My family and I just finished our first vacation to Disney World! We had such an incredible time riding all the rides, eating all the junk food and navigating our way around the various theme parks. My children did have to endure a few embarrassing “mom” moments, however — more than most kids usually have to put up with on a family vacation. In addition to enjoying our first Disney adventure, I made it my mission to document some of the new amusement park requirements in the 2010 ADA, which meant standing in line a few extra minutes to wait for any accessible seats, photographing complete strangers without their knowledge, and a few other tasks that completely shamed my children. Isn’t that what most parents do when they take their family to the happiest place on earth?
The Results Are In
The results of my undercover mission were quite impressive. It was truly amazing to me how accessible the entire Disney system was. There were so many people using wheelchairs and other mobility aids, not to mention people who had temporary mobility issues and even baby strollers. I was very impressed with Disney for how sensitive and accommodating their parks were for persons with disabilities.
As with any public accommodation, an amusement park has common areas that are open to the everyone and therefore must be in compliance. Disney succeeded in all areas, from the transportation system to restrooms to accessible ramps throughout every park. Take a look for yourself:
Designated loading areas at every bus stop and on every bus.
Accessible restrooms throughout every park.
Ramps along all routes.
Lifts and other means of entry in the swimming pool areas at each of the resorts.
Accessible dining surfaces and seating at the attractions in abundance.
The 2010 ADA devotes an entire section to creating accessible amusement park rides. With special spaces designated for people in wheelchairs, companion seats, accessible loading areas and ramps, Disney passed with flying colors.
Dreams Come True…For Everyone
I’m pleased to share that our first family trip to Disney World was a rousing success. Disney has created an accessible place where everyone can enjoy a magical experience, including my family, who, I’m proud to say, survived the entire vacation with their “crazy mom on a mission.”
Because the standard requirements for amusement parks are very detailed, I encourage you to study the 2010 ADA. You may also read more in my books:
“Applying the ADA” published by Wiley.
They are available for sale now. (also available as an e-book)