As well as being a Disneyland addict, wife, Mum and Nanny, I also have a day job. For the past 16 years I have worked as a Community Support Worker for a fabulous charity called Linkage Community Trust. I have been privileged to make 3 visits to Disneyland Paris in a work capacity and hope the information gained from these trips can be of help to others.
On arriving at the parks, the first and most important thing to do is to obtain a priority pass. There are 2 different ones – green for permanent disability, and orange for temporary disability.
To obtain a pass you need to take proof of disability plus passport to either City Hall in the main Disneyland Park or Guest Services in the Walt Disney Studios. Proof of disability can be a blue badge, benefit letter or a stamped letter for a GP or hospital stating the reason, this must be dated within 3 months.
The pass will have a box ticked on the back. For learning difficulties the box is called ‘cognitive and mental disabilities’.
Rides are accessed by the exit. It’s very simple, you just show the cast member the card and they will tell you how many people can ride at once. Some rides have no limit and our group of 2 carers and 6 clients could all ride at the same time, other rides had a 1 carer per disabled person rule, meaning we had to take clients on one by one.
The girls went on almost all the rides, including Big Thunder Mountain and 2 even went on Tower of Terror!
The priority cards can also be used for character meet and greets. There is no need to queue, simply approach the Cast Member who is there with the character and they will either allow you to wait and meet them or will give you a time to return, depending on how busy it is. We were very fortunate to meet a huge number of different characters, so many so, that the girls filled their autograph books!
There are several disabled viewing areas for the parade, with our favourite being in front of the castle stage. This meant we were able to get great parade photos with the castle in the background. The same viewing area is also used to watch the 25th Anniversary Show and the Princess Starlight Waltz.
The disabled area for Illuminations, the evening show projected onto the castle, is right at the front to the left hand side of the castle. This is accessed through Adventureland and gives the most fantastic views if you arrive early.
The various theatres all have disabled viewing areas at the front, which can be accessed by showing your priority pass.
One carer can gain free entrance to the parks for each disabled person. This has to be done on a daily basis and does not include the Extra Magic Hours. It is a good gesture but is very time consuming having to queue to get tickets each day and isn’t relevant if booked as part of a hotel package that includes park tickets.
Disabled guests can attend the Wild West show for half price. Proof of disability has to be shown when paying. There is no discount for carers.
Without a doubt, the priority pass and disabled viewing areas make the difference between a magical trip and a highly stressful few days. The Cast Members we met were all fabulous with the girls and we can’t thank them enough.
There is a huge amount of walking to be done at Disneyland Paris. If there is anyone with mobility issues who needs to hire a wheelchair this can be done at both parks. There is a hire shop for wheelchairs and pushchairs just on the right hand side as you enter the parks.
Wheelchair hire coats 20 euros per day plus a 75 euro deposit which is returned on receipt of the wheelchair. You are allowed to take the wheelchairs out of the parks and into the village or to the hotels but they must be returned at park closing time.
I hope this article has been helpful to anybody planning a visit. Our clients all had a fantastic time and are all desperate to return as soon as possible. If you need any assistance, I am happy to help.Tags: Disneyland Paris Disabled advice and tips