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 at Walt Disney World, 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 2 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 USA 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: Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, and “it’s a small world”.
Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid is located in Fantasyland 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. If you are on a scooter or ECV (electric controlled vehicle), you will need to transfer to a wheelchair in order to board this ride. There is a special accessible clam-mobile vehicle for wheelchairs that is larger and includes a special ramp and room for one more rider so you are not alone during the ride. The Cast Members will slow the ride down, or even stop it, 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 this dark ride attraction as you follow Ariel on her quest to be human and live happily ever after with Prince Eric. Once you arrive back at the unloading area they will slow the attraction down or stop it to allow for the wheelchair to back out of the vehicle and exit the attraction.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Dumbo the Flying Elephant is a classic Magic Kingdom attraction. During the refurbishment in 2012, it was relocated to the new Storybook Circus section in Fantasyland. A second carousel of flying Dumbos was also added along with an interactive waiting area. Did you know that the two carousels fly in opposite directions? The new concept used for waiting your turn is pretty interesting. After standing in line for a little while, you tell the Cast Member how many people are in your party, and you are given a pager that looks like a circus ticket that will buzz when it is your turn to ride. While you wait in the big circus tent, little kids can climb on a swinging ramp, or play with circus props. When your ticket buzzes, it is your turn to board, and you will be directed to the accessible Dumbo vehicle that has a little door that opens to enlarge the boarding area. You must transfer from your wheelchair to ride on this attraction. Once the ride starts you can direct Dumbo to fly up and down as you circle around Timothy Q. Mouse. After the ride stops, you will need to slide out of the vehicle and back into your chair.
“it’s a small world”
As a family, we always have to ride this attraction at WDW because it was my Grandma’s and my favorite classic ride. This attraction is a water-based boat dark ride. There is a separate wheelchair entrance for this ride near the ride exit. Here, you will go down a ramp and wait in line for the special accessible boat. If you are using an ECV, you will need to transfer to a wheelchair before you board the boat. Once it is your party’s turn, your friends will enter the front of the boat and someone will need to push you onto the special boat that has a ramp that lowers you into the boat. It is the same accessible-type boat used in Grand Fiesta Tour in Mexico at Epcot. The long meandering cruise takes you through ten countries around the world. No doubt you will be humming the familiar “it’s a small world” song the rest of the day. After you return to the load/unload area, you will exit back up the ramp that you used to enter the attraction. This is definitely a must ride attraction, as it is part of the original 1971 opening cast of attractions, and it is based on the 1964 World’s Fair ride by Disney.
I hope you enjoyed my experience on these three attractions at the Magic Kingdom. Please follow my posts as my journey on accessible attractions at Walt Disney World and more continues in the Magic Kingdom.
List of parks already covered: Animal Kingdom Theme Park, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom:
(Magic Kingdom logo, Magic Kingdom maps, 1964 World’s Fair “it’s a small world with narrative by Walt Disney video ©Disney, Disney on Wheels logo and all other photos and video 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,