Special is as special does. The Walt Disney Company has long been a leader in its consideration towards the special needs community, and this recent foray into private transportation for Walt Disney World Resort Guests is thankfully 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.
** Updated June 1, 2018! For typical Guests staying at one of the Walt Disney World Resorts, 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. A Cast Member from Bell Services or the Concierge team will help “unlock” this service. Your ride- to any on-property location- will be charged $20 to your Lyft account. (Gratuities are, in theory, not accepted. :D) 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 found 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, many things he did to fully accommodate husband and me, he recognized this dilemma and suggested this spanking new service. Doug is a MAJOR Pixie Duster.
And this magical service continued with each and every friendly, sensitive, and helpful 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 (which is extensive and built for safety) takes approximately 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…
Think “happy thoughts” all!