Tips, Links and FAQ's

The US is so refreshing to visit as a disabled person, they just seem to make life easier and more dignified than we do in Europe. Disabled parking bays are huge, people talk to you and not the wheelchair, everything is accessible. In short don't worry if you haven't been before. If you have any queries then get in touch

The Flight Over - Both British Airways and Virgin offer direct scheduled services to Orlando International. In addition many of Europe's charter airlines offer direct flights to Orlando Sanford. We often fly charter as we can then go direct from our local airport and have never had any problems. Normally you will be able to take your chair to the door of the aircraft at which point you can if you wish be lifted by two big guys (provided by airline) to the special narrow aisle chair which takes you to your seat. At this point they will lift you into the seat. The chair is loaded directly into the hold after being taken down from the aircraft door. The aeroplane crews are generally very helpful whilst you are flying. As for toileting there are a number of options if you can't get out of your seat during the flight - some prefer to dehydrate for a few hours before the flight and drink again during the flight and go on arrival. For those with weaker bladders catheterisation and a leg bag may be an option, discuss with your GP. Arriving in Florida is generally easier than departing than the UK because in the US they are generally better geared up for handling disabled people.

Getting about in Florida - If you are able to drive using hand-controls then all the major car hire companies can provide you with a suitable vehicle. If you are unable to drive then it is easy to rent wheelchair accessible vehicles to be driven by able bodied members of your party. For accessible van hire we recommend www.medicaltravel.org

Is Disney World accessible? - Absolutely, more than you could imagine. Many of the rides take wheelchairs, even electric wheelchairs, although if you wish to ride on the really high energy crazy roller coasters then you will need to transfer to the ride vehicle. Another benefit is that disabled visitors are ushered past the ordinary queues and put on rides straight away! Disney publishes a useful disabled visitors guide for each of its parks, see below for link.

Where exactly is the house and is it close to Disney? - We are reluctant to give the exact address for security reasons; however the house is close to the Champions Gate development near the I4. Kissimmee is an honest 15 to 20 minutes from the house (192 is around 5 minutes). We timed the period it took to go out of the front door, load up the wheelchair, drive to Disney Animal Kingdom (the furthest Disney park from the house), park, unload the wheelchair and buy our tickets and enter the park.... total time was 21 minutes!

What is the booking and arrival process? – After we have agreed dates, you will be sent the booking form to complete, sign and return with the booking deposit of £150 ($250). Confirmation of booking will then be given. Remaining payment must be made prior to 60 days before arrival. When you send in the final payment we will send out driving directions for finding the villa and the key combination for the main gate and the front door. Remember that if you cancel at short notice i.e. less than 5 weeks before arrival, whatever the reason, you will be charged in full.

What about hurricanes? - The hurricane season runs from June to end of November. 2004 was an exceptional year, with 3 hurricanes affecting the Orlando area. Statistically that is unheard of. Our personal view on hurricanes is clear – they are rare, Orlando is inland and hurricanes lose their power rapidly over land, and the house is built to the latest hurricane regulations (and it was certainly tested in 2004).

Mobile phones and other electrics? - The latest European Tri-band phones work in the US.
Most mobile phone chargers work at both UK and US voltages, you just will need a travel adapter. Check the back of your charger. it should say something like 110 to 220 volts. US voltage is 110v. There is a US to UK voltage adapter for UK guests to use, which has a normal UK plug and voltage. This can be used with electric wheelchair chargers.

When is the best time to visit? - Any time! With Spring, Summer and Autumn temperatures in the eighties and winter months in the seventies the climate is great. Expect brief but heavy rain on summer afternoons – it doesn’t cause a problem and often includes spectacular lightening. The parks are busiest during US holiday periods.

Which parks are best for wheelchair users? - Everybody has their own favourites, the Disney parks do it so well, Seaworld and Busch Gardens are also excellent and have lots of shows and attractions as well as rides. Our particular favourite is Universal Studio’s and the Islands of Adventure. In all of the parks the more high energy rides generally require transfers. But there is so much to see and do without ever setting foot on a ride and lots of the rides are wheelchair accessible anyway. Disney seem to be making efforts to add more carriges to their rides that can take a wheelchair without a transfer which is great. In all of the parks everyone is so helpful and always go "the extra mile" to get you where you want to be.

Disney World Orlando Vacation Package - specialised, local knowledge and advice for special needs travellers.

 
Wheelchair accessible van hire:
Medical Travel - we use and recommend Medical Travel
Wheelchair Getaways
Rainbow Wheels

Disability equipment hire:

Caremedical Equipment
Medical Travel

Florida and Park Guides for the Disabled:

Pixiedust inn - All you will ever need; a goldmine of useful Disney disability info
Disney World Disability Advice
Disney Vacations Disabiity Advice
Unofficial Disney Disabiliy Advice Site
Walt Disney World Guests with mobility disabilities
WDW Guests with visual disabilities
WDW Guests with hearing disabilities
All Ears
MousePlanet - Disneyland Theme Park Access Guide
LaughingPlace - Disneyland Disabled Access Guide
EmergingHorizons

Individual park access guides from Disney – must haves! (downloadable .pdf)

Magic Kingdom Disability Guide
EpcotDisability
MGM DisabilitiesGuide
Animal Kingdom DisabilityGuide

Golf, leisure facilities, shopping and restaurants - just around the corner!

Champions Gate

Restaurants

Golf

Useful links to other adapted accommodation 

www.dah-europe.com