Disneyland Paris in a wheelchair
Disneyland is a place almost every child dreams of. So, newly arrived in France, I decided to find out how wheelchair-accessible Disneyland Paris is. In this article, I’ll give you some good advice, tips, and tricks, as well as detailed information on the attractions for wheelchair users.
Disneyland Paris in a wheelchair – The Basics
Disneyland Paris is an entertainment resort in Marne-La-Vallée near Paris. The famous resort was the second Disney Park to open outside the United States in April 1992. Another theme park, the Walt Disney Studios Park, opened in 2002. Disneyland Paris is the most visited entertainment resort in Europe.
Getting there from Paris CDG Airport
Disneyland Paris is about 45 km (30 miles) east of Paris. It takes approximately 1 hour to get there by car. There are enough parking lots for disabled visitors (20 EUR/day). Of course, you can also get to Disneyland Paris by train. First, we took a flight to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport. Then, we took the accessible high-speed bullet train (TGV) to Disneyland Train Station Marne La Vallée-Chessy. This train leaves at CDG Airport train station in Terminal 2, and the ride to Disneyland takes only 9 minutes. The Disney Magical Shuttle is not wheelchair accessible, but an accessible transfer service can be arranged upon email request.
Traveling by train is the fastest, cheapest, and most wheelchair-accessible way from CDG Airport to Disneyland Paris! Purchase your train ticket at the SNCF Ticket Counter in Terminal 2. There are several reduced rates for disabled travelers and one companion. However, these rates unfortunately only apply to French disability cardholders. The regular ticket price for one adult varies between EUR 16.50 to EUR 25.
Where to stay
There are many hotels near Disneyland Paris. We booked the Radisson Blu Resort at Disneyland, but unfortunately, I cannot quite recommend this hotel. Although our room category was “Accessible Queen,” the bathroom was equipped with a bathtub. I returned to the reception and asked for a room with a roll-in shower. The receptionist explained that all those rooms were occupied. She told me that the staff didn’t know which of their accessible rooms had a roll-in shower and that they could not check that in their system. As proof, she even let me have a look at her screen. Anyway, my husband and I managed the situation as well as possible with some difficulties (I couldn’t shower). The hotel offered an accessible free shuttle service to Disneyland and back. The shuttle bus was equipped with a ramp, and the ride only took 10 minutes.
Ticket Price and Priority Access
An adult’s regular one-day ticket price varies between EUR 47 to EUR 65. You get access to both Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park. Disabled visitors can purchase tickets at a dedicated ticket desk on the right end of the ticket counters area. When you are severely disabled and have a medical confirmation or disability ID card (French or English), your companion will get a free entry ticket. So here you can save 50 %!
Priority Access Card
After buying your tickets, you should also go to the Donald Desk (right next to the special ticket desk) or the Visitor Relations Desk and ask for the Priority Access Card. Disneyland offers a Priority Card to disabled guests to get to the attractions via the wheelchair entrance. Here you also have to show your disability ID card or a medical certificate. Follow this link to get more information: http://www.disneylandparis.co.uk/guest-services/guests-with-mobility-disabilities/
Accessible Attractions in Disneyland Paris
I got the Accessibility Guide to Disneyland Paris and the Walt Disney Studios Park, which lists all accessible attractions. As my hubby would help me to transfer, I had a wide choice of possible rides.
For those of you who cannot transfer or be transferred:
There are some fantastic, completely wheelchair-accessible rides where you can stay in your wheelchair! Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, The Studio Tram Tour, It’s a small world, and Ratatouille. That’s pretty awesome! Many other attractions were closed due to renovation work during our visit. So, unfortunately, I couldn’t test all accessible rides.
We also did the Disney Railroad Express, Phantom Manor, Autopia, Casey Jr. Train, and Slinky Dog. Unfortunately, all of those require a transfer from your wheelchair. Honestly, the Railroad Express wasn’t worth waiting for as there was little to see on the ride.
Alice’s Labyrinth, Mysteries of Nautilus, Armageddon, Aladdin’s Passage, and The Dragon Cave are also entirely wheelchair accessible. In the evening, we watched the stunning Magic Hours Show! Wheelchair users should come early to make it to the dedicated wheelchair area, as it can get very crowded right before the show. You really shouldn’t miss it!
My favorite rides were Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Studio Tram Tour, Ratatouille, and Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop.
Both parks are perfectly wheelchair accessible. The staff was friendly and very willing to help. Wheelchair-accessible bathrooms are everywhere. I had a great time at Disneyland Paris and the Walt Disney Studios. I can definitely recommend it to wheelchair users!
- Free entrance for one valid assistant
- Priority Access to attractions
- Wheelchair-accessible attractions like It’s a small world, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, etc.
- Friendly and helpful staff
- Easy to get there by train (TGV)
- Enough accessible restrooms