• On Jan 9, 2018
    Rebecca from VA 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.

    Are there rooms at the parks where autistic guests may go to calm down if over stimulated? I’m asking for a relative who wants to take her 2 grandsons but is hesitant because of one boy’s autism.

    Hi Rebecca,

    As a mom of a child with autism, I certainly understand your relative's concerns. I can tell you that the Cast Members at the Walt Disney World Resort are wonderful and do their best to make everyone's vacation magical.

    Because there is a spectrum and no two individuals with autism respond completely the same, I am happy to share some tips with how we've handled it, but the child you know may respond differently. First, I would recommend preparing her grandson as much as possible ahead of time. I usually put together a simple book with pictures of the places we'll be staying and attractions we'll be experiencing so that my son feels more familiar with our surroundings. Also, I would suggest stopping at Guest Relations when they first arrive. The Cast Members there will be able to point out some places within the parks that are quiet and can be a respite for a child who is over-stimulated. Be sure to ask them about the Disability Access Service (DAS) and other services for guests with cognitive delays.

    In addition, I make sure to pack several things that I know could be helpful for my child. I always bring a sensory brush, some earbuds or headphones with a playlist of favorite music, and some calming and fidget toys. My son has been visiting the parks for years and even though some things may be harder for him, he LOVES visiting and experiencing the magic of the Walt Disney World Resort.

    I hope your relative has a wonderful vacation with her family and that both her grandsons love it! Thanks for visiting us at the Disney Parks Moms Panel, Rebecca, and please let us know if you have more questions!

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Meet the Panelist: Missy, Virginia

Hi!  I'm Missy, a homeschool mom originally from Indiana, but recently transplanted to Virginia.  With a husband and five kids, I understand what busy family life is all about and how important it is to get away and create magical moments with your loved ones.  I also believe planning is half the fun, so I'd be honored to help you plan your Walt Disney World Resort vacation! Learn More About Missy

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