The Blog Roll

Boulders Beach Penguin Panorama

Boulders Beach Penguin Colony in a wheelchair

Boulders Beach – Home of the African Penguin

 

The Boulders Beach Penguin Colony is for sure a must see when in Cape Town! The African Penguins are so very cute! You can spend the whole day watching them! Discover the sweet waddling guys for yourself!

 

African Penguin at Boulders Beach

African Penguin

 

Some basic facts

Boulders Beach is located near Simon’s Town, about 45 km south of Cape Town. It is home to a colony of African Penguins since the early 1980’s. The African Penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is an endangered species and is therefore very well protected in South Africa. Boulders Beach is part of the Table Mountain National Park.

 

Penguins on Boulders Beach

Penguins hanging out on the beach – Mar 2017

 

Visiting the Penguin Colony with my brother

Visiting the Penguin Colony with my brother – Mar 2017

 

Penguin Couple

Couple of African Penguins – Mar 2017

 

Penguins on a rock

Rocky Mountains – Mar 2017

 

Penguins having a good time

Seems like they are having a good time – Mar 2017

 

Penguins caring for their babies

Taking care of their babies – Mar 2017

 

Accessibility

Wheelchair users can easily visit the Penguin Colony viewing area. In general you have to pay an entrance fee of 70 Rand for one adult (~5 EUR/USD). We still have no clue why, but we didn’t have to pay anything. There was no disability discount published. As soon as the guides at the entrance saw me, they opened the wheelchair entrance and let us in. While the wooden and slightly bumpy boardwalk to the penguin viewing area is fully wheelchair accessible, the swimming area itself is unfortunately not. But most importantly, there is also a huge wheelchair restroom with handle bars and an adult changing table.

 

Accessible boardwalk to the Penguin Colony viewing area

Accessible boardwalk to the Penguin Colony viewing area – Mar 2017

 

Viewing area - Dec 2013

Viewing area – Dec 2013

 

Wheelchair accessible penguin viewing area

Wheelchair accessible penguin viewing area – Dec 2013

 

Ocean view

Ocean view – Dec 2013

 

How to get there

You can reach Simon’s Town by car in a fifty-minute drive, starting from Cape Town. There is a parking area with wheelchair parking lots on Seaforth Road. Just ask the guard and he’ll show you where to park. From there, it is only a short walk to the entrance of the Penguin Colony viewing area.

My Travel Tip: Come in the morning and don’t forget your sun protection. The South African sun is very strong – way stronger than the European sun! You’ll probably be hungry after visiting the cute penguins, so maybe you’d like to try the wheelchair accessible Seaforth restaurant with its beautiful terrace and great food which is located next to the parking!

 

How do you like penguins? Have you already been to Simon’s Town? Please tell me about your experiences and leave a comment below or write an email! Stay tuned, there’s much more to come about things to do in Cape Town!

Cape Town Little Miss Turtle

Wheelchair accessible Cape Town

Wheelchair accessible Cape Town.

A beautiful and wheelchair-friendly dream destination.

 

What comes up first to your mind when you think of Cape Town? Table Mountain, the African penguins, V & A Waterfront, Signal Hill, Lion’s Head, Green Point Stadium, Muizenberg, Camps Bay, breathtaking landscapes, surfers, sharks, whales, baboons and much more – welcome to South Africa!

 

Table Mountain View from Bloubergstrand

Table Mountain View from Bloubergstrand

 

Cape Town Helicopter View

Cape Town Helicopter View

 

I’ve already been to Cape Town once before, back in 2013. For three days only, but anyway, that was still enough time to fall in love with this amazing city! To celebrate my brother’s master’s degree, I decided to surprise him and to take him on a trip to Cape Town with me. So, on March 5th our adventure began! We flew with British Airways from Munich to London and from there to Cape Town. The flight took about 11 hours and went smoothly. Once arrived at the airport, we went to Europcar Car Rentals in order to get the car I’d already booked in advance. The next twelve days on the beautiful Western Cape flew by much too fast! We discovered so many incredible wheelchair accessible spots I’d like to share with you!

 

A map of the all the places we visited in Cape Town and the surrounding areas

A map of the all the places we visited in the Cape Town area

 

General Accessibility

Cape Town and the surrounding areas are pretty wheelchair accessible. Almost all major tourist attractions provide a good service for wheelchair users. Most importantly, I always found wheelchair accessible restrooms. There surely are things to improve, like high pavements, but basic accessibility is given. Most people we met were very friendly and always offered to help.

