Girl with sister and dad in front of Cinderelle Castle
  • On Apr 14, 2021
    Ashley from IL Asked

    Hello my two year old son is autistic and can’t not/will not wear a mask. Plus does not understand.. does this mean he can not enter the park? What do I do so we all can experience the magic inform? Thanks Ashley

    Hi Ashley, and welcome to planDisney.

    Thank you for stopping by with your question. I can feel how much you adore your son, and know you want to be able to enjoy a family vacation that is magical for all of you.

    I understand that face covering requirements can be challenging for people with disabilities, and I hear you that your little one doesn’t understand why he’s being asked to wear his mask. Currently, as part of the phased reopening of the Walt Disney World Resort, the requirement is that all Guests aged 2 and older must wear an approved face covering. There are no exceptions to the rule at this time. 

    Several of my friends and fellow planDisney panelists have visited with kiddos with disabilities, and they have some suggestions. I know every kiddo is different, and I’m sharing these in the hope that something might help your Mouseketeer. Missy suggests speaking with your Occupational Therapist if you have one; there are tips from OTs on the internet that help kiddos with autism get comfortable with mask wearing. Samantha shares lots of tips and ideas in this helpful answer, and our planDisney panelists are sharing general tips for face coverings in this Disney Parks Blog post. I hope there is an idea in here that can help your sweet little guy. You may also contact the Disability Services team at (407) 560-2547 if you have any further questions.

    If you can get him to tolerate the mask in the places where it is required, there are opportunities for your son to get relief from the face covering. If you stop and find a spot that is physically distanced from other Guests (at least 6 feet apart), and remain stationary, masks may be removed while eating or drinking. There are also Relaxation Stations in all four theme parks; I would check with a Cast Member when you arrive to find out the latest locations, as they seem to be shifting around. Your little one will also be able to splash happily in the splash pad and swim at your resort hotel without a face covering. 

    Ashley, if you’d prefer to wait until your son can enjoy a mask-free visit to the Walt Disney World Resort, you can contact the Disney Reservation Center at (407) 939-1936 to inquire about canceling your vacation package, resort hotel room, and/or tickets. We don’t know when the face mask requirement will be relaxed or changed, so I would keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog, as they will share any updates related to the phased reopening.

    I’m sending pixie dust your way and hoping there’s a way to make this work for your family. 

    Wishing you a magical vacation,
    Robyn
thumbnail image for Robyn

Meet the Panelist: Robyn, Virginia

Hi there! I'm Robyn, and I am so excited to share my love of all things Disney with you! My proud military family loves going on Disney adventures that include enchanting moments, laughter and happy tears, and all the pineapple and Mickey-shaped snacks we can find. It's my pleasure to help you plan the most magical and unforgettable vacation in the Disney Parks. Learn More About Robyn

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