How to Manage Universal Studios Hollywood with Disabilities

by Leap on October 19, 2016 46 Los Angeles

Universal Studios Hollywood Disability Visiting Universal Studios Hollywood when you or someone you love has a disability does not have to be a daunting task. If you are not sure which rides or attractions will work for you family or how to maximize your time in the park, you have come to the right frogs! We will break down some Universal Studios Hollywood disability basics to answer your questions and tell you where to go if you need more assistance. The team members in the park will also be happy to assist you with your needs.

Universal Studios Hollywood With Disabilities - Universal Globe

There are many kinds of disabilities. Whether your needs are related to physical limitations and mobility issues to cognitive issues, Universal should be able to help you have a satisfying and safe visit. When you get to the park, you can get a Rider’s Guide: Rider Safety and Guests with Disabilities booklet with details about accommodations as well as specific ride information as it relates to various conditions. You can also access that information in advance online. Here’s an overview of how Universal Studios can accommodate the more common disabilities and medical conditions. If you want to know more about Universal's Guest Assistance Pass (GAP), check out this post, in which we hopped along with our friend Adam for the day in the park.

How to Manage Universal Studios Hollywood with Disabilities

Wheelchairs and Mobility

Universal Studios Hollywood With Disabilities - Wheelchair Rental

Whether you bring your own wheelchair or rent one the park, here are some guidelines on wheelchairs. If you do not usually use a chair, but you know that you will be unable to walk or stand all day due to other medical or neurologic issues or injuries, here is what you need to know about acquiring one and accessing the shows and attractions. Wheelchair accessibility in the park includes the following:

  • Accessible parking permit for cars with disability placards
  • All shows accommodate wheelchairs, with designated viewing areas
  • Studio Tour accommodates standard wheelchairs and electric wheelchairs without transferring but not electric convenience vehicles (ECVs)
  • Must transfer for all rides—park employees are not trained to lift or help carry, so bring a companion to assist
  • All attractions have queues that can accommodate a wheelchair.
  • There is an elevator and tram to get to and from the Lower Lot. The line for the tram to take guests back up to the elevator is generally shortest in the morning and can range from 20 to 30 minutes in the afternoon, so plan accordingly.
  • Universal Studios rents standard wheelchair for $15 plus a $25 refundable deposit; ECVs rent for $50.
  • Accessible phones available throughout the park
  • Family restrooms located near first aid stations
  • Look for designated wheelchair parking signs at attractions.
  • To ride you must be able to sit independently, continuously grasp with one extremity, and possess the upper body strength to absorb the shock of movements, supporting head, neck, and torso.

Oxygen Tanks

While oxygen tanks are not allowed on rides, some oxygen concentrators are allowed if they can be secured and don’t interfere with the restraint.

Oxygen tanks are allowed at the following shows/attractions:

  • Animal Actors Stage
  • Water World
  • Shrek 4-D (stationary seating only)
  • Special Effects Show
  • The Walking Dead

Hearing Disabilities

There are several accommodations for guests who are deaf or have other hearing disabilities, including:

  • Guest Relations loans assistive listening headsets for all shows and Shrek 4-D.
  • Sign language interpreting services available for no additional charge (reserve one week in advance)
  • Guest relations offers scripts for dialogue in shows
  • Phones with amplification located throughout park along with TDD for deaf guests
  • Caption monitoring available upon request in designated areas. Many queues have amplified audio for assisted listening

Vision Disabilities

If you have vision disabilities, you can get the following in Braille or large print:

  • Braille and large print for safety and guest information
  • Braille for show dialogue

Casts, Braces and Prosthetic Limbs

If you wear a cast or have braces or a prosthetic limb, there are some precautions and safety guidelines, including the following:

  • Cannot interfere with ride
  • Must fit in ride unit
  • Must not interfere with restraint
  • Casts are not recommended for some rides
  • Prosthetic limbs must be secured to prevent hazard or loss on Revenge of The Mummy, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, and Flight of the Hippogriff
  • You must be able to sit upright unassisted and be able to grip continuously with one upper extremity

Service Animals

Service animals are welcome in the park in all shows and restaurants.

