Information on Disney’s Handheld Device

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From the Disney Parks Blog:

Did you know the Disneyland Resort has several services available for guests with visual and hearing disabilities? I am 40 percent deaf, and I didn’t know about Disney’s Handheld Device until last month.

I’ve never been able to hear all of the audio in attractions such as the Enchanted Tiki Room, and I’ve often wondered if I’m missing some of the rich storytelling that Walt Disney Imagineers carefully and creatively incorporate into all of the attractions at the Resort. Now, thanks to Disney’s Handheld Device, I won’t be missing those special details anymore.

Today, I thought I’d give you a quick rundown of this service in case you or someone you know can benefit from this really cool tool.

Disney’s Handheld Device is a palm-sized wireless device that was developed in 2002. The device features several services, including Assistive Listening, which provides amplified audio at 12 attractions, and Handheld Captioning, which displays text for 14 attractions.

A new service was just added yesterday. Audio Description, now available at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, provides narrated audio for guests with visual disabilities by describing visual attraction elements, such as actions, settings and scene changes.

The audio below is from the Audio Description for the Haunted Mansion. We’ve layered in some clips from the attraction to show what the audio is describing.

Audio Description is being offered at 19 attractions at Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure parks: Enchanted Tiki Room, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Alice in Wonderland, ‘it’s a small world’, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Disneyland Railroad, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience”, It’s Tough to be a Bug!, Turtle Talk with Crush, Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!, and Muppet*Vision 3D.

So, now that you know all about it, where do you get it? Guests with visual or hearing disabilities can obtain a handheld device at the Guest Relations offices, near the entrances to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure parks. The devices are provided on a first-come, first-served basis, and there is a fully-refundable $100 daily deposit for use.

About the author

Tom Corless

Tom has been regularly visiting the Walt Disney World® Resort from the time he was 4 months old. While he has made countless visits in the last 28 years, he did not become a truly active member in the Disney fan community until the summer of 2007, when he decided to launch the WDW News Today website and podcast. Tom has since become an Orlando-local and is a published author on Walt Disney World.
Contact Tom at [email protected]