One would think if you have any type of mobility issue, traversing the vast and grand landscapes of the Walt Disney World Resort would seem like an unthinkable way to spend your vacation. Oh, but how wrong you would be! In fact, Disney is one of (if not THE) best companies in accommodating guests with challenges of all varieties. Be it dietary, mobility, sensory, elderly, or childcare, you can be sure that they will go above and beyond to make sure your stay is not only magical, but also comfortable and safe.
It’s no secret that the Walt Disney World resorts are among the top in the nation for their theme, experience, and customer service but until you have special needs, it’s not likely that you readily think about how they might stack up in that very essential department. No worries though, should you require a room with specific requirements, Disney’s got you covered.
While all twenty-eight of the Walt Disney World resorts (Value, Moderate, Deluxe, and Deluxe Villas) have what are referred to as “Accessible Rooms” (a term used to describe a room type that can accommodate wheelchair-bound or disabled guests. It could be that the room is larger and comes with increased door widths, ramp access, walk-in shower facilities and other essential features) not all of them are what I would consider to be the BEST in terms of your overall Disney experience. What puts one on top of the others? Location, location, location! Here are my two top picks, both in the Deluxe category, with honorable mentions in Value and Moderate.
Disney’s Contemporary Resort:
With it’s proximity to the Magic Kingdom and multiple modes of transportation to get there (path, monorail, boat), the Contemporary Resort is the clear winner for those spending a lot of time at the Magic Kingdom theme park. Within the Resort hotel, a guest doesn’t have to venture more than down an elevator (when staying in the tower, which is recommended) to get refreshments, full meals, souvenirs, toiletries, sundries, or assistance from the front
desk. Even when the accommodations are in the garden wing, nothing is very far away, and there are elevators and wide hallways available in all buildings.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort:
When you don’t have to take a bus to two theme parks, that’s a huge plus! Both Hollywood Studios and Epcot are just a boat ride (or walk) away from the Beach Club Resort. Again, all your wants and needs are easily serviced within the main building, just an elevator or hallway walk away. Dining, souvenirs, toiletries and the like are more at-your-fingertips here than in any of the Value or Moderate resorts.
Honorable mentions... Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter (Moderate):
If Disney Springs is where you plan to spend a good amount of time, you cannot beat the location of the French Quarter, as it provides Friendship Boat access to the shopping/dining/entertainment district. While the rooms are much smaller than those found at Deluxe accommodations, they are still quite “accessible,” and the quaint (small) size of the resort itself is a welcome juxtaposition of the widespread layouts of the theme parks. It only has one bus stop and while it often shares transportation with it’s sister resort, Port Orleans Riverside, French Quarter guests are the first on and the first off.
Disney’s Pop Century (Value):
Unfortunately none of the Value Resorts offer anything but bus transportation to the theme parks, but Pop Century gets my vote for a few reasons. Again, this resort offers a nice inventory of accessible rooms, but it’s not the accommodations that put it on top of the list for me. While bus is the only way to get around, there is only one bus stop, and transportation is not shared with any other resort as it is with the other Values. You’ll also notice that the majority of the accessible rooms at Pop Century are located nearest the main building. Pop also boasts an outstanding and roomy food court, as well as a wide-lane bridge that connects it to the wonderful Art of Animation Resort.
The bottom line is that no matter your budget, the Walt Disney World Resort has accommodations for guests with mobility issues that will make their stay enjoyable, accessible, and nothing short of magical. Be sure to make it clear to your travel agent or the Cast Member booking your vacation exactly what special needs you’ll need to be accommodated during your WDW visit.