Earlier this month Laura asked on the Aniridic Family Facebook group
“Has anyone visiting Disneyland Paris been able to get a priority card for a child registered blind? Our son Josh is nearly 8 years old. He is not great in big, noisy crowds, and waiting outside in bright light even in his darkest glasses would give him a headache.”
Several Aniridia Network UK (ANUK) members made helpful comments. We also pointed her at a recent blog post about visiting Disneyland Pairs by a parent of a child with nystagmus.
So when they went they took Josh’s proof of being registered visually impaired and their VI teacher got them a letter from their consultant confirming Josh as blind.
Afterwards Laura said “They actually started filling out the green priority card while i was getting the documents out! We all had a wild time – Josh barely had to wait for anything. He sat at the front for all parades, cinema, and rides like Star Tours where you need to see a screen. All the staff chatted to him and made him feel important. Brilliant! The card did say ‘blind guest’ though – apparently partially sighted people could get the orange ‘easy access’ pass to sit at the front, but not avoid the long queues.”
According to the Disney website, if you don’t have a yellow European statement of disability card, you need to take a letter dated not more than 3 months ago from your consultant or GP confirming registration of severe sight impairment. This needs time to arrange. “I wouldn’t recommend rushing around trying to get people to write letters the week before you go like I did” said Laura.
“Josh did also use his symbol cane (normally only used in train stations to stop him getting squashed/trodden on etc!) and in some cases that meant we were waved straight through the queues. There were just a couple of rides where we had to come back later as they could only have one disabled person on at a time for safety reasons, but in those cases, we were given a set time to return and then didn’t have to wait.”
Another ANUK member parent said “We took our son’s yellow visual impairment card and had no problems getting a pass. They are really good with children with additional needs and we had the best holiday ever.”
James Buller, ANUK Communications Officer said “This is a fabulous example of how useful our online network can be, and how important it is for us all to bring more people into our community of those affected by aniridia. Aniridia Network UK now has over 565 members but there are lots more to find.”