Special is as special does. The Walt Disney Company has long been a leader in its consideration towards the special needs community. Thankfully, this recent foray into private transportation for Walt Disney World Resort Guests is no different. While to the majority of users this service will be a “whimsical” treat, to those utilizing a wheelchair or electronic convenience vehicle (ECV), these transports pack more Pixie Dust than Tink herself. These wings come in the form of the Disney Minnie Van Wheelchair Accessible Version. I should know…
Disney Minnie Van Wheelchair Accessible Version
** Updated December 2019!
This service is now offered to all of the Walt Disney World Resorts. Additionally, these resorts are now included:
Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel
Walt Disney World Swan Hotel
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
Shades of Green
Disney Springs Resort Area Hotels
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
Waldorf Astoria Orlando
Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek
Wyndham Bonnet Creek Resort
SpringHill Suites Orlando at Flamingo Crossings
TownePlace Suites Orlando at Flamingo Crossings
For typical Guests, this fleet of distinctive red 2017 Chevy Traverse vans (dolled out with white polka dots) is synced with the rideshare mobile app (iOS and Android) service Lyft. Presently, you can now access this app anywhere on property. However, for the accessible Minnie Van, you must call (407) 828-3500 45 to 60 minutes prior to your need. Your ride- to any on-property location- will be charged to your Lyft account. Pricing varies according to distance traveled (Gratuities are, in theory, not accepted. However, we can share that they are most appreciated!)
Each van accommodates six Guests, with two Graco car seats available for use. Presently, the Minnie Van service is active from 6:30 am to 12:30 am. Theme park drop-off/pick-up is considered premier. For instance, the bus stops at Magic Kingdom (not the Ticket and Transportation Center) and the valet station at Disney Springs Marketplace.
Currently, there are two accessible Minnie Vans in operation. Built to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) standards, these Ford Transit Connect SUVs carry a maximum of four passengers. (Including the Guest with accessibility concerns.) Presently, these vans are not part of the Lyft system, are instead booked using a direct access phone number, and billed to your resort account. Note that we never waited more than ten minutes for our ride, but after this post that might change!!
My personal Disney Minnie Van Wheelchair Accessible Version experience:
In short, these accessible Minnie Vans saved me. After suffering a traumatic fall and spending time at Celebration Hospital after Hurricane Irma, I was unable to immediately fly home to New York. What’s a Disney girl to do? Why, rent a wheelchair and get herself to Magic Kingdom. And Disney Springs. And Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. For endurance reasons, this “DIStherapy” would not have been possible if I had to rely on the Disney bus transportation system. Enter my personal Peter Pan, Cast Member Doug. Among the many things he did to fully accommodate husband and myself, was to recognize our dilemma. He changed our WORLD by suggesting this spanking new service. Doug is a MAJOR Pixie Duster.
This magical service continued with each friendly and sensitive driver we met thereafter. (Most of these Cast Members are former Disney bus drivers. That means they know the property and transportation system inside and out.)
Once situated on the platform, the fully-motorized lift will bring you level with the rear of the van. If Guests are unable to propel the wheelchair or ECV into the interior, your driver will assist. The process of fastening each mobility device into place is extensive and built for safety. Perhaps it takes about five minutes. Then… you’re off!
I must say, I can’t gush enough about the accessible versions of the Disney Minnie Van Wheelchair Accessible Version service. Therefore, I forecast that it will be a game-changer for those with accessibility concerns. And talk about going in style…
Don’t forget about the newest airport service too! Call (407) WDW-PLAY as much as 6 months in advance of your travel.
Think “happy thoughts” all!