In October 2015, I had the privilege to visit Walt Disney World with my family. We were only there for a few days, so we only visited the Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Last year, I wrote about accessible attractions, and I would like to update some of the information on the attractions that I was able to ride on this trip.
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom – Part 1 of 3
The Magic Kingdom is a hub and spoke theme park with Cinderella’s Castle located in the center. Everyone enters the park and must walk down Main Street, U.S.A which is based on Marceline, Missouri, a small town where Walt Disney lived as a child. There are five “lands” that surround the castle; Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square and Adventureland.
In this post I would like to share my personal experience in riding attractions at the Magic Kingdom: Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Jungle Cruise.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is located in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom and is a continuous loading attraction. After going through the regular queue or FastPass+ line, the wheelchair party is directed to a handicap holding area near the end of the ride. There is a special accessible vehicle for wheelchairs that is larger and includes a special ramp and room for one able body rider, so you are not alone during the ride. The Cast Members will slow the ride down in order to give extra loading time for the wheelchair. When the vehicle arrives the CM opens the back gate and lowers a ramp. Once onboard the vehicle the CM helps lock you down and closes the back gate. Then you are off on your adventure to defeat the evil Emperor Zurg in this fun laser shooting-gallery style attraction. After your battle with Zurg is over, the CM will again slow the attraction down to allow for the wheelchair to back out of the vehicle and exit the attraction.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Next, we walked over to Frontierland and used our FastPass+ for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. We did have to enter at the handicap entrance found to the right of the main entrance. This attraction is a mine train roller coaster which takes you through a fictional gold rush error mining camp and mountain. This time we were able to ride in the very first row of the train, which was awesome! My Dad did have to lift me onto the train, and I sat between my parents so I would have more stability on the turns. There is a safety bar that lowers down over your lap so that you do not fly out on the turns. Upon returning to the station, my Dad had to lift me back out of the train and put me back into my wheelchair. I really enjoy this fast moving roller coaster attraction and highly recommend sitting in the front row if you can.
A visit to Magic Kingdom would not be complete without a ride on Jungle Cruise located in Adventureland. Even though the handicap boat that I usually ride on was out of service during my visit, I was still able to enjoy the Amazon, Nile, and Mekong rivers and the African Congo on the Disney Jungle Cruise. Normally, there is a boat named the Wamba Wanda, that has a wheel-on ramp, that swivels and lowers into the boat and an area for a wheelchair, unfortunately it was out of service. But, my Dad carried me on to the boat, which was not easy as he had to step down into the boat and then back up after the ride. I really enjoy this attraction. Who doesn’t like the corny jokes that the Skippers tell, and I laugh every time, even though I know what they are going to say. I still duck when the elephant is trying to squirt the boat and love seeing the back side of water!
I hope you enjoyed my experience on these three attractions at the Magic Kingdom. Please follow my posts as my journey on accessible attractions and more continues in the Magic Kingdom.
List of parks already covered: Animal Kingdom Theme Park and Epcot
(Magic Kingdom logo, map and map pdf © Disney; Disney on Wheels logo and all other photos are from Andrew Prince’s personal collection.)
Andrew is an 18-year-old high school graduate 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