Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest
  • On Oct 9, 2013
    Paula from IA Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Our family has reservation for Disney Jan. 2014 but I thinking we may have to cancel as both my grandsons 3and 5 have varying degrees of Autism. What r the changes with the guest assistance cards. We have a party of 8 and it would be very difficult

    Hi Paula!

    Being the Mom of a son with special needs, I always try to plan ahead because I know from experience to expect anything. Disney World is a great place to visit for Guests with special needs including those with Cognitive Disabilities. Disney has put together A Resource for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) which you can find on the link shown above. This will give you a lot of things you can do before and during your trip to help it go as smoothly as possible.

    If your Grandsons have difficulty waiting in line, you can reduce your wait time by using FASTPASS Service, FastPass+ Service or with a Disability Access Service (DAS) Card. You can obtain a DAS by visiting Guest Relations when you visit the first theme park of your trip (see the link above for more information). You will not be required to bring any medical documentation regarding their condition. Your Grandsons will need to be present to obtain the DAS to have their photo taken for the cards. However, they will not need to be present to get a return time for attractions. There is no way my son would understand why we walked up to Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin and be turned away. That would cause a meltdown that may end the day in the park for us.

    Here are a couple of other tips from experience. If your Grandsons have any comfort items, bring them if possible. If they have head phones or ear plugs to help keep the noise level down, bring them. If they become anxious, remember the things you do at home to calm them down as keeping it familiar sometimes helps (like singing). Remember to relax and breathe. Sometimes you may just have to take a break until they calm down and try it again later.

    Please feel free to visit again with all of your questions. We're hEAR for you!

    Wishing you minnie magical memories :-) Allison V.
thumbnail image for Allison

Meet the Panelist: Allison, Georgia

I'm a Disney-fanatic! I made my first trip to Disney World the year it opened and have grown up crazy for all things Disney. As the Mom of a son with Cerebral Palsy, I love providing recommendations for families traveling with a special needs member. Learn More About Allison

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