A laughing young girl seated at a restaurant table, with a Christmas tree in the background, holding hands with Minnie Mouse.

Disney World Travel

Taking a vacation to Disney World was one of the most enjoyable and manageable trips we have had with Maya. The accessibility and accommodations that were made for her disability were positively fantastic. Thank you Disney for your exemplary focus on special needs.

My husband was not looking forward to this trip but we wanted to do it for our daughter. He does not like crowds, nor does he enjoy the “Disney experience”. Fortunately, Maya’s face in this picture says it all and melted away his irritation for most of the trip.

Maya loved the characters and being with her older cousin. She was comfortable. There was minimal stress associated with transitioning from getting onto and off of buses, rides, and into and out of restaurants. They even had designated areas within restaurants that were reserved for guests in wheelchairs and their families (in case other tables were filled). Wow! I could not believe how special they made us all feel. Disney recognizes the need for the entire family to have a break and enjoy each other. Whereas other trips are exhausting because of the constant thinking, planning, and lifting associated with negotiating inaccessible places, this trip was tiring for the right reasons; pure fun. I have told so many people that I felt that in many ways it was easier to navigate Disney World then it is our daily routine outside of our home because of their disability awareness.

There was a lot of planning that went into this trip. Believe me it was not completely easy breezy and there are many things to consider if you plan on going. Regardless, it is wonderful.

Please visit the travel section for specific tips on how to travel with your child. In addition to what you find there we used a book called, “Walt Disney World with Disabilities”. You will find a review of it in the “Books/Media” section of the website. It is a very detailed look at Disney World as it pertains to traveling with someone who is disabled. I highly recommend it. This book coupled with my own knowledge of what makes Maya comfortable when we travel, helped us make this a successful trip. I am so glad we did it, and that we included additional family members to enjoy it with us.

Now I know why so many people with disabilities choose to go to Disney World; it takes a lot of the typical thinking and strategizing out of the day and allows people to focus on having fun!

6 replies
  1. Jeremey Poindexter
    Jeremey Poindexter says:

    We took our son with Down syndrome to Disney World in December 2010. He was 5 at the time. As a huge Disney fan, I was already a little biased heading into it. Disney and its employees could not have been any better. We met more than one cast member who had a close relative with Down syndrome. All the cast members were gracious without ever being condescending. A huge benefit was being able to categorize his stroller as a wheelchair.

  2. Carolyn Gilreath
    Carolyn Gilreath says:

    I know of parents in Georgia who took their twin girls, age 13, in January. Mom was skeptical, but decided to try it. Both girls have cerebral palsy, one much more handicapped, and both in wheel chairs. Mom came back with glowing reports of how handicap-accessible it was and how they were treated so specially. The girls had a wonderful time. I heard no negative comments; all was praise. The girls have been on other trips, including a school class trip to Williamsburg, so this was not their first venture, but definitely their favorite.

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