Anyone who has visited Walt Disney World in Orlando knows that it truly is the most magical destination on Earth. The rides, the food, the activities, the shows, the architecture, the characters, the cast members’ super-helpful attitudes — there’s so much to see, do and enjoy. But how about those visitors affected by blindness or impaired vision?
You may be concerned about how you’ll navigate the bustling parks if you’ve never been before, but Walt Disney World actually offers multiple options to help you find your way. But could they do more?
Accessibility at Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World accommodates visitors living with blindness or vision impairments with several resources. Braille guidebooks are available, featuring large text, covering the attractions, eateries, etc. It costs $25 for a day’s use but is refundable once you return the book. Stationary Braille Maps combine large text with a Braille overlay, while the raised graphics allow you to identify different places within Walt Disney World. A Portable Tactile Map Booklet can be used too. The tactile design presents landmarks and walkways across the different theme parks. Again, there’s a refundable deposit of $25 required.
What about when it’s time to enjoy some of Walt Disney World’s delicious food? Certain restaurants specializing in table service offer Braille menus upon request.
The Power of Audio Descriptions
Walt Disney World’s handheld audio description device is another way for people affected by impaired vision or blindness to enjoy the theme parks. It provides details on places to eat or drink, attractions, descriptions of areas and more. The GPS information is available too, These devices are designed well for easy control and require a $25 daily deposit too. They’re available at all theme parks at Walt Disney World.
Clearly, Walt Disney World cares about making the experience magical for everyone. It’s vital to offer multiple accessibility solutions covering such a vast site (currently 25,000 acres) and the company does this well. But they’ll have to keep up with evolving technology to maximize visitors’ experience. Smartphones now allow people living with blindness or impaired vision to follow audio directions using GPS, but these are unavailable indoors.
This means finding your way around stores, restaurants, restrooms, and hotels can be difficult. Visitors are unable to see upcoming barriers or obstacles that could be injured too, especially in busy areas where they might feel confused. What can be done about this?
One option is RightHear. It is an innovative indoor orientation solution for those affected by impaired vision or blindness: this smartphone app works with sensors installed throughout a structure to deliver audio guidance. As a result, users can find their way safely, relying on clear information on their surroundings. Just aim your smartphone in any direction and you’ll discover if potential hazards lie in your way.
Walt Disney World is one of the world’s top destinations, attracting millions of guests each year, and its commitment to accessibility is impressive. Hopefully, it will continue to stay up to date with the latest innovations to keep everyone satisfied.