After visiting Disney World hundreds of times, I wasn’t going to let the need for using a scooter get in the way of enjoying Disney. In 2000 I learned that I was too weak to walk long distances because of a neuromuscular disease, so I’ve learned to navigate and now love Disney World Disabled Style.
At first it was foreign and frightening, but so was driving a scooter in crowds anywhere. It took practice, advice from Disney’s Guests with Disabilities Guides, and the support of my husband to get me started. Once I realized that Disney’s CM’s (Cast Members) would go out of their way to assist me, and that yelling out, “bad driver” to people if I’m in a jam could make people laugh and move out of my way, I was gaining confidence.
When more of Disney’s buses were updated to allow a scooter to drive on forward instead of reverse and I got my back into the seat area down pat, I looked forward to bus rides to get to the parks. As I got more assertive, by beeping my horn, or asking people to excuse me, I could maneuver through the stores’ small aisles, the attraction lines and the handicap rows for parades.
Disney World offers all types of assistance for people with disabilities: mobility, visual, hearing and general. You can plan in advance of your trip by visiting the Disney website and even downloading the guides. Once you’re at Disney, visit Guest Relations at the park of your choice for a Guest Assistance Pass and to ask for advice. You can rent wheelchairs or scooters at Disney or from companies that deliver them to your hotel.
My scooter, or ECV, is the only way for me to fully enjoy all that Disney World has to offer. I’ll take that any day in place of staying back at the hotel while my family has a blast.
Connie Roberts is a professional blogger who makes it her mission to advocate for people with medical issues. Travel with a disability is not a struggle, but an opportunity to see the world and let others see that it’s possible and a lot of fun. Tweet with her @ConnieFoggles.