 

Table Mountain seen from Signal Hill

Table Mountain seen from Signal Hill

 

Wheelchair Accessibility Check – Cape Town

 

Wheelchair accessible 

Bloubergstrand

Boulders Beach Penguin Colony

Camps Bay Beach Promenade

Canal Walk Shopping Center

Cape of Good Hope

Cape Point – Table Mountain National Park

Cape Wheel

Chapman’s Peak Drive

Citytour Sightseeing Bus

Fish Hoek

Glen Beach (Victoria Parking)

Green Point Park

Hout Bay

Muizenberg

Ou Kaapseweg

Signal Hill

Simons Town

Table Mountain

Two Oceans Aquarium

V & A Waterfront

Waterfront Food Market

Less wheelchair accessible

Cape Point Ostrich Farm
(steps at the entrance)

Chimp Haven
(bumpy pathways with pebble stones)

Drakenstein Lion Park (sandy/bumpy pathways)

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
(some very steep paths)

Long Street – Cape Town
(high pavements)

 

Not wheelchair accessible 

Llandudno Beach
(but still there’s a wheelchair access sign!!!)

Scarborough Beach

 

Where we stayed

The A Tuscan Villa Guesthouse in Fish Hoek was our home for the first 6 nights. One of the rooms is completely wheelchair accessible – the Boulders Room. There’s enough space for a wheelchair user and the spacious bathroom is just perfect with its roll-in shower. The beds are height-adjustable to fit different needs. The owners, Anita and Jeremy Rice, are very friendly, helpful and caring hosts. The breakfast buffet was delicious including freshly prepared fruit salad, pastries, cereals, porridge, toast, cheese, yoghurt and a cooked English breakfast. Fish Hoek is in the near of Boulders Beach with its African penguins as well as the Cape of Good Hope, Muizenberg, and other famous spots, so therefore it was a perfect “home base” for us. See for yourself:

 

 

For the second part of our holiday we moved closer to the Cape Town City Center and stayed in a wheelchair accessible AirBnB-apartment. I have to admit that the accessibility could have been better, especially the bathroom was not perfect for wheelchair users. However, with the help of my brother everything went fine.

 

Stay tuned

There soon will be follow-ups with detailed information about the wheelchair accessibility of almost all major tourist attractions in and around Cape Town, for example Boulders Beach, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway as well as the Victoria & Albert Waterfront. So come back soon…!

 

Have you already been to Cape Town or do you plan to travel there? Please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below or by sending a private message. I promise to answer in person :-)!

Little Miss Turtle - Wheelchair accessible travel

Accessibility of Cristo Redentor – Rio di Janeiro

 

Cristo Redentor – Christ the Redeemer.

Place of worship and Christianity.

One of the New Seven Wonders of the World.

 

Everybody has at least seen one picture of this masterpiece. In October 2015 I had the awesome possibility to spend some days in Rio di Janeiro, the City of God. Feeling the hot sun on my skin was exactly what I needed during the cold autumn months in Europe. So, once in Rio, I absolutely had to check out the wheelchair accessibility of this magical spot.

 

Cristo Redentor

Cristo Redentor

 

Cristo Redentor – The Basics

Christ the Redeemer, Cristo Redentor in Portuguese, is an Art Deco statue on top of Corcovado Mountain in Tijuca National Park in Rio di Janeiro. With its 28 m wide spread out arms it peacefully watches over the city. The 30 m high statue of Christ stands on an about 8 m high pedestal which hides a small chapel inside. Christ the Redeemer is listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World since 2007. The statue was planned as a memorial of the 100th anniversary of Brazilian Independence by a team of four great men: Brazilian Engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, the French-Polish sculptor Paul Landowski, French Engineer Albert Caquot (for the intern structure) and the Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida, who fashioned the statue’s head and face. The construction began in 1922 and was completed in 1931. At that time Cristo Redentor was the largest Art Deco sculpture in the world.

 

Accessibility

The site is partially wheelchair accessible since 2003. The base level itself is fully accessible. From there you have to take a panoramic elevator that takes you to the upper level. The upper level features a café as well as a souvenir shop. Now we get to a point where the accessibility is not perfect. You have to take escalators up to the statue. That’s a solvable problem if you use a manual wheelchair, but it might be tough and risky if not impossible for people in a power chair. My boyfriend helped to get me up the escalators and the staff offered to help, too. Finally arrived at the Cristo Redentor! You can stay as long as you want and enjoy the 360° view!

