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SAMPLE ATTRACTION DESCRIPTIONS
 from Walt Disney World® with Disabilities by Stephen Ashley

Just to give you an idea of it's like, we've featured two attraction descriptions below from the book. We give you the most in-depth descriptions of each attractions "feel" and experience.  Please enjoy! 

Test Track
Cautions:  Heart problems, blood pressure issues, back or neck problems, motion sickness, difficulty keeping yourself upright at angles, pain issues of any kind, headaches, problem with sudden temperature changes, fear of the dark, fear of heights, vertigo, allergies, lights with a spinning motion
Quick Notes:  Ride in a car through its testing with sharp hairpin turns, sudden braking, skidding, and riding over bumpy surfaces, through hot and cold chambers, and over 50-degree banked curves at high speeds. 

This is one of Epcot’s more popular attractions.  The story is that you are taking a car through testing on a GM proving ground—taking sharp hairpin turns, sudden braking, skidding, riding over bumps and harsh road surfaces, going through very hot and freezing cold chambers, sudden acceleration, climbing a hill and riding along 50-degree banked curves which have you almost sideways at 60 miles per hour.  The top car speed is 65 mph, but it can feel faster as you are in an open car.  You also go in hot and cold temperature chambers.  The monitor in your car will say that there’s a 100-degree difference in temperature Text Box:  
between the rooms, but it’s far less than that in actuality.

Personally, I find that this ride is not roller-coaster scary or even as physically demanding as most of the thrill rides. I did not experience any irritation or discomfort with my back or neck, nor did several others that we’ve heard from who have back and neck issues. 

Sarah has chosen not to ride this one.  The cars travel over different types of surfaces, such as bumpy cobblestone.  This bothers her even in a real car on a real street.  Though not very severe for most people, the series of bumps could be uncomfortable for people with very sensitive back and neck problems.  If this would bother you in a regular car in the real world, then you should definitely avoid this attraction.  Sudden stops as well as 50-degree banked curves may put a demand on the body as well. 

Text Box: © Disney
 

There is one moment where it looks like you will crash through a wall, but of course you don’t.  There is also a point where a robot is supposed to be spraying corrosion fluid at your car, but it’s only water and you don’t really get wet. A strong odor that smells like battery acid is pumped in this room, so those who are sensitive may want to breathe through a cloth. 

While you’re in the queue you will see safety tests happening with crash dummies inside.  They are fun to watch and help make the wait easier. The crashing and test sounds can be quite noisy.  There is a pre-show which is standing room only.  The queue can be a little tight at some turns for ECVs to navigate.  Take your time and don’t get stressed!  You can do it, even if you have to back up and try again. FASTPASS and the Single Rider line are highly recommended options here. Not only are they both significantly shorter waits, but both queues are much easier for wheelchairs to navigate than the standard queue. The turns are less tight, and they are much shorter and less winding.

The ride car is a 6-passenger (two rows of three people) ride vehicle with no top.  The seats are like auto bucket seats with a headrest. The people in the outside seats have shoulder/lap-style belts, and the people in the middle have only lap belts.  The back row is tight on legroom.  The front row has more legroom. 

You must transfer from a wheelchair into a ride car.  You will need to make a parallel transfer stepping over the side of the car and then downward to the car seat.  If you feel you may have trouble doing this, let a cast member outside the attraction building know.  You can practice on the stationary vehicle that they have for this purpose.  They can give you a supplementary pamphlet with some extra boarding instructions, which may be helpful.  Once you are on the load platform, you will need to get on board as quickly as possible. Be sure that you know exactly how you will board by the time you reach the platform.

Also let a cast member know if you need a grab bar, which is available to help you pull yourself from the wheelchair into the ride car.  You can request a seat cushion.   If you feel you will have trouble stepping down into the car, you can request to transfer at the seatbelt stop.  There is a shorter step there.  You can also use the seat as a step.

There is light that spins in the queue, and you will also see this many times during the ride.  You will pass by many still lights in darkened areas. There is one point where it looks like a truck’s headlights are coming at you.  If you are riding on a sunny day, there’s a section where you go from a dark indoor area to bright sunlight.  During the heat test, there are several rows of bright heat lamps on both sides of the vehicle.

There was a post-show ride with a simulation and a film called Dreamchaser, however it’s been removed. 

Since part of the ride is outdoors, they will shut it down if there is lightning within five miles.  If a thunderstorm threatens, you may wish to skip this attraction and come back another time.  Some folks find the outside portion more exciting at night, as the darkness can make for more of a thrill. Unfortunately, this ride is known for breaking down more frequently than some of the others.  If you happen to be on it at the time, don’t panic.  They’ll get you going again soon.  If they need to evacuate the guests, you will either need to walk over stairs and through narrow passages, or wait to be evacuated by cast members. This is quite rare, however. It is almost always possible for the ride vehicles to be brought back to the station, even if it is at a very low rate of speed.

Extra info:

  • Time: There is approximately a 3-minute pre-show.  The ride is approximately 5 minutes.
  • You must transfer from your wheelchair or ECV to the ride car.    
  • Service animals are not allowed on this ride.
  • The height requirement is 40" (102 cm) or taller.
  • Video Caption-ready monitors are available.
  • Assistive listening devices can be used at this attraction.
  • Attraction translation device units can be used at this attraction.

