“Disneyland Paris with my Whill powerchair” Georgina’s blog
Bonjour Paris and bonjour TGA! It’s been a while since my last blog but hopefully this will be me getting back into my stride and back to sharing my adventures with Whill powerchair.
In the time I’ve been away there’s been trips to the usual spot for my travelling, London, but I thought I’d share with you a trip from the end of November last year that took me over (or rather under) the channel to France. I’ve not left the country much over the last few years due to the pandemic so I was very much looking forward to getting out of England and to one of my favourite places, Disney. Now I have not been to Disneyland Paris since I was 13, on a school day trip in 2012.
This was the year that everything changed for me. I had been ill for a couple of years at this stage but still didn’t have a diagnosis or a mobility aid. Unsurprisingly, this caused a massive flare up in my ME. Since this trip I have been fortunate enough to go to Disney World in Florida but for these trips I was using my old manual wheelchair. So, this was my first trip to Paris and any of the Disney parks using my Whill C and I loved the independence! It honestly made such a difference.
On the Eurostar, wheelchair seats are only found in business class so we got to travel to Paris in style. From there on out, the journey was swift and easy and we were met by friendly staff on the other side with their version of a ramp lift to help us off the train. And there we were, in Paris!
The parks accessibility was great, with designated accessible entrances at the gate. I had applied beforehand online for an access card so that it would be waiting for me in the park on arrival, which was brilliant. With this card I was able to fast pass a lot of the rides which meant there was no long queue waiting which was ideal when trying to make use of my limited energy levels. This pass wasn’t just solely for rides either but also for designated wheelchair viewing spots for the parades and firework shows and for character meet and greets too. Would it be a Disney trip without meeting the mouse himself Mickey? I think not.
We had an amazing experience meeting Mickey, the character actor made sure to make the experience very memorable. I transferred from my wheelchair to the rides and then my Whill C would either be waiting for me in the same spot as I left it if the ride returned to the same spot or the staff would move it to meet me at the rides end. I may have had a small obsession with one of the rollercoasters named Big Thunder Mountain, which was so good! The park itself is all one level so all accessible, going round in my chair was a breeze. Even with the longer days and the very cold temperatures, my chair battery was up to the task and was able to withstand the demand I was putting on it.
Going down Main Street Disney on the first day independently in my Whill, listening to the Christmas music and seeing the castle did bring a tear or two to my eye, just from sheer joy. It was so beautiful and just an amazing experience.
I’m very impressed with how my Whill handled this trip and I love the freedom it gave me to explore Disney for myself without having to rely on other people pushing me. I also think it let my family enjoy Disney more without using their energy on pushing a chair all day. All in all, Disney is such an accessible holiday. You’re made to feel as equal to everyone else and able to experience the parks just like others do. I love Disney, Christmas and my Whill. It was a perfect trio!