 

The view of Rio and its surroundings is just beautiful.

 

 

How to get there

There are several possibilities to get to Cristo Redentor, but I’ll stick to the most wheelchair accessible ways.

 

  • Official Vans Cristo Redentor on Copacabana

    Official Vans Cristo Redentor on Copacabana

    Official Transportation: A comfortable way of getting to Christ the Redeemer is to use the official vans of Tijuca National Park. The vans take you all the way up to Paneiras, the entrance platform, in about 1 hour. There are wheelchair accessible vans available, but calculate some waiting time in order to use one of them. Boarding spots are at Praça do Lida in Copacabana and at Largo do Machado Metro Station. Prices vary between R$ 27 (EUR/USD 8) in low season and R$ 40 (EUR/USD 12) in high season. The ticket price includes the transport round trip as well as admission to the statue. It seems like there’s no reduced fare for people with disabilities, at least there was none back in 2015. I recommend the official vans as it is the easiest and less expensive way of getting to Paneiras. You can purchase tickets at the boarding spot or online.

 

  • Corcovado Railway: Another means of transport is the old and famous Corcovado tram. The tram is fully wheelchair accessible and you can remain seated in your wheelchair. Prices vary between R$ 74 (EUR/USD 23) in high and R$ 61 (EUR/USD 18) in low season. A ticket includes the round trip as well as admission to the statue. Since August 2016 you have to buy tickets online. A negative thing is that you’ll have to find a way to get to the station. I didn’t test the tram myself and can therefore not say more about it.

 

Disability SignMY TRAVEL TIP: Come early in the morning, take a large bottle of water and sun protection with you! The Corcovado usually gets very crowded the later it gets. Do not underestimate the Brazilian sun in combination with the height of more than 700 m above sea level! I did, got sunburned and felt dizzy…!

 

Some more impressions

Strolling along the world-famous beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema in a wheelchair is very easy. The boardwalks are fully wheelchair accessible and you find many nice cafés. Why not try and have some fresh coconut water or a bowl of frozen Açai, an especially delicious Brazilian specialty. On our way we even saw an open-air gym with accessible sports equipment!

 

 

Have you already been to Rio or to another destination in Brazil? How did you like it and what did you enjoy best? Please leave a comment below or get in touch by mail to discuss.

 

TOKYO Skytree Skyline

Visiting TOKYO SKYTREE in a wheelchair

TOKYO Skytree – The Basics

TOKYO Skytree is a broadcasting tower in Sumida, Tokyo. It is one of Tokyo’s most popular landmarks. TOKYO Skytree (634 m) is the world’s highest broadcasting tower and also the second tallest building on earth after Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The Skytree was finished in 2012 and is located near the traditional borough of Asakusa. The two observation decks offer a unique view of Tokyo and on very clear days you can see Mount Fuji. There is also a large shopping mall, called TOKYO Solamachi, with great food courts, a Planetarium and an Aquarium.

The TOKYO Skytree itself and its surroundings are perfectly wheelchair accessible with many accessible restrooms and elevators.

 

 

How to get there

Oshiage Station and Tokyo Skytree Station serve the TOKYO Skytree and the TOKYO Solamachi shopping complex.

  • Oshiage Station is served by Tokyo Metro Hanzomon Line, Toei Asakusa Line and Narita Sky Access Line
  • Tokyo Skytree Station is served by Tobu Skytree Line

 

My TRAVEL TIP for you:

From Asakusa Station you can either walk/roll to the Tokyo Skytree (1.4 km/20 min.) or you change for the Tobu Skytree Line which will take you directly to the TOKYO Skytree Station within some minutes.

 

The entrance to Tokyo Skytree is on level 4F.

 

Entry Fees for Persons with Disabilities

Disability SignTokyo Skytree offers reduced entry fees for disability card holders (card must be written in English or Japanese).

I paid 1.540 Yen (about 12 EUR/13 USD) to access both, the Tembo Deck (350 m) and the Tembo Galleria Deck (450 m) which is a great deal. The regular price for an adult for both decks is 3.090 Yen (25 EUR/26 USD). Here you can save 50 %!

