Category Archives: DisneyAbility

Halloween at Disneyland

It is Halloween time at Disneyland!


Are you ready for a spooktakular season of haunted rides, attractions, and snacks?  Join my family and I as we dive into the Halloween season at Disneyland.  We will be in the parks at least once a week throughout the Halloween season to give you updates on accessibility, new attractions, and tell you which tasty morsels are worth planning a trip for.

You can follow our adventure by following Disneyability on Instagram and for even more information we invite you to join our Facebook group Disneyability.

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, this site earns a few pennies when you make a purchase through our links, which offset the expense of running our blog and website.

Who are we?

I, The Disabled Diva, my daughter Abi, and husband Drew have been annual passholders since 2014.  Drew and I both began visiting Disneyland in the mid-eighties and Abi was 3 years old on her first visit.  Our Facebook group is filled with people who have been visiting the parks all of their lives, are planning their first trip, and somewhere in between.  Some of us have physical disabilities, chronic illnesses, or special needs.  Some use a wheelchair, motorized scooter, rollator, cane, and/or have a service animal.  Not all topics are related to health issues.  We also discuss how to visit the parks on a budget and how to plan the perfect trip.  Most of all we are group of people who call Disneyland HOME.


Don’t forget to fill your backpack with snacks and any other necessities.

What to look forward to

There is tons to look forward to this Halloween season!  From Sept. 7th thru Oct. 31, 2018 the parks will be filled with spooky fun lights, characters donning their Halloween costumes, delightful treats, and more attractions will have received a holiday makeover.  In addition to Ghost Galaxy (Space Mountain), Haunted Mansion Holiday (Nightmare before Christmas), and Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark TWO more rides are getting Halloween makeovers!!!! You won’t want to miss Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween and Mater’s Graveyard JamBOOree!

We will be sharing everything you need to know about enjoying all the festivities on Instagram and our FB group! Have a question? Ask in the comments, in our FB group, or on our Instagram page.  We want everyone to have as much fun as we do!

Join our FB group see everything that is going on!


How to minimize chronic pain while on a road trip

*This post contains affiliate links


For some people, vacation is all about the destination. While my destination is important, I also love the unplanned adventures that take place on road trips.  When traveling by car I get to see places that I would never plan to vacation at, yet are fun to stop and explore for a little bit.  However, my love for traveling by car turned to loathing after pain from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and endometriosis invaded every moment of my day.  That is until a few years ago when I began doing things  differently.   Today Donna, Abi, and I (Cynthia) are sharing a few tips that help make our road trips less painful. Whether you are driving to Disneyland or Niagara Falls, these tips will help you arrive at your destination ready to have fun!

Cynthia’s Tips

  1. Stay ahead of and combat inflammation and pain with Oska Pulse and pain relieving oils and lotions like my favorite topical oil from BioCBD+ and HempZ.  Oska Pulse has kept my neck and back muscles from seizing up after sitting for hours in the car.  I apply a pain relieving oil or lotion before getting into the car and then reapply as needed throughout my trip.
  2. Dress comfortably.  While I still want to look cute in the pictures my family takes during stops along the way, it is not a time to wear clothing that binds, scratches, or puts pressure on any of my pain sources.  Heat and cold temps outside and inside the vehicle also affect my pain level.  Dressing in layers, wearing pants (leggings usually) with an elastic waist band or loose clothing, and bringing along a pair of cozy slippers helps me arrive at my destination without unnecessarily increasing my pain.
  3. Rest when needed.  Fighting fatigue while traveling only makes it worse.  As long as I am not the one who is driving, I allow myself to sleep when my body demands it.  There was a time when I was afraid of missing sites or felt like I had to stay awake to entertain my husband while he drove, but all that did was take away from our time together when we reached our destination.  To make sleeping in the car easier, I bring along a neck pillow, sleep mask to block out the sun, and or ear plugs.
  4. Nothing ruins a trip like upsetting my tummy by eating fast food or fatty/fried foods on the road.  To adhere to my dietary needs/restrictions I plan ahead by searching for restaurants that have options to keep my bowels happy.
  5. Prepare for the unexpected.  Sometimes our bowels and bladders can’t wait until we reach our next pit stop.  To reduce my anxiety and fear of not being able to make it to the next toilet, I bring along adult diapers.  While it is not something that I desire to use, they bring me peace of mind knowing that my body and not my clothes or the car will only need to be cleaned up afterwards.  A portable potty is also an option.



