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Universal Orlando: Complete Guide to Attraction Assistance for Special-Needs Families

Universal offers the Universal Orlando Resort Guide for Rider Safety and Accessibility for all guests to become familiar with attraction restrictions and requirements that are necessary for riding, as well as certain ride elements that not everyone may be able to enjoy (e.g., those who are prone to motion sickness). This guide not only covers those with disabilities but also provides information on height restrictions, restraint systems, and other topics that may be of use to visitors. (If you prefer a hard copy, this can be obtained at Guest Services.)

It’s important to note that Universal Orlando Resort recently changed the process to obtain an Attractions Assistance Pass, which we dive into below.

Skip to: Accessibility overview | How to use the Attractions Assistance Pass | Mobility access at attractions | Prosthesis | Oxygen Tanks | Cognitive Disabilities | Hearing Disabilities | Vision Disabilities

What accessibility accommodations are available at Universal Orlando?

Note: the assistance pass program described below is specifically intended for guests whose disability prevents them from waiting in a conventional queue environment. If this does not apply, you can return to our OI Center for over 300 other pages of vacation-planning resources.

Universal Orlando Resort offers accommodations and alternative ways to experience these world-class theme parks with a special need or disability.

If you or a family member require assistance for a disability or special need, head to prior to your visit to apply for an IBCCES Individual Accessibility Card (IAC). Registration for the IBCCES Individual Accessibility Card involves uploading the necessary documentation at least 48 hours before your visit.

Once all of the requirements are met for the IBCCES Individual Accessibility Card, a Universal Orlando Team Member will contact the cardholder regarding their request for an attraction queue accommodation. 

Only the IBCCES can issue the IBCCES Individual Accessibility Card. Universal Orlando Resort cannot issue this credential. 

Here’s a video from IBCCES that describes the process of obtaining the IBCCES Individual Accessibility Card:

Do I need a doctor’s note to request a disability pass at Universal Orlando?

When applying for the IBCCES Individual Accessibility Card, you will need to provide documentation showing your needs or accessibility supports during the registration process. 

Once requirements are met for the IBCCES Individual Accessibility Card are met, a Universal Orlando Team Member will contact the applicant regarding their request for an attraction queue accommodation. 

Your needs may require the issue of an Attraction Assistance Pass (AAP). This card contains a bar code for scanning at the rides and folds to fit into the pocket of a lanyard. If the Attraction Assitance Pass is for a child that uses a stroller in lieu of a wheelchair, make sure you request documentation in Guest Services, which will allow you to take your stroller into the queues wherever they are accessible to wheelchairs.

Keep your Attraction Assistance Pass handy, because you will need to show it to the team member at the entrance of each attraction. Since these passes will have to be shown often, they were designed to fit in the convenient and easy-to-use standard plastic pockets of Universal lanyards that are worn by many guests. (Just remember to stow the lanyard pocket in your shirt or top before riding coasters or other rough rides!)

Be aware that the AAP is a return-time pass and is not necessarily meant for immediate entry on the rides. Additionally, other accommodations may be available as determined by Universal’s Guest Services. Finally, if you are an annual passholder, the pass can be issued for up to 14 consecutive days, so you will not have to return to Guest Services within that time period. Otherwise, it’s issued for the length of your stay.

Note: Attraction Assistance Passes are only accepted at Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure; Volcano Bay employs the use of TapuTapu, a Virtual Line system. (And, now, with Virtual Lines becoming more prevalent post-COVID, the pass’s handling at the two theme parks has become a bit closer to that of the water park’s. Speaking of which…)

How does the Attraction Assistance Pass work at Universal Orlando?

The process looks a little like this:

  • Present your AAP to the greeter at the attraction that you would like to experience.
  • If the posted wait time is less than 30 minutes, you will be directed towards an alternative queue, which may be the Express Pass line, the ride’s exit, or, possibly, a different route.
  • If the posted wait time is 30 minutes or more, the employee will write in a specific time to return to that attraction on the reverse side of the pass.
  • Once it is your time to return, present your AAP to the team member at the ride, and you will be directed to the alternative-queue entrance.
  • After you have experienced the attraction, you may use your Attraction Assistance Pass to obtain a return time at another ride.

Note: Generally, you may only have one active AAP return-time reservation at a time. This means that, if you receive a reservation at one attraction, then choose to get a second reservation at another ride without having used your first, you forfeit the earlier reservation. You may, however, experience any attraction with a wait time of less than 30 minutes without losing your current reservation.