The following link provides you with detailed pricing information: http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/reservation/

Scroll down to the end of the page to see the ticket fees for disabled people. There’s no need to book your tickets in advance as disabled visitors can skip all waiting lines.

 

My TRAVEL TIP for you:

If you should encounter problems when asking for the reduced entry fee at the ticket counter, ask for the ticket sales manager! When I wanted to buy my ticket, the sales agent had no clue that there is a special rate for disabled visitors, although the special rate was displayed on the price chart right behind the sales desk.

 

The Tembo Deck (350 m)

View of Tokyo from Tembo DeckAfter buying the tickets, a guide will lead you to the elevator waiting area and you can skip the crowds. The TEMBO shuttle, Japan’s fastest elevator, takes you up to the 3-level Tembo Deck within 50 seconds. From the Tembo Deck upper floor (F350) you have a very nice all-round view of Tokyo. On the middle floor (F345) you find the SKYTREE Shop and the Sky Restaurant 634. The glass floor on the lowest level (F340) might give you some extra-thrills. It also accommodates the SKYTREE Café.

Of course you can also find wheelchair accessible restrooms on all three floors.

The Tembo Deck can get very crowded, so make sure to come either early in the day or at least 1.5 hours before sunset.

If you want an even more spectacular view with less people, I can highly recommend going up to the Tembo Galleria Deck on 450 m. You can buy your tickets at the counter on F350.

 

The Tembo Galleria Deck (450 m)

When the elevator opens on floor 445 and you take a first glimpse of the view you’ll surely say “WOW!”. Spectacular. Amazing. The glass structure gives you the impression to walk out in the sky. The sloped circuit leads you up to the highest point of 451.2 m (Sorakara Point) and finally back to the TEMBO shuttle which will bring you back down to F345.

 

 

There is also a wheelchair accessible toilet, maybe the highest accessible toilet in the world!

We went up to the Tembo Galleria to watch the sunset. It was amazing to see the contours of Mount Fuji as the sun was going down! While I was watching the sky turning red, I was in total inner peace with myself and I forgot everything else around me.

Personally I think that paying the extra fee for Tembo Galleria Deck is totally worth its price! You can stay as long as you wish to and enjoy the beautiful bird’s-eye-perspective of Tokyo.

After our visit, we went to the TOKYO Solamachi food court and had a very good dinner.

 

Summary

I visited the TOKYO Skytree in October 2016 with my mobility scooter and spent a nice day there. TOKYO Skytree is one of the most impressive sights of Tokyo and definitely a Must See. The wheelchair accessibility is just ideal!

 

What do you think of TOKYO Skytree? How do you like the view? Would you like to visit it?

Leave a comment below or send a message to get in touch.

Happy New Year

New Year – New wheelchair adventures

Happy New Year 2017 my friends!

 

Today is the first day of another new year full of fresh opportunities! I’m always curious what a new year might bring along. For now I’ve planned a very nice wheelchair accessible trip with my brother in March. The destination is a surprise and I cannot reveal it yet. But I think you’ll like it as much as I do! Many new wheelchair accessible spots will be discovered soon!

 

THANK YOU to all my lovely readers for your support through your messages and your comments and for following me on my journey!

Have a wonderful year 2017 with much love, health and joy!

 

A new year is like a blank book and the pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself.

 

The Great Buddha of Kamakura

Guest Article about Kamakura for Accessible Japan

The Great Buddha of Kamakura

 

I wrote my very first guest article!

The article, published on Accessible Japan, deals about Kamakura, a small city in the South of Tokyo. Kamakura is known for its many shrines and the Great Buddha of Kamakura statue.

 

Little Japanese girls in Kimonos

 

I’m very happy to contribute to Accessible Japan’s great database of accessibility for wheelchair users traveling to Japan!

Here is the link to the guest post: https://www.accessible-japan.com/a-one-day-trip-to-kamakura-wheelchair/

Visit Accessible Japan on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AccessibleJapan

Tree at Cap d'Antibes True Story

An inspiring True Story written by life

This is a true story that happened in August 2016. Maybe you like it as much as I do.

 

On a warm and pleasant summer day, a young man went for a walk around Cap d’Antibes in the South of France. With a heavy heart and 1000 questions about life in his head he slowly walked along. The young man had been experiencing a difficult phase of self-doubt, anger and great mental suffering for weeks.