This Mickey Mouse neck pillow also comes with a blanket and sleep mask! Click here to check it out!

Donna’s Tips

1. Oska! Use it on whatever part of your body gets stiff when sitting for long periods. For me as a passenger, that’s my lower back. When I take a turn driving, that’s also my shoulders.
2. Stay hydrated! For every sip you take of an energy drink or coffee, take two sips of water to avoid becoming dehydrated.
3. Stop about every 2 hours to stretch and walk for a few minutes.
4. Eat as healthy as possible. Additives, grease, and sodium in restaurant food can make you feel terrible! Snack foods can also be an issue. Pack healthy snacks so you’re not tempted by gas station treats. If you can, pack a cooler with simple pre-made meals, too. If you know you’ll need to grab fast food on the road, scope out nutritional information of major chains online before you leave on your trip; make a list of menu items that are best for your body’s sensitivities.



Abi’s Tips

  1. I use PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse to combat back pain from sitting in the car and to ease the pain in my hands after playing my video games for too long!
  2. Bring something to entertain yourself! My Nintendo Switch and 3DS keep me occupied while stuck in the car for the day.
  3. My mom uses a neck pillow, but I prefer my aromatherapy cat collar by Sootheze (pictured below).  It calms and soothes the muscles in my neck.


Did you notice that Oska Pulse topped all three of our lists?  That’s because this drug-free pain relief device helps each of us combat our chronic pain and inflammation better than anything any of us has tried in the past.  Like Donna, I use mine on my neck and lower back as well.  I also treat my knees and ankles.  Oska Pulse increases blood flow and has prevented my legs and ankles from swelling while sitting in the car.   Click here to see how PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse has helped me since I began using it daily a year ago.  Visit my friends at Oska Wellness to learn more about this amazing device and when you are ready to order, don’t forget that promo code DIVA will save you $55.

Planning a road trip to Disneyland?  Click here to download my FREE accessibility guide and be sure to join Disneyability on Facebook for more tips to make your trip a magical one.

Click here for more tips that will make traveling with a chronic illness something you enjoy again.

What tips do you have to share?

green flower learn and watch free

book cover web

Tired of your chronic illnesses running your life? Take back control and possibly reduce your pain by making pain your bitch! Click here to download your copy today!


Six Ways to Dominate Christmas With a Chronic Illness


Disclosure: This post contains and is supported by affiliate links.

For many years I dreaded Christmas.  It wasn’t  that I hated the holiday, but that I loathed how physically draining keeping up with traditions and extra commitments were.  Thankfully I was able to rekindle my love for Christmas a few years ago by making some changes.  Fall back in love with the season and dominate your holiday by following these tips!

1. Make New Memories


Are you wearing yourself out trying to recreate past Christmas memories?  Do you exhaust yourself trying to decorate, bake, and entertain like you did in the past?  That’s exactly what I did before accepting that my chronic illnesses had changed my life.  It was unfair to expect myself to be able to keep up with the pace that I had in the past.  To reclaim the holiday I zeroed in on which traditions were the most important for me to keep. Later I incorporated new activities that better fit into my chronic life.  Letting go of Christmas past isn’t a form of giving up.  Instead it is a sign that you have accepted that life has changed and so have you.  Embrace your memories and never give up on creating new ones!

2. Limit Commitments


Are you feeling overwhelmed by the amount of invitations you are receiving for holiday parties or activities?  The key to dominating the Christmas season is to limit your commitments.  I know you want to do everything and attend every gathering, but you need to be realistic.  If your chronic illness hasn’t allowed you to take part in one or more events per month, you are deluding yourself if you think you will be able to do more than that during the holidays.  The first reason is that if your illness isn’t fond of colder weather you will be feeling worse than you did during the summer months.  Secondly, the Christmas season involves more than gathering with friends and family.  There’s shopping, baking, and decorating that also needs to be done.  Keep your illness and limitations in mind when accepting invitations.  Give yourself time to rest beforehand and afterwards.  Do what you can and enjoy the heck out of every moment!

