Boarding Rides & Getting Help at Disney (Mobility Problems, Wheelchairs, ECVs)

What Kind of help can you expect when you board a ride at Disney World?

If you need help while boarding ride cars, keep in mind that the cast members are limited. If you need more support than they can give you, you’ll need to bring someone with you who can assist you. The following is what Cast Members can and cannot do.

Throughout Disney World and at the rides and attractions, cast members can do the following:

  • Offer you an arm to help you steady yourself.
  • Hold the chair in position so that it doesn’t move while a guest is getting in or out.
  • Move your wheelchair or ECV after you’ve transferred to a ride seat to park it.
  • Bring it to you after the ride is over.

Here’s what cast members can’t do:

  • They’re not allowed to put their hands on a guest in any way (even if a guest requests it).
  • They’re not allowed to physically lift guests as they transfer in or out of a wheelchair, ECV or an attraction seat.
  • They can’t push you in your chair through the queue or into a show.
  • They can’t push your chair onto a ride car (except sometimes they do! See below).
  • According to the Cast Member Guide For Guests With Disabilities, cast members are not supposed to push wheelchairs onto rides.

BUT… on some rides, a Cast Member will have to push you in your wheelchair onto the ride car.

In general it’s true that they won’t push you in your wheelchair. However for some accessible ride cars, the companion needs to get into the ride car first, followed by the wheelchair guest. This changes things. Sometimes the wheelchair blocks access to the companion seat, so there’s no way that the companion can push the wheelchair in and then get in. In these cases the companion gets in first, and then a cast member must load in the wheelchair. A few examples of this type of ride car include Toy Story Midway Mania, The Great Movie Ride, and The Seas with Nemo at Epcot.

So what really happen? For each attraction the cast member will tell you what to do and whether you should get in first or push the wheelchair in first.

Depending upon the attraction, other types of accessible ride cars may require some cast member assistance. For example, for the trams like those in the Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom, there’s a ramp built into the loading area. Guests are usually directed to push the wheelchair up the ramp and onto the tram. Then the cast member takes over to position and secure the wheelchair. On some rides like the accessible ride car for Aladdin at Magic Kingdom, the companion sits in front of the guest in the wheelchair. With most of those types of ride cars, the cast member directs the guests to push the wheelchair in and then the cast member takes over.

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