 

He sat down on a tree trunk by the sea and began a silent conversation with the universe. “What’s all this for?” he asked silently, overwhelmed by emotions. The young man sat there for a while, not moving. It occurred to him that when something in life was really meant to be, it would only take little struggle and not too much effort to achieve it. “Circumstances always seem to successfully work together to make dreams come true.”

 

As the full meaning of this idea rose in his mind, he addressed life in a challenge, thinking “From now on, just let me know if you need me!”. At this very moment a guy closely walked by… On the guys t-shirt could be read “You are ready for life”!

 

It seems as if life always listens to us!

Tokyo City Hall

Wheelchair accessible MUST SEES in Tokyo

After telling you about Tokyo’s accessibility in general in my last post, I’d like to show you some great things to do and see. Tokyo is a wheelchair accessible paradise compared to many other cities I’ve been to.

 

1.) Yoyogi Park and Meiji Shrine

Accessible Yoyogi Park in Tokyo

 

Yoyogi Park is known for its Meiji Shrine. The park is wheelchair accessible and there are enough wheelchair restrooms, too. We saw some nice flower exhibitions on our way through the park. The Meiji Shrine has a wheelchair accessible ramp so that everyone can enjoy the site. We saw cute little girls in traditional kimonos and also a boy dressed in his yukata.

 

Accessible Meiji Shrine in Tokyo

 

2.) Harajuku – Takeshita dori (Jap./street) and cat street

Accessible Takeshita Dori in Tokyo

 

Harajuku is a trendy shopping paradise for young people. It’s right next to Yoyogi park, so you could easily combine these two activities. Prices are not too expensive and there’s also a great choice of restaurants, fast food outlets, crepe shops (French pancakes) and so on. Takeshita dori is the heart of Harajuku’s most extreme teenage fashion and lifestyle culture. There are lots of different fashion boutiques, used clothes stores and you can even find a big 100-Yen shop. The street itself is narrow and usually crowded. It can get a little tough to maneuver yourself through. But it’s absolutely worth it and definitely one of Tokyo’s many must-sees. You can also visit Cat Street which is less crowded than Takeshita dori. On Cat Street you’ll see much more Japanese fashionistas than tourists.

 

Accessible Takeshita Dori in Tokyo

 

3.) Ueno Park and Ueno Zoo

Accessible Ueno Park in Tokyo

 

Ueno Park is one of my favorite spots in Tokyo. It is a spacious public park with a beautiful lake and many different attractions. The lake is covered with lotus flowers. You can take the Shinobazu pond to cross it. The whole area is wheelchair accessible but I didn’t see wheelchair restrooms.

Ueno Zoo is just next to Ueno Park. If you like zoos you should give it a try as it is Japan’s oldest one. The sometimes hilly area is fully wheelchair accessible with enough restrooms.

 

Accessible Ueno Park in Tokyo

 

4.) Asakusa

Accessible Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, Tokyo

 

Asakusa offers many cool spots to discover. You can still feel an atmosphere of Tokyo’s past decades and maybe you’ll see some Sumos or even Geishas. The Buddhist Sensoji Temple is very popular and the heart of Askusa. The temple is approached via Nakamise street, a shopping street offering loads of souvenirs and traditional local snacks. The temple itself is equipped with a wheelchair accessible ramp.

 

Accessible Asakusa at sunset

 

5.) Shibuya

Shibuya Crossing in wheelchair accessible Tokyo

 

Shibuya is the busy pulse of Tokyo. The famous Shibuya crossing, next to JR’s Hachiko Exit, is the biggest crossing in the world and up to 2500 people cross each time when the lights turn green. But even during rush hour everyone stays remarkably calm and polite. There’s no pushing and people are totally ordered! We spent the evening of Halloween in Shibuya and had to cross. Police officers took care of the 5 crosswalks as there were so many people everywhere. The police gave the signal and the masses started moving. I was scared in my small mobility scooter, but I made it to the other side. I just didn’t stop and people let me pass.

 

Crowds in Shibuya, Tokyo

 

We also visited the statue of Hachiko. Maybe you’ve already heard the name or you’ve seen the movie with Richard Gere? Hachiko was an Akita dog known for its loyalty to his owner, a professor at the University of Tokyo. Each night, this remarkable dog awaited his owner’s return and appeared exactly when the train arrived at Shibuya Station. One day the professor died and didn’t return. Fore more than nine years Hachiko still came back every night to wait for his owner.

