January 14, 2013

Using a Stroller as a Wheelchair at WDW

Many families that visit WDW have a member in their party that may have special needs. Those special needs can be visible or not as easily recognized. Kristin explains to us how and why strollers can be used as wheelchairs at WDW. Thank you Kristin not only for sharing these stroller tips, but also for allowing us to gain a better understanding as to why strollers can be used as wheelchairs. ~Terri

Have you ever visited the Magic Kingdom when one stroller pushing parent after another is directed to the stroller parking? Then all of a sudden one stroller with a child in it is allowed to either enter into a show or enter through the exit line of the ride. Why can that stroller go where other strollers cannot? It belongs to a special needs child. The stroller has been tagged with a red tag that is similar to the yellow and green Magic Express tags that are attached to luggage. It has a symbol of a wheelchair on it and an arrow that points to a wheelchair. The tag makes that stroller able to go anywhere that a wheelchair can go.



This tag is a lifesaver for special needs parents. It allows their child to remain buckled in place until it is time to board a ride which is important when a child does not understand danger and would run in front of a moving ride vehicle without thinking of the consequences. It keeps the child safe from running off and getting lost since the child cannot speak and cannot tell a cast member their name when asked. It allows a child to sit in their safe place of comfort during shows that contain loud noises and unfamiliar sites that are certain to set off a meltdown despite the weighted blanket on their lap and the ear plugs in their ears. It also helps a child with difficulty walking due to foot and leg issues to remain in their stroller during long days at the parks where their legs would fatigue and give out.


The stroller as wheelchair tag combined with the guest assistance card are life saving devices for parents of children with specials needs, who are overwhelmed with how their child will deal with all of the sights and sounds of the park. These parents just want to share the joy of Disney with their child while understanding that extra precautions must be taken to keep their child safe and happy.

Editors Note: Guest Assistance Cards (aka: GAC) and "Stroller = Wheelchair" Tags can be picked up at any Guest Relations office located near the entrance of each Disney theme park.

Kristin Zarchan is a travel agent for Pixie Vacations. She is the mom to three wonderful children including a special needs son. She has traveled to either Disney World or Disneyland once a year for the past 20 years. She fell in love with Epcot when a friend’s family took her to Disney for the first time when she was 14. Her favorite ride both then and now is the Haunted Mansion. You can follow Kristin on twitter or facebook.


2 comments:

  1. I love this!! Thank you so much for posting this information. We have a son with autism who is verbal, but will run off at any given moment. He has absolutely no sense of danger. We are aware of the guest assistance card, but not of the stroller tag. Thanks again for posting the info!!

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  2. Some pretty good insight. feeling like you are wanted, and being able to get around the way you want is always an important thing. I know if our family wasn't able to find wheelchairs for sale our special guy would not have had such a great time

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