Family With Medals
  • On Jul 20, 2013
    Marcie Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    We are planning our trip for January 2014 ... we will have 5 adults and 5 kids .... 1 of the children age 7 is autistic.... we are wondering what things we can do to help make his trip easier. and also is there anything we should avoid ...

    Hi Marcie!

    You are already taking the first step to making this vacation easier on him by planning early!The best place to start is by slowly acclimating him to possible experiences by watching videos about Disney World at home.The internet, especially YouTube, is filled with videos of ever attraction, parade and show imaginable at Walt Disney World.Letting him become familiar with attractions will help ease some of his anxiety and will also help you to gauge his reactions to attractions that might be too intense for him.

    One thing that I always make sure to pack in my luggage and any bags I plan to take into the park is earplugs or headphones.Disney World is a complete sensory immersion, but this can be overwhelming for any child not just a child with Autism.Earplugs are great at muffling some of the noise, but a soft soothing music can really help calm a child.These are very helpful in loud restaurants, which some of the character meals can be very loud, and fireworks shows.

    Once you arrive,head over to Guest Relations to receive a Guest Assistance Card.The Guest Assistance Card, or GAC, is a way to let other cast members know that your party may require special accommodations.Typically, this means entering through the FastPass line or waiting in a special area.When you apply for a GAC, make sure that the child is present and thoroughly explain to the cast member what accommodations you need during your trip.While I know that some guests will bring a note from their doctor, this is not required.The card is valid during your length of stay and for up to 6 guests in your party.

    I didn't have the space to include all my tips,these are some of my most important.If you need anymore help, please let me know by including my name in the question.

    Have a magical vacation!
    Mandy
thumbnail image for Mandy

Meet the Panelist: Mandy, South Carolina

My husband and I are the parents of five rambunctious Disney loving children.I  I'm passionate about helping families find the magic that is Disney , so let me show you all the magic and savings that awaits on your next Disney vacation! Learn More About Mandy

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