 

Accessible Hachiko statue in Shibuya, Tokyo

 

Of course there are much more must-sees and nice places to visit in Tokyo! In the next post I’ll tell you about the differences between Tokyo Sky Tree and Tokyo Tower.

  • Have you already been to Japan? What did you experience? Leave a comment below or send a message to share your thoughts. Stay tuned!
Tokyo JR Train

Tokyo Travel Diary – All about Accessibility

Back home since yesterday, my thoughts are still in Japan. It has been my fourth trip to Tokyo and I will always be in love with this city and its mixture of modern technology and tradition. This time I rented a mobility scooter via Marudai Motor Co. which was the best idea ever to get around easily by myself.

 

Happy with the Pikachu Scooter!

The Pikachu Scooter

 

We flew with Air France to Tokyo Haneda Airport on October 22nd and stayed for 13 nights in a nice AirBnB home in Sendagaya. Together with our friend Sue and her two kids we had an amazing time in Nippon. As I stayed for almost two weeks, I decided to write several articles about my experiences in Tokyo. I’d like to start with the most important topic. The accessibility!

 

Accessibility of Tokyo – The Basics

Strolling through the streets of Tokyo

Strolling through the streets.

Tokyo is one of the most wheelchair accessible cities worldwide. The JR-East Railway Company and also the private Tokyo Metro offer an extraordinary well organized service for wheelchair users. The bus system seems to be mostly wheelchair accessible, too. There are ramps and elevators and very good wheelchair accessible restrooms everywhere. You get many discounts (only after presentation of a disability card written in English) for attractions like Ueno Zoo, TOKYO Skytree and the public gardens.

 

  • Mobility Scooter
Together with the team of Marudai Motor Company

Mr Okura and his staff

Renting a mobility scooter was easy and a great possibility to keep my self-autonomy. I found the Marudai Motor Co. on Google and contacted them. The service was perfect and affordable. Mr Okura and his staff, who were both very friendly and kind, delivered the mobility scooter to our AirBnB house on time. I had to pay 20.000 Yen (about 175 EUR or 195 USD) for two weeks.

Mobility Scooter Certificate from Marudai Motor Company in Tokyo

The Certificate

I think this price is very reasonable. I got some instructions but as I already use my Red Devil at home, I knew exactly how to drive this sweet litte scooter. The rental company handed me over a certificate saying that I officially rented the scooter and that it is permitted to use it on JR-East Trains as well as on the Metro. If you come with your own scooter you might encounter some problems. Mobility scooters are still very rare in Japan. It seems that mobility scooters are not yet accepted as mobility devices for disabled people. The certificate though made everything possible!

 

 

JR-East Trains and Tokyo Metro

When we had to take the JR (almost daily), we went to the station’s wheelchair counter to ask for help. I always presented the certificate to the staff. The service agent accompanied us to the train track and installed a mobile ramp to get me on the train. Once arrived at our destination, another service agent already waited for me to help me out of the train with the ramp. The agent also showed us the way to the exit. We really enjoyed this excellent VIP service because the stations are huge and can get very crowded. The JR-East Japan Railway Company has high service standards for people with disabilities. Travelling with JR-East is a real pleasure!

 

 

I wondered if JR-East offers a discount for disabled but the agent at the customer service desk explained that a discount is only applicable for Japanese disability card holders and only on demand. Isn’t it funny how a disability kind of „disappears“ when crossing borders? But anyway, the question was worth to be asked. One of the private metros offered a discount which was very kind. The Metro service agent told us to purchase a ticket for children and so we saved 50 % of the regular price.

 

Tokyo is worth a visit – especially as a wheelchair user!

I really like the amazing Japanese sense of service and perfectionism.

 

In the next blog post I’ll tell you more about things to do and see in Tokyo!

Mickey and Minnie Mouse

Disneyland Paris in a wheelchair

 

Disneyland, a place almost every child dreams of. I’ve never been to one and so I decided to find out how wheelchair accessible Disneyland Paris is. In this article, I’ll give you some good advice, tips and tricks as well as  detailed information on the attractions for wheelchair users.

 

 

Disneyland Paris – The Basics

Disneyland Paris is an entertainment resort in Marne-La-Vallée near Paris. The famous resort was the second Disney park to open outside the US in April 1992. Another theme park, the Walt Disney Studio Park, opened in 2002. Disneyland Paris is the most visited entertainment resort in Europe.

