So Josh and I attempted a trip to Paris and Disneyland.
For those playing at home, my mate Josh uses a wheelchair, which can prove troublesome to move around in a place like the French capital where much of its infrastructure was built before disabled people existed.
The biggest trouble we found (other than the odd times cobblestones reared its ugly head) was accessing public transport. Some train stations are above ground without lifts built into their design. The bus network is not fully accessible, but is a better alternative than the metro – you need to do a fair bit of research if you do require particular assistance to get around.
With very little information widely known, it can be just as tricky to ask people for help. We posed a number of questions to the people manning reception at our hostel without much luck and simple searches online came to very little as well.
Prior to arriving we had mapped out how to travel from the Eurostar terminal (Gare du Nord) to our hostel, which was about a 20-25 minute walk/push, but trying to get in to see the sights from our accommodation was a lot harder.
Perhaps it was persistence and a bit of luck, that we figured it was easier to catch an accessible bus from Gare du Nord station to the Arc de Triumph and then on to the Eiffel Tower. That was about as much as we saw on our first (and only) day in Paris.
Our second was far less frustrating. With some planning beforehand we discovered the easiest way to get out to Disneyland Paris was an Uber to Nation station (accessible) then the RER A4 line to the last stop, Marne-la-Vallee – Chessy (for Parcs Disneyland). A tip for Nation station is that it has multiple entries but only one lift access from ground level, which is not that well marked out.
Disneyland itself, on the other hand, could not be any more accommodating for people with disabilities. The park has barely any steps, wheelchair users are treated with great respect and have privileges that day-walkers envy – namely skipping lines and instant access to rides. You really are in the happiest place on earth. It was my fourth Disneyland trip (second in Paris) and just as fun as every time I had gone as a kid. So if you are looking for something accessible to do while in Paris, I highly recommend a day with Mickey Mouse and Disneyland.
Filmed on: GoPro 3 Hero black.
Music provided by Free Background Music:
O M II N – Long Journey
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