Thursday, January 5, 2012

Chat With a Disney Guru - Disney On Wheels

New weekly series!

Welcome to a great new way to compare notes, pick up some helpful tips for your next Disney visit, and discover some fantastic Disney bloggers!  Each week I will be highlighting an interview with a certified, pixie dusted fan of The Mouse.  

WARNING:  Their enthusiasm for all things Disney is, in fact, quite contagious!  So come along for the ride with us ... you may learn something new, and it's sure to put a smile on your face as you read about the good, the really really good, and the "you absolutely can't miss this...."!

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This week: Disney On Wheels

Tell us a little about you, and your website (blog).
My blog is Disney on Wheels. My main focus is to help wheelchair users learn about accessibility at Walt Disney World. I cover how accessible attractions are and share tips that I have picked up over the years. But my blog also has information about Disney Dining, including tips for vegetarians, shopping, and other general Disney information.
Which is your favorite Disney Park, and why?
This is a tough one! Right now I would have to say that my favorite is the Animal Kingdom. We can spend an entire day there without even riding the attractions. There are so many cool trails to explore and we love the shows.

Top 3 characters you’d like to meet on an ideal day at Disney.
I love meeting Tigger. We couldn’t get him to stop bouncing when we met him in November. Chip and Dale are also really fun. Dale kept sticking his finger in my husbands ear. We have some really cute photos with them. I also love meeting Cinderella’s stepsisters, Drizella and Anastasia. Meeting them all in the same day would make for an interesting experience!

Your 3 favorite Disney attractions, and why you love them. 
1. Toy Story Mania
This attraction is so easy to board if you use a wheelchair. There is also a separate loading area that makes the process really easy. I am also a competitive person so its fun playing against my husband, especially when I win. :)
2. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 
This has always been one of my favorites. There is a transfer access vehicle on one of the trains that make transferring onto the ride vehicle pretty easy. How can you not love the wildest ride in the wilderness!
3. The Haunted Mansion 
Hands down, my favorite attraction at Walt Disney World. I’ve loved this attraction since I was a kid and I cannot begin to tell you how happy I was that they reimagined the queue so that wheelchairs could enter the stretch room.

Favorite time of the year to visit?
Most people avoid crowds, we avoid the heat. We went during Spring Break one year. The crowds were heavy but it was bearable because the weather was in the 70s and it wasn’t humid. Plus we had a touring plan. When we went in September, the crowds were not as bad but it was so hot and humid we had to change clothes mid day. Don’t get me wrong, I love an empty park but I would choose cooler weather any day.

The Park snack your day is not complete without.
I have two. First is the Dole Whip. Second, I don’t know why but I think the popcorn in the Magic Kingdom tastes better than any other popcorn. I know its probably in my head but who cares! We always get popcorn on Main Street to eat before and during the parade. Its one of our traditions.

Favorite Character Meal?
The last time I had a character meal was in 1997 at the Crystal Palace and had a great time. We are not really buffet people so a lot of the character meals don’t interest us because of that. But I would love to eat in Cinderella’s Castle one day.

Top 3 Disney Property restaurants you like to eat at.
This is another tough one! These change a lot but right now:
1. 50’s Prime Time Cafe
I love the experience and the themeing of the restaurant. They also now have spaghetti with vegetarian meatballs. It was really good! 
2. Tangierine Cafe, Morocco Pavilion
They have an awesome vegetarian platter that is big enough to share.
3. Jiko, Animal Kingdom Lodge
So far this has been my favorite signature dining experience. They have great vegetarian options and dessert was divine. I cannot recommend Jiko enough.

How do you keep the Pixie Dust flying at home, in between trips?
Blogging helps. We also have photos of our Disney trips displayed in our house and a few souvenirs out. I also love reading other Disney blogs. I always learn something new and find new things to try on the next trip.

Any tips for people planning their 1st trip to Disney?
Have a plan. There is so much to do at Disney you really need to have an idea of what is most important to you. I ask people what does a Disney vacation mean to you? When you figure that out you know what to prioritize. 

How long have you been blogging about Disney?
I started my blog in January 2011. I have been a Disney fan my entire life so I decided to put that love into my blog. 
Do you take your own pictures, and if so – any tips for getting good shots?
I take some of my photos but my husband takes a lot of them. He is my “staff photographer”. hahaha I am lucky to have a supportive partner that wants to help me. My advice would be to read and study photography. Its not just about the type of camera you use. A website I really like is

Where do you find inspiration for blog topics to feature?
I get a lot of my inspiration when I am at Walt Disney World.  I keep a notebook with me so when inspiration strikes I can write it down. Otherwise I would forget it before I got home.

What is your motivation to keep blogging – or any final advice to share?
Walt Disney World is huge and there is so much information out there for people with disabilities. I want to help them navigate that information so they can have a magical vacation. I have gotten a few e-mails saying that information on my blog has helped so I want to continue getting the information out there and help more families.
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A big thank you to Disney On Wheels for sharing her insights!
Find more great photos and posts here:

Read more on these other Disney guru posts:


  1. Great post... And I totally agree with the need for a Dole Whip.

  2. Melissa is so great and I love her blog! As i read through your interview, I realized I have never eaten at any of your top 3 dining spots! I will have to change that next trip!

  3. following back through NSM Monday Hop!

  4. Great post Melissa! Tangerine Cafe is one of my favorites too!!

  5. Thanks for stoping by my blog. I'm your newest follower. Disney, who doesn't love Disney. Im in CA, so I have Disneyland and Disneys California Adventure. Very fun to go visit.

  6. Now I think I need to change my reservation from Boma to Jiko... my list continues to grow of things I want to see, do and eat at WDW!!



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