Taking a vacation to Disney World was one of the most enjoyable and manageable trips we have had with Maya. The accessibility and accommodations that were made for her disability were positively fantastic. Thank you Disney for your exemplary focus on special needs.
My husband was not looking forward to this trip but we wanted to do it for our daughter. He does not like crowds, nor does he enjoy the “Disney experience”. Fortunately, Maya’s face in this picture says it all and melted away his irritation for most of the trip.
Maya loved the characters and being with her older cousin. She was comfortable. There was minimal stress associated with transitioning from getting onto and off of buses, rides, and into and out of restaurants. They even had designated areas within restaurants that were reserved for guests in wheelchairs and their families (in case other tables were filled). Wow! I could not believe how special they made us all feel. Disney recognizes the need for the entire family to have a break and enjoy each other. Whereas other trips are exhausting because of the constant thinking, planning, and lifting associated with negotiating inaccessible places, this trip was tiring for the right reasons; pure fun. I have told so many people that I felt that in many ways it was easier to navigate Disney World then it is our daily routine outside of our home because of their disability awareness.
There was a lot of planning that went into this trip. Believe me it was not completely easy breezy and there are many things to consider if you plan on going. Regardless, it is wonderful.
Please visit the travel section for specific tips on how to travel with your child. In addition to what you find there we used a book called, “Walt Disney World with Disabilities”. You will find a review of it in the “Books/Media” section of the website. It is a very detailed look at Disney World as it pertains to traveling with someone who is disabled. I highly recommend it. This book coupled with my own knowledge of what makes Maya comfortable when we travel, helped us make this a successful trip. I am so glad we did it, and that we included additional family members to enjoy it with us.
Now I know why so many people with disabilities choose to go to Disney World; it takes a lot of the typical thinking and strategizing out of the day and allows people to focus on having fun!