The Disney on Wheels Takes a Ride! series started in 2015 with this intro “Being in a wheelchair, my biggest fear of traveling all the way to Walt Disney World was that I would not be able to ride on any of the attractions. Boy was I wrong! When I was younger it was easier as my parents were able to transfer me, now that I am 17 and tall it has become a little more challenging to get me on some of the attractions. For the most part I have been able to ride on everything that I want to. Two of the exceptions being Space Mountain and Splash Mountain; since I am unable to sit unsupported alone I was not able to get strapped into the vehicle safely – besides, I was a little afraid of those rides.” You can read more of the introduction post and the entire series, up to this point here.
Having recently ridden on a few “new-to-me” attractions, I thought I should bring this series back to WDW Radio with a few updates.
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is one of the original attractions, opening on October 1, 1971, in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort. The carrousel is a nostalgic attraction which is a two-minute ride with organ-based versions of classic Disney music playing. When I see the carrousel I often picture Walt Disney himself sitting on a bench watching the horses spin around on an endless track. Why you may ask? Because a carrousel is what started it all – Disneyland Resort in Anaheim was the result of Walt Disney wanting a family friendly theme park for all to enjoy. The carrousel in Magic Kingdom is over 104 years old and according to the Walt Disney World website: “Prince Charming Regal Carrousel was built in 1917 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Co. The attraction began life as the Liberty Carrousel at Belle Isle Park in Detroit, Michigan. It’s been delighting Guests at Walt Disney World Resort since 1971.”
I had ridden the carrousel when I was younger and able to be lifted onto a horse, but now I stay in my wheelchair and ride in the chariot. During my visit in March 2021 I decided that I wanted to check out how to ride the carrousel while remaining in my wheelchair. Upon arriving at the main queue entrance near Mickey’s PhilharMagic attraction, there was a sign directing us to walk to the right of the carrousel. This is where it got a little confusing as we kept walking around the carrousel, until we found the next sign directly opposite the main entrance. We visited at night so it was a little hidden at first, then we spotted the gate with the wheelchair emblem on it. We did have to wait a few revolutions of the ride before my mom went to the Cast Member on the other side. He apologized and stated that he was the only CM checking that guests were properly seated and did not see us right away. So, if you feel you have been waiting a super long time, someone may have to let a CM know that you are over in the accessible entrance, or let them know you want to ride before you head over to the other entrance.
Once it was my turn to ride, the CM moved the ramp into position near the chariot on the carrousel. Then he came and let me in the loading area. I rolled right up and into position and was locked in place with my brakes. As you can see, the middle section of the seat flips up and out of the way for the wheelchair, and still allows for two friends to sit next to you if they want. My mom chose to ride a horse instead of sitting next to me. When the ride was over, the ramp was brought back into position and I easily rolled back off of the carrousel. Although I am unable to ride up and down on a carrousel horse, I still enjoyed spinning around with the other horses while watching Fantasyland and Cinderella Castle go by in the distance.
For more history on the Walt Disney World resort, you can read the Walt Disney Influencer of the Decade series by Kendall Foreman.
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Disney’s Hollywood Studios debuted in March 2020 as the first attraction at any Disney park to star Mickey Mouse and friends. This new attraction has amazing 4D projections and trackless ride vehicles. As you move through this fun and zany adventure with Mickey and Minnie, the trackless vehicles allows each ride vehicle to experience the attraction slightly differently, as you never know which direction you are headed to next.
Excitingly, I was finally able to experience this adventure with Mickey and Minnie this past June since my trip in 2020 was canceled because of the park shut-down. The queue is totally accessible and has some surprises as you walk through the old theatre to the entrance of the attraction itself. After a little intro from Goofy, a Cast Member directed us over to the handicap loading area. In this location there was a ride vehicle offline and pulled into a separate loading position. Here we were given time for my dad to lift me out of my wheelchair and place me into the ride vehicle. My family was able to join me in the same train car so we could have fun together. My wheelchair was safely stowed over to the side until we returned. Upon returning to the loading area we were given ample time to get back out of the vehicle and back into my wheelchair. If you are able to transfer on your own, there is no step up or down to enter the ride vehicle, and there is not a swing out door or slide board available for use. Being that I don’t care for the new animation style of Mickey and friends for the shorts, I really enjoyed the attraction itself as the animation style is not too pronounced in the attraction. The projection imagery throughout the ride was amazing and totally immersive and I really liked the feeling of the dancing and moving that the trackless ride vehicles provided. I highly recommend this attraction!
Be sure to follow along as I review new accessible attractions.
Please check out the Disney on Wheels archives and reviews of other accessible attractions, including :
Disney on Wheels Takes a Ride! 2021 – part 1 – Rise of the Resistance and Star Tours.
Disney on Wheels Takes a Ride! 2021 – part 2 – Slinky Dog Dash and Alien Swirling Saucers
All photos and Disney on Wheels logo are personal property of the author. The attraction accessibility information is copyright Disney.The photos used in this post are from several trips from 2020-2021. Some of these trips were pre-COVID 19 when face masks were not a thing. Others may have been taken when the mask requirements were different at Walt Disney World as they have changed several times since reopening in July 2020.
Hi, my name is Andrew Prince and I am from Northwest Ohio. I was born with cerebral palsy and get around in a wheelchair, but that has not stopped me from enjoying the magic at Walt Disney World Resort, Disneyland or on a Disney Cruise Line ship! My accessibility posts can be found under “Disney on Wheels” where I share many of my adventures of getting around Walt Disney World Resort and more in a wheelchair. My first trip to Walt Disney World was in 2003 when I was in kindergarten. I love to travel to WDW with my mom, dad, and my two younger sisters. I have been to both US Disney Parks, several D23 Expos/events and runDisney events, and I am a Platinum Disney Cruise Line Castaway Club member. My mom, Vanessa Prince, has a Disney Vacation Club membership which we frequently use on both coasts. In January 2015 I began writing posts for WDW Radio focusing on accessibility of the Parks. I have also contributed to many of the team posts over the years. It is hard to pick a favorite attraction/experience due to the ever changing parks at Walt Disney World Resort. If you would like to contact me feel free to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or look me up on Twitter https://twitter.com/Andrew1arp or Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/andrew.prince.7161