Anaheim has so MANY hotels to choose from, it can be overwhelming. Finding a handicap accessible hotel is like trying to find a needle in a haystack.
The term “accessibility” and “wheelchair accessible” is not clearly defined in the hotel industry. Sometimes, a hotel may state that they have “accessible” rooms, but their definition of “accessible” may be very broad and not suitable to meet your needs.
That’s why, over the years, I’ve learned to create a check-list of important items to consider when looking for a hotel that will fit all of my needs.
The most important aspect of finding the right hotel begins with planning ahead. I recommend you start planning at least a year in advance because hotels can get completely booked rather quickly, especially if you want to be within walking distance to Disneyland.
The reason for booking so far in advance is due to each hotel’s limited availability of handicap accessible rooms.
And don’t worry if you have to cancel your hotel reservation. Most hotels offer a cancellation policy of at least 48 hours prior to your check-in date.
Let’s review some important things to consider when looking for the right hotel for you.
Hotel Room Accessibility Checklist
1. Is the room wheelchair accessible and up to California’s ADA code?
2. Do you have rooms for people with visual, cognitive, or mobility challenges?
3. Are light switches and power outlets reachable?
4. Does the room have a roll-in shower or accessible bathtub?
5. Does the hotel provide a bath bench?
6. Is there a raised toilet and grab bars in the bathroom?
7. Are the doors and entry ways widened to fit a large wheelchair?
8. Is there space to maneuver on both sides of the bed?
9. How tall are the beds?
10. Are the door handles flat or round?
11. Are the floors carpeted, laminated, or wood?
12. Is the room on the first floor?
Extra Hotel Room Needs Checklist
1. Does the room have a microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker? If not, can one be requested?
2. Do you provide a roll-away bed, cot, or crib?
3. Are there luggage racks to help me carry the luggage from my car?
4. Is there a hairdryer available in the room?
5. Does the room have a safe?
Main Hotel Accessibility Checklist
1. Is there handicap accessible parking at the hotel?
2. How close is the handicap parking to the hotel lobby?
3. Is there a fee for parking at the hotel?
4. How late can I stay parked at the hotel after check-out?
5. What is the availability of getting a handicap parking space?
6. Does the hotel have a backup generator in case of a power outage? This may be important if you use any medical equipment that requires electricity (i.e. oxygen concentrator, CPAP machine, etc.).
7. Does the hotel have an elevator?
8. Do you provide a continental breakfast?
9. Is there wheelchair access to the breakfast area?
10. Is the hotel lobby wheelchair accessible?
Other Questions to Consider
1. How far is the hotel from Disneyland?
2. Does the hotel provide transportation services?
3. Are there restaurants and stores nearby?
4. How far is the nearest hospital or health services?
5. Do I have a backup plan in case something goes wrong? (i.e. broken wheelchair, illness, etc.)
1. It is crucial to call the hotel directly to ask all of your questions. This is beneficial in case their website is inaccurate or not updated.
2. Book your hotel room far in advance! Rooms near Disneyland tend to go fast.
3. When choosing a hotel, carefully plan your route. Plan how you will get to-and-from the hotel when going to Disneyland or surrounding areas.
4. Keep notes of who you spoke to at the hotel and when you spoke with them.
5. Request to speak with someone who is familiar with handicap accessible hotel accommodations.
6. Ask open ended questions to elicit a more detailed response. For example, “please describe…” and “tell me about…”
7. Ask about the hotel’s cancellation policy.
8. When booking a room, make sure you have a credit card GUARANTEED accessible room with a confirmation number, and not just a “request” for the room. If you are unsure if you’ve done this, you can call the hotel to reconfirm that you are guaranteed an accessible room.
9. Upon arrival, check out the room before you unload your luggage from the car.
10. Print out everything and bring all your notes with you.
The most important thing to remember is to PLAN AHEAD. Your vacation shouldn’t be stressful or a struggle just because you have a disability.
If you plan ahead and take the time to do a little research, you can have a fully accessible and magical travel experience to the happiest place on earth!
Interested in learning what my favorite hotel is near Disneyland? Click here!