Wednesday, 9 March 2016

DISNEYLAND PARIS ACCESSIBILITY GUIDE



For my birthday this year my family very kindly and generously treated me to a trip to Disneyland!

Last week my Mum, my sister and I hopped on the Eurostar to Paris for a magical weekend together.

Having recently started treatment for Lyme Disease, I wasn't feeling my best but with some amazing planning my Mum arranged the trip so that I could enjoy it as much as possible. I had the loveliest time.

I didn't know what to expect before we arrived but ended up being very pleasantly surprised by the accessibility and the staff's knowledgeability of my difficulties. I thought it may be useful for me to share my experiences and findings here.

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Access Cards

Disneyland offers two types of access cards both of which provide you and those assisting you priority access to certain attractions. This means that you can prioritise limited energy for doing nice things rather than queuing. Access cards are available from 'City Hall' when you enter the main park.

Easy Access Card 

This pass is for people who are pregnant or who have a temporary disability/debilitating illness. It allows you and one helper priority access to certain attractions. To get this pass, you will need a letter from a medical professional from within the last 3 months.

Priority Card 

This pass, which I used, is for people with mobility, visual, cognitive, mental health, learning or behavioural difficulties. It allows you and up to four helpers priority access to certain attractions. Evidence you can provide to get this pass include a Blue Badge or a signed/stamped medical certificate from within the past 3 months.




Wheelchair / Mobility Scooter Rental

Disneyland offers a manual wheelchair rental service costing €15 per day with €150 cheque / credit card deposit. You do not need to book this in advance you can just visit the wheelchair/ pushchair desk close to the main entrance when you arrive. 

Whilst at Disneyland, I rented a mobility scooter to help me get around. Disneyland itself does not offer mobility scooter rental so the very helpful concierge at our hotel booked it through an external company on our behalf. The scooter was dropped off at the hotel and later collected when I no longer needed it. The hotel was very accommodating and charged it up in their office whenever it was not in use. They also arranged for us to have a room close to reception so that I did not have to walk far to get to it. The scooter rental cost approximately £20 per day. I'm not sure of the company we used as it was booked on our behalf but it is possible to book a whole range of mobility equipment in advance at mobilityequipmenthiredirect.com





Disneyland Paris App

A really useful tool which my sister found was the free Disneyland Paris App (available here). Not only does this provide maps, wait times and entertainment schedules but it also provides useful information about the accessibility of different attractions.

Accessibility indicators provided include:
  • whether there are dimly lit areas
  • whether assistance dogs are permitted
  • wheelchair accessibility
  • whether transfer from a wheelchair is required
  • suitability for people who have difficulty standing
  • suitability for people with visual and hearing impairments
  • suitability for people with debilitating illnesses
  • suitability for people with lower limb atrophy
  • suitability for people with Learning Disabilities
  • suitability for expectant mothers

This app helped my sister pick out a couple of very gentle rides I could go on despite feeling nauseous and dizzy.

While for the most part I found that attractions were well equipped for me to use my mobility scooter in, there were a couple with narrower passageways which made steering a little tricky. It may be best to ask a member of Disney staff about passage widths before entering attractions to avoid getting stuck!



Parade Viewing

Parade time can be quite busy and overwhelming at Disneyland. Fortunately there are several cordoned off viewing areas for those with disabilities. I found that when using this area I had a bit more space and was able to clearly see what was going on without people standing in front of my mobility scooter. The only draw back was that in order to ensure lots of space for disabled viewers, I was only allowed to have one person accompanying me. My sister therefore drew the short straw and had to watch elsewhere on her own.



Disneyland Paris Website

The final useful resource I found was the Disneyland Paris website itself. FAQS and a guide for people with disabilities are available here:
I'd say it is definitely worth a browse when booking and in the run up to a trip.



If you have any questions about my experience that this post hasn't answered, do feel free to get in touch. I'd be more than happy to chat to you about it more :)



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9 comments

  1. I'm so pleased you had a lovely time Faye! Disneyland is my favourite ever place haha. What was your favourite ride? That's fantastic that they were so helpful and understanding, I find most people are lovely but aren't sure what to do to help so the fact that they seemed so on it is brilliant x

    Josie | Sick Chick Chic

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    1. Thank you, Josie! It was such an amazing treat and really special as it's something I definitely wouldn't have managed a year ago... I didn't really do many rides in the end as I was quite nauseous but I loved watching the parades etc. Really hope you're doing as well as possible at the moment. Lots of love xxx

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  2. It makes me more than happy to know you were there, Faye, especially with your wonderful family! And hope that payback won't be too long and harsh. Thank you for always sharing your experience, for taking time and energy and writing it. Send you my love and gentle hugs!

    I saw you answered my comments and now I'm one huge smile:)

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    1. Thank you so much Polina. It's been quite a busy month so I'm only really starting to catch up on some rest now. It was entirely worth it though- I had such a lovely time. I wish I had replied to your comments sooner, I'm going to be trying extra hard at more prompt replies. Lots of love to you. Hope today is a lovely day for you xxx

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  3. Thank you so much for all this valuable info. I'm pleased you were able to enjoy it. I'd like to take my daughter one day but we both have fibro and get overwhelmed easily. How did you find the crowds and noise levels? Mobility is only one part of the equation for me. Thanks Cath x

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    1. I'm glad you found it useful Cathy. I hope so much that you are able to take your daughter one day. I can completely relate to being easily overwhelmed. I think that a year ago I would have found the whole experience over-stimulating. There were definitely times when there being lots of people and noise were difficult. I wore sunglasses most of the time and had earplugs in my bag when I needed to shut out some of the noise. It wasn't peak time of year though and the weather wasn't great so I think that that helped lessen the number of people around. My mum had very kindly booked for us to stay in the Disneyland Hotel which was as close to the parks as you could get, this meant that I could go in for an hour or so and then quickly and easily retreat to our room for a few hours rest. Staying at that hotel also meant that we got early access to the parks, so we could go in 2 hours before it opened properly- there were less people around then which helped. Another thing that was quite good was that with access passes you go straight into the exit of most attractions which also helps avoid some of the people/noise. It also means that you can get more done in a short amount of time. It wasn't an easy experience by any means but I did manage to have a lovely time. Really hope you're doing as well as can be Cathy. Thanks for taking the time to leave your comment xx

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  4. Mobility scooter is also available in disneyland, It offer a manual wheelchair rental service on the rent to get around the disneyland. Get cheapest Disability Scooters UK direct to the door.

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  5. Hey!

    Do you mind telling me which hotel you stayed at? I am staying at Vienna House Magic Circus in November and I am really worried! I have only been able to find 1 company offering mobility scooters and they charge over £200! (with a minimum rental fee of 1 week)

    My trip is supposed to be a birthday treat and there is no way I can afford that, but I do not want to be a burden on my family in a wheelchair at 22 years old :(

    from Georgie

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