Girl at Disneyworld
  • On Jul 1, 2023
    Ashley from MI Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    My daughter is autistic, so I need information on what we can do to still make her vacation magical. What accommodations? are available?

    Hi Ashley,

    I’m so glad you stopped by planDisney, where you and your family are as welcome as can be! How exciting that you will be ringing in a new year at Walt Disney World Resort!
    Following Walt Disney’s vision to create welcoming places for all Guests, Walt Disney World Resort offers a variety of special services for Guests for whom special accommodations are needed. One of these services that your family might find helpful is the Disability Access Service (DAS). This service helps Guests, who find waiting in conventional queues a challenge due to a medical condition, to have a more magical vacation. While DAS doesn’t provide immediate access to attractions it does allow Guests to request a return time that is comparable to the current standby wait for an attraction. DAS allows Guests to enjoy other experiences or take a break rather than waiting in line.

    To determine if your daughter qualifies for DAS prior to your vacation, you can pre-register for a live video chat with a Cast Member. You can begin this process as early as 30 days but at least 2 days prior to your first park visit on the Walt Disney World website. To pre-register for a live chat, simply go to the Registering for Disability Access Service page and follow the directions.

    Depending on your daughter’s comfort level, you could pick up an “I’m Celebrating” button at Guests Relations at each of the parks. When Cast Members see those buttons, they often make special bits of magic for Guests and will make your daughter feel like the princess she is.

    Also, be sure to check out this helpful Guide for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities. Check out page 14 where you will find some great suggestions for places where you and your family can take a break in the theme parks if things get a little too overwhelming. 

    If crowds during events like parades or fireworks are uncomfortable for your daughter, remember that you don’t have to be in the middle of the crowds in order to get a great view. In fact, our family often watches Happily Ever After, our favorite Disney fireworks spectacular, from one of the Magic Kingdom area resorts rather than watching from Magic Kingdom Park. 

    I also recommend that you pack some earplugs or headphones for your daughter. Walt Disney World is a place filled with lots of magical sounds and music, but that might be not-so-magical for Guests on the Autism Spectrum. It also might be helpful to orient your daughter to the attractions by watching videos on the Walt Disney World website or other websites.  

    I’m excited that you will be making memories soon and hope that your vacation will be one that makes you and your daughter experience many magical moments! Please write back to us here at planDisney if you have other questions or would like some tips for making the most of your vacation.

    Remember, you are the magic,
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Meet the Panelist: Shannon, Georgia

Hi friends! I'm Shannon, a dreamer and a doer who loves exploring everything from the new to the nostalgic at Walt Disney World Resort. For three generations my family has been making Walt Disney World memories, so I know about creating a lifetime of magical memories at any time of life. Whether it's your first or 50th Disney vacation, an ultimate dream trip, or a quick getaway, I'll help you navigate your planning so you can create your own magical memories!

Learn More About Shannon

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