3. Watch What You Eat and Drink


Think twice before indulging in holiday foods or beverages.  Your favorite treats could steal your  joy faster than the Grinch stole Christmas from the Whoville! Most holiday menus include sugary and fatty foods.  I won’t tell you to replace your favorite pie with a bowl of salad, but instead I suggest that you limit how much you eat.  Alcohol is often a trigger for many chronic illnesses, so be careful to not to get caught up in the spirit of the season.  If you find yourself giving into temptation, try only allowing yourself a few bites or sips. While not all flares are avoidable, there is no reason to suffer from one triggered by food unless you are willing to pay the price.

4. Shop Online

shop (2)

Why waste precious energy by standing in long lines or driving all over town when you could order your gifts online?  Give yourself the gift of more stamina by paying a few extra dollars to have your presents wrapped and/or shipped directly to the recipient.  Wouldn’t you rather use the time and energy spent wrapping presents, or going to stores and the post office celebrating with friends and family?

5. Less Is More


My family used to compare me to Clark Griswold from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.  There wasn’t one inch of my home, inside or out, that wasn’t decorated.  While I am no longer a contender for winning most decorated home anymore, I do have more time and energy to do other things that I want.  If decking the halls like you used to do is inflicting unnecessary pain, it’s time to cut back.  Limit how much you put up by choosing your favorite decorations and don’t forget, what goes up must come down!

6. Take Care Of Yourself


It is not uncommon to spend an extraordinary amount of time trying to make the holidays special for our friends and family that we forget to care for ourselves.  Listen to your body and take time to rest when your body demands it, pace yourself, eat healthy, exercise, and enjoy the simple things.  You’ll surely spend Christmas day in bed if you forget to take care of yourself.

This year’s Christmas may not be like last years or the year before, but that won’t make it any less festive or special.  Embrace what you can do and let go of what you can’t.

My new eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life will help you dominate your entire life, not just one season! Order your copy today!

book cover web


Never miss a post! Subscribe to my email list.

The holidays can be an emotionally trying time for some.  If you are struggling, but don’t have time to see a therapist check out  Their qualified therapists are there for you everyday, not just once or twice a week!

Give yourself and the one’s that you love the gift of drug free pain relief from Oska Pulse.  Click here to learn more and use promo code DIVA to save $55.

Join Spoon Rest, a Facebook group for the chronically ill dedicated to empowering and supporting each other while sharing a laugh.

Join The Disabled Diva’s Alternative Chronic Pain Fighting Forum, a Facebook group for those who are seeking information or already treating their chronic pain with alternative treatments.










Mousewait vs. the Official Disneyland App

Mousewait vs. the Official Disneyland App

I am the unofficial “Tech Geek” here at the Disneyability website. I love exploring new gadgets and technology. Of course, this love carries over and merges with my love of Disneyland as well. In the coming months, I’ll be exploring different aspects of tech as they relate to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. In this first article, we’ll look at two apps I use almost every time we’re in the park.

The two leaders in Disneyland apps are Mousewait, and the official Disneyland app. Both have their strengths and weaknesses, but which is best? On our last trip to Disneyland and DCA, I put the two apps to the test head to head. Here are the results of the Test:


Disneyland Official: Free
Mousewait: Free and Paid Version ($9.99)

I use the free version of Mousewait, and from what I can tell, upgrading to the paid version doesn’t offer many benefits other than ad removal. Unlike other apps that offer a pared down free version, Mousewait’s free version is very robust and should suffice for most users.
The Basics:

Both apps offer a wide range of information. They both give blackout dates for annual pass holders, show times, attraction wait times, park restaurant locations and menus, and the ability to make reservations at park restaurants (Mousewait offers a link to the Disney Reservation website, whereas the official Disneyland app allows you to make the reservations’ directly in the app).

drew ap 5

The official Disneyland App stores your Fastpass and disability return times

So how do they differ? Here are few items that are exclusive to each app:


