Difference between "handicap" and "accessible" seats in Tennessee/at the Grand Old Opry?


From a member of our community:

I have been to Grand Old Opry, requested accessible seats. Apparently, in Tennessee, accessible and handicapped are different. Our seats were midway up, not good to see stage, but close to a big monitor. Handicap seats were really close to stage. Nobody explained the difference when I bought tickets.

I am thinking about going to a show in May, why there is a big difference in the seating?

I’m sure others with challenges have encountered this issue, too.


Been to the Opry in my wheelchair many times, never run into that. I just ask for one wheelchair seat and one comoanion seat for my wife. Hope this helps.


Sometimes what we have found is that there are “accessible” seats that are either part way up or down from a landing or flat area for those that can do a couple of steps but not a lot and the “handicapped/ wheelchair accessible” seats are for those that cannot do any stairs at all.


If I do go to the Grand Old Opry again, do you have any reservation specials at the Gaylord OpryLand Hotel? I like that hotel, would like to stay there, review it. Thx. Dave


I have not had this particular issue but I sometimes find accessible seating spaces are few and go fast.

The worst I have ever seen is at the Savannah Civic Center. I purchased 1 accessible seat plus 2 companion seats. When they arrived in my mail they were rubber stamped as handicapped. They said Mezzanine on the ticket along with a row and seat number as would be expected.

We drive from our hotel to the Civic Center and noted a handicapped parking lit. Whe. My son approached the entrance but it stated you needed a card of some type to use it so we returned to out hotel and took Uber. A young man spotted me with my walker and took us out of the long line to get into the building and led us into the building. I then discovered the row and seat and Mezzanine were not where we would be seated. I had to take a scary, freight type elevator down to the floor of the theater. Then there were 2 handicapped areas for seating. Against the back wall of the theater (directly opposite the stage) were 2 areas that had been raised about 4 to 5 feet off of the floor and each area had a ramp to enter/exit. Then no particular seating assigned. In front of each of these square areas were people in power chairs and/or scooters and/manual wheelchairs. Interspersed among these folks were companions in metal folding chairs. We ended up sitting in the back of the 2nd seating area. It was awful. Every time someone up in front had to use the restroom then every person behind and around that person had to get up if in folding chair, move the chair and then anyone in any type of mobility item also had to move in order for the person leaving to get turned around and then out of there. The same had to be repeated when that person returned.

The bathroom accessibility was a joke. Went out into the hallway and saw a sign for handicapped ladies room, but upon reaching it found it locked; you had to have a special card or key to enter. I returned to the larger ladies room because it did have a handicapped insignia on door. That was a real joke. It was the very last stall of about 10 or so stalls and was no wider than any other stall. It had some PVC pipe screwed onto the wall for grab bars and oh yeah, it had no door for curtain, nothing. That was probably the poorest excuse for a handicapped stall I have ever seen. Thankfully I only had to use the restroom once during the concert.