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Your Guide to Visiting Disneyland with Disabilities

Your Guide to Visiting Disneyland with Disabilities

Published: Oct. 18, 2021Updated: Apr. 10, 2024

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The Disneyland Resort offers many services to support guests who have cognitive and physical disabilities. To help you prepare and plan for everything you’ll need, we’ve got the lowdown (and lots of insider tips) on how to make your next trip to Disneyland the happiest visit on Earth!

Guide to disability accommodations at Disneyland parks
Thank you to Undivided families for sharing their Disney adventures!

Planning your trip to Disneyland with disabilities

Tickets and Annual Passes

  • You can purchase one-time or multi-day tickets on Disney’s online reservation system or by calling (714) 781-4636 for mail-to-home orders.

  • For frequent park-goers, Disneyland offers Magic Key annual passes that also offer discounts on food and merchandise throughout the park.

  • To plan your Disney day, Disney Genie and Genie+ make planning ahead and creating a detailed, dependable schedule a whole lot easier.

    • Disney Genie (available on the Disneyland Mobile App) allows you to create a customized itinerary based on the attractions, dining, and entertainment you want to experience, and updates are made throughout the day to optimize your park time. You can either select the exact rides, restaurants, and shows you want or enter more generalized interests like "Princesses" or "Star Wars" for a themed itinerary. The app also features a personalized tip board to display current and predicted wait times at the attractions you’re interested in, so you can see when a line might be shorter.

    • Genie+ features a paid system for accessing rides faster and unlimited PhotoPass. It's generally $15-$30 per ticket per day, depending on the day, and you can access discounts if you have a Magic Key.

Disney Apps

One of the most important and useful things you can do to prepare for your trip is to download the Disneyland mobile app. Among other things, this will make it easier for you to access the Disability Access Service (DAS) system within the parks.

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What to know about Disney’s Disability Access Service

Disability Access Service (DAS) allows visitors with disabilities and their party members to “skip” the line by being given a specific time to return (comparable to the current wait), so you can spend the interlude doing something else. Once it’s your time to ride, you will enter either through a shorter queue or via an expedited entrance.

When your return time is ready, you will scan your app at the “Lightning Lane” area of a ride. You can only hold one return time pass at a time. (Guests whose disabilities do not affect their ability to wait in long lines must wait in the standard queue.)

  • Using DAS Advance, planning ahead is easy. With DAS Advance, you will be able to register 2-30 days prior to your visit. You can book up to 2 one-hour return windows for select experiences using the DAS Advance planning option.

  • Same-Day DAS Return Time Self-Selection Tool: Instead of having to physically go to a Guest Relations location in the parks to obtain a return time, visitors (and their party members) registered in the DAS program will be able to select return times right from the Disneyland mobile app during the day of their visit. This convenient new system gives families more time to explore and have fun without needing to make long walks to kiosks to obtain return times.

  • Visitors may also implement the DAS program in their app by visiting Guest Relations in the following locations:

    • Guest Relations or Guest Information kiosks throughout the parks
    • City Hall
    • Chamber of Commerce
  • Once your registration has been processed (and your child’s photo is taken for ID), it’s good for 30 days.

    INSIDER TIP: You can only have one DAS return at a time, but you can request a new one as little as 10 minutes after redeeming the last one. Once you’ve scanned into your current ride and are waiting in the expedited line, go to the DAS area of your app and choose a new return time for your next ride. The DAS area can be found at the bottom of the main menu (see here).

In addition, the Rider Switch program enables one caregiver to ride an attraction while another caregiver waits outside the attraction with the child who does not ride. The first rider then swaps with up to three other members of their party without anyone having to wait in line again.

Planning for accessibility and sensory needs at Disneyland

In addition to downloading Disney’s mobile app and familiarizing yourself with the Disability Access Service, there are a few other things you’ll want to know before you start your trip.

Mobility, visual, and hearing considerations

The Disneyland Park Guide for Guests with Disabilities and Disney California Adventure Park Guide for Guests with Disabilities offer a quick overview and keyed map of each park’s mobility, visual, and hearing accommodations. These maps will also be available at Guest Relations and on the Disneyland app.

You can rent a stroller, wheelchair, or ECV/motorized scooter at Disneyland’s Stroller Shop located in the main entrance plaza to the east of the Disneyland Park main entrance as well as at the Pixar Pals parking structure. Manual wheelchairs are $15 per day to rent; ECV rentals are $60 per day plus sales tax. Both require a refundable deposit of $20.

If your child’s stroller will be used as a wheelchair, check with Guest Relations when entering the park at either City Hall to get a “stroller as wheelchair” tag to be placed on your stroller. Not all strollers are permitted depending on size, so be sure to check the Disney stroller guidelines if you're planning to bring your own.

Traveling from the parking lot to the wheelchair rental can be challenging if you’re arriving without your own equipment, as it is a long walk to the rental counter from the parking lot or the tram. There are companies that offer rentals outside of the park, so you can arrive with wheels in place.

  • Disney let us know that families also have the option of utilizing the turnabout at the park’s main entrance to drop off family members who need to rent mobility devices and are unable to travel the long distance to the entrance from the parking lot.

Pixar Parking structure has a bridge entry to Downtown Disney, which is new. It's only accessible via the second floor of that parking structure (connected to Mickey and Friends parking structure), which you can reach by escalator or elevator, and you can walk that bridge into Downtown Disney. There is a security check there, just like if you were taking the trams from the ground floor into the parks, but it can often be a shorter wait.

