As we anxiously awaited our trip to Vegas to celebrate our honeymoon, we called the airport ahead of time and were pre-boarded. We settled into our seats and anxiously awaited our adventure. Upon arriving at the Vegas airport, the staff was wonderful in taking extra care with our wheelchairs and helping us with our luggage. One lovely lady even accompanied us while we awaited our taxi to take us to the hotel.
We went through a travel agency to arrange our plans to help ensure that all of the arrangements had accessibility for both of us in mind. While using an agency was convenient, looking back on the experience, there is no better advocate than yourself and I think we would have had an easier time making our own arrangements and communicating our needs with the hotel and airlines. The airline was fantastic but there was a mix-up with our vouchers for the taxi so we ended up having to wait over an hour for a wheelchair accessible taxi to take us to our hotel. Luckily that was the only major hiccup of the trip! Our taxi, complete with a fold out wheelchair lift, took us right from the door at the airport and dropped us off at the door of our hotel where we stayed at Caesar's Palace. The driver even helped bring our suitcase from the taxi to the door and gave us a push.
The drive down the strip is exhilarating seeing all the neon lights and casinos. Deciding where to stay can be a lot of fun! Caesar's Palace is a great central location. It's located right in the middle of the strip so you can walk to a lot of the main attractions. We stayed in the new Augustus tower which was beautiful but it was quite the walk to get from our room out the door each day. If you stay in one of the big resorts, make sure to take everything you need with you when you leave so you don't have to make unnecessary trips back to your room – it can be quite the hike. Caesar's also houses the Forum Shops which you could make a day of just window shopping! The hard floors make it easy to wheel around and visit all the stores. There are also a lot of great places to catch a bite to eat while out shopping there.
Overall Vegas is a very accessible city. The distances can get pretty far if you are planning to wheel it up and down the strip. Unless you travel with someone who can help out pushing, I would recommend looking into scooter rentals through your hotel concierge or checking out the tram. We pushed ourselves most of our 4 day stay and ended up with some pretty sore arms, but the sights were well worth it. Most every attraction we visited had an entryway on one level. Where there were stairs, there was always an elevator that was not far out of sight.
We checked out the fountains and botanical gardens at the Bellagio – all very accessible. We then headed over to Paris and enjoyed brunch at "Mon Ami Gabi" where you can sit by the window and watch people strolling by on the strip while sipping French coffee and tasting crepes. We also did some shopping and took the elevator up to the viewing tower of the Eiffel Tower at Paris. Keep in mind that the viewing tower only allows one wheelchair at a time in the elevator for safety reasons so the two of us were required to ride up separately to see the sites.
The Venetian was a beautiful hotel. Just going from resort to resort to take in the sights of the construction and decoration is entertaining in itself. We checked out Madame Tussaud's, another very accessible friendly environment. You can take your time going through and get away from the crowds of people walking down the strip. The wax figures are posed in lots of different positions so it makes taking fun pictures from your wheelchair very easy.
The Wildlife Habitat in the Flamingo resort is a nice serene place to take stroll and see the birds and other wildlife. You can wheel right up to the ponds and down the pathways right from your wheelchair and get some good pictures.
If you're a foodie, Las Vegas is your place to go. There are too many amazing restaurants to choose from and in all price ranges. One of our favorites was Jaleo, a Spanish restaurant where you can order tapas or small sized portions that you share with your whole table, in the Cosmopolitan resort.
We saw two shows during our stay. First we headed over to the Mirage to catch LOVE, the Cirque du Soleil show which was brilliant. The ushers were super helpful and ushered us right to our seats and took our wheelchairs out to a private holding area during the show and brought them back over to us after the show was over.
Our last night, we went to Celine Dion's show at the Colosseum at Caesar's Palace. After the show we headed over to the Mesa Grille restaurant right across from the Colosseum to catch a quick meal. You might want to consider staying in one of the resorts that hosts a show you are interested in seeing. It was really convenient that we were able to spend the entire evening right in our hotel.
I would highly recommend Las Vegas to anyone with a disability interested in traveling. The city caters to travelers and tourists and everyone we came into contact with was so willing to offer help if needed. Vegas is a great inclusive city for people of all abilities!