Disneyland Official: On the official app,  your admission is pass available from your phone and can store and present fast passes also from your phone. You will also get a reminder that will pop up when your Fastpass is available to use at an attraction. The app actually displays a map of the park and your current location, which can be helpful for those who aren’t as familiar with the layout of Disneyland or DCA. For those that have paid to add Maxpass, you can obtain Fastpasses directly from the app without having to physically go to the distribution point for that attraction. You can also manage your photo pass from the official app. The official app lists the location of character meet and greets as well. This can be a life saver if your child has their hearts set on meeting certain character and will save you hours of searching the parks trying to get that photo op with Goofy! There is also a “Guest Services” tab that shows you first aid locations, restrooms, service dog relief areas, disability services, EVC rental locations, and even AED (automated external defibrillators) locations.

drew ap 4

Mousewait app includes weather and interactions with other users

Mousewait: Mousewait’s key features revolve around your ability to interact with the app and other app users. The attraction wait times are updated by you and other Mousewait users. This can lead to either extremely accurate, or incredibly inaccurate wait times depending on how often they are updated (more on this in the wait time accuracy section). Mousewait offers a couple of simple yet valuable pieces of information, weather forecasts and crowd index. Yes, most people probably have their favorite weather app they will consult for this purpose, but it’s nice to have a reliable forecast directly available in an app. Crowd indexes tell you roughly what percentage of capacity each park is currently at. We use this feature all the time to decide if we want to switch from one park to another. If the other park looks a bit too crowded, we may just decide to stay put and enjoy the park we are currently in rather than fight the crowds at the other park. Mousewait also offers a hidden Mickey checklist (this will save you $$ over buying the hidden Mickey guidebook) and a picture of the card used to decipher the writing on the walls of the Indiana Jones Temple of the Forbidden Eye attraction. It also offers a “Lounge” where you can post and interact with other Mousewait members.


Ride Wait Time Accuracy:

This is most likely the main reason you are using these apps. You want to know how long the line is for Thunder Mountain before you walk all the way to the ride from Tomorrowland. I tested the apps out on three rides, and the results were fairly consistent:
drew ap 3
Ride 1: Star Tours
Both Mousewait and the Official Disneyland app listed the wait time as 25 minutes. This was also the time posted outside the ride. Our actual wait time was right at 20 minutes. This was still very early in the day, and I’ve found that wait times are hard to predict because the lines can fluctuate quickly this early. This is a problem for Mousewait. Early mornings and later in the evening, there are less guests updating wait times, so Mousewait becomes less reliable, even though it didn’t play out in this particular test. So, I count this round’s results as a tie.

Ride 2: Pirates of the Caribbean

This was the only ride that the two apps listed different times. Mousewait listed the wait time as 25 Minutes, the official app listed the time as 20 minutes and the posted time at the ride was 30 minutes. Our actual wait time was 23 minutes and 30 seconds. I found it odd that the both official app and the posted time were off by this much, as it is presumably updated by Disneyland cast members. This is where the Mousewait app’s user update format really shines. Mousewait was even more accurate than the posted time of the ride. Mousewait won this round.

Ride 3: Guardians of the Galaxy, Mission Breakout!

Mousewait, the official Disneyland app and the posted time were all the same at 70 minutes. The actual wait time was 67 minutes and 45 seconds. Pretty accurate all around here. This test also resulted in a tie.

Conclusion: Mousewait is extremely accurate during peak times when users are constantly updating the times. Early in the morning, and late in the evening I would  stick with the official Disneyland app. I still think the edge here goes to the Mousewait app.

Apple Watch Support:

At this time, only Mousewait offers Apple Watch support. It will give you a home screen with crowd indexes for both Disneyland and DCA, pass holder blackout dates, show times, wait times and will allow you to update wait times for attractions. It was designed pretty well, and is very intuitive to use. I have enjoyed using my Apple Watch rather than picking up my phone all the time, and this app fits the bill for things I expect a watch app to do. Why Disney has overlooked this in their own app is a mystery to me. Having your pass or Fastpass available on the watch would be something I would expect going forward, especially with Disney’s close ties to Apple.


drew ap 11.jpg

Mousewait app on Apple watch


So, which app do I recommend? Both actually. There are features on each app that are not available on the other that I find indispensable. As they are both free, I recommend downloading both. If you find you are not using one of the two, simply delete one and use the other. I you were to force my hand, I would probably pick the official Disneyland app, just for the ability to have all my passes linked to my phone, and for the character meet and greet and disability services listed. The accuracy of the wait times is good enough, although it clearly has some room for improvement. Disney definitely needs to add Apple Watch support, but in the last couple updates they have added a wealth of features that have won me over.