 

How to get there from Paris CDG Airport

Disneyland is located about 45 km (30 miles) east of Paris. It takes approximately 1 hour to get there by car. Of course you can also get to Disneyland Paris by train. There are enough parking lots for disabled visitors (20 EUR/ day) if you should come by car. We took a flight to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport and from there we took the TGV (high-speed train) to the Disneyland Train Station Marne La Vallée-Chessy. This train leaves at the CDG Airport train station in Terminal 2 and it takes only 9 minutes to Disneyland. The Disney Magical Shuttle is not wheelchair accessible, but a special transfer service can be arranged upon email request.

 

Disability SignMy TRAVEL TIP for you:

Travelling by train is the fastest, cheapest and also the most wheelchair accessible way to Disneyland Paris. Purchase your train ticket at the SNCF ticket counter in Terminal 2 and present your disability ID card. There is a reduced rate for disabled travellers as well as for their companion. The regular ticket price for one adult varies between EUR 16.50 to EUR 25 depending on the train. You can save up to 50 %!

 

Where to stay

Radisson Blu Resort at Disneyland Paris

Radisson Blu Resort at Disneyland Paris

There are many hotels near Disneyland Paris. We booked the Radisson Blu Resort at Disneyland, but unfortunately I cannot quite recommend this hotel. Although our room category was “Accessible Queen” the bathroom was equipped with a bathtub. I went back to the reception and asked for a room with roll-in shower. The receptionist explained that all those rooms were occupied. She told me that the staff didn’t know which of their accessible rooms were equipped with a roll-in shower and that they had no possibility to check that in their system. As a proof she even let me have a look in their electronic booking for myself. Anyway, my boyfriend and I arranged us with our room. The hotel offered a free shuttle service to Disneyland and back. The shuttle bus was equipped with a ramp and the ride took only 10 minutes.

 

Ticket Price and Priority Access

 Ticket Desk for Disabled at Disneyland Paris

The regular one-day ticket price for an adult varies between EUR 47 to EUR 65. You get access to both parks. Disabled visitors can purchase tickets at a special ticket desk on the right side of the ticket counters area. When you are severely disabled and you have a medical confirmation from your doctor or a disability ID card (French or English), your helper will get a free entry ticket. So once again, you can save 50 %!

 

little-miss-turtle-disney-guides-and-cards

Accessibility guides, our entry tickets and the priority cards.

 

 

 

  • Priority Access Card

After buying your tickets you should also go to the Donald Desk (it’s right next to the special ticket desk) or to the Visitor Relations Desk to ask for a Priority Access Card. Disneyland offers a Priority Card to disabled guests in order to get to the attractions via a specially-adapted entrance. Here you also have to show your disability ID card or a medical certificate. Follow this link to get more information: http://www.disneylandparis.co.uk/guest-services/guests-with-mobility-disabilities/

 

 

Attractions

I got the Accessibility Guide for Disneyland Paris and the Walt Disney Studios which describe all the accessible attractions. As my boyfriend would help me to transfer, I had a large choice of possible rides. But there are also some completely wheelchair accessible rides where you can stay in your own wheelchair: Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, The Studio Tram Tour, It’s a small world and Ratatouille! Very cool – I’ve never seen this before! Unfortunately many other attractions were closed due to renovations work.

 

 

My favorite rides were Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Studio Tram Tour, Ratatouille and Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop. We also did the Disney Railroad Express, Phantom Manor, Autopia, Casey Jr. Train and Slinky Dog which require to transfer. Alice’s Labyrinth, Mysteries of Nautilus, Armageddon, Aladdin’s Passage as well as The Dragon Cave are also totally wheelchair accessible. Honestly, the Railroad Express wasn’t worth waiting… Not much to see. In the evening, we watched the stunning Magic Hours Show! Don’t miss it!

 

 

Summary

Both parks are perfectly wheelchair accessible. The staff was friendly and very willing to help. Wheelchair accessible bathrooms are everywhere. I had a great time at Disneyland Paris and the Walt Disney Studios and can definitely recommend it to wheelchair users!

 

  • free entrance for one valid assistant
  • Priority Access to attractions
  • wheelchair accessible attractions like It’s a small world, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast etc.
  • friendly and helpful staff
  • easy to get there by train (TGV)
  • enough accessible restrooms