By: Sharon Langer
Now that I am an active member of the DIG legal team, I view the world through a different lens. I find that I cannot visit a restaurant, a hotel or even Disney World without looking around to see if those places are universally accessible to all.
My trip over the holidays put a smile on my face for several reasons. First, I saw many folks in the park who were PWDs enjoying the fun, and they were able to navigate the parks and enjoy themselves. Second, the people around me seemed tolerant and helpful, and lastly, I also saw several employees of Disney who were PWDs.
I decided to follow up when I got home to see how Disney managed this. I went to their website and found a very helpful section which I will share with you. Go to The Disney World website and there is a HELP button right on top. There is a menu for Guests with Disabilities. They have a long list of services for those guests from a Disability Access Service Card to wheelchairs, electronic conveyance vehicles and special services in the hotels. Sign language interpretation is available, BUT plan ahead if you will be needing that service as there are minimum numbers of days of notice required.
For guests with cognitive disabilities there are also many options. Advanced ticket purchase to avoid the long wait in lines and rider switch, which enables you to experience an attraction while another member of your party waits with the guest who does not ride. Then you swap without waiting in line again. This is a bonus for the caregivers so everyone in the party can enjoy the park.
There are many more services available, so if you are going and need that extra bit of help, consult this very comprehensive website. I was heartened to see a diverse group of people enjoying this Florida treasure.