Mom and Daughter at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort Room
  • On Mar 24, 2012
    Sabine Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    We're a Dutch family visiting Disney at Christmas. We've got three boys our oldest(9) has got Down's syndrom. He cannot talk, has got difficulties with transitions between situations, noise and crowds. Could you give us advice how to prepare the trip?

    First of all, Sabine, congratulations on your upcoming trip!  You guys are going to have a blast.  As for your son and his difficulties, don't worry; I think you will all do just fine, especially if you prepare him before you leave home.  You can kind of acclimate him to the experience by checking You Tube for videos of Disney attractions, shows and parades.  At least if he watches them on the computer long before you board the plane, he'll have an idea of what to expect.  While he may not vocalize anything, the sights and sounds that you expose him to will at least serve to familiarize him.  You might also spend some time watching Disney movies and reading Disney books; exposure to the characters he's likely to encounter might heighten his understanding of (and excitement for!) your trip. 

    Once you arrive, try to stick to a rough schedule.  For example, take midday breaks--if needed--to give your son a chance to rest.  Be sure to pack familiar items from home that will comfort him in a hotel room.  Any special snacks that he'd appreciate would probably be a good idea to bring along, too.  It might also be helpful to purchase a set of ear plugs; we used them for our daughter when she was younger and had an aversion to loud noises.  Above all, just go into your trip with the mindset that your itinerary can be easily adapted if it will help to soothe things for your little guy.  Relax, and have fun.  Some of my daughter's favorite memories are Disney-related.  I bet your family will be able to say the same, soon.  Enjoy!
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Meet the Panelist: Darcie, Alabama

Given your inclination to plan a magical trip, I can already tell we have a lot in common. I'm Darcie, and my friends would be the first to tell you that Disney trip planning (especially dining!) is my love language. Of course, the vacations my family enjoys today look much different than they did when our kids were little, but while some of our favorite activities have evolved, Disney destinations still top our travel wish lists. Let's work together to plan a downright dreamy vacation for your family! Learn More About Darcie

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