Disney does have a mobility tram for those who cannot get out of wheelchairs to get on the regular tram. Strollers are allowed on the regular trams if they can be folded up; the front row of each car is a wider two-rows (facing each other), so if you have anything larger than an umbrella stroller, you need to sit there.

Sensory considerations

For a list of which sensory experiences accompany Disney’s attractions, download the Attraction Details for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities guide. It includes a handy chart outlining what each attraction offers in both parks so that there are no surprises, including: Scents/Smells, Flashing Lights, Loud Noises, Periods of Darkness, Bumps, Fast, Lifts off Ground, Wet, Element of Surprise, Type of Restraint, and Amount of Time.

  • Disney also offers a downloadable PDF called Planning a trip to the Disneyland Resort with answers to commonly asked questions about accessibility and a preparation guide for your child, including a visual schedule.

    Aside from the above, Disney does not provide a list of attractions that have strobe and lighting effects that could affect individuals with photosensitivity or seizure disorders because Disney says it would be too exhaustive. Strobes and pulsating lights are used extensively in the park, including in exterior building accents and dance clubs, and effects such as simulated lightning, explosions, and chaser lights are used in various attractions and shows.

Quiet locations for sensory breaks at Disneyland and California Adventure

The following break areas can be less crowded and offer a space to unwind.

For babies and toddlers, the Baby Care Centers in both parks are quiet and relaxing environments. Often, there are coloring pages, books, and movies offered to children.


  • The First Aid station on Main Street, U.S.A. near the Plaza Inn restaurant.

  • The seating area at the Hungry Bear Restaurant and in Frontierland: It overlooks the river and can be a good place to relax, along with the benches in Critter Country near the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride.

  • The Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island often provides hours of fun, with lots of places for kids to climb, rest, explore, and generally chill out from the stressors of the park.

  • Mickey’s Toontown has some grassy areas for picnicking. The area in front of Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin ride is a good place to sit and relax, but there's not a lot of shade when it's sunny. The quietest area is in the northwest corner near Gadget’s Go-Coaster and has a cave-like atmosphere where kids may want to nap. There is also a water bottle fill station there.

  • You could also go to the Snow White and Seven Dwarfs area to the right of the front of the castle; it has a wishing well and a small fenced area that's typically one of the more quiet areas in the park.

    California Adventure:

  • The First Aid station on Buena Vista Street next to the Chamber of Commerce.

  • Hollywood Land: The backlot area near the Monsters Inc., Mike and Sulley to the Rescue! Attraction can be a great place to take a break from the crowds.

  • Pixar Pier: A large area with tiered bench seating near the World of Color viewing area is not used during the day when shows are not being performed, so it offers a great place to take a break. The food seating area at Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta/Paradise Garden Grill is also a good place to relax and is often very quiet.

  • The seating area near the Guardians of the Galaxy ride, behind the Terran Treats booth and adjacent to the back of the theater, is not always shaded but has lots of tables. While you can hear the sounds from Guardians, it's another fenced area that's not always busy.

  • A great playground-like experience can be had at Grizzly Peak: Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Kids can spend hours here climbing, ziplining, and exploring.

  • Cast Members at Guest Services can also be good resources to ask for quiet areas.

Bathroom accessibility at Disneyland & California Adventure

In addition to accessible bathrooms, Disney offers Companion Restrooms, which offer cots and privacy. For an insider’s look at where you can find the least-traveled Companion Restrooms, go here. Disney’s First Aid stations have several Companion Restrooms available:

  • Disneyland: First Aid is located at the end of Main Street, U.S.A., next to the Baby Care Center.

  • California Adventure: First Aid is located next to the Chamber of Commerce on Buena Vista Street.

    For small children, Baby Care Centers offer a quiet place to change diapers, eat snacks, and have some moments of calm.

  • Disneyland: The Baby Care Center is at the end of Main Street, U.S.A., next to First Aid.

  • California Adventure: The Baby Care Center is next to Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop and across from The Bakery Tour in Pacific Wharf.

  • Many Disneyland restrooms use automatic toilet flushing equipment, which may be loud. Placing a Post-It note over the sensor can block the flushing mechanism until you are ready.

Disneyland policies for food allergies

Most table service restaurants in the theme parks can accommodate food allergies or intolerances, and advanced requests can be made through the Disneyland Mobile App when booking dining reservations. Here is a comprehensive guide to the Disneyland Resort’s dietary accommodations.

Guests are now allowed to bring their own food into the parks, provided items are not in glass containers and don't stink or create some health hazard. During bag check upon entering the park, you can let the Cast Member know that someone in your party has a food allergy or intolerance.

How to keep medication cold at Disneyland

Disney’s First Aid stations will store your medications so that they’re safe and ready when you need them.

  • Disneyland: First Aid is located at the end of Main Street, U.S.A., next to the Baby Care Center.

  • California Adventure: First Aid is located next to the Chamber of Commerce on Buena Vista Street.

Bringing service animals to Disneyland or California Adventure

Disney allows service animals in nearly all areas of the park as long as they remain on a leash. Here is a detailed list of the locations in which they are not allowed.

Still have questions? Call Disney’s Disability Services at (407) 560-2547 or email Disney Parks Disability Services.

Above all, keep in touch with us! We’d love to know how your visit goes. If you have any insider tips of your own to share, please do!

Gain access to Undivided’s comprehensive resources and receive our weekly newsletter.
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Planning your trip to Disneyland with disabilities

What to know about Disney’s Disability Access Service

Planning for accessibility and sensory needs at Disneyland

Bathroom accessibility at Disneyland & California Adventure

Disneyland policies for food allergies

How to keep medication cold at Disneyland

Bringing service animals to Disneyland or California Adventure

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