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Disabled at Disney: Enjoying the Magic with a Knee Injury?

When I injured my knee stopping my trips to Disney was not an option. Instead, I had to learn what I could and could not do with my knee injury in order to make the most of the magic while I was there. Even though there have been frustrations along the way with my new limitations I’ve learned a lot that has helped me have a good time.

Enjoying Disney World with a Knee Injury | Can I still ride the rides?

I’ll admit that I have not been able to experience all of the rides since my knee injury. Some just don’t have enough space, are too hard to get in and out of or just put my knee at a painful angle. What’s surprised me are the rides I can and can’t do.

E-ticket rides like Big Thunder Mountain, Expedition Everest, and Tower of Terror are all very easy to get on and off and enjoy. Some of the rides that I was able to get on but experienced pain on were Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Splash Mountain. 

Any ride that I had to step down to get into became a challenge and depending on the ride some I could not ride at all. I would never have guessed that Small World would be harder to ride than Thunder Mountain! However, if you need an accessible boat, Small World does have one in rotation you can wait for. Even riding Kilimanjaro Safari can be tough as the bumpy ride can send jolts of pain from my knee through my leg.

On some rides I had to learn the best place to sit, for example, I can ride It’s a Small World comfortably in the front row middle, where there is a little extra legroom. But riding Frozen Ever After the back row works best for me because there is more room to maneuver my leg into the boat because of my limited bend. When in doubt ask the cast members if there is a difference in rows or seats to see which might be easiest for you to get in and out of. 

Looking at Rides Park by Park

Magic Kingdom Ride Reports with a Knee Injury

At Magic Kingdom I’ve still been able to enjoy most of the experiences, I’ll break the rides down into three categories: 1. rides I can do with no problem; 2. rides that were challenges and 3. rides I can’t do.

Rides I Can Do With No Problem:

  • Carousel of Progress
  • Main Street Vehicles
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover
  • Enchanted Tiki Room
  • Walt Disney World Railroad (Only going on an accessible car)
  • The Hall of Presidents
  • Haunted Mansion
  • Tom Sawyer Island
  • Liberty Belle Riverboat
  • Mickey’s Philharmagic
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Enchanted Tales With Belle
  • Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor

Rides that were challenges:

  • The Jungle Cruise
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Splash Mountain
  • It’s a Small World
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Rides I can’t do

  • Swiss Family Treehouse – too many steps
  • Prince Charming Regal Carousel – cannot get on and off the horse safely
  • The Barnstormer – the car is too small for my legs to bend comfortably
  • Astro Orbiter – cannot get in and out of the car
  • Space Mountain – cannot get in and out of the car
  • Tomorrowland Speedway – cannot get in and out of the car

Animal Kingdom Ride Reports with a Knee Injury

The nice thing about Animal Kingdom is I can enjoy all of the animal treks at my own pace. Sadly, however, I still have not been able to try the rides in Avatar Land because of the angle your knee has to be in to ride Flight of Passage and the step down for Na’vi River Journey.

Rides I Can Do With No Problem:

  • It’s Tough to Be a Bug
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Expedition Everest
  • Up! A Great Bird Adventure
  • Finding Nemo the Musical
Enjoying a close up of Zebras on Kilimanjaro Safari, limited leg room made this one a challenge but not impossible.

Rides that were challenges:

Rides I can’t do:

  • Avatar Flight of Passage – Unable to bend my knee into the right position to ride
  • Na’Vi River Journey – boats do not have enough room for my leg to bend 
  • Kali River Rapids- too slippery both in and out of boat
  • Dinosaur- too rough, causes leg pain
  • Primeval Whirl- seats are too low to get in and out of

EPCOT Ride Reports with a Knee Injury

Test Track was a challenge to get in and out of 

EPCOT involves a lot of walking, which in itself is a problem, but there are plenty of places to take breaks and sit for a little while and most of the rides are pretty friendly to my knee issue. 

Rides I Can Do With No Problem:

  • Spaceship Earth
  • Journey Into Imagination
  • Soarin
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • The Friendship Boats

Rides I need help getting in and out of:

  • Test Track
  • Livin’ With the Land
  • Grand Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros
  • Frozen Ever After

Rides I can’t do:

  • Mission: Space – space is too small and spinning action causes pain

Hollywood Studios Ride Reports with a Knee Injury

With rides closing and new rides opening Hollywood Studios has been an adventure in what I can and cannot do. My favorite ride is the Tower of Terror and as long as I ride in the front row on the right side in the middle I can do it with no problem. Sometimes it’s just knowing where you can ride that makes the experience accessible. 

Rides I Can Do With No Problem:

  • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
  • The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid
  • Toy Story Mania
  • Slinky Dog Dash
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular 
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

Rides that were challenges

  • Alien Swirling Saucers

Rides I can’t do:

  • Rock ‘n Roller Coaster – too low to get in and out of car
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – ride is too rough and causes leg pain

Disabled at Disney: Reminders

The important thing before trying a ride at any of the parks is to ask a cast member if you’re not sure. Tell them what you’re limitations are and ask if there are any options for helping you to enjoy the attraction. and even as you are getting on the ride if you feel it is not going to be comfortable let them know and sit that one out.

The most important things to remember about enjoying the magic when you’re disabled at Disney are: 

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Hi, I’m Julie! My motto is “Adventure is out there and nothing is impossible”. I love all things Disney, from parks to movies, and even runDisney. I’ll be sharing my love and experiences of Disney as well as places out and about in Florida. I hope you enjoy the journey with me! Follow more of my journeys on Instagram

Thank You for Spreading the Pixie Dust!