As Thanksgiving is getting closer I would like to share what I am thankful for at Walt Disney World.
First, I would like to thank to the WDW Parks for making it easier for me to get in and out of attractions. Since I need help transferring from my wheelchair to attraction vehicles, it can sometimes be difficult on my parents. During my most recent trip this past October, I noticed some newer accessibility features on some attractions. Maybe they were there before and no one mentioned them to us. This was my first time riding the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, and in the last car, there was a special door that could be opened to allow more room to slide into the seat. This was so helpful for my Dad so that he did not have to step up and over an obstacle while carrying me. This feature is also on the new Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction in Storybook Circus. I feel the Walt Disney Company has really been paying more and more attention to the special needs of its guests. Some attractions were at the parks prior to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1981, so they have been retrofitted and are not necessarily very easy to transfer in/out. I am also thankful for the Disability Access Service (DAS) that can now be linked to my Magic Band instead of a paper card.
Next, I am thankful for all of the Mickey shaped foods that can be found in Walt Disney World Parks and restaurants. Who does not like a Mickey’s Premium Ice Cream Bar, or Rice Krispie Mickey shaped treats? Not to mention the caramel apples with ears so they look like Mickey! You can find Mickey shaped cookies at the bakeries, waffles, soft pretzels, and ice cream sandwiches to name just a few. The Living with the Land Pavilion at Epcot even produces vegetables like cucumbers, pumpkins, and tomatoes that are in the shape of a Mickey head!
Finally, I am thankful for the Walt Disney World Resorts and all of their improvements to make the grounds more accessible. It may be an ADA requirement to be accessible, but I feel that the resorts have really taken accessibility into consideration when building a new hotel or updating existing ones. Many of the pools at the resorts had chair lifts before they were even required by law. All of the resort transportation systems, buses, boats, monorails are easy to get on and off so there is no need to wait for a special vehicle to move between a resort and the parks from park to park.
As you can see I really love Walt Disney World and all that it has to offer every one of every ability. My family tends to vacation at WDW, Disneyland and on the Disney Cruise Line far more than any other type of vacation. Why you may ask? Because, it is the attention to details that separates Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts apart from any other type of vacation. So, next time you are visiting a Disney Park – see if you can spot the special vehicles, Mickey treats and easy access at resorts. And, keep an eye out for more of my adventures at Walt Disney World and beyond soon to be posted!
(All photo’s are from the author’s personal collection.)
Andrew is an 18-year-old senior in high school from Ohio. He was born with cerebral palsy and gets around in a wheelchair. He has been to both US Disney parks, several D23 events and is a DCL Gold Castaway Club member. If you would like to contact him feel free to e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or look him up on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/andrew.prince.7161 and on Twitter https://twitter.com/Andrew1arp