Updated June 15, 2017
Today I’m sharing lots of information on how to enjoy Disneyland Resort in a wheelchair or other mobility device. This post is intended to help guests with both long and short term disabilities. It’s also a work in progress. Please let me know what else I can research for you and I’ll add it if possible.
Let’s get started first with some basics of how the parks are designed.
In this article
Basic Park Info
Disneyland, built in 1955, was not created with mobility issues in mind. While many attraction queues have been altered to accommodate everyone, some remain as they were built and require a workaround to enjoy each of them. We’ll cover all of those details in a bit.
Disney California Adventure, built in 2001, was created entirely differently and was made to accommodate all guests, with queues designed for guests in wheelchairs or other mobility devices. Yay! Progress.
How Attractions Work at Disneyland for Guests With Mobility Issues
For attractions listed below, guests will follow this protocol:
- Visit City Hall at Disneyland, Chamber of Commerce at DCA, or any of the Guest Relations Kiosks around the parks to inquire about a wheelchair pass. It may or may not be needed. Cast members will advise. A wheelchair pass can accommodate guests in actual wheelchairs or other vehicles intended to help with a disability.
- With the attractions noted below, you will likely enter the Exit to inquire about when you can board the attraction. You may board immediately or you may be given a return time. Park attendance typically determines what option you’ll be given.
- Each attraction is a little different. I’ve made as many notes as I can for each to help you navigate which attractions require unique boarding.
- All mobility vehicles qualify.
- If an attraction is not listed below, guests with mobility issues should be able to enter through the standard queue and will be accommodated upon boarding and disembarking the attraction.
- This system is unrelated to the DAS pass (info on that below).
- Jungle Cruise – Enter through the exit.
- Indiana Jones Adventure – Enter throught the exit and proceed to the rotunda. Guests must navigate steps when boarding and disembarking vehicle.
- Enchanted Tiki Room – Enter using the lift to the right of the stairs.
- Tarzan’s Treehouse – Guests must be able to walk stairs.
New Orleans Square:
- Pirates of the Caribbean – Enter through the exit to the left of Blue Bayou Restaurant. Proceed to the designated access gate on the left.
- Haunted Mansion – Enter through the standard queue. Cast member will direct you where to go to transfer to vehicle.
- Splash Mountain – Enter through the exit, across from Pooh’s Corner. Transfer seat available.
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – Enter through the exit. Transfer access vehicle available.
- Peter Pan’s Flight – Enter through the exit. Transfer access vehicle available.
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride – Enter through the access gate to the right of the entrance.
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey – Enter through the exit. Transfer access vehicle available.
- Snow White’s Scary Adventure – Enter through the exit. Transfer access vehicle available.
- Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough – Alternate, accessible experience available. (More info below.)
- Casey Jr. Circus Train – Enter through the exit.
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant – Enter through the exit to the left of the standard queue. Transfer access vehicle available.
- Mad Tea Party (Teacups) – Enter using the exit ramp. Transfer access vehicle available.
- Storybook Land Canal Boats – Enter through the exit.
- Alice in Wonderland – Enter through the exit to the right of the standard queue. Transfer access vehicle available.
- it’s a small world – Enter using ramp. Wheelchair accessible boat available.
- Hyperspace Mountain – Enter through the exit and follow the arrows to the left. A transfer seat and separate loading area is available.
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage – Enter through accessible queue. Guests must navigate a narrow stairway when boarding and disembarking. Alternate, accessible experience available. (More info below.)
- Disneyland Monrail – Enter through the standard queue. Elevator is available.
- Autopia – Enter through the standard queue. Hand-held accelerator and transfer seat available.
- Astro Orbitor – Manual wheelchairs enter through standard queue. ECV’s enter through the exit ramp.
Information from Disneyland
The Disneyland website provides us with an extensive guide on guests with disabilities.
In this guide, you can find details on:
- Cognitive Disabilities
- Hearing Disabilities
- Lighting Sensitivity
- Magnetic Fields
- Service Animals
- Visual Disabilities
- Accessible and Companion Restrooms
If you go to the park and ask for a hand out of information, Disneyland will give you this pamphlet. It’s packed with information, and I encourage you to review it before visiting.
Disneyland Equipment Rentals
Just outside the park, to the right of Disneyland, you’ll find where you can rent equipment.
Disneyland provides the following:
Electronic Convenience Vehicles (ECVs) are available for $50 a day and require a refundable $20 deposit.
EVCs come charged for the day and you should not have to recharge during your day.
Manual Wheelchairs are available for $12 a day and require a refundable $20 deposit.
Here is what a wheelchair rented on site looks like:
Wheelchairs and ECVs may not be reserved. Please plan to arrive early; a limited number of wheelchairs and ECVs are available for rent on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests are also invited to bring and use their own ECVs and wheelchairs throughout the Disneyland Resort.
Rented wheelchair and ECVs may be used in both Disney California Adventure Park and Disneyland Park. They may not be taken off Disneyland Resort property and can only be taken into Downtown Disney part way. Cast members will send you back once you reach the area near the Monorail.
Select Disney Resort hotels offer a limited supply of wheelchairs for rent, but ECVs are not available at these locations.
Guests must be 18 years of age to operate and a photo ID is required to rent vehicles. The maximum weight for an ECV is 450 pounds. The maximum weight for a manual wheelchair is 350 pounds. Wheelchairs and vehicles are not designed to hold more than one person.
Off-Site Equipment Rentals
There are many off-site companies that rent wheelchairs and ECVs. These rentals will provide you with more flexibility than what Disneyland rentals will because you will be able to take them to your hotel and more. (Disneyland rentals can’t be taken to your hotel.)
Deckert Surgical & Homecare is who I hear most people prefer, for wheelchair and ECV rentals, but I don’t have personal experience with them. Their reviews online are fantastic and I know they work with Disneyland Resort Hotels often.
Disneyland includes 2 alternate attractions for guests to enjoy. Take a look at these posts for lots of details. Many guests don’t even know these exist.
In a separate post, I share Tips for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities and Special Needs.
For information on the DAS pass, refer to the Disneyland website. I don’t share details online because the system is wildly abused and those in need often get turned down due to others taking advantage of the system. (I have personally witnessed guests coaching friends on how to make their child ‘seem’ autistic to qualify. That situation, and several others, have scarred me, as I have a sister with a chronic illness and disabilities who truly needs the pass.)
Parade routes accommodate guests in mobility vehicles. I recommend viewing near it’s a small world to avoid the chaos of Main Street and around the hub. There is much more room near it’s a small world to set up.
Check with cast members on shows such as World of Color or when Fantasmic! returns for specific areas that may be accessible to guests with disabilities. These seem to change often, or I would include that information here.
ECVs come charged for the day. If you have one that you brought from home or rented elsewhere, Disney will allow you to charge it at the ECV shop as long as you have the charger.
Downtown Disney is very accommodating for guests with mobility issues. Inquire at each location if you can’t find the elevator upon entering.
This post is a work in progress, so please let me know what other information I can provide to you to help with your visit.