Disney's not the only disabled-friendly park...

cgattis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
First, don't flame me for any perceived insensitive use of the words "disabled" or "handicapped." I'm simply trying to be descriptive, not labeling anyone.

I know this isn't even Disney related, but I just wanted to put this out here for anyone it may help. My family visited Dollywood (for the first time since not long after it became Dollywood--so a long time!) earlier this summer. I was very surprised at the number of families there with disabled members and the number of groups (like field trips/tour groups) of handicapped adults. We witnessed the being treated very well :) and mentioned it to our friends who have a grown disabled daughter. They've known this for years and love going there because of it.

So if anyone is looking for a non-Disney trip (closer, cheaper, whatever) who has these circumstances, I highly recommend checking into it a little further. And I guess I should also say we had a blast--rode coasters until I literally almost blacked out (oops). They're a little more intense than Disney LOL. And the water park was truly on par with Disney's--had a ball there. Sorry for the non-Disney PSA LOL--mods please move if needed.
 

Paula Sedley-Burke

Proud to believe in Rainbows and Unicorns...
Joined
Nov 20, 2008
Oh this is really helpful thank you! My wife and I have often talked about going back to Dollywood. We went years ago before I was stuck by being in a wheelchair. So this is good news that it would be for us! Was there anywhere around DW to stay that had disabled rooms do you know? Thank you for your post!
 

cgattis

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Oh this is really helpful thank you! My wife and I have often talked about going back to Dollywood. We went years ago before I was stuck by being in a wheelchair. So this is good news that it would be for us! Was there anywhere around DW to stay that had disabled rooms do you know? Thank you for your post!
We stayed at a SpringHill Suites by Marriott about 10 minutes or less from Dollywood (right across from the big Christmas shop and right behind Starbucks LOL)and I'm fairly certain it has accessible rooms. There's also a Hampton and a Hilton Garden Inn right across from it. Dolly has built her own resort (DreamMore I think it's called) right next to the water park, and you get free parking (which was $12) and free express pass (which hardly anyone was using, so it was pretty much front of the line) for Dollywood if you stay there. I'm sure you could google it, but I'd be shocked if there are t accessible rooms there as well. We saw some folks getting help transferring a family member from a wheelchair to a tube in the lazy river, and there were 4 managers there making sure they got all the help they needed :) It seemed like (and my friends say) they go out of their way to go above and beyond to help. Hope this helps!!
 
  • Betty Rohrer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2010
    First, don't flame me for any perceived insensitive use of the words "disabled" or "handicapped." I'm simply trying to be descriptive, not labeling anyone.

    I know this isn't even Disney related, but I just wanted to put this out here for anyone it may help. My family visited Dollywood (for the first time since not long after it became Dollywood--so a long time!) earlier this summer. I was very surprised at the number of families there with disabled members and the number of groups (like field trips/tour groups) of handicapped adults. We witnessed the being treated very well :) and mentioned it to our friends who have a grown disabled daughter. They've known this for years and love going there because of it.

    So if anyone is looking for a non-Disney trip (closer, cheaper, whatever) who has these circumstances, I highly recommend checking into it a little further. And I guess I should also say we had a blast--rode coasters until I literally almost blacked out (oops). They're a little more intense than Disney LOL. And the water park was truly on par with Disney's--had a ball there. Sorry for the non-Disney PSA LOL--mods please move if needed.
    We stayed at a SpringHill Suites by Marriott about 10 minutes or less from Dollywood (right across from the big Christmas shop and right behind Starbucks LOL)and I'm fairly certain it has accessible rooms. There's also a Hampton and a Hilton Garden Inn right across from it. Dolly has built her own resort (DreamMore I think it's called) right next to the water park, and you get free parking (which was $12) and free express pass (which hardly anyone was using, so it was pretty much front of the line) for Dollywood if you stay there. I'm sure you could google it, but I'd be shocked if there are t accessible rooms there as well. We saw some folks getting help transferring a family member from a wheelchair to a tube in the lazy river, and there were 4 managers there making sure they got all the help they needed :) It seemed like (and my friends say) they go out of their way to go above and beyond to help. Hope this helps!!
    from what we have seen going to Dollywood often most of the hotels in the area have accessible rooms and there are many choices. not asked but there are some that are also pet friendly and Dollywood also had Doggywood for dogs while you are at the park. you do need a ressie most days
     

    Paula Sedley-Burke

    Proud to believe in Rainbows and Unicorns...
    Joined
    Nov 20, 2008
    We stayed at a SpringHill Suites by Marriott about 10 minutes or less from Dollywood (right across from the big Christmas shop and right behind Starbucks LOL)and I'm fairly certain it has accessible rooms. There's also a Hampton and a Hilton Garden Inn right across from it. Dolly has built her own resort (DreamMore I think it's called) right next to the water park, and you get free parking (which was $12) and free express pass (which hardly anyone was using, so it was pretty much front of the line) for Dollywood if you stay there. I'm sure you could google it, but I'd be shocked if there are t accessible rooms there as well. We saw some folks getting help transferring a family member from a wheelchair to a tube in the lazy river, and there were 4 managers there making sure they got all the help they needed :) It seemed like (and my friends say) they go out of their way to go above and beyond to help. Hope this helps!!
    Thank you I will look up all those hotel options. Lazy river what! I love lazy rivers. Wow DollyWood has really expanded since we were last there. We really enjoyed our southern driving tour which included the smoky mountains but we only had one day. Thank you for your help.
     

    SueM in MN

    combining the teacups with a roller coaster
    Moderator
    Joined
    Aug 23, 1999
    from what we have seen going to Dollywood often most of the hotels in the area have accessible rooms and there are many choices. not asked but there are some that are also pet friendly and Dollywood also had Doggywood for dogs while you are at the park. you do need a ressie most days
    Just for clarification - all hotels in the US are required to have handicapped accessible rooms.
    They at also required to have ability for gursts make reservations in the same way as other guests are able to. So, by phone, Internet, written - whatever means guests have available to make reservations need to be available.
     
  • Dora Speck

    Princess Mousketeer
    Joined
    Oct 24, 2016
    That's great to know. Although I'd rather stick with Disney because it's my happy place! I'm not really into the wild rides anyways. I've been a Disney lover since I was a kid. I'm now 24.
     

    RachelKS

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Feb 25, 2016
    Just for clarification - all hotels in the US are required to have handicapped accessible rooms.
    They at also required to have ability for gursts make reservations in the same way as other guests are able to. So, by phone, Internet, written - whatever means guests have available to make reservations need to be available.
    While this is technically true it has big my biggest obstacle when booking hotels for my husband and I. When I call to make a reservation I say, "do you have a wheelchair accessible room with a roll in shower?" Yes, we do. "Is it a true roll in shower? Can something on wheels roll into it with out lifting?" Yes, it is a roll in shower. More often than not we get there and there is lip that a chair can not roll over. So frustrating. Then we scramble to find a place to stay.
     

    pls5286

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 27, 2008
    While this is technically true it has big my biggest obstacle when booking hotels for my husband and I. When I call to make a reservation I say, "do you have a wheelchair accessible room with a roll in shower?" Yes, we do. "Is it a true roll in shower? Can something on wheels roll into it with out lifting?" Yes, it is a roll in shower. More often than not we get there and there is lip that a chair can not roll over. So frustrating. Then we scramble to find a place to stay.
    Econolodge Riverside has the type room you are looking for. Plus indoor pool and hot tubs with lifts.
     


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