There are service animal stations in the Upper Lot, Lower Lot and outside the park. Some attractions may accommodate service animals if there is adequate room/floor space.

Service animals are not allowed on the following rides/attractions:

  • Revenge of the Mummy
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey
  • Flight of the Hippogriff
  • The Walking Dead

Other Safety or Medical Warnings

Each ride or attraction has a safety information board at the entrance with warning signs regarding aspects of the ride that might affect other disabilities or medical issues such as:

  • Medical sensitivity to strobe lights
  • Medical sensitivity to fog effects
  • Motion sickness
  • Not for guests with heart conditions or abnormal blood pressure
  • History of neck and back problems
  • Fear of heights
  • Fear of enclosed spaces
  • Not recommended for patients who have had recent surgery

Many rides have loud noises, jarring movements, and enclosed spaces or have sensation of height. There is a guide for the icons/symbols in the Rider’s Guide: Rider Safety and Guests with Disabilities that tells you specific information (whether it is a fear of heights, sensitivity to fog and strobe effects, or to let you know if you can bring your service animal with you).

Cognitive or Other Unseen Disabilities or Medical Issues

Universal Studios Hollywood Guest Assistance Pass (GAP) - Adam with His Pass

Not every disability is visible nor is every case like another. That is why Universal Studios has other accommodations based on individual situations. Neither the Rider’s Guide nor the online information tells families how to plan for accommodations for special circumstances. But there is a Guest Assistance Pass (GAP) that can help with certain disabilities and medical conditions. They give out GAPs on an individual and limited basis at Guest Relations. The GAP allows people with certain cognitive disabilities or medical issues to avoid waiting in long lines by receiving a Return Time appointment to come back to Gate A of the attraction. You can read all about this service in our post on GAP at Universal Studios Hollywood. If your child has sensory issues or has trouble with loud noises or certain special effects, be sure to read through the Rider’s Guide in advance to determine which rides or attractions to avoid.

If someone in your group is sensitive to overheating, try planning your visit for late fall, winter or spring. Bring spray bottles, carry water, take breaks and take advantage of the fountains and water play area to stay cool. Soak Zone seating at Water World can be refreshing as well.

This is not a complete list of all special needs and disabilities, but we hope we have covered most of your concerns. If you are ever unsure of how to manage accommodations, the correct area to go to, or how to get assistance, just ask a Team Member in the park or hop into Guest Relations to get more information. Of course, you can always drop us a line in comments!

Related: Overview of the Universal Hollywood Guest Assistance Pass

Keep hopping! 

 

 

Keep hopping, Leap!
View Comments
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Sep 10, 2019 at 12:50 a.m. Susan Amann Says...

I have both total hips replaced and also left total knee replacement. Are all the rides safe for me

Reply
Sep 10, 2019 at 8:04 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Susan!

Guest Relations would have the most up-to-date information for you regarding which rides are safe for you. There are also safety signs outside of each ride, so be sure to check those out if you have any concerns before hopping on an attraction!

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jul 21, 2019 at 1:06 a.m. Roberta Ayres Says...

Can electric wheelchairs be reserved? One member of our party cannot walk the park so if she can't get the chair she needs, we can't prepay for tickets.

Reply
Jul 22, 2019 at 2:17 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Roberta!

Unfortunately, ECVs can't be reserved ahead of time. There are, however, some off-site rental companies in the area!

Leap

Reply
Jun 13, 2019 at 7:34 p.m. Ronnie Says...

HI my name is Ronnie I have a electric wheelchair does the studio tour have a wheelchair lift

Reply
Jun 19, 2019 at 6:15 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Ronnie,

There is a wheelchair ramp, however, you will need to transfer to a manual wheelchair due to the motion of the ride. The theme park will provide a manual wheelchair for this purpose.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
Jun 9, 2019 at 11:03 p.m. Jennifer Says...

My mom has a walker that can also be used as a wheelchair. Can she use this to stand in line and will a cast member hold it for her once she gets on a ride?

