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  • On Apr 30, 2024
    Garth from UK Asked Please note that experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    We are visiting Disney Orlando in June this year. My son has autism and can’t wait in lines/queues. How can we manage this during our time at Disney?

    Welcome to planDisney, Garth. Thanks for reaching out to us!

    As you may have heard, the Walt Disney World Resort, along with The Walt Disney Company itself, is committed to ensuring that everyone feels welcomed and included. There are many services available to help Guests access the magic of the attractions and shows. One of these services is the Disability Access Service, or DAS for short. This service allows qualifying Guests to wait for select experiences in a different location other than standard queues.

    Guests with access to the United States version of the website can video chat with a friendly Cast Member up to 30 days in advance of their visit about possibly registering for this service. Since you live in the United Kingdom, you will not be able to engage in this call until you've arrived in the United States, but once you do, be sure to call as soon as possible. While you'll be able to use your smartphone to register for this service even if you're at the resort, the sooner you're able to do it, the better. So I would recommend that once you land in the United States and have access to that version of the site, go for it!

    I'm sure that you don't need me to tell you about your son's specific needs, but having worked with many individuals with autism in my educational career, I know that each individual has their preferences. As such, you'll want to ensure that to the best extent possible, you bring items with you to make your child more comfortable (subject to the Property Rules of course). For example, some of my students have a hard time with loud noises and wear noise-canceling headphones. If they were traveling to the resort, I would recommend they bring them. Another example is a smart device if your child uses it to communicate and/or keep them entertained while waiting. Even if your child qualifies for the Disability Access Service, you know from life experience that you can't always eliminate waiting for everything. If having their phone or iPad helps them, consider bringing that.

    Much of the advice I've given you goes for all parents. Our children are always their wonderful selves no matter where they are. If they require a nap in the middle of the day at home, they'll likely require one at the resort. If a certain amount of sugar makes it difficult for them to settle down at home, the same will be true at the resort.

    And I could probably say the same thing about adults too! My husband has a difficult time predicting when he's going to be hungry, doesn't plan well, and becomes unreasonably hangry at home. So, what do I do when I'm at the Walt Disney World Resort? Have a list of snacks in my head that he'd enjoy so I can drag him to one of those snack locations when I see the signs he's getting hangry. I'm sure he has a running list of things for me too!

    Garth, I wish you, your son, and your family a magnificent time at the resort. If you have any other questions, I'll be here for you!

    To all who come to this happy place: Welcome,

    P.S. Speaking of food and waiting and being hangry, be sure to use the Mobile Food and Beverage Ordering Service at many of the quick-service locations to order ahead and have what usually ends up being a much shorter wait. Trust me, this comes in clutch and will make everyone much less hangry!
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Meet the Panelist: Matt, New Jersey

Well hello there! I'm Matt and I'm a Disney-loving husband, teacher, and uncle from New Jersey. You can often find me tasting my way around an EPCOT festival, rope-dropping Magic Kingdom Park, or conquering all of the Disney Mountains. I can't wait to help you reach out and find your happily ever after on your next Walt Disney World Resort vacation! Learn More About Matt

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