Disney World can be a fantastic place for your autistic child, but it can also be an overwhelming and over stimulating experience. The good news is that you can follow these tips to increase your chances of a successful outing.
1. Earplugs are a must!
Many rides and attractions have loud music, not just in the ride itself but in the standby line. If your little one already has trouble with waiting, this loud and often jarring music can be a little much. Earplugs allow your kiddo to plug in and tune out if necessary.
2. Consider alternatives to driving
Renting a car may be the most cost-effective option, but remember that getting from the middle of the park to your resort hotel or vacation home may be more of a hassle than you’re anticipating. You’ll have to find the trams to the parking lot, locate your vehicle among thousands, and then wander through the parking lot to the exit. It’s much faster and easier to simply hop in a cab and take it straight back to your accommodations.
3. Ask for priority seating
Whether you’re in a theater watching one of Disney’s fabulous shows, or you’re eating dinner at one of the many delicious restaurants, consider asking for seating near an exit. The Cast Members are well trained on working with autistic children and will be happy to accommodate you if you simply ask. Being seated near an exit ensures you can get out quickly in the event the experience becomes too much for your little on.
4. There are many great choices for sensory-defensive children
Many parents have reported that the wave pool at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon, the sandy beaches at several resort pools, and whirlpool spas have been great options for their autistic children.
5. Watch videos before you leave
If you’re not sure if a particular ride or attraction will be a good fit for your kiddo, hop on YouTube and watch a ride through. Check it out yourself first to see if you can identify anything they might be uncomfortable with. If it seems fine to you, then sit down and watch it with your kids. Simply knowing what to expect can help make the experience a net positive when they finally get on the ride.
Disney World is very do-able for kids of all ages and with a wide range of unique attributes. Just remember that you can’t do everything in a single trip.
Please click here to view our Autism guide to Orlando theme parks.