Mom And Son Giraffe
  • On Jul 10, 2012
    Brooke from NY 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 son that is 5 years old and has Asperger's and a daughter that is 4 years old. Are there any tips you have about planning a vaction that would suit his needs along with the rest of our family.

    Hi Brooke! The Walt Disney World Resort is a magical place for everyone including children with special needs. Once you arrive at the theme parks, be sure to stop by Guest Services (GS) to obtain a Guest Assistance Card (GAC). Each GAC will accommodate the bearer, and up to five other members of the travel party, by allowing access to alternate attraction entrances. The GS Cast Member will add a stamp to the GAC alerting attraction Cast Members to the special assistance required. In order to use a GAC, your son must be present when entering attractions. You won't be asked to provide proof of diagnosis, but it's always wise to bring medical documentation to have handy in case of any unforseen emergencies.


    I suggest arriving at the theme parks when they open, then taking a mid-day break at your Disney resort hotel before going back to the theme parks for dinner and evening fireworks. If he can't tolerate loud noises, bring ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones. If he needs a break from the hustle and bustle of the theme parks, consider the following. In Magic Kingdom take a ride to Tom Sawyer Island. In Disney's Animal Kingdom ride the Wild Express Train to Rafiki's Planet Watch. At Disney's Hollywood Studios stop by the tables and chairs area near Echo Lake, or sit on a bench in the quiet stretch of Pixar Place across from the empty Soundstage One. Epcot has several open spaces and water fountains that can help anyone refocus. Try to maintain his regularly scheduled meal times and be sure to alert Cast Members of your son's diagnosis. Explain that you would prefer being seated in a quieter area of the restaurant, if at all possible. This will go a long way in ensuring an enjoyable vacation for the entire family. Read my top ten tips for Disney!


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Meet the Panelist: Ritzy, Rhode Island

People describe my love for Walt Disney World Resort and Disney Cruise Line as intoxicating and contagious! My family fell in love with the Disney Magic aboard our first Disney cruise with Captain Mickey in 2006. I personally love to spread pixie dust, as I truly enjoy sharing my Disney experience with everyone! Learn More About Ritzy

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