Help­ing Hands

WDW Magazine - - Content - BY KATHLEEN WOLFE

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.

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