• On Jul 27, 2011
    Laura 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.

    Hi - We will be staying in WDW (Yacht Club) with our 4 year old twins in Oct 2012. My son has PDD (it's on the Autism Spectrum but very high functioning) and we were wondering if you have any suggestions on what to do or not do while in Disney.

    Hi Laura! The Walt Disney World Resort is a magical place for many people, including those with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD). You may obtain a Guest Assistance Card (GAC) from Guest Relations at any Disney theme park. They are for guests with a wide variety of special needs, including "invisible conditions" such as PDD. Each GAC will accommodate the bearer, and up to five other members of the travel party, by allowing access to alternate attraction entrances where available. The Guest Relations 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.


    Try to arrive at the theme parks when they open, then take a mid-day break at the resort before going back to the theme parks for dinner and fireworks. If your son can't tolerate loud noises, consider bringing ear plugs or even 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 the family's regularly scheduled meal times and be sure to alert Cast Members of your son's diagnosis. Explain that you would appreciate 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.


    This is the year of making memories at the Walt Disney World Resort. Enjoy making many lasting memories together!
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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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