Earlier this week I mentioned that during my visit to the EPCOT for the International Festival of Holidays, I encountered Santa greeting Guests, but what I also discovered is he does so in a new accessible sleigh.
About the Sleigh
The photos with Santa area sits in the dining area of The Odyssey Pavilion, which is also home to the Holiday Hearth Desserts Holiday Kitchen during the festival.
But what many enjoying their time with Santa may not realize is that the sleigh was built with accessibility in mind, so all Guests can have photos taken.
In creating the sleigh, Disney consulted with some ENABLED Cast Members on making sure those with wheelchairs or walkers could fit inside.
ENABLED at Walt Disney World promotes respect, equality, and appreciation of people with disabilities through community, awareness, education, and inclusion.
With the cast member input, Santa’s sleigh at EPCOT features a wider entrance point in the front, and an adjustable bench, allowing Guests who use wheelchairs or other mobility chairs to have a more magical and inclusive meet-and-greet experience.
When the adjustable bench is flipped up, it make a perfect spot for a wheelchair use to be in the photo.
The front bench area also has a wider gap from the front of the sleigh to the bench, allowing more room for mobility aids.
The back row is also a standing row, allowing for a group to be included in the photo.
Here’s a photo of the sleigh with the adjustable bench flipped up:
I applaud Walt Disney World for taking the steps necessary to make sure all Guests, including those with mobility devices, are able to enjoy photos with Santa at EPCOT.
Did you or a family member get to try out these mobility features of the sleigh? Let us know what you thought in the comments.