If you or someone you know will be using a wheelchair at Disneyland, this article is for you. Whether you require a wheelchair on a daily basis or need to rent a wheelchair due to an injury or disability, Disneyland has got you covered.
I have a physical disability that has worsened over the years to the point of needing to rely on a wheelchair full-time. In my lifetime, I’ve experienced Disneyland as an ambulatory person, as someone who rented a wheelchair only for periods of rest, as a scooter user, and now as a permanent power wheelchair user.
No matter what mode of transportation is being used, Disneyland does their best to accommodate people with mobility disabilities.
If you are worried that you won’t be able to experience the true magic of Disneyland simply because you are in a wheelchair, I’ve got some great news for you. There are so MANY things to do and rides you will be able to ride without having to transfer out of your wheelchair!
I used to have the same doubts. That’s why I created this website.
So, lets dive into the best wheelchair accessible rides at Disneyland…
Map of Disneyland for People with Disabilities
Disneyland Resort has designed a special guide map for people with disabilities.
This map is very helpful when trying to locate accessible rides, attractions, companion/family bathrooms, and many other services you may need during your trip.
I recommend getting familiarized with the map so you can plan your day and familiarize yourself with the layout of the park.
Click here for a downloadable copy of the latest Disneyland Park map specifically for people with disabilities.
To get your free hardcopy of this park map for people with disabilities, visit City Hall in Disneyland, located next to the Firehouse.
Important Symbols to Recognize
You will notice at the entrance of every ride and attraction there will be a sign posted that displays different types of wheelchair symbols.
It’s important to recognize and remember what these symbols mean. These symbols will be listed and defined on the park map as well.
The first symbol (as seen below) means exactly what is says. Whenever you see this symbol, it means you are able to remain in your Electronic Conveyance Vehicle (the ECV you rented from Disneyland) and/or wheelchair.
The second symbol (as seen below) means that if you are not always using a wheelchair, you must transfer to a wheelchair. You will not be able to ride the ride in the Electronic Conveyance Vehicle you rented from Disneyland.
If for some rare reason your wheelchair is not suitable for the ride, the cast members will have you transfer into one of the park’s wheelchairs. Every ride has a wheelchair on standby for those who need it.
Wheelchair Accessible Rides at Disneyland
It’s a Small World
This is one of my favorite rides to get on when I’m tired and need a cool place to rest. Guests who cannot transfer from their wheelchair will board a small boat that is equipped with a power lift.
The ride itself lasts about 15 minutes and takes you on a voyage across the seas as you visit every corner of the globe.
Along the journey, you will hear many iconic audio-animatronic dolls singing a familiar tune in their native language. It’s a Small World is a very slow, calm water ride that is fun for people of all ages.
King Arthur’s Carrousel
This gorgeous medieval carrousel is adorned with numerous intricately carved, hand-painted horses and one very special royal chariot.
Guests in a wheelchair can board the carrousel by entering to the left of the standard queue and using the provided ramp. This is a slow ride that goes around in circles while playing whimsical music.
Sleeping Beauty’s Castle
For guests who are unable to maneuver a narrow staircase, there is an alternative viewing experience available. As you enter through the castle drawbridge facing toward the carrousel, on the right hand side of the castle is a doorway that leads into a magical room where you can watch a tour of the castle on a high-definition screen.
Watch as the epic tale of Princess Aurora is unfolded right before your eyes!
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Do you have the urge to help Buzz Lightyear defeat Zurg? You can help thanks to a wheelchair accessible space cruiser! Space rangers (you or a guest) can board via an “L” shaped ramp.
The cast members will stop the ride before you board (it has a moving floor).
The ramp can be a bit tricky to navigate if you have a larger wheelchair like mine. I usually ask for help when it’s time to exit the ride as I have to navigate going backwards in an awkward fashion. My rear tires have a mind of their own sometimes.
But don’t worry, the friendly cast members are there to help if you need them. There is room for one person to sit with the wheelchair user.
This is a calm, loud ride that has the option of spinning if you choose to pull the red spin lever. The object of the ride is to shoot your gun at as many lighted objects as you can to earn points.
