David Lyons-Black | Flight Centre Independent | Home Based Travel Agent
Flight Centre Associates

David Lyons-Black

604 767 3037

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Posted on: Thursday June 18, 2015
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Guess Who Made My Recommended Accessible Travel List?

In my previous blog, I told you all about the hard, hard work we were undertaking down in Southern California;)  Despite the tongue in cheek comment, we crammed in an amazing amount of work into our five day adventure.  The best part? We rediscovered our 10 year old selves through our experiences in some of the most fun and happy places around.
Our travel down was uneventful.  The journey from the airport to the aircraft and then transfer to the hotel in Anaheim was smooth sailing.  The shuttle busses were ADA compliant** and this in itself is a relief at the end of a travel day.  ** ADA is the American with Disabilities Act and it prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities.  Learn more here http://1.usa.gov/1irFkMu

Below is a bit of a review of our trip with some handy key tips.
Someone’s gotta do it
We undertook an astonishing nine hotel inspections!  Inspections give us travel professionals a chance to see what locations have to offer in terms of rooms, amenities, food etc.  We assess cleanliness, location to attractions, available ADA features, staff knowledge of local area and customer service.  As mentioned in the last blog – this is a fantastic opportunity for us to gain knowledge to serve our clients better and offer feedback to our hotel partners.  On this trip, the majority of our partners were fully ADA compliant including their pool and hot tub access.
Along with the hotel inspections comes reviewing food and drinks, shopping and cool hang out spots.  Just another wonderful reason to work in the travel industry.  Every location was top notch – I can tell by the loosening of my belt notches!  Who can possibly go to Southern California and miss an outlet mall?  Not us – not only does Outlets at Orange have great stores it also boasts a game centre enjoyable for both adults and kids.  Lastly, we got to sit back and relax at the Packing House one afternoon.  For you Vancouverites, think Granville Island.  The Packing House is the site of the original Sunkist factory.  A special treat for us weary travellers.
Oh, the parks!
Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm and Universal Studios were all a great experience.  A special shout out to their staff – so friendly and helpful!  Key tip - Ride operators know the accessible program better than anyone – if in doubt, ask one of their knowledgeable team.  
  • Stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel – the convenience factor is huge.  You can also be first in then the last out of the park.
  • All rides are accessible - some rides have these awesome transfer boards making the move over onto the ride and back into your chair way easier. 
  • Head to customer service to receive the special pass that allows you to enter through the exit gates of the rides. Key tip - entering the ride this way helps you avoid the turnstile/mobility aid wrestling issue.
  • At this park there is no maximum size to your party – everyone travelling with you, can ride with you. With your pass head to the front of the line and if the wait time will be more than an hour, the ride attendant will let you know when to return.  For travellers with disabilities it is usually half the regular waiting time too. Example, so an hour wait = return time of 30 minutes. 
  • Getting on and off the ride – Key tip - you or your travel companions must assist with transferring onto the ride – park staff are not allowed to provide this level of assistance. 
  • My fave ride - Magic Mountain!
Knotts Berry Farm 
  • Once at the park head to customer service and you will receive a blue pass.
  • All rides are accessible even the train which is equipped with a lift.
  • Ride attendants will advise you on wait times and when to return (again times are cut in half). 
  • Unless you have small children travelling with you, they limit your party in the line up to one other person.
  • My fave ride – Timber Mountain
Universal Studios
  • Same process as the other parks – head to customer service kiosk to receive pass.
  • You are guaranteed a spot at the front of the line.
  • Rides equipped with transfer boards made transferring into the ride extra easy. 
  • Party maximum is dependent on the busyness of the park.
  • My fave ride – The Mummy was epic!
Many, many thanks everyone but especially to:
Wyndham Anaheim Garden Grove
Hilton Anaheim
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa
Anaheim Orange County Visitor & Convention Centre
Christine Carlson & Allegiant Air
Hotels?  Check.  Transportation? Check.  Food?  Check.  Fun?  Hell yes. 
While my colleagues and I are still recuperating from our crazy five days, Anaheim is definitely on my accessible travel recommendation list.  They have worked very hard to ensure the smallest of details are attended to so all you and your party need to focus on is having an incredible time.  Go with an open mind and have fun!  California is open to accessible travel.

In travel,

C 604-767-3037
E david.lyons-black@fcatravel.ca
W http://www.flightcentreassociates.com/DavidLyons-Black
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Laughing at Medieval Times


The group

Universal Studios

David Lyons-Black

Langley, British Columbia

Contact Number:
604 767 3037

Alternate Number:
778 783 4158


About David:

I run my personal travel business in partnership with a company known throughout Canada for wonderful travel experiences at amazing prices - Flight Centre

Contact David

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  • phone 604 767 3037
  • Alternate Number: 778 783 4158
  • email david.lyons-black@fcitravel.ca
  • web flightcentreindependent.ca/DavidLyons-Black
  • address Langley, British Columbia, Canada