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Guests With Disabilities Find Increased Accessibility
At Walt Disney World Resort

Guests with disabilities can experience the thrill and adventure of Test Track, one of the first thrill rides inside Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort, and take advantage of many special services and facilities available to them throughout the Vacation Kingdom.

Disney “Imagineers” collaborated with General Motors on Test Track to enhance accommodations for wheelchair users who can make a lateral transfer. As a special service to guests, the design of Test Track provides a separate “practice” area for people who use wheelchairs. The practice area allows people to try out the lateral transfer from their wheelchairs to the ride vehicle and to take their time deciding if they wish to ride.

Test Track, which includes 5,246 feet of track, is modeled after GM’s Proving Ground, where vehicles are tested and validated. The ride is more than five minutes long and reaches speeds of up to 65 miles per hour.

“Disney’s theme parks have always been at the forefront of accommodating guests with disabilities, and the parks have received numerous awards for their achievements,” said Al Weiss, president of Walt Disney World. “We intend to remain leaders in this important area.”

Guests with disabilities also can enjoy the adventure-filled, 20-minute journey in an open-air vehicle on Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And an innovative service called Reflective Captioning provides personal captioning for many of the four Walt Disney World theme parks’ theater attractions. Another new Epcot attraction, Journey into Your Imagination, allows guests using wheelchairs or electric scooters to proceed seamlessly through the entire attraction with the rest of their party. Guests first board the wheelchair-accessible ride vehicle to take a journey through the secret testing labs of the Imagination Institute and discover the outrageous possibilities of sound, color and illusion. Following the ride, ImageWorks-The Kodak “What If?” Labs section of this attraction features interactive exhibit areas that also are accessible.

Other Walt Disney World Resort services tailored to guests with disabilities include: 

  • Guidebooks For Guests With Disabilities -- The Guidebook for Guests with Disabilities is theme-park specific and provides a detailed overview of services and facilities available for guests with disabilities. 
  • Attraction Access -- Methods of accessibility vary from attraction to attraction within the theme parks. The Guidebook for Guests with Disabilities and park guidemaps use symbols to indicate boarding procedures for each attraction. Certain attractions require guests to transfer from their wheelchairs to a ride system either by themselves or with the assistance of a member of their party. 
  • Resort Access -- The Walt Disney World resorts offer special equipment and facilities for guests with disabilities. Features vary depending upon the selected resort. For information, please call Walt Disney World Resort Special Reservations at 407/939-7807 (voice) or 407/939-7670 (TTY). 
  • Guests With Visual Disabilities -- Braille guidebooks, cassette tapes and portable tape players are available to assist guests during their visit to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. 
  • Guests With Service Animals -- Service animals are welcome in most locations throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. All service animals must remain on a leash or in a harness at all times. Due to the nature of some attractions, service animals may not be permitted to ride. In those instances, a member of the guest’s party must remain with the animal. 
  • Guests With Hearing Disabilities -- Assistive Listening Systems are available for most theater-type attractions. These systems utilize a lightweight wireless device that receives a signal from overhead transmitters at certain locations in order to amplify sound.

    Reflective Captioning, which provides personal captioning for many theater-type attractions, uses an LED display to project desired captions onto an acrylic panel placed in front of the guest. Video Captioning also is available on many caption-ready television monitors designated with a “CC” symbol and can be turned on by remote control.

    Sign Language interpretation is provided for guests at live theme park shows with a minimum of seven days notice. Currently, shows are interpreted on a rotating basis as follows: Sundays and Wednesdays at Disney Hollywood Studios; Mondays and Thursdays at the Magic Kingdom; Tuesdays and Fridays at Epcot; and Saturdays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Guests can request this service by calling Walt Disney World Information at 407/824-4321 (voice) or 407/827-5141 (TTY). 

  • Rest Rooms -- Most rest rooms throughout the Walt Disney World Resort have facilities designed for access by guests using wheelchairs. Companion-assisted rest room facilities are located at all First Aid locations, as well as several locations throughout the parks. 
  • Wheelchairs -- Guests can bring their own wheelchairs or rent one at any of the parks or at Downtown Disney. A limited number of Electric Convenience Vehicles are available at the theme parks on a first-come, first-served basis. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park offers guests water-accessible wheelchairs. Wheelchairs also are available in limited numbers for Walt Disney World Resort guests at each resort. 
  • Parking -- Designated parking areas for guests with disabilities are available throughout the Walt Disney World Resort. A valid disability parking permit is required. At the four theme parks, guests should inquire at the auto plaza for directions on parking options. 
  • Transportation -- Many of the transportation systems at the Walt Disney World Resort are accessible to guests with disabilities. All bus routes are serviced by buses equipped to accommodate various types of wheelchairs. Watercraft access varies depending on the type of watercraft and the existing water levels and conditions. Also, guests may access the monorail system by proceeding up the entrance ramps, or using the elevators provided at Epcot, Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.

The Walt Disney World Resort has been recognized with the Chairman’s Award presented by the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board for its efforts to increase accessibility for people with disabilities, and it received the 1998 Self Help for Hard of Hearing People, Inc. National Access Award.

To obtain further information about the services for guests with disabilities, visit the Walt Disney World Resort web site at www.disneyworld.com or contact Walt Disney World Information at 407/824-4321 (voice) or 407/827-5141 (TTY).