DISNEY’S HOLLYWOOD STUDIOS- Wheeling around the World: A Second Look at Vacationing in Disney with those in Wheelchairs and Scooters
It was about a week ago that I vacationed with a nice group of people. Diane and her crew asked me to help with their Uncle Al, who was wheelchair bound for the Parks. Two others of our party of 8 people needed scooters, so we were at the mercy of the Parks and what they had in store for the “wheels.” Here is my experience with it, enjoy!
I thought I would break this down into Parks (and separate blog posts) so it is easier for you to get an idea of how it went down. Also for reference sake in the future, you can look up a specific section of this post to see how to handle it. I want to make clear I will be listing only the attractions we personally rode and dealt with. I am also going to be using stars to give you an idea of how they tested on the “wheels” compatibility and access. 1-5 – 5 being EXCELLENT and 1 being poor.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
“Toy Story Mania”- After showing our fast passes, we were shown the line to enter with the three wheels, which if you don’t know, is off to the right across from one of the 3-D glasses distribution. They will ask you how many of your party wants to ride “together” in the same block of vehicles. Now, in all honesty, it doesn’t really matter but that you are with one other person on this ride. You can’t see who is behind you, and unless you really need to compete with them, it doesn’t matter to be in the same block. If you wish to wait it out, it will take some time, so be prepared. We were ready for whatever they had to give us, and because of the flexibility, we were put on right away, just not all together. I wheeled Al right up to the vehicle, and he was able to get in ok, he just had a hard time with his cane because there isn’t much room for him to move with it. My awesome pal, Jessica (ladyaurora) works on this ride and she was VERY helpful and kind. I give this one FIVE stars *****.
“Tower of Terror” – Ok FIRST kudos to this man for even GOING on this- NO THANK YOU! You are unable to task scooters into the waiting line or attraction, so they have wheelchairs at the entrance for scooters to transfer to. One of our guys did, and one walked it. I pushed up Al up that long hill, and then wheeled him all the way into the basement area to the waiting elevator. Yeah, I was stressing just THINKING about getting on that death trap. Al was able to get out of his wheelchair and use his cane to get to his seat, and the CM’s made sure he was buckled in ok. I then was able to take the “Chicken Exit” with the wheelchair, in a working elevator, to the drop off area and had it all ready for him when his ride was over. He LOVED it, whereas I would have been a mess. Kudos Al, I am impressed! I am going to give this three stars for a reason- if you are in a scooter ON YOUR OWN, HOW could you push yourself or even attempt to wheel yourself up that large hill that the waiting area is in? ***
“Rock N’ Rollercoaster”- You are all going to find this funny, but I have never been in this attraction before. Nope, I am not a fan of this ride, so why come in here? Well, Al was riding it because the other guys were as well. Now, I’m not sure he had a clue what he was about to ride. I was able to push him all the way to the coaster entrance, but the other wheels had to leave them behind and opt for wheelchair or walk. Shawn was wheeled in by Diane, and her and I both kept telling CM’s “Um, we aren’t riding this, we are just the pushers.” It was cool to see the queue, but again, I have no desire for it. They took Diane and I out the “Chicken Exit” and then we were able to wait in the Exit area with the wheels . What happened next was something I WISH I had recorded…Al got off and threw out every swear word on the planet! “You trying to kill me?” But it was a lot more colorful. LOL You had to be there, but it was one of the highlights of my time with him. I give this area four stars since they couldn’t bring the scooters in. ****
“Star Tours”- We were able to take a cool side lane into the attraction, using the GAC card, and they maneuvered us above the other lines. It was neat to be on that higher level, since I had never been up there before. We were able to drive up all three vehicles right into the waiting line, where the scooter guys transferred, but I was able to wheel Al right onto the Star Speeder and help him into his chair. Scooters and his wheelchair were all ready to go for them once they exited the attraction, and it went quite smoothly. Again, the exit area of Star Tours, just as you exit into the hallway, is another high congestion area. Be patient with those who are getting back into their wheels, and just simply walk around them. I give this five stars. *****
“Muppet Vision 3D”- We were able to drive all the wheels into this, starting with the pre-show which has it’s own “corral” for the wheeled participants. Once in the Theater, they have the back row for those in wheels to just park and let the rest of us sit with them- perfect! I give the Muppets FIVE stars for making it so easy and accommodating! *****
“DHS as a whole” – We never needed to use any elevators, just the one that Al rode on for Tower of Terror. Everything else was quite easy to get to- there is only one real set of stairs by the Little Mermaid show, and there is a ramp that you just have to watch because it has a blind corner on it so you never know who is coming and going on it from the top or bottom when you are entering it. I did find that Sunset Boulevard has a hard curb on it, so if you want to come and go off the sidewalk, you have to go down about 10-15 feet down the street to find a ramp on the walk to get down or up on. Overall, four stars. ****
I hope this helps someone out- I have also covered EPCOT and MAGIC KINGDOM. Click on the Parks Names to read those reviews.