Which app do you use and why? I’d love to hear your thoughts below, especially if you use an app not listed in this review! Thanks for continuing to read and support our site!




5 Tips For Pushing a Wheelchair Through Disneyland

5 Tips For Pushing a Wheelchair Through Disneyland

By: Drew

20161110_111531 (2).jpg

I’ll never forget the first time I had to push my wife through Disneyland in a wheelchair. We had planned a family vacation and traveled to California from Arizona. My son was 15 at the time, and my daughter was only 3. The first night of the trip, my wife (most of you I’m sure know her as the Disabled Diva!) began experiencing severe intestinal pain. We took her to the ER, and she was promptly diagnosed with appendicitis. They performed an appendectomy the next day, and she was released that night. If you’ve read her blog at all, you will probably not be surprised when I tell you we did not cancel the remainder of the vacation, but carried on after one day of recuperation. That trip was a nightmare on many levels, and most of them had to do with me being completely clueless on what it takes to navigate the parks while being an unintended chauffeur to my wife. Here are 5 things I have since learned that will hopefully help you to avoid some of the pain and suffering we endured on that first trip.


1. The importance of pacing.

Needless to say, after missing out on two days of our vacation, we were all excited to resume our trip and “make up time”. I was up at 5 am that morning to go get everyone breakfast, help get my daughter ready, situate Cindy in her newly rented wheelchair and get us to the front gate in time for opening that day. I was already tired by the time the gates finally opened, and then we were off to the races! We zoomed from land to land, taking in as many rides as possible. Cindy couldn’t do much, and this often required me to leave her far away from the rides the rest of us were on at the time. By the end of the day, I was exhausted, and truth be told, just a little bit irritable. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a Disneyland vacation, but remember to pace yourself. Get plenty of rest, and try to walk at a normal pace. Remember, you aren’t just walking, you’re PUSHING someone as well!

2. Disneyland is not level!

“Where did all these hills come from?” That was a question I asked early and often on that trip! I honestly never noticed the slight (and many times STEEP) grades that dot the Disneyland landscape. The areas by Big Thunder Mountain, entering Toon Town, New Orleans Square, and Splash Mountain all have moderate to steep grades. Exiting Indiana Jones and Soarin’ also have a long steep grade when pushing a wheelchair. Be prepared, go at a slow steady pace, and make sure you stretch your hamstrings before you begin the day to help with these challenging sections of the park. Click here to learn about these areas in the Disabled Diva’s Guide to Disneyland.


3. The importance of taking time for myself.

One of my favorite pass times is photography. I am forever stopping to try and capture an interesting scene that I see while traveling through the parks. On this particular trip, I actually had a brand new digital SLR camera I was looking forward to using. However, I discovered an inconvenient truth about pushing someone in a wheel chair. If you stop and pull out your camera with both hands, especially on one of the aforementioned steep slopes, you can quickly loose control of a situation! Even now when most of my pictures are taken from my phone, I still need to concentrate fully on taking care of the person I’m pushing. Make time for yourself to do some of the things you can’t while pushing. Perhaps you can have another member of your party push while you explore, or find a nice spot for your significant other to have a cup of coffee or snack while you get that perfect picture of the Haunted Mansion. It’s your vacation too, so don’t be afraid to ask for some time to enjoy the things you would like to do as well.

