Mom with infant
  • On May 22, 2023
    Victoria from Gwynedd Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    We are due to visit in September and we have recently been told that our son has global developmental delay and may be autistic. He will be 2 before travelling. Any particular restaurants that are quieter than others to help him settle at the parks?

    Hi, Victoria!  Thanks for bringing your question to planDisney!

    My son is on the autism spectrum, and one of the reasons that we return to the Walt Disney World Resort year after year is that they truly go above and beyond to make the magic accessible to everyone.  While the theme parks can be loud, busy places, there are plenty of areas where Guests can go when they need a quiet place to relax.  I think it's so smart of you to plan ahead so that you know where to go when your little one needs a sensory break.

    When it comes to quiet restaurants, you're going to want to steer clear of most character dining.  Character meals tend to have a very lively atmosphere, and while that's a lot of fun, it probably won't be the best place for your son to have some downtime.  I recommend visiting some of the quick-service dining locations in the theme parks.  You don't need a reservation to dine at a quick-service restaurant, so you have the flexibility to visit at off-peak meal times when the restaurants look less crowded.  

    Many quick-service dining locations are quite large with multiple seating areas.  Some quick-service restaurants such as Pinocchio Village Haus in Magic Kingdom Park and PizzeRizzo in Disney's Hollywood Studios have second-floor seating areas that very few Guests utilize.  Other quick-service locations such as Flame Tree Barbecue in Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park or Katsura Grill in EPCOT have beautiful outdoor seating areas that can be very relaxing.  Many quick-service locations also offer the option to mobile order your food to-go if you'd like to take it to a less crowded area of the park.  

    In addition to restaurants, I would also recommend using the Baby Care Centers that are found in each of the Walt Disney World theme parks when your little guy needs a break.  Taking Walt Disney World Resort transportation to any of the Disney Resorts Collection hotels to grab a meal or take a stroll is also a good option if you'd like to escape the hustle and bustle of the parks for a bit.  I might also suggest bringing along a pair of noise-canceling headphones for your son to help him feel more comfortable when in louder environments.

    Victoria, it might be helpful for you to take a look at this guide for Guests with cognitive disabilities.  It contains many more suggestions for places to take a sensory break in the parks, as well as lots of other valuable information for planning your son's visit.  If you have any additional questions, please visit us at planDisney again.  We would love to help you and your little one have a magical vacation!

    See ya real soon!
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Meet the Panelist: Samantha, Pennsylvania

Hello! I'm Samantha, a wife and mom of two from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  There is nothing I love more than making magical vacation memories with my family, and Walt Disney World Resort is our home away from home.  For years, I have helped my friends and family plan their Walt Disney World Resort vacations, and now I have the opportunity to help even more people as a planDisney panelist.  I cannot wait to help you plan the vacation of your dreams! Learn More About Samantha

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