Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Accessible Travel in Universal Orlando

As a person that has been accessible my whole life, I am used to having family try to accommodate our vacations for me and making sure I have fun. To be quite honest, it isn’t as fun as that sounds. The idea is to plan a trip as a family so we can all have fun and share memorable moments like we did last summer.

Visiting most places with a disabled loved one can be an anxious time for families if not planned properly. Will the location be wheelchair accessible? What are the best activities that we can all enjoy? And will my loved one have fun? These are the types of questions that seem to go through the minds of parents and guardians of children with any sort of disability before any trip. There are more recognizable disabilities now than ever before, and not all of them are visible. For that reason is why most theme parks in Orlando FL, have been set up in a way that it can be fun for the whole family without making anyone feel left out. Regardless of their disability whether its mental or physical, dozens of parks are now set up to have special care for everyone and Universal Orlando is no exception.

For those of you that have never attended Universal Studios, it is a huge place. It’s the largest resort in Orlando and the second largest resort in greater Orlando after Walt Disney World. It is composed of two theme parks, Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure. Upon entering it is pretty intimidating because I thought my parents and siblings were going to be more focused on making sure I have fun rather than enjoying themselves the way I wanted them to. Luckily we soon found out that it wasn’t what I expected. I was skeptical about waiting in line because due to the length of these lines what if when I got to the front, the person in charge told me due to my condition I couldn’t get on?

Universal Studios provides the facility of avoiding these long lines and making sure you know beforehand what rides you may go on. A disability will no longer deter your possibilities of having a good time. What you have to do is ask for (or download) the riders guide for safety & guests with disabilities guide provided by Universal. This guide tells you exactly the attractions that are mobile friendly and it gives all ride restrictions, including height and health concerns that you need to know before you get in line.

The first thing you do is acquire a note from your doctor providing a list of the accommodations you need. Upon arriving to Universal Studios (with your doctor’s note of course) you may proceed in obtaining an Attraction Assistance Pass (AAP). It is a card with a bar code at the bottom and contains return times to the attractions. If you have further questions as to which rides you may take part in, ask to be evaluated. The guest service attendant will see if the person is able to hold his/her head up, sit up, and be able to hold tightly to a restraint. Also make sure to ask for documentation to carry around which states the rides you or your family member can ride.

When you receive your pass you must keep it handy because it is what you must show to attraction greeters. Remember, these passes are not meant for immediate entrance, they just reduce wait times. If the posted wait time is less than 30 mins, you will be directed to a shorter line like the Express Pass queue or possibly a different route. However, if the line is longer than 30 minutes, the greeter will indicate a specific return time on the reverse side of the pass. Please note that you may only have one active return time reservation at a time.

Recent times have seen advances in awareness for people of all disabilities. Pretty soon
every theme park in America will be accessible friendly and planning vacation trips will no longer be a subject of concern. There are also companies that facilitate the transportation for you to get to these places of interest. Wheelers Accessible Van Rentals has been in the industry for over 25 years and stays ahead of the competition by providing wheelchair van rentals to all 50 states and plan to expand their services to major cities as well, further establishing themselves as the authority for wheelchair van rentals. Wheelers is also proud to announce the opening of their new Orlando location. If you want to travel to Universal and require Orlando Wheelchair Van Rental, contact Wheelers today.

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