If you have purchased Express Passes or are staying at one of the Universal Orlando hotels that offer them as a perk in lieu of a disability pass, you will also need to speak to a Team Member to nab a spot at Hagrid’s Magical Creatures Motorbike AdventurePteranodon Flyers, or The Bourne Stuntacular (since they don’t accept Express).

How accessible is Universal Orlando Resort?

Very! Universal has been committed to making sure that its resort is ADA compliant. Both wheelchairs and ECVs are available to rent, and all Universal parks, CityWalk, restaurants, restrooms, and hotels are wheelchair and/or ECV accessible, with elevators or ramps typically available wherever there are stairs.

Attraction queues are wheelchair accessible, and queues have been adjusted to meet or exceed ADA standards. Ramps are built at the recommended incline, and there are courtesy manual wheelchairs available for use by ECV riders (or for those using canes, walkers, crutches, or other mobility aids who need assistance in the queues). Many ride platforms or ride vehicles have also been adapted for easier transfer, and if mobility aids cannot be taken on a ride, they are held by team members and returned when the rider disembarks. (Please see the Universal Guide for Rider Safety and Accessibility and Universal’s Volcano Water Theme Park’s Guide for Rider Safety and Accessibility for more information.)

What about stairs in ride queues at Universal Orlando?

The following rides utilize stairs as part of their queue experience, but elevators are available and may be used by any guest with mobility or health-related issues – simply speak with a team member, who will help you find the closest one. Entrances to shows will be marked with universal “disabled” signs – use these if you can’t climb or descend stairs.

Some attractions load guests from both sides of a ride vehicle. This usually means that the queues will have stairs that may go over the ride track, so you may need the use of the elevator. Those who do use the elevator are automatically sent to the side of the track that doesn’t need to use steps. If you can’t climb/descend stairs or are using a wheelchair, ECV, or stroller with a “stroller as a wheelchair” card, make sure you inform the employee that you will need to return from the same side of the track from which you are boarding. This is also important if you have parked your ride outside the building, as they won’t have any way of knowing you will need this assistance.

On all rides, make sure the attendant knows you’ll need your wheelchair/stroller on the platform for use when you disembark the ride vehicle. (Again, the use of stroller in this guide only refers to those who have received the “stroller as a wheelchair” designation from Guest Services.)

Universal Studios Florida

  • The Simpsons Ride – although there are stairs to get to the upper levels of the ride, wheelchairs/ECVs/strollers – or those with mobility issues – will be sent to a ramp that’s used for entry and exit.
  • Men in Black Alien Attack – there are stairs here, but those with mobility issues may use the elevator. This ride does allow ECVs in the Express Pass queue. Follow the directions of the employee, who will ask you to leave the ECV parked by the child swap room before you use the elevator. Courtesy wheelchairs are available, as is a special device for riders who must remain in a wheelchair.
  • Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts – the queue has stairs after you exit Gringotts Bank’s “lift,” but an attendant is waiting to direct wheelchair riders (or those who can’t use the steps) to the (real) elevator.
  • The Hogwarts Express – King’s Cross Station – this attraction requires that you have a park-to-park ticket, so have it ready to be scanned as you enter the station. Steps are used in the queue – speak to a team member if you can’t climb them so she can show you to the elevator. ECVs are transported in specific ADA compartments on the train, but riders still must transfer to a seat or courtesy wheelchair.
  • Revenge of the Mummy – once in the darkened part of the queue (i.e., the catacombs), keep watch for a gate with the universal disabled sign – an employee  will help you through and direct you to the elevator. You will exit via a ramp into the gift shop.
  • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon – wheelchairs/strollers can go through the waiting rooms to the ride platform, but ECVs will have to be parked outside (designated parking is to the right of the entrance). Riders will have to transfer to a manual wheelchair, and there is an elevator to the second-floor waiting room.