Reply
Jun 10, 2019 at 12:41 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jennifer!

It varies per ride. Some rides, she can use it in line, and others, a team member may refer her to a more accessible entrance. The team member will hold it for her while she rides and allow her all the time she needs to board.

Leap

Reply
Jun 2, 2019 at 10:04 p.m. Connie Garcia Says...

Hello,

My husband has torn ligaments in his knees. He is fine standing in line but his problem is going up and down stairs. Do all rides have stairs? If they do is there an alternate way to enter or walk up to the ride?

Reply
Jun 3, 2019 at 5:14 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Connie!

Be sure to talk to a team member. All rides have an option without stairs, although there may be ramps instead. Speaking with Guest Relations when you enter the park about his needs will be your best option, and they will help guide you in the best way to approach each ride to meet your husband's needs.

Leap

Reply
May 30, 2019 at 10:57 p.m. Dawn Moyes Says...

Hello,

My daughter broke her elbow and has a cast on her arm starting right below her shoulder all the way to her hand. Will she still be able to go on the rides with this cast?

Reply
May 27, 2019 at 12:56 a.m. Leah Says...

I have seen advertisement for golf cart rentals in the Orlando area. This would be helpful since more than one person in our party has trouble with walking for long periods of things.

Would you allow gold carts into the parks?

Reply
May 22, 2019 at 3:49 p.m. daniel Says...

Hello. I am not an American. I have a disabled card. I don’t need to take a wheelchair. Is there a discount on the purchase of Universal Studios tickets? If so, how to buy it (onsite or official website)

Reply
May 24, 2019 at 8:49 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Daniel!

No, unfortunately there is no discount available based on disability available at this time. However, you can check out the discount ticket options currently available here.

Leap

Reply
Apr 29, 2019 at 3:31 a.m. Mercy xamora Says...

I have fracture ribs. Are most rides shaky

Reply
Apr 29, 2019 at 9:16 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mercy!

Yes, the rides can have some unpredictable movement to them. We would not recommend riding with fractured ribs.

Leap

Reply
Apr 26, 2019 at 5:21 a.m. Virginia Catibog Says...

My daughter has her own wheelchair she has cp and none mobil. Are there rides for her with the wheelchair. Thanks

Reply
Apr 26, 2019 at 10:29 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Virginia!

She can ride in the wheelchair in Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem, Kung Fu Panda, Studio Tour (may need to transfer to a manual wheelchair), The Walking Dead and may stay in the chair for all shows. You would have to transfer her for other rides. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey has a special platform and loading area for people who need more time transferring to the ride.

Leap

Reply
Apr 25, 2019 at 11:36 a.m. Kayla Says...

I fractured my knee before our universal field trip will I still be able to go on roller coasters and all the rides with a cast on. The cast starts at mid thigh and has a bend at the knee but goes down to the foot.

Reply
Apr 26, 2019 at 10:28 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kayla!

As long as the cast fits comfortably in the ride unit and does not interfere with function of the ride restraints, this should be fine. Consult with a ride attendant if you run into any issues.

Leap

Reply
Feb 17, 2019 at 6:46 a.m. Valerie Says...

We are planning on going to universal in a couple of weeks and my dad has gout on his knee and he can't stand in place for a long time without his knee getting in severe pain. Do they allow you to skip ahead if he has his hadicap card with him?

Reply
Feb 21, 2019 at 5:28 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Valerie!

They handle all assistance on a case by case basis, so bring that card with him and give Guest Relations as much information as you are comfortable so they can come up with the best plan to assist your party.

Leap

Reply
Nov 12, 2018 at 5:55 a.m. Bella Aldaco Says...

hello planning to visit Universal studios with my son he is 16 years old and he has autism but I need to bring his wheelchair he has sensory issues and sensitive to loud noises. My question is about the GAPs pass for special needs what does it mean "return time appointment to come back to gate A" can you please explain to me this. Thank you ????

Reply
Nov 12, 2018 at 8:37 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Bella!

