The most wheelchair-friendly theme parks in the US

Jul 17, 2021

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

When you think about visiting theme parks, adrenaline-packed days on roller coasters probably immediately come to mind, right? While roller coasters are fun, they usually aren’t the most wheelchair-accessible options. So, should wheelchair users even bother visiting theme parks? The answer to this question is twofold. Many theme parks aren’t the most wheelchair-friendly, but on the other hand, there are also a lot of theme parks that are surprisingly accessible right here in the U.S.

Instead of hopping on the fastest roller coaster or speeding down a waterslide, wheelchair users may have to approach their theme park days a bit differently, but it’s certainly possible to have the best day ever at a theme park as a wheelchair user. From a fully accessible theme park and waterpark in Texas to a paradisiacal chocolate-themed park and more, the five theme parks featured below can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter what their abilities are. Here are five of the most wheelchair-friendly theme parks in the U.S.

For more TPG news and tips delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our free daily newsletter.

In This Post

Morgan’s Wonderland

As the world’s first fully accessible theme park, this magical destination simply has to be at the top of this list. Morgan’s Wonderland opened in San Antonio in 2010 after Gordon Hartman witnessed discrimination against his own daughter, who has a disability. He wanted to create a place where those with and without disabilities could come together and play, and what a place he has created!

(Photo courtesy of Curb Free with Cory Lee)

Morgan’s Wonderland allows guests with special needs free admittance every day. Once inside the park, there are more than 25 wheelchair-accessible attractions to choose from. No aspect of Morgan’s Wonderland is inaccessible since the entire park was built with wheelchair users in mind. Whether guests want to partake in an off-road adventure ride, ride an accessible train, play on an inclusive playground (complete with wheelchair swings!) or soar high in a Ferris wheel, the options truly are limitless at Morgan’s Wonderland.

Related: 7 of the best national parks for wheelchair users

Morgan’s Inspiration Island

As the name suggests, this is the sister park to Morgan’s Wonderland in San Antonio. However, instead of leisurely enjoying attractions such as a Ferris wheel and an inclusive playground, be prepared to get soaked at Morgan’s Inspiration Island! This fully accessible waterpark is the perfect place to be on a hot Texas day. There are five splash pad areas and even a wheelchair-accessible riverboat ride.

(Photo courtesy of Curb Free with Cory Lee)

If you’re thinking, “How can a waterpark possibly be accessible?”, let us count the ways. There are multiple accessible changing rooms with amenities such as adult-sized changing tables and Hoyer lifts for transferring. While the accessible changing rooms are great, one of the coolest aspects of Morgan’s Inspiration Island is the fact that they have air-powered waterproof wheelchairs, known as pneumatic chairs, available to guests complimentary. The pneumatic chair can be driven with a joystick, just like a motorized wheelchair. Unlike a standard motorized wheelchair though, it can get completely soaked, so don’t worry about driving into huge water fountains.

Related: A guide to visiting theme parks with a child on the autism spectrum

Walt Disney World

There is no doubt that the most well-known theme park in the world has great accessibility, right? Walt Disney World in Florida has four separate theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. Each park offers at least some attractions that are fully wheelchair accessible (Toy Story Mania! at Hollywood Studios and Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom are two of my personal favorites), but if you have time to only visit one park, it should be Magic Kingdom.

(Photo courtesy of Curb Free with Cory Lee)

Related: Everything you need to know about visiting Walt Disney World Resort

Magic Kingdom has five rides that are fully wheelchair accessible — Jungle Cruise, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, “it’s a small world,” Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Whether you use a motorized wheelchair or a manual chair, you can spend the day on fun rides with your family and friends. Additionally, many other rides have easy access if you can transfer and there are multiple shows to enjoy as well, including the iconic Carousel of Progress and the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor, just to name a couple of the must-sees.

At all Walt Disney World parks, the Disability Access Service (DAS) is offered to guests with disabilities. You can sign up for DAS at Guest Relations at the entrance to any of the parks. With DAS, you can approach any attraction and you’ll be given a return time so that you don’t have to wait in the often long lines at each ride and attraction. It’s a spectacular service that will make your day at “The Happiest Place on Earth” even happier!

Related: The most wheelchair-accessible beach destinations in the US

Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari

Located in Santa Claus, Indiana, Holiday World is a fun place to enjoy year-round holiday celebrations, attractions or both at the same time. The park is divided into four sections, each with a holiday theme: Christmas, Halloween, the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving. There is also an on-site waterpark.

While most of the rides at Holiday World do require wheelchair users to transfer out of the wheelchair and into the ride seat, special transfer devices are available for quite a few of the rides. If transferring isn’t a possibility, you can still enjoy popular attractions such as the Star Spangled Carousel and Holidog’s Treehouse. Shows are put on year-round as well and accessible seating is available in each theater.

After an action-packed morning at Holiday World, you may want to cool off in the on-site waterpark known as Splashin’ Safari. Splashin’ Safari has a limited number of accessible tubes available for the lazy river attractions for those that can’t sit up unaided. The tubes can also be used in wave pools upon request and many of the pools are zero-entry, allowing easier access.

Similar to Walt Disney World’s DAS, guests with disabilities can request a Holiday World Ride Boarding Pass at Holiday World Services inside the front gate. With this pass, the person with a disability and up to three guests can get a designated time to return to each attraction.

Related: 7 air travel tips for wheelchair users

Hersheypark and ZooAmerica

Affectionately known as “The Sweetest Place on Earth,” Hersheypark is located in Hershey, Pennsylvania. If you’re a fan of Hershey chocolate and theme park fun, Hersheypark is the perfect place for you to visit! You can certainly satisfy your sweet tooth at a number of eateries around the park, but there are also attractions to satisfy your sense of adventure.

(Photo courtesy of Hershey Park/Facebook)

Most rides at Hersheypark do require transferring, but there are a few attractions that are fully wheelchair accessible. Wheelchair users can have fun on the Carrousel, ride the Dry Gulch Railroad train and cool off in a zero-depth water playground known as Shoreline Sprayground. Aquatic wheelchairs are available for use as well.

With admission to Hersheypark, each guest automatically gets free entry to ZooAmerica as well. The on-site zoo has more than 200 animals to see, including everything from alligators to wolves, bears, elk and much more. Visiting Hersheypark allows you to experience two parks in one day, so everyone will absolutely have a full day of fun.

Bottom line

For wheelchair users, the fun doesn’t have to stop at any of the five theme parks listed above. Now that you know what accessibility features these theme parks have, it’s time to plan your perfect day at one (or all) of them.

Related: 10 most exciting US theme park attractions coming in 2021

Featured photo courtesy of Curb Free with Cory Lee

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.