Those with disabilities should stop by Guest Services, located just inside the main entrance, for a Guide for Rider Safety & Accessibility (you can also download it through this link), a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD), or other special assistance.
At Universal, ask for an Attractions Assistance Pass. If a ride’s wait is less than 30 minutes, you’ll scoot right on, and if it’s longer, you’ll be issued a time to return but you cannot get a new reservation time until that one is fulfilled. If that system won’t work for you, Universal may choose to issue a Guest Assistance Pass, which grants Express access to all attractions, no appointment required.
You can arrange for sign language interpreting services at no charge by calling tel. 888/519-4899 (toll-free TDD), 407/224-4414 (local TDD), or 407/224-5929 (voice). Make arrangements for an appointment with an interpreter 1 to 2 weeks in advance. Check www.universalorlando.com for more information.
All the parks have a full range of in-park services for guests of every need, including at least a half-dozen TTY phones scattered around and sign-language interpreters on scheduled days of the week. Universal marks the times for its ASL shows on its guide map; some days they’re not automatically available, but you can request show interpretation for free at least 14 days ahead by writing SignLanguageServices@universalorlando.com.
The theme parks operate rental desks for wheelchairs and ECVs (sit-down scooters), but you will have to be able to travel to that kiosk on your own. Rent a standard wheelchair for $12 or an electric one for $55 + $50 deposit (add $20 for canopy). You can reserve them a week or more in advance by calling tel. 407/224-6350. You also may not take a rental out of its park, so if you switch theme parks on the same day, you are not guaranteed to find availability at your second park—if there are still rentals left, though, you can show the receipt from your first park to avoid paying for rental twice.
Prices are steep and lines can be long, and the vehicles are very simple, so many people rent their own ahead of time from a third party. Medical Travel, Inc. (www.medicaltravel.org; 866/322-4400 or 407/438-8010) specializes in the rental of mobility equipment, ramp vans, and supplies such as oxygen tanks (be aware that many rides do not allow tanks). Electric scooters and wheelchairs can be delivered to your accommodation through these established companies: Orlando Medical Rentals (www.orlandomedicalrentals.com; 877/356-9943) which also supplies oxygen, scooters, and the like; Buena Vista Scooter Rentals (www.buenavistascooters.com; 407/331-9147); Scootaround (www.scootaround.com; 888/441-7575); CARE Medical Equipment (www.caremedicalequipment.com; 800/741-2282 or 407/856-2273); and Walker Medical & Mobility Products (www.walkermobility.com; 888/726-6837 or 407/518-6000). All the theme parks, except the water parks, rent ECVs for about $50 a day and wheelchairs for about $12 a day.
If your own wheelchair is wider than 25 inches, think about switching to the park model, because it is guaranteed to navigate tight squeezes such as hairpin queue turns. If you wear a prosthetic limb, you may have to remove it for the most aggressive rides. A few coasters have restraint systems that won’t work if you use certain prosthetics, so always ask the operators what’s safe for you.
Service animals are permitted but aren’t always allowed to ride attractions.
Theme park hotels all can lend door-knock and phone alerts, amplifiers, bed shakers, strobes, and TTY phones. At Universal, TDD relay devices and doorbell lights are available at hotel front desks.
Organizations that offer assistance to travelers with disabilities include the American Federation for the Blind (www.afb.org; 212/502-7600) and Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (www.sath.org; 212/447-7284).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.