Disabled person on Kilimanjaro Safari
  • On May 19, 2020
    Shannon from OH Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    One of our family members has a physical disability that makes it difficult to walk long distances without breaks. Does not require a wheelchair. Any advice on how to navigate the parks without overdoing it? Visiting all 4 parks with break days in between.

    It's great to see you here today at the Disney Parks Moms Panel, Shannon! I'm so excited to hear that you're traveling to Walt Disney World Resort during my favorite time of the year: the holiday season. The Theme Parks and Resort Hotels are magical every single day of the year, but there's something about that extra layer of pixie dust that gets sprinkled around Christmas that keeps my family coming back year after year to celebrate. 

    Planning how you're going to get around Walt Disney World Resort is a super important part of your trip because there's so much ground to cover! I find that I usually walk about 10 miles per day when I'm on vacation, and that seems to be about the average number when I talk to other Panelists as well, so I think it's really smart that you're planning this out in advance. You mentioned that your family member does not use a wheelchair when they're at home, but I heartily recommend that you talk to them about renting and using one when you're on vacation so they can be as comfortable as possible. There are also ECV rentals available if you think that might be a better fit for everyone! As I mentioned before, there is probably going to be a lot of walking on your trip and renting a mobility device may help make it a bit easier for everyone so you can focus on the delicious food, legendary attractions, and time together as a family. If you decide not to rent a wheelchair or ECV then my best advice can be summed up in three words: take it slow! Enjoy the Theme Parks at your own pace and take frequent rest breaks at shows and restaurants so you don't tire out too quickly. 

    You sound like a pretty prepared planner because you're also asking about one of my favorite vacation planning tips: carving out some downtime for yourself so you can relax, rest your body, and be ready for all the magic still to come. I think that the best strategy is to plan an early morning start where you head to a Theme Park as soon as it opens or take advantage of Extra Magic Hours if you're staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel. Mornings are a bit quieter and I find that I'm able to enjoy quite a few attractions in those early hours. I recommend heading back to your Resort Hotel in the early afternoon to enjoy a rest, a snack, and maybe a dip in the pool, and then you'll be refreshed and ready to head back out into the Theme Parks in the evening to catch a nighttime spectacular like Fantasmic! or Happily Ever After. I find that breaking up my day like this gives me more energy to enjoy all the magic that's on offer!

    I hope this answers your question, Shannon, and please let us know if there's anything else we can do to help you plan your magical vacation.

    Jessica
thumbnail image for Jessica

Meet the Panelist: Jessica, Texas

I'm a personal stylist and I live in Texas with my husband and our two rescue animals. We are Disney-obsessed and love enjoying all the magic that's out there especially for grown-ups. In fact, we even opted-out of a tropical honeymoon to spend a blissful week at Walt Disney World instead! I'm thrilled to be on the Disney Parks Moms Panel and I'm excited to share everything I've learned from all of our trips and help you plan a memorable family vacation.  Learn More About Jessica

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