I grew up going to carnivals, fairs, festivals, and theme parks. There’s just something that excites you when you see the rides and attractions, when you hear the music and the sound of people having fun, and the smell of food that is popular at these venues.
Accessibility at Universal Orlando
Then you experience a place like Universal Orlando and all of your senses are hyper-stimulated, especially when you find out there are attractions adapted for people with disabilities!
Over the years, Universal Orlando has evolved and its commitment to being an inclusive and accessible place for everyone. During my time working for Comcast NBCUniversal, I had the opportunity to assess accessibility at Universal Orlando and Universal Hollywood, and I also helped launch their Employee Resource Groups focused on people with disabilities. I was able to experience firsthand the dedication my colleagues demonstrated to ensure that everyone was welcome.
First things first, upon arriving at Universal Orlando Resort, visit Guest Services to obtain an Attraction Assistance Pass (AAP) if you’re unable to wait in conventional lines. The pass, along with the Universal Orlando Rider’s Guide, offers detailed accessibility information for each attraction.
One of Universal’s most immersive experiences is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. With portions of both Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure dedicated to this magical world, you can explore iconic locations like Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.
Most shops, restaurants, and pathways are wheelchair-accessible. While the rides themselves have varying degrees of accessibility, each features a dedicated queue line experience.
The Ride-3D is another must-try attraction. This thrilling ride uses motion base vehicles, but guests must be able to transfer from their wheelchair to the ride vehicle. A practice vehicle is available at the entrance for guests to assess their comfort and ability to transfer.
Universal’s Volcano Bay
A tropical-themed water park, is known for its commitment to accessibility. The park offers complimentary, waterproof wheelchairs designed to navigate the sandy beaches and shallow water. In addition, many of the rides and attractions have features to assist guests with disabilities, such as lifting platforms and zero-depth entry pools.
Entertainment and dining
Be sure to experience Universal CityWalk, an epicenter of entertainment and dining. This area is fully accessible and features restaurants, shops, miniature golf, and a multiplex cinema with assistive listening and descriptive narration devices available.
If you enjoy live performances, don’t miss the Blue Man Group. This sensory-rich concert, featuring music, comedy, and multimedia theatrics, is accessible to all guests, with assistive listening devices, sign language interpretation, and wheelchair-accessible seating available upon request.
Universal Orlando Hotels provide ADA-compliant accommodations, equipped with features such as roll-in showers, visual alarms, and closed-caption TVs. These resorts also offer complimentary shuttle services to the parks, equipped with wheelchair lifts for easy access.
Finally, Universal’s restrooms and companion restrooms are ADA-compliant throughout the park. Wheelchair and ECV rentals are also available at the resort, although it’s recommended to reserve in advance due to high demand.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Orlando, Florida, be sure to spend a few days at Universal Orlando! All of the information you need about accessibility in the park and the hotels are provided in the links above or on Universal Orlandos’ website. I’m a Harry Potter fan and I want to get back soon!