On December 3, International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Disneyland Paris will introduce a new accessibility program which will empower guests with disabilities and special needs to experience the parks according to their own autonomy evaluation.
At Disneyland Paris, magic is for everyone. With the knowledge and experience gained in almost 30 years of welcoming guests with disabilities and special needs, the resort will further evolve its approach to accessibility for continued improvement. Disneyland Paris will no longer determine access to attractions based on disability categories and guests will evaluate their own autonomy to decide which attractions they could experience.
“Our new accessibility program is a major step forward in our commitment to accessibility at Disneyland Paris, enabling every guest to experience the magic of Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park, said Daniel Delcourt, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, Disneyland Paris. “Our guests and Cast Members have always been at the heart of our approach to accessibility. Disneyland Paris is committed to listening and learning from our guests, Cast Members and accessibility experts to develop new standards of inclusion in the French theme park industry.”
Disabled guest autonomy at the heart of the accessibility program
Disneyland Paris believes that guests themselves are in the best position to determine what they are capable of. The experience of each guest with disabilities or special needs at Disneyland Paris should therefore be guided by their own assessment of their level of autonomy and potential need for an accompanying careperson.
Disneyland Paris’ new accessibility program will:
- Focus on guest autonomy
- Increase the number of accessible attractions by revising priority and easy access conditions and evacuation procedures
- Remove the requirement for disabled guests to be accompanied on attractions
- Provide a 25% discount for disabled guests presenting official disability documentation and for one potential accompanying careperson
“With the launch of a new accessibility program, Disneyland Paris is setting a new standard for best-in-class practices in how we think about accessibility by offering more individualized attention for the unique circumstances of each guest” said Michaël Jeremiasz, a high-profile Paralympic athlete and a key resort partner for many years who continues to contribute his knowledge to help improve the experience for guests with disabilities.
Accessibility as a key focus for Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris is focused on fostering a welcoming environment for all guests and Cast Members as part of its ongoing efforts for diversity and inclusion. The resort welcomed more than 125,000 guests with disabilities and special needs in 2019.
Since 2004, Disneyland Paris has been recognized by the state brand Tourisme & Handicap for reaching French accessibility standards in both parks for four types of disability: hearing, mental, motor and visual.
“The challenge of accessibility is to allow full citizenship for people with disabilities. Access to tourism activities is obviously part of this, and Disneyland Paris is exemplary in this respect,” said Carole Guéchi, Ministerial Delegate for Accessibility. “The management and Cast Members for these theme parks are not content to simply meet standards but instead push inclusion as far as possible. With this new accessibility program based on guest autonomy, Disneyland Paris reaffirms its long-standing commitment as a responsible operator in the tourism industry.”
Disneyland Paris has invested in recent years to make the entire resort even more accessible for disabled guests, while engaging in an ongoing dialogue with key accessibility stakeholders to push the boundaries even further for the inclusion of disabled guests.
“Disneyland Paris has always made the accessibility of its parks a top priority for its guests,” said Sophie Huberson, Executive Director at SNELAC. “This new accessibility program, rooted in guest autonomy, is a very positive turning point for our industry that will most certainly inspire other theme park operators in France.”
The resort is also focused on providing equal opportunities for employees, continuing to recruit Cast Members with disabilities for all types of roles according to their skills and unique needs. Cast Members with disabilities now represent 5.9% of the total Cast Members at Disneyland Paris.