• On May 16, 2013
    Tracy 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.

    My son has ADHD, ODD, and anxiety is there any thing we can do when we get there to help make it easier on him. We have been other trips to places and had to leave right after we got there because of his anxiety.

    Hi Tracy!

    Disney is great with special needs children. Before your trip, it may help to talk with him and show him pictures of Disney World. If he has any favorite characters, perhaps he'll get excited about seeing them. 

    When you arrive at the 1st theme park of your trip, visit Guest Relations to obtain a Guest Assistance Card (GAC) which assists guests with a wide variety of special needs. Explain your son's needs. While you likely will not be asked, you may want to bring a note from his doctor. The GAC will alert Cast Members at each attraction what type of special assistance your son needs so that they can accommodate him to the best of their ability. The GAC will allow him & up to 5 other members of your party access to alternate waiting areas or queues where available that may offer a less stressful environment.

    The parks are full of different types of stimulation so take frequent breaks. There are places to escape the crowds. Tom Sawyer Island at Magic Kingdom (MK) is a great place. You know your son better than anyone so if he has things that may trigger anxiety for him, avoid those attractions (i.e., attractions that are dark, loud noises, etc.). If you have questions about any specific attractions let me know. You may want to consider viewing the fireworks from outside MK.

    If your son has any sensory issues with food, you can bring in your own food in non-glass containers. If he has any comfort items, bring them if possible. If he has head phones or ear plugs to help keep the noise level down, bring them. If he becomes anxious, remember to relax & breathe & remove him from the situation until he calms down. If you see that he's had enough, pack it up & head back to your resort. You may not get to do everything on this trip but you can make the most of everything you do.

    I'm limited in space but please feel free to visit again. Wishing you minnie magical memories :-) Allison
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

Didn't find what you were looking for? Click the Ask a Question button to open the Ask a Question dialogue box. If you are not logged in a dialogue box will appear to signin in order to ask a question.

To submit your question, please sign in now if you have not already done so.

Ask a QuestionOpens the Ask a Question dialog box.

Update Browser

For a better experience browsing this website, please download an updated version of Internet Explorer.

Or you can continue browsing without updating.