Saturday, April 28, 2012

Doing Disneyland with Dis-Abilities ~ Bringing Service Animals to the Park

Doing Disneyland with Dis-Abilities

Bringing Service Animals to the Park

I’ve never been to the park with a person with a service animal but I have seen service animals in the park often. I knew that service animals were welcomed but I did not know the full extent of how welcome Disney has made guests with service animals until I started asking questions after seeing an interesting sign during my last visit to the park.

Here is what you need to know when taking a service animal to the park.

Service animals must remain on a leash or in a harness and under control of their owner at all times. Cast Members are not allowed to take control of service animals.

Service animals can accompany guests on most attractions; however, due to the nature of the experience, there are some attractions service animals are not allowed on. This is for the safety of the animal and human riders. Cast Members cannot take control of the animal. You can do ride swaps with someone that comes with you. You just trade off with the person not riding holding the service animal while the other ride. This works just like child swap.

Here is a list of attractions at DLR that service animals may not go on.

Disneyland Park:

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Gadget’s Go Coaster

Indiana Jones Adventure

Matterhorn Bobsleds

Splash Mountain

Star Tours

Disney California Adventure Park:

California Screamin’

Grizzly River Run

Jumpin’ Jellyfish

Goofy’s Sky School

Silly Symphony Swings

Soarin’ Over California

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies

Service animals are welcomed at the hotels of the Disneyland Resort as long as they are kept on leash or harness, except while in the guest rooms.

One question I had in my mind for a long time was what does a guest with a service animal do when the animal needs to relive themselves? I had never bothered to look or ask about until I noticed a sign placed on a fence. The sign was a simple picture of a person with a service dog. Upon further inspection I saw it was on a small gate in the fence. When I asked I was told that sign marked service animals relief areas.

Here is the information on service animal relief areas.

Service animas are welcome to use any open outdoor area for service animal relief. This includes the theme parks, Downtown Disney, Hotels and other guest areas. That is to say any grass or dirt area without a fence is open for use.

There are designated service animal relief areas at the theme parks to make it even easier. These are small fenced in areas located throughout the parks.

Main Entrance Esplanade:

Disneyland Kennel Club

Disneyland Park:

Frontierland: Frontierland/Fantasyland transition

Fantasyland: Planter across from “It’s a Small World”

Fantasyland/Hub: Planter on right leading from Central Hub towards Matterhorn.

New Orleans Square: Fountain area planter on right near Train Station and Haunted Mansion

Disney California Adventure:

Golden State: Grizzly River Run area (near “Grizzly Peak Pass: sign)

A Bugs Land: Flick’s Fun Fair – main path on left

Paradise Pier: Access gate between Seaside Souvenirs & The Little Mermaid-Ariel’s Undersea Adventure extended queue

If necessary, after your animal uses a relief area, please notify a Cast Member to make arrangements for proper disposal.

The areas are marked with the service animal relief area symbol. You can also find the symbol on the park maps. They are also on the Brail maps that are located in two places in Disneyland. One is near City Hall and the other is next to the information center near Jolly Holiday Bakery. Be aware that the Brail maps do not have all of the locations marked. At Disneyland they only have two marked in the park and one outside. If you choose to use the Audio Description device with the Outdoor Audio Description and Interactive Audio Menu (Disneyland Park only) you can get audio description of outdoor areas. This will describe the area you are in and tell you want attractions and amenities are around you including service animal relief areas. This device is available for a $25 refundable deposit. You just go to City Hall and request one for the day. You will get your $25 deposit back at the end of the day when you return the device. At this time the GPS function of the device is not 100% accurate. I’ll share more about the Audio Description device in a future blog.

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