4. Pushing a wheelchair is like driving a car.

You probably have had more experience pushing a wheelchair around than I had on that first trip. I was a newbie. Not only was I trying to figure out how to maneuver Cindy in her chair, but I was also dealing with the crowds around us and how they reacted, or didn’t react, to a person in a chair. I clipped quite a few heals on that first trip, and Cindy wound up with one or two guest riders in her lap when we accidentally scooped up an unsuspecting pedestrian! If you are renting a chair you’re not familiar with, take a few moments to figure out your turning radius, and know how far the foot rests stick out. Also, if your chair has extendable leg rests, make sure you know how far these stick out and ask your partner to let you know when they have extended them if they are capable of making that adjustment without your help. Look well ahead in your path of travel, and try to detect problems or obstacles ahead of time.

walt life.gif

5. Do Your Homework.

While we were completely unprepared to experience the parks on that first trip with a wheelchair, we were determined not to make the same mistakes on future trips! Do your homework. Are you going to need a disability pass, or can you get by without one? Many of the rides in Disneyland were designed in the 50’s and 60’s, with no thought to making them handicap accessible. Do you know which rides have lines you can access, and which ones have alternate entrances? Can your significant other transfer from their chair, or do they need to stay in? If you’re looking for a comprehensive guide to answer all these questions, check out our free downloadable guide at
I hope these few tips will help make your trip more magical! I’ll continue to add tips to this site, so check back regularly to get the latest information. Until then, push like a champion!

Post directory
















How to plan the best summer vacation despite having a chronic illness

Does the thought of taking a summer vacation get you excited or does it send chills down your spine?  I loved traveling before I became chronically ill.  In addition to yearly Disneyland vacations, I loved exploring new areas in other states or within the ones that I lived in.  Weekend road trips without a destination were my favorites.

Soon after chronic pain became a part of my daily life I began to loathe traveling. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go exploring, instead it became too painful.  Not only did my excursions increase my pain while away, it would take weeks and sometimes months to recover from them once I returned home.  Not wanting to spend most of my time recovering I opted to stop traveling.

The reason traveling was such a horrible experience for my during those early years of my chronic life was because I had attempted to travel just like I did before my illnesses.  Do you enjoy traveling? Why or why not?  Have you changed the way you plan, prepare, and go forth with your getaways?  By changing how I plan, prepare, and execute my trips I have fallen back in love with traveling.

What am I doing differently?  The most important thing I do is I plan with my illnesses in mind; I like to think of them as my invisible traveling buddies. In my post Packing for your Invisible Traveling Companions I share how I pack for each condition and how I prepare to keep them as happy as possible while away from home.   I also adjusted my expectations.  My posts Unrealistic Expectations and Realistic Expectations both offer advice on making vacation choices that work best for my body and its limitations.   Planning for and accepting that I had to pad my schedule with Vacation Downtime is another reason my traveling experiences have improved. For even more tips be sure to check out The Disabled Diva’s Top Ten Travel Tips and listen in as Shane and I discuss these topics and more in episode #3 Vacationing with a Chronic Illness on my podcast Dish’n with The Disabled Diva. And last but not least find out why I recommend Disneyland over Disney World for people with chronic conditions and where service animals are not permitted in each park.

Enjoy slam dunk poops no matter where you go this summer with a portable Squatty Potty!

No matter what your illness or where you are planning to go, the most important thing you can do to protect yourself is to have your most important medical information on hand.  I am giving away a downloadable Emergency Medical Information Wallet Card.  By keeping this card near your identification your traveling mates and/or emergency personnel will find your information quickly.  With a quick glance a paramedic or doctor will know what medications I am allergic to, what medications I am currently taking, my surgical history, blood type, and more.  Don’t expect your loved ones or traveling mates to remember all of your medical information during a crisis, help them out by downloading your free copy today!

Where will you go this summer?  Planning a Disneyland vacation?  If so be sure to check out my Disneyland Accessible Guide and you too will have a magical experience!

Download your FREE copy today!


Special Announcement

In March I was a guest on Arisen Strength Motivational Podcast. A couple of months later and I am hosting my own podcast!!! Mark your calendars for the debut of Dishin’ with The Disabled Diva on May 13, 2017 11am ET and 8am PST.

Dishin’ with The Disabled Diva aims to empower and educate by taking the “dis” out of disabled to help you live a better life!

Beginning May 13, 2017


Click here to listen in as Shane and I discuss living with a purpose despite our chronic illnesses and other hot topics!


%d bloggers like this: