Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Disneyland: Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

Date of Visit: March 10, 2011

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters is our all time favorite ride at Disneyland.  We have been enjoying it since they were soft testing it and officially opened it during our March 2005 trip.  It is the first ride we ever went on with Mik staying in his wheelchair, as back then Mik was still not that big and Dad would always transfer him to whatever rides we wanted to go on.  At first Mik liked to go on this as a transfer, but he soon discovered that the wheelchair vehicle is much better as he does not have to try to sit up in the ride vehicle and instead can focus on trying to get a good score.

As a newer ride, the whole Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters queue is wheelchair accessible.  Right before you get to the normal loading area there is a door with a wheelchair logo sign.  I have noticed there is an automatic button next to it, but I always just push Mik into the door and open it that way.  There is always a cast member there to tell you to go through there and often a cast member at the start of the line to make sure you know how to get to the wheelchair boarding area (really the unloading area).  Note that the door into it from the line opens right into the path of people exiting the ride, so open it slowly to avoid hitting or running into people exiting the ride.

Sometimes you have to wait awhile for the wheelchair vehicle to get around again, but even in busy times we have never had to wait longer than for it to get around.  This is because even when their are other wheelchairs it is often people who can or choose to transfer out and they are loaded pretty much as they get there (they still can slow or stop the moving sidewalk/ride for those transferring).

For the wheelchair vehicle they stop the ride and the back of the vehicle folds down to form with the space behind it that unfolds into a ramp to roll into the vehicle.  I have heard some say the turn to get in is tight and can be hard, but we have never had a problem.  The wheelchair can ride by themselves or to the left side with another person riding on the right.  The other person sits on a little seat that folds down.  It is somewhat of a tight spot, but it has never bothered me.  It certainly would not work to have someone ride with those with wider wheelchairs or bigger companions, but you can always ride in the vehicle behind the wheelchair one instead.

Since the ride has to stop to unload the wheelchair, they often ask if we want to go around a second time if no one else is waiting for the wheelchair vehicle.  We love doing this, but it is usually just Mik and I or just people in the one vehicle behind us.  I certainly doubt they would do this for those in larger groups taking up multiple regular vehicles.  Also, it is always up to the cast member and we certainly do not mind getting off and having to get back in line to do it again, as Mik's hands get tired after about one and a half times through in a row.  Plus, you sometimes miss being able to find your first photo at the end if you go around again.

Text by Kjersti with Mik's wheelchair accessibility input

Destination Info:
Disneyland
1313 South Harbor Boulevard
Anaheim, CA 92802

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