Friday, May 25, 2012
What's the Point: Guests with Disabilities
It's true. Not in a tongue-in-cheek way like the "nobody dies in Disney" rumor, but for real.
Disney Cast Members are taught on DAY ONE of their employment with the Walt Disney Company that there are no disabled guests, there are only "guests with disabilities."
This may seem unimportant but in actuality it is a critical distinction. At Disney Parks and Resorts the guest always come first. Always. If a guest has a special need that is always secondary. Every guest should be treated the same way. The "guest" part of you always becomes before the "disability" part of you. You are not defined by the fact that you have a disability. However, you ARE always a guest at a Disney Park, regardless of your disability status.
Disney also doesn't make distinctions between disabilities that you can "see" and "invisible" disabilities. Stop by the Guest Relations at any Disney Park or Downtown Disney and explain your situation. Disney Cast Members will do what they can to help you. This also goes for guests with food allergies.
Please note, I am not an expert on guests with disabilities at Disney. Check out this great website for more information and to assist guests with disabilities traveling to Disney Parks: Mickey's Fan Club. Also my friend Melissa has a fabulous blog, Disney on Wheels, where she features "Accessible Attractions" complete with photos and descriptions of special entrances and transfers for guests with wheelchairs.
Disney Parks are for guest to enjoy... every guest, not just a few. Have a magical day!