There are many steps you can take to make your trip to Disney World as successful as possible for your special needs kid, but your first step is to cover the main bases. These are the 3 crucial tips you absolutely need to know before you take off on your trip.
1. Visit Guest Relations as soon as you enter the park
All 4 Disney theme parks, (the Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Epcot) have one or more Guest Relations counters. These are generally located near the entrance. As soon as you arrive at a park on your first day, you should immediately visit Guest Relations. There you can explain your child’s special needs and find out if you qualify for the GAS, which gives you a return time at most rides so you can avoid waiting in lines for rides. Note that you will still have to wait, but you can leave the line and come back at the time assigned.
2. Assisted listening devices are FREE!
If your child has auditory issues, it’s imperative that you get an assisted listening device, for several reasons. First, many parents make the mistake of assuming that the only time they’ll need them are in shows, which they may choose to avoid. However, many rides have elements of dialogue. Second, these devices are totally FREE so it doesn’t make sense not to take a few minutes to pick them up. Many believe they cost $25 to rent, but this is simply a deposit you’ll pay when you pick it up, and then get back when you return it.
3. Spending the entire day at the park will benefit no one
This is a crucial, crucial tip that many people overlook. They feel they’ve spent thousands of dollars on their Disney trip and they want to get the most bang from their buck by spending as much time in the parks as possible. Note that it’s about quality not quantity. Would you rather spend 6 hours in the parks and avoid meltdowns entirely, or spend 14 hours in the parks while everyone whined and cried for 8 of those hours?
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