members since reopening.

      Also can’t believe that Jungle Cruise and Small World are not wheelchair accessible like the US.

      Thanks V

  • World Access Travel

    July 20, 2023 at 4:37 pm

    I concur with the previous comment. Outside of the US the rules around parades are completely different. It’s one wheelchair user plus a companion and they are very strict. It’s why we only do the parades in the US and as a U.K. travel agent I hate selling Disneyland Paris. I have to warn customers about the poor service for disabled guests compared to the US. In Paris also they don’t accept mobility equipment delivery on a weekend which is when most people’s holidays start. Means disabled guests requiring equipment have to start their holiday on a week day.

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