Let’s talk about bathrooms.
One of the most problematic issues that people with disabilities face when traveling revolves around the toilet. And lets be honest, it’s not a subject many people are comfortable talking about.
For people with disabilities, lack of accessible bathroom facilities has the potential to make or break your travel plans. I know, it sounds dumb to base your entire travel plans on a silly porcelain toilet, huh? But unfortunately, this is the case for many people, including myself.
I require full assistance from my father whenever I need to use the bathroom. He does all the heavy lifting of getting me on-and-off the toilet and even pulling up my pants (if my mother isn’t there to help as well).
Companion bathrooms are essential to my being able to venture out into the world. It provides me with a little bit of peace of mind knowing that I won’t have to spend the day super uncomfortable from holding my bladder or cause myself to get so dehydrated from fear of drinking anything that will make me have to pee.
It means that my father won’t have to make a mad-dash into the women’s bathroom to help me. (Yes, he’s had to do that before; he’s the kindest man ever!)
I used to think my situation was a bit unique, but I’m sure many of you can relate on some level. Thankfully, Disney imagineers have taken into consideration the needs of people with disabilities and installed many companion bathroom’s that can be found throughout both parks.
So, let’s get familiar with where they’re all at…
In case you’re unfamiliar with the terms “companion bathroom” or “family bathroom“, let me do a little explaining.
Companion bathrooms are generally designed for people with disabilities who require assistance from someone in their party to help them use the restroom.
For example, like I already mentioned, I am a young woman who relies on my strong father to transfer me on-and-off the toilet. Rather than have my father go into the women’s bathroom (or me go into the men’s bathroom – eek!) a companion bathroom gives you the privacy and space you need to get your business done.
Often, you’ll find that the term companion bathroom and family bathroom are interchangeable and mean one and the same. The one exception being that a family bathroom means that young mothers and fathers with small children can also use this restroom.
Map of the Parks for People with Disabilities
Did you know Disneyland and California Adventure Park (also known as DCA for short) has special guide maps for people with disabilities? (See below to grab yours.)
You can pick one up at the parks for yourself anytime – they’re free! These maps are designed to help you find accessible restrooms, accessible rides and attractions, and lots of other information that may pertain to your needs.
Special symbols are used to help you browse the park map. For instance, the symbol below illustrates what the companion bathroom symbol looks like on the map.
At Disneyland, grab your park map at City Hall.
At California Adventure Park, grab your map at the Chamber of Commerce.
Or, if you’d like, download your free copy here:
Companion/Family Bathrooms at Disneyland
One of the bathrooms I use most frequently during my visits to Disneyland is the companion bathroom located inside the First Aid building.
I find the location convenient as it’s somewhat in the center of the park. There are multiple companion restrooms available here and as you can see from the pictures below, they’re quite large and spacious.
You’ll find it also has a place to sit or lay down (or perhaps use it as a changing area).
When entering the First Aid building, let the cast members know you would like to use the companion bathroom and they will direct you down the hall to where they’re located. You’re free to take as much time as you need.
Adventureland has 2 companion bathrooms located inside the waiting queue area of the Enchanted Tiki Room, on the left-hand side of the top of the stairs. There is an accessible ramp to the left of the attraction’s entrance.
These bathrooms are relatively new and courtesy of the latest renovation that brought us the Tropical Hideaway. You can expect these bathrooms to be very clean and private since they are located off the beaten path and not many people even know they exist.
If you happen to be near Splash Mountain and need the restroom, you can find a companion bathroom on the lower level of the Hungry Bear restaurant.
I usually avoid this particular bathroom because there is often a line waiting to use it and it is in a high-traffic area.
Star Wars Land
Need to use the bathroom while you’re commanding the Millennium Falcon or blasting your way past Kylo Ren and the Storm Troopers? Don’t worry, Disney’s got you covered!
You can find 2 Star Wars themed companion/family restrooms near the Milk Stand.
These bathrooms are not super big, but are able to accommodate my large wheelchair and my mother’s mobility scooter.
This single companion/family bathroom can be found near the theater that shows Mickey and the Magical Lamp. There is a long ramp leading up to this restroom.
This one is located somewhat off the beaten path and is not usually busy. I’ve always found it to be clean and private (away from the noise of foot-traffic or voices).
Tomorrowland consists of a companion/family bathroom that can be found in between Star Wars Launch Bay and Autopia.
I’ve never used this one before and must admit I had no idea it existed. I will be trying it out next time and reporting back with photos!
Companion/Family Bathrooms at California Adventure Park
Buena Vista Street
As you enter California Adventure Park, you can find several companion/family bathrooms inside of the First Aid building located in between the Chamber of Commerce and Los Feliz Five and Dime shop.
These bathrooms are almost identical to what you’d find at Disneyland’s First Aid building.
Cars Land offers 2 separate companion/family bathroom facilities right outside of Flo’s V8 Cafe.
It’s important to know that these bathrooms are in a high traffic area and there may be a line waiting to use it.
On the Disneyland map, it looks like this companion/family bathroom is located more near the restaurants in Pacific Wharf, but actually you can find it inside the Baby Care Center just outside the Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop.
I found this bathroom to be smaller than all of the other ones. And it felt awkward being in the same area with nursing mothers and crying infants.
My favorite bathroom at California Adventure can be found near the backside of the Little Mermaid looking toward the Grizzly Rapids.
Strangely, it is in a busy area but I’ve never had to wait very long to use it. There are 2 companion/family restrooms here and they’re very spacious and always clean.
There are currently no companion/family bathrooms located on Pixar Pier, so I recommend using one of the other restrooms before you make your way to the pier.
Companion Bathrooms in Downtown Disney
For many years, I didn’t spend very much time exploring Downtown Disney because I couldn’t find an accessible bathroom. Until recently, a good friend of mine (Casey, from Disneyland Daily) informed me of a companion bathroom inside the large Starbucks near the World of Disney Store.
They have single stalls and are bigger than most. Once you’re inside Starbucks, walk past all the coffee lines and registers (which are on the right) and then head down the hall slightly on the left. See the photos below for details.
Hopefully, Disney will rectify the “lack of accessible bathroom” issue soon for the Downtown Disney area.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!