Catch up with Kate: Disneyland ParisBy Kate Bosley -
Recently, we had a trip recently to Disneyland in Paris.
I used my white stick and left Phoenix, my Guide Dog, at home for the 3 days we were away. I missed her and would have preferred to take her with us but I didn't feel that she would have liked Disneyland. Plus, she wouldn't have been able to go on the rides and that was the point of the trip for me!
I think Disneyland is good for people with disabilities. I have an annual ticket. My sight challenges are written and documented by the medical team at home and I provided this evidence to Disneyland and they registered me as disabled. This information was then documented on my admission ticket and I was also given a sheet which indicated my disability.
When you have these documents and you show the staff at the rides, you don't need to queue with other members of the public. Instead, you queue in a much smaller line which is nearer to the front of the ride. It means that you don't queue for a long period of time which is much better for many people with disabilities.
You can take up to 4 family or friends with you which means you can enjoy Disneyland with your family and friends. Before getting on the rides, the staff check that you match the information on the documentation to avoid any transferring of disabled tickets to non-disabled people.
I really think it's a great service. The staff were all very helpful towards me. They saw the white stick and asked if I needed assistance. They asked if I would like the ride to stop whilst I got on. I could manage to get on without the ride being completely stopped but it's nice to think that if you were to need extra time you could have it.
To watch the parades there is a special area to go to which has more space and is less crowded. This is a great idea but it does have one problem. You are only allowed to take one person with you.
I understand why this is essential for Disneyland as they wouldn't have the space if everyone with a disability took too many people with them. However, we saw a couple with a disabled child and clearly it was a challenge to split up the family at this point. It meant that both parents couldn't share the special occasion with their child. Unfortunately, this dilemma doesn't seem to have an easy answer!
On the whole, I think the Disneyland staff were very good and clearly thought about how to assist me appropriately.
We had a great time. But I was pleased to get home to Phoenix!
Take a look at some more information and advice from our writer Charlotte Downes on Disneyland Paris:
Disneyland Paris take all kinds of illnesses and disabilities into account: the resort cater for those who are temporarily unable to cope with the strains of queues and crowds because of a broken leg or pregnancy, for those who have a mental or behavioural difficulty, or for those who you struggle to stand or are in a wheelchair.
Disneyland Paris assess each person's condition individually to make sure all of the staff are informed. By way of an access card which you carry with you, all of your personal needs are readily accessible to the staff. The cards can allow the holder to be kept warm while waiting for a ride in the winter, to get the staff to stop rides and help you get on and off, to use different entrances and to keep track of where you are within the ride so that assistance can be sent in the event a ride breaking down.
Disneyland give you all the information as to which rides are suitable for your particular condition as well as where your designated entrance is. All rides and areas of the park including the theatres, toilets and restaurants are wheelchair accessible and rides are clearly signposted as to whether or not transfer out of a wheelchair is necessary.
Finally, not only do staff take care of you practically but they are extremely friendly and attentive making you feel very important and distracting you from the other difficulties travel can carry.