debi dame

About the Author

debi is a retired school support person, mother and grandmother who still loves riding roller coasters. Living on Florida's West Coast, she has been an Annual Passholder at Universal for 16 years along with her husband and disabled daughter. She is also a 31-year veteran of local craft shows, making and selling Christmas ornaments, polymer clay jewelry and quilts.

Special needs are Universal: Maneuvering a wheelchair through the parks, finding elevator access & companion bathrooms

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Welcome to the next edition of our Special Needs Are Universal column, featuring questions and answers to help those with disabilities plan their day at Orlando’s theme parks. Our ultimate goal is to give families the confidence to enjoy all there is to do across this amazing vacation destination! My heroes are those who do not let their disabilities keep them from living life, and this is why it’s so important to me to provide information through the Special needs are Universal … [Read more...]

Special needs are Universal: Guest’s visit ruined by poor planning – how it could have easily been prevented

Special Needs 1000

Welcome to the next edition of our Special needs are Universal column, featuring questions and answers to help those with disabilities plan their day at Orlando’s theme parks. Our ultimate goal is to give families the confidence to enjoy all there is to do across this amazing vacation destination! In today's post, I'm going to take our discussion in a slightly different direction. Instead of answering a specific question from a reader, I'd like to take this opportunity to discuss a … [Read more...]

Special needs are Universal: Traveling with two disabled children – how to best prepare for Universal Orlando?

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Welcome to Special Needs Are Universal, a column devoted to helping those with disabilities or who have disabled family or friends. There are many sites available on the internet, but Orlando Informer is the first that has the best information available for both disabled and non-disabled guests. There is no need to jump from place to place to find knowledge about Universal Orlando Resort - it’s all right here. And it seems that Orlando Informer has become a popular go-to site for … [Read more...]

Special needs are Universal: Are the “horror stories” about disabled families visiting Universal Orlando true?

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Welcome to the next edition of our Special Needs Are Universal column, featuring questions and answers to help those with disabilities plan their day at Orlando’s theme parks. Our ultimate goal is to give families the confidence to enjoy all there is to do across this amazing vacation destination! Punxsutawney Phil has decreed that there will certainly be six more weeks of winter, but people are already making their plans to visit Universal Orlando Resort this year. Those with disabled … [Read more...]

Special needs are Universal: A review of how we can help disabled families, visiting the parks with cystic fibrosis, First Aid locations

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Welcome to the first edition of Special Needs Are Universal for 2014.  To start out the year, I'd like to remind our readers that Orlando Informer already has a considerable amount of information to help disabled families plan their visit to Orlando's theme parks -- including over 20 of our SNAU blog posts and the only page we know of that provides complete details for Universal's Attraction Assistance Pass -- and I am very happy that I have been able to play an important role in this … [Read more...]

Special needs are Universal: Autism & food allergy concerns for first-time Universal Orlando guests, Disney contact information for disability issues

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In this edition of Special Needs Are Universal, I would like to share a couple of the newest questions and comments I've received from readers. I want to thank all of you who have taken the time to write to me about your experiences at both Universal Orlando and Disney World this year. The disabled community truly does have needs that sometimes can only be understood by others in the same boat. We can help each other find ways to enjoy what the parks have to offer in a world that wasn’t … [Read more...]

Special needs are Universal: Disabled parking permits for Int’l visitors, new USF companion restrooms, changes to Universal’s attraction assistance policy

Special Needs 800

Welcome to the next edition of our Special Needs Are Universal column, featuring questions and answers to help those with disabilities plan their day at Orlando’s theme parks. Our ultimate goal is to give families the confidence to enjoy all there is to do across this amazing vacation destination! This week I’d like to bring you up to date with some new information of particular interest for disabled theme park guests visiting Universal Studios Florida and Islands of … [Read more...]

Disney’s Disability Access Service (DAS): First-hand experience & in-depth analysis of the new system

Walt Disney World's Disability Access Service card - 2013.

As promised, my family and I were at Epcot when the new Disability Access Service (DAS) card rolled out Wednesday, October 9. Over the last few days I have been in contact with others in the disabled community to see how their first contact visits with Guest Relations progressed. Below I will explain the new pass as well as provide my initial experiences and my analysis. As I've mentioned in my previous article, Disney's new accessibility program was initiated to address the pervasive abuse of … [Read more...]

Disability Access Service (DAS) to replace Guest Assistance Card (GAC) at Walt Disney World

Guest Assistance Cards at Disneyland & Disney World.

Welcome to the newest edition of Special Needs are Universal, featuring questions and answers to help those with disabilities plan their visit to Orlando’s theme parks. Our ultimate goal is to give families the confidence to enjoy all there is to do across this amazing vacation destination! As you may have already heard on local news casts, Disney is dropping the Guest Assistance Card (GAC) for disabled/wheelchair entry on rides and attractions at Walt Disney World, Disneyland and … [Read more...]

Special needs are Universal: Prepare for Halloween Horror Nights, important AAP & GAP news

Special needs are Universal.

Welcome to the newest edition of Special Needs Are Universal, featuring questions and answers to help those with disabilities plan their visit to Orlando’s theme parks. Our ultimate goal is to give families the confidence to enjoy all there is to do across this amazing vacation destination! All the buzz right now is about Halloween Horror Nights 2013, so it only stands to reason that we are now receiving questions about the event. Even disabled guests visiting Universal Orlando LOVE to … [Read more...]

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