Honey, I Shrunk The Audience
Cautions: Fear of mice, fear of snakes, fear of dark, fear of lions, pain and back problems, allergies, problems with loud noises, strobe lights, tactile sensitivities. Some people with epilepsy and vertigo may have difficulty with 3-D effects. Other conditions such as autism can cause sensitivity to the 3-D and 4-D effects as well.
Quick Notes:  Fun 3-D movie with sensory and other special effects, some of which are startling or scary to the very sensitive.  Very mild seat jolts, small amount of smoke in front of the room, water sprayed.  There’s a sensory effect meant to simulate mice running at ankle level.

This movie never gets old for us.  Even with age, it does not feel dated and we find it great fun.  We also find that this attraction is considered by many Disney fans to be a “must see” attraction.  This is a 3-D experience that includes real-life effects designed to make it even more realistic.  The cast of the hit film Honey’ I Blew Up The Kid reunite. In this movie, Professor Wayne Szalinski (Rick Moranis) is given the Inventor of the Year Award from Dr. Nigel Channing (Eric Idle), when a demonstration with his shrinking machine shrinks you and the entire audience.  The 3-D effects are really convincing.  Things seem to really come off the screen and appear right in front of your face.  

Some of the effects can be startling and even give you a moment of fright.  They can be sudden, and when they appear to be within inches of you it can be scary.  You can always remove your glasses to see it’s just a 3-D effect and not real.  We generally prefer to avoid scary attractions, but we find this more fun than scary.  Still, some sensitive folks and some children will find this too intense.  You will hear screaming throughout the theater as the surprises unfold, usually followed by a lot of laughter.  Only the most sensitive will find it really disturbing.  We’ve heard an occasional crying child. 

Warning: Don’t read the following paragraph if you don’t want any scares spoiled in advance!

Some of the effects do seem designed to scare, such as a cat that suddenly turns into a lion and a huge snake that appears to come right to you and snap at you.  There are effects you will only experience in the theater seat.  For example, in the film a huge number of mice are replicated and supposedly escape into the audience.  There is a little tassel-type thing that rubs your legs to simulate the feeling that a mouse just ran by.  The audience always screams at this point, but for most it’s more fun than truly scary.  If you wish to avoid this effect, keep your legs raised or up on the seat if you’re limber or small.  You can also try explaining in advance that it’s not really a mouse, but a tassel under the seat that’s supposed to feel like a mouse. 

The seats are theater style with backs and some padding.  The seats do have some motion, though it is relatively mild in our experience.  For example, when you are “shrunk,” the entire theater is supposedly picked up by a child who walks away with it.  The seats give faint jolts along with the child’s footsteps. 

If you would prefer to avoid this effect and you have a wheelchair, you may wish to view the show from your wheelchair.  You will miss the other tactile effects, though.  Sarah is incredibly sensitive to motion, but she is able to handle the regular seats for this attraction.  It may be a bit irritating to her condition, but it is not enough to cause any lasting increase in her pain levels.

The entire audience gets sprayed with water when a dog sneezes.  There is also some steam that comes out of the speaker’s podium in front of the auditorium.  It didn’t seem to flood the entire room.  If you sit toward the back you should be able to avoid the steam.  There are some loud noises and some wind is blown at you.  There are light effects including electrical bolts, flashing and strobe-type lights.

A pre-show in a fairly dark room sets up the story for the 3-D movie.  There is no seating there, but you can stay in your wheelchair.   The floor is slanted, but the wheelchair area in the back is level.  There are rows of multiple screens so everyone can see, and there is closed captioning on some of the screens.  If you find it hard to stand, you may get away with sitting on the floor all the way to the right.  Try to have someone from your party stand to your left so that you don’t get stepped on by the crowd.

If you are uncomfortable with the 3-D effects you can watch the monitor to the left of the 3-D movie screen instead.  Take off your glasses and watch the show as a 2-D movie.  Of course this carries a lot less impact, but that may be better for people who have fears, visual problems or certain types of vertigo.  Keep in mind that this screen is turned off during the segment when the audience is “shrunk”.  

You must wear the 3-D glasses provided by Disney in order to get the 3-D effect; these fit over your own glasses.

Extra info:

  • Time: There is a 5-minute introduction and a 13-minute film.
  • Reflective captioning is available.
  • Video Caption-ready monitors are available.
  • Assistive listening devices that amplify the audio can be used at this location.
  • Guests may use attraction translation device units.
  • You can remain in your wheelchair or ECV.  Please note that because of limited seating only one person can sit right next to the person in the wheelchair.  The rest of your party should be able to get seats in the row in front of the wheelchair row. 
  • Guests with service animals should check with the cast member to be sure your animal can handle this attraction.

To see what the book offers you, please view the details of the Walt Disney World with Disabilities guide book here:
What the book covers - Read detailed info on what's in the guide book
Rides & Attractions - Samples of ride descriptions you'll find in the book
Table of Contents - For the guide book
Parks - What's covered about each park in the book 
Resorts - What's covered in the guide book about the resorts
Special Needs - What's covered in the book on dealing with special needs
Reader Reviews - What people say about Walt Disney World with Disabilities
View the book Covers
Quantity Discounts
Buy the book 
 

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