Islands of Adventure

  • The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride – team members will direct you to the elevator to access the loading platform. The exit is via a ramp.
  • The Hogwarts Express – Hogsmeade Station – as with the instructions for King’s Cross Station, have your park-to-park ticket ready to be scanned. Stairs are also used in this queue, but you know the drill – asked to be shown to the elevator, if necessary. And since the train itself is the same, the identical riding procedure is in place, with the special compartments and need to transfer to a seat or manual wheelchair.
  • Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey – this ride is wheelchair-accessible via a series of ramps, but the main loading platform features a quick-moving walkway. If you’re unable to use it, just tell the ride attendant, and they’ll direct you to use the secondary platform.
  • Jurassic Park Discovery Center – once in the building, the elevator down to the education center is located to the left of the Burger Digs restaurant tables, near the restrooms.
  • Me Ship, The Olive – this play area for children does have an elevator to reach the upper levels of the ship. If you are using a wheelchair/ECV/stroller, you will need to ask one of the team members for assistance, as they have a special key for the elevator.
  • Dudley Do-Right’s Ripsaw Falls – although paths are used to reach the ride platform, speak to the employees for accessibility assistance.
  • Doctor Doom’s Fearfall – if you can’t traverse the stairs, simply talk to the employees.
  • The Incredible Hulk Coaster – ECV riders may transfer to a courtesy wheelchair, and all those unable to use the staircases have access to an elevator (which a ride attendant is required to operate). Note that if a wheelchair isn’t available, you may be shown directly to the elevator on your EVC.

Guests with Prostheses Visiting Universal Orlando Resort

On attractions where prosthetics are permitted, guests with prosthetic arms or hands must ensure the limb is properly attached and able to grasp the ride restraints. Please know that there are currently three attractions that require the removal of all prosthetic limbs and a prerequisite of natural extremities is required to ride safely. 

Guests are always welcome to speak to an attractions attendant or Guest Services with any questions they may have. 

Attractions That Require Removal Of All Prosthetic Limbs

Universal Studios Florida

  • Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit: once prosthetic limbs have been removed, you must be able to brace your body with at least one natural upper extremity and when seated, must have one natural full leg and one natural leg that extends to the edge of the seat

Universal Islands of Adventure

  • Jurassic World VelociCoaster: once prosthetic limbs have been removed, you must be able to brace your body with at least one natural upper extremity, and when seated, both natural legs must, at minimum, terminate below the knee
  • Pteranodon Flyers: once prosthetic limbs have been removed, you must be able to brace your body with two natural legs which extend to the edge of the seat

Attractions That Require The Securing Of All Prosthetic Limbs

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Islands of Adventure

Guests using Oxygen Tanks at Universal Orlando Resort

Oxygen concentrators and similar devices may be allowed as long as they can be secured and do not interfere with the restraints of the attraction. Oxygen tanks are only permitted at certain locations due to the nature of the experience. Should you have any questions regarding an attraction’s requirements and accommodations, please speak with a Team Member at that location. 

Oxygen Tank Permissible Attractions 

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Islands of Adventure

Guests with Cognitive Disabilities Visiting Universal Orlando Resort

Universal Orlando Resort offers a range of resources to ensure that all visitors can comfortably enjoy their visit. Not only do they provide a comprehensive guide with valuable tips and a breakdown of a typical Universal Orlando day, but quiet areas are also available to take a break from the theme park excitement. 

Quiet Areas with Less Foot Traffic

Universal Studios Florida

Universal also provides a designated Quiet Room at the front of this park within Health Services that is equipped with rubber floor tiles, an activity wall panel, dimming lights, and two hiding tunnels. Reservations are not required, however, to ensure fairness and availability for everyone who may benefit from this resource, there is a suggested 30-minute time limit.

Universal Islands of Adventure

Universal CityWalk

  • Lower Level along the waterfront

Universal’s Volcano Bay

Guests with Hearing Disabilities Visiting Universal Orlando Resort 

American Sign Language Interpreting

Guests may request American Sign Language Interpreting for select Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure live-action shows at no cost. Should you require this service, please email with your request at least 14 days prior to your visit. 

Open Captioning

Universal Orlando Resort offers queue monitors with open captions at select attractions:

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Islands of Adventure

Guests with Vision Disabilities Visiting Universal Orlando Resort

White Canes

Some ride vehicles are equipped with a storage compartment to place your cane, though they may need to be collapsed for a proper fit. On some of the more exhilarating rides, a Team Member will hold your cane for you once seated and ensure that it will promptly be returned when you are stopped in the unloading area. These attractions include:

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Islands of Adventure

Large Print Braille Scripts

The previously mentioned Universal Orlando Resort Guide for Rider Safety and Accessibility is available for guests to loan at both Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure in two formats: large print and embossed in Braille.

Additionally, the following locations provide large print and Braille scrips outlining in-park, live-action shows:

Universal Studios Florida

Universal Islands of Adventure

To contact Universal in advance with any questions or concerns, you can send an email to or dial 407-224-4233 but please know that they do not determine IBCCES qualifications. Universal also has an ADA Information page on its website with additional information.

Do you have a question about the information on this page or would you like to provide feedback? Please let us know by posting in our Orlando Informer Community on Facebook.