• On Jun 10, 2022
    Sheila from NV Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    Can't wait to take my 27 year old special needs niece (cognitive impairment) to Disney World. Her main need of accommodation is supervision, which I will be providing 24/7. Does WDW have any special programs or accommodations for her? Thanks!!!

    Hiya Sheila!

    Welcome to planDisney, and thank you for sending this magical question our way. Wow, Sheila, what a special and memorable vacation you are planning! I have the best memories from my Disney trips with my family, and I know you and your niece will make many memories that last a lifetime. 

    One of my favourite things about the Disney parks is that there is something for everyone to enjoy, and everyone can join in on the Disney magic no matter their origins. Indeed, one of the ways in which Disney makes the magic available to all is by providing many services to accommodate various needs. One example I think might be helpful for your niece is the Disability Access Service (or DAS.) This service is meant for Guests who cannot stay in traditional lines for too long and for non-mobility-related issues. This service works by having you select return times for your favourite rides and wait for the posted time (minus ten minutes) without actually staying in line. There are two ways to register for it. You can either stop by a Guest Relations window in the Disney parks or use the live video call available online. Both services also allow you to make advance selections, which can be made at least two days in advance. Then, you can use your My Disney Experience mobile app to make your ride selections during your visit. Both types of selections can also be used simultaneously!

    There are also plenty of other services available that might be helpful depending on your niece's needs. Since Florida can get quite toasty, even during the winter months, you can always pop into the parks' First Aid locations for some quiet and air-conditioned rest areas. Since you know your niece best, you can also use this helpful guide to see which attractions might work for her and which might not. In this guide, you can check exactly what you can expect, such as smells, bumps, water, lighting effects, loud noises, elements of surprise, lifts off the ground, etc. I always love going on Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress at Magic Kingdom Park or Spaceship Earth at EPCOT when I need to rest and get some much-needed air conditioning. If it is not too hot, though, the Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover at Magic Kingdom Park, or the Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom, are some of my favourite relaxing attractions. 

    I hope this was helpful, Sheila, and that you and your niece will have the best day ever on your next Disney vacation! If you have any other questions in the time leading up to your visit or need some suggestions on how to enjoy the Holidays at the Walt Disney World Resort, please don't hesitate to reach back out. You and me, we're in a club now!

    Have a magical day, 

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Meet the Panelist: Ariane, Quebec

Hello humans! My name is Ariane and I am a French-speaking Walt Disney World Resort lover from Montreal, Canada! Since the cold does bother me (sorry Elsa!), the Walt Disney World Resort has become my second home. If you need any help planning the most magical vacation from Canada or finding the most Instagrammable spots and treats, I'm your gal! I cannot wait to help you chase the wind and touch the sky on your next Disney vacation! Learn More About Ariane

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