The gun is fairly light in weight and it is easy to pull the trigger even if you have weak hands/fingers.
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
Although the submarines are not accessible for wheelchair users, Disney provides an alternative experience that can be found in the Observation Outpost located at the end of the dock.
Here, you will enter a room where you will be able to watch a live-feed version of the submarine voyage on a high-definition screen.
Location: TOMORROWLAND and DOWNTOWN DISNEY DISTRICT
Glide through the parks on one of America’s first high-speed, zero-emission transportation systems. Guests can enjoy a 13 minute (2.5 mile) round-trip journey through Disneyland, California Adventure Park, and Downtown Disney.
Wheelchair access is available at both locations by proceeding up a ramp. In Tomorrowland, the ramp is very long and steep, so make sure you have enough strength to power you uphill.
Location: TOMORROWLAND, NEW ORLEANS SQUARE, and MICKEY’S TOONTOWN
This 18 minute roundtrip ride (with three stops in between) is one of the best modes of transportation from land-to-land. There are usually 3-4 trains in operation at once, making the wait time to board generally 5-10 minutes.
The train will stop in Main Street, New Orleans Square, Mickey’s Toontown, and Tomorrowland.
Each train is equipped to handle wheelchair access.
All lands are wheelchair accessible EXCEPT Main Street. There is no ramp at the Main Street Railroad Station.
Mark Twain Riverboat
Cruising along the scenic route of the Rivers of America is possible for guests in a wheelchair! A cast member will direct you to board the ship first before any other guest. This allows the boat to rise high enough to be level with the dock.
You will exit the ship last after all other passengers have exited to allow the boat to rise again to meet the dock evenly.
This is a very gentle, slow ride that lasts about 13 minutes and narrates what you see as you float along the river.
Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island
Feel like braving an adventure? Then look no further! Guests of all abilities can hop aboard a log raft and travel across the Rivers of America to take a stroll through the footsteps of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn.
Similar to the Mark Twain Riverboat, guests in a wheelchair will be the first to board the raft and the last to exit the raft.
On the island, many pathways are accessible for wheelchairs and ECV’s. Most of the island consists of dirt trails, bridges, steep inclines, and narrow passages, some that may not be wheelchair accessible.
Wheelchair accessible bathrooms are located on the island. If you would rather not disembark on the island, you may request a round-trip ride on the raft.
One of the best classic rides at Disneyland is the Jungle Cruise. This ride provides a guided tour from a friendly Skipper as you cruise along a perilous, and always hilarious journey.
Guests may remain in their wheelchair to experience this attraction and board the accessible boat via a power lift.
To enter this ride, check in with a cast member near the ride’s exit and they will give you a return time to come back and get right on the ride.
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room is a musical, tropical paradise that is sure to delight your eyes and ears. Guests with disabilities may now enter this attraction by way of a newly installed ramp that is located to the left of the stairs.
There is wheelchair accessibility inside the building at various locations. I recommend sitting near the exit (directly across from the entrance) so you can be the first to exit when the show is over.
There is another ramp located at the exit that will lead you to the Tropical Hideaway.
The Tiki Room is dark, loud, and filled with over 225 moving audio-animatronic birds that put on quite a jubilant show. Definitely a must-see for all Walt Disney fans!
Winnie the Pooh
Location: CRITTER COUNTRY
Buzz through the Hundred-Acre Woods as you embark on a journey into Winnie the Pooh’s blustery dream. Guests who wish to remain in their wheelchair may request an accessible vehicle.
Entrance to the ride is through the standard queue with everyone else.
This is a slow, dark, and loud ride. There are a few times where the ride comes to a complete and sudden stop that I found to be very jerky, but tolerable.
Use caution if you are sensitive to being thrown around a bit.
So, as you can see, there are plenty of rides and attractions available for those of us who use a wheelchair! Disneyland does not disappoint when it comes to providing handicap accessibility.
Want to know what rides are accessible at California Adventure Park? Click here.
Please feel free to comment below with any questions or comments! I’d love to hear from you!