If you’re not used to spending time with a special needs person on a daily basis, then you may not realize what’s involved in traveling to Disney World with them. The good news is that Disney goes above and beyond to accommodate guests of all types. However, as you consider who to invite and what accommodations to make yourself, consider these essential dos and don’ts of traveling with special needs people.
Do: Make sure everyone understands how much walking is involved
It’s not uncommon to visit Disney World with someone who doesn’t realize just how much walking is involved. In some cases you could be walking 10+ miles per day. Those with special needs that don’t allow them to walk this much can still have a great time, they’ll just need to look into options like renting mobility scooters or wheelchairs.
Don’t: Wait until the last minute to prepare for your trip
If you need special equipment for your trip, be sure to reserve it as far in advance as possible. There are many suppliers in the Orlando area, but during peak times they may sell out of what you need. As soon as you know you’ll be visiting, get busy making the reservations you need.
Do: Buy travelers insurance
Most people skip offered travelers insurance without a second thought, but if you’re traveling with someone who has special needs that may prevent them from going on their trip at the last minute, then it may be well worth it. It generally costs less than $20 per person and will cover you in the event someone in your party can’t travel due to medical reasons.
Don’t: Be afraid to ask
You’re not used to traveling with a special needs person so it makes sense that you may not know how to handle things at all times. Don’t be afraid to just ask! It’s common for people in this position to be afraid of offending someone by asking them how you can help them, but if you don’t know the only way to find out is to ask.
Do: Rent an Orlando vacation home
Orlando vacation home rentals give you tons of space for everyone, plus lots of privacy, the ability to park right in the driveway (and avoid walking across long, hot parking lots) and full kitchens so you can prepare your own meals.
Don’t: Exclude someone with special needs from traveling with you
Disney will do anything within their power to accommodate special needs guests. If the person in question is interested in coming, there’s no reason to exclude them! But also understand that though accommodations may be made, it can still be inconvenient for someone with special needs to travel to the parks – and throughout them. If your invitation isn’t accepted, don’t take it personally.