It would be hard for me to write this article without first sharing a brief history of how I became disabled and how Disney helped me to see beyond my limitations and live my life again. I will then outline some of my personal experiences with accommodations at different DVC resorts, restaurants, and parks.
It is certain life looks enormously different from the perspective of a person living with disabilities. I learned this in the summer of 2017 when I woke up from a surgical procedure numb from my chest down and unable to walk. From that point on, life was going to be much more difficult than the one I had lived previously. And the thing that concerned me most was my ability to do the thing my husband and I most loved – traveling. After a little over a year of struggle, physical therapy, and inability to see my way forward, my Dad announced he was taking us all, including my aunt and cousin, to Disney World. What was most exciting was the responsibility of choosing which Disney resort to stay at, which lay solely on my shoulders! I could certainly handle that!
During a Disney trip a couple of years prior, my husband and I visited Animal Kingdom Lodge to eat at Jiko for dinner one night. Since then, I had developed an obsession with Animal Kingdom Lodge- I mean, come on, it has a freakin’ savannah! So Animal Kingdom Lodge was my obvious choice.
To say I was nervous about travel for the first time since my injury was an understatement. However, once I arrived in Orlando and our Disney trip commenced, I learned there was little to no reason for nervousness on my part. I could not have dreamed of being treated so well by Cast Members at the resort, restaurants, transportation, and parks. For the first time in forever, I started smiling and laughing again. Disney makes having a disability much less complicated than you can imagine, and I would like to help others with disabilities put their own worries to rest. Hakuna Matata!
Join me in the coming months as we discuss all the important things you should consider when traveling to Walt Disney World with a disability!