Ride accessibility at Disney

  • Ride accessibility at Disney

    Posted by Josh Grisdale on April 11, 2018 at 4:29 pm

    This more a question of interest than need per se…

    A few years back at Tokyo Disney, users who cannot walk could use most of the rides no problem if someone helped them transfer.  They could leave their wheelchair and a staff member would watch it until you returned.

    Recently, though, even if you get the special accessibility pass you cannot use the rides if you are unable to walk to the exit by yourself.  So, you pay full price, apply for a special pass but still cannot enjoy most of the rides.

    Is this in Japan only, or is it a new Disney policy?

    Josh Grisdale replied 5 years, 4 months ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Unknown Member

    April 20, 2018 at 9:33 pm

    The staff at Disney Parks are not insured for things like physically aiding guests. So unless you can transfer on your own or with the help of those traveling with you then unfortunately, you will be unable to ride the attraction. This is simply a liability thing for the cast members so they do not get hurt. They are not trained to physically assist guests though they will do their best to aid with smaller things. However, there are lots of attractions at all the Disney Parks that allow wheelchairs to roll right in. All the shows have wheelchair seating and many attractions like Winnie the Pooh and Finding Nemo attractions have special ride vehicles where you can roll right in. Remember Disney is not 100% about the rides. Visiting Disney is an experience. So yes you are paying full price and potentially can’t ride some of the attractions but you are getting the experience, the shows, the parades, the character interactions and so much more.

  • Josh Grisdale

    April 21, 2018 at 10:47 am


    Thank you for the detailed reply.  That makes sense.  There is certainly a lot of other things to do 🙂

  • ctrullin

    January 26, 2019 at 12:04 am

    I was shocked when a fellow bachelor gerontology student named Zahra, at USC, did her thesis and study on Disneyland accessibility issues.  The liability does make sense, but some of the steps are not conditioned to allow for chair movement.  Meaning, not every area had a ramp to even go look at say the New Orleans area, issues getting around there at least in the original Anaheim location.  Carnation has done a lot to fund keeping ice cream available to everyone.  So, you basically are not going unless someone can pick up and lift you with your chair for most of the time.  Zahra explains even some of the time is a dig to a small child who would love to explore every inch of that magical kingdom.

    Since 1997, I am sure that many more advancements have been made at the park itself.  Unfortunately, Walt would have wanted it another way since he had a very difficult childhood.  When the park itself was designed with him as visionary, those options for accessibility were not historically taken up with standard construction practice.  You can look at old drawings and sketches of the park and realize that they still needed to hire advanced architects to modify the original idea.

    In short, you have a team of wild eyed fellow cartoonists with a vision.  Those artists didn’t exactly get down to the nitty gritty of Walt’s overall intent.  I for one would love a gofundme account that raises money for Disneyland from outside of Disney itself to help children in the later stages of life that want to have a great big vacation with family before it’s time…I want those kids to know who Walt is. Walt is a beautiful human and his little mouse, would have scurried gladly over steps to cheer a child left behind by his other friends.

    I grew up just ten minutes from the park.  Most of my close friends would become characters or work at the rides and have to deny access to children.  It was a reason for quitting.  We all love that place and struggle to improve it.  Please come visit Disney yourself, and take the time to explain to any children why this is so.

  • Josh Grisdale

    February 2, 2019 at 8:17 am

    Great answer @ctrullin thank you!

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