The "Return Time Appointment to Come Back to Gate A" refers to when you will return to the entrance of the ride for your shortened wait time. :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 29, 2018 at 9:18 p.m. Cathy Says...

Hi I will b arriving with an unfoidable walker an want to rent electric wheelchair where do u put walker for the day while I'm using wheelchair?

Reply
Oct 31, 2018 at 11:06 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Cathy!

They will store it for you :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 21, 2018 at 6:55 p.m. Rebecca Says...

Hiya,

I have temporary knee brace to secure my knee when walking. I can bend my knee ok when wearing it, it just stops it from twisting. Will I be ok for the rides?

Thanks

Becks

Reply
Oct 24, 2018 at 9:26 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Rebecca!

Some of the rides can be pretty intense, so it just depends on what you're comfortable with. We recommend chatting with your doctor :)

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Oct 10, 2018 at 6:46 p.m. Jodi Says...

The park is too large for my old aching back! I am pretty limited after an hour. Can you bring in your own mobility device? Can it be an electric scooter? Are there places to park them?

Reply
Oct 12, 2018 at 10:39 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Jodi!

Yes, yes and YES! No worries. You can bring your electric scooter and there are plenty of areas to park them.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 21, 2018 at 4:50 p.m. Vini Shah Says...

My mom has never drove a electric wheelchair so would it be comfortable for her to drive as in will she be to easily settle into the wheelchair?

Reply
Sep 27, 2018 at 6:06 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Vini!

It's tough to offer our input ... this depends on what your mom is comfortable with. We recommend stopping by guest services to inquire about your options and perhaps give the wheelchair a try.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 17, 2018 at 3:42 a.m. Yahir Garcia Says...

What about crutches ? Will it interfere with anything, are you restricted to get on rides ?

Reply
Sep 17, 2018 at 10:36 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi there!

The crutches are not an issue, as the concern is more focused on what you need the crutches for. You'll want to make sure you're in good enough shape to tackle some of the rougher rides.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Sep 1, 2018 at 3:49 p.m. Lynne Says...

I have a heart condition that means I won’t be able to go on any rides. Is there a reduced price ticket for someone like me who is going just to be with extended family

Reply
Sep 4, 2018 at 10:20 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Lynne!

There is not a discounted ticket for your circumstances, but be sure to stop by guest services upon arrival to see if any accommodations can be made for you.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Jun 3, 2018 at 7:48 p.m. Kaden Says...

Is there a place to leave your wheelchair while you're on a ride? Like, if I were going to go on The Mummy, I am able to leave my wheelchair to get in the ride. But would I be able to leave my wheelchair similar to someone leaving a stroller at a ride entrance? I really don't want my wheelchair to get taken or anything, haha.

Reply
Jun 6, 2018 at 11:25 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Kaden!

Yes. You can use the wheelchair line entrance to access rides and they will give you a safe place to park your chair while you ride.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 30, 2018 at 4:37 a.m. Stephanie Says...

Hi was wondering how much it cost for someone who is blind to get in to the park

Reply
May 30, 2018 at 9:57 p.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Stephanie!

We believe it is the standard general admission, but recommend reaching out to Universal at 800-864-8377 for details.

Keep hopping!

Leap

Reply
May 8, 2018 at 2:13 a.m. Mary Kelley Says...

Need a motorized wheelchair for tomorrow can we order it tonight?

Reply
May 8, 2018 at 8:54 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mary Kelley!

We recommend heading to guest services upon arrival.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
May 8, 2018 at 2:12 a.m. Mary Kelley Says...

Coming to your park tomorrow can we preorder one for 5/8/2017

Reply
May 8, 2018 at 8:54 a.m. FrogBlog Says...

Hi Mary Kelley!

We recommend heading to guest services upon arrival.

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

Reply
Dec 8, 2017 at 7:29 p.m. Kelly Sexson Says...

How can I reserve a wheelchair now for a specific date?

Reply
Nov 20, 2017 at 5:21 p.m. Celia Gonzales Says...

Thank you for the helpful info about wheelchairs and other aids. Helped a lot

Reply
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