• On Jun 25, 2019
    Linda digiulio from IL 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 have a grandson who will be 9 years old in September. He has autism and is non-verbal, has difficulty in large crowds. His older sister is 17 and is neurotypical. We thought perhaps a Disneyland vacation would be less stressful for him. Your thoughts?

    Welcome, Linda!

    I too am a parent of children on the Autism Spectrum. I do find that Disneyland Resort provides just the right level of accommodation and Disney magic to help make visits comfortable and memorable for guests with disabilities, including guests with cognitive disabilities. Our children with autism happen to be high-functioning. So our strategies will be unique. In fact, because each child is unique and comes with unique challenges and needs, the Disneyland Resort strives to address individual needs rather than have one blanket program to try to serve everyone.

    To seek out any special accommodations for your grandson, you are invited to consult with a Cast Member at one of the main Guest Relations locations. In Disneyland Park, start your visit off at City Hall on Main Street, U.S.A. In Disney California Adventure Park, head over to Chamber of Commerce on Buena Vista Street. For our children, we have found that simply planning ahead and employing creative coping strategies has helped to work with their specific sensory and social needs. For example, having favorite snacks or activities on hand has helped to keep our children calm and content while waiting in attraction lines. Guests with more severe needs that prevent waiting in a conventional queue may require enrollment in the Disability Access Service. That is the service that one of my friends uses with her son when they visit Disney Parks. Either way, you will find that the friendly Guest Relations Cast Members are happy to help plan for an enjoyable visit to the Disneyland Resort.

    For our children, we like to find a quiet place to decompress when the stress of being in a crowded area gets to be too much. One of our favorite activities is watching Mickey and the Magical Map in the Fantasyland Theater, where we can easily find an empty bench to spread out and rest. Or we may visit the Animation Academy to learn to draw one of our favorite Disney characters. The Animation Courtyard in the Disney Animation Building, where we wait for Animation Academy to begin, is spacious, quiet, and has the lights dimmed for a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere. Speaking of relaxing, I highly recommend taking a break at your hotel during the afternoon. It’s tempting to want to just go, go, go all day long. But we can wear ourselves out, even at the Happiest Place on Earth. A break during the hottest and most popular time of the day is a great way to beat the heat, avoid large crowds, and get energized for even more fun in the evening.

    We are glad to help you with any other questions or concerns you may have about your Disneyland Resort Vacation, Please stop by should anything else come to mind.

    Have a magical time, Linda!

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Meet the Panelist: Tony, Utah

Coming to you from the Beehive State, I’m a Disney-loving dad and husband, buzzing with excitement to share advice and tips for making your Disneyland Resort vacation as magical as possible! I’m excited to help you discover the storytelling magic of the “Happiest Place on Earth!” Learn More About Tony

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