The irony of Disney's Avatar Land for wheelchair visitors, plus other thoughts on theme park attractions
Written by Daniel Etcheberry
One of the reasons that I liked the movie Avatar was that the main character (Jake Sully) was someone in a wheelchair who got the chance to get into another body which happened to be very athletic; the scene where he gets inside his avatar for the first time and starts to run was exhilarating to me because I’m in a wheelchair too. Avatar Land at Disney's Animal Kingdom will not offer that experience. It may not even have a ride that gives the option to stay in the wheelchair (it will depend if the boat ride has any drop.) I’m looking forward to Avatar Land, but it may not be a dream world for wheelchair users as the movie is.Tweet
Concept art courtesy Disney
If I only had known that Transformers was coming to Orlando, I would have skipped the one at Universal Studios Hollywood. People in wheelchairs have to take an elevator and then wait for a shuttle bus that takes one to the lower lot. That transition kills the theme park experience; there is no theme in the waiting areas for the bus. How about having a meet and greet with Marylyn Monroe while waiting for the shuttle and the Frankenstein monster as the bus driver?
My hands are very weak, so most interactive rides have become pointless to me. The only one that I’m still able to use my hands is Toy Story Midway Mania. It has by far the easiest shooting device to use (the pulling the string option is what makes the difference.) In addition, the loading of the wheelchair into the ride’s vehicle is much smoother than in other interactive rides. And it’s fun.
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