World of Color Wheelchair Viewing Review, December 2011

Since our arrival day, Friday December 16th was a slow day and fastpasses were not even being issued for the 9:15 showing of World of Color, we decided to go ahead and see the show for the second time.  We had known there was a Christmas addition and wanted to see that as well.


The first thing I had done when we arrived is that I went to City Hall for a Guest Assistance Card (GAC) because of my knee.  Because I had not rented a scooter I did need my Doctor's note to get this GAC, so was glad I had it with me.  My problem was that I could not do stairs without incredible pain and I cannot stand for long periods of time (more than a few minutes actually) because I can't put my full weight on my right knee.


This GAC was my admittance into the Wheelchair viewing for World of Color. 


Each specific color area has its own Wheelchair seating.  Blue is the coveted color for optimal viewing yet its special area has just six  benches.  In the yellow and red area there are a higher amount of benches.  There are many who are unable to transfer from a wheelchair to a bench so the extra space without benches was nice to see.  If the area was all benches it would be next to impossible to fit the wheelchairs and ECV's.  We had scoped out the special viewing areas before the show and since no Fastpasses where issued we were able to choose the color for our viewing. 


Andy was going to tape the show so he had not planned on seeing the show from our vantage point, but Alex stayed with me.  We were told by the Cast Member that Alex could not sit on the bench and that he couldn't even sit on a bench to wait for others to come.  This brought Alex to tears and I understood how he felt.  Another young girl was horribly upset, enough so that the whole party stood together.


What was frustrating about this was that the people next to me had 1 (one) GAC yet both of them could sit on the bench.  The two benches in the back remained empty at the start of the show, so able bodied people sat down on them.  Alex sat on the cold hard ground for the whole show.


The more I think about this, the more angry I become.  Walt Disney built Disneyland so FAMILIES could go there and have fun together.  He did not build it so families could be forced not to sit together.  So that is problem number one with the wheelchair seating.

Problem number two is that the benches are set up at the rail and the rail is higher than the benches.  During the whole show those of us sitting had to look through the metal railing to view the show.  This is not optimal viewing.  A better option would be to move the benches to the back of the viewing area so we are not directly on the rail.  Add more benches because the area is large enough that several more benches could be added, but continue to keep space for the wheelchairs and ECV's.  Then have those who can't sit on a bench sit in front of the benches.  Sitting so that they don't block the view.


What I would really like is for Disney to allow family members to all sit on the benches.  In order to do this they need more than just four benches in this seating area.  It is nice that they have special seating areas for those in need, but they didn't think this through very well and because of this those who have any form of disability are treated like second class citizens.


For those who are in a wheelchair or an ECV I recommend you don't transfer to a bench.  Your own seat is probably a bit higher than the bench and that may put your viewing level over the rail.  Also, if you keep your seat you have a large open area to choose your seat from and can be a bit further back so the rail plays no part in your viewing experience.


If you are not in a wheelchair or ECV, check the viewing possibilities between the front row and back row of bench seating to see which is better for you.  You may find that the back row is a better spot because you are a bit higher than the front row.


Thanks Disney for giving us this area where we can sit on a bench or on the ground instead of having to stand and be in pain during the whole show.  But Disney please allow families to sit together.  This would obviously have to be first come first served but that is how everything works at Disneyland, so why have this change for special World of Color viewing?


So remember.  If you have a GAC arrive early to your designated color meeting location so that you can choose your spot rather than it being chosen for you.  If I had it to do over again I would still have used my GAC but I would have taken more time to choose my seat, and I would have put Alex on the bench with me.  Also, if you get a chance during the daytime check out the viewing areas before you have to get in the queue for your color.  Each viewing area is toward the back of their respective colors.  This is a GOOD thing as this area is tiered so that you don't have heads in your way.  If you are able to choose your own color because of low crowd levels you want to choose the area that looks best to YOU.

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