Mom And Son Radiator Springs Racers
  • On Mar 27, 2020
    Lance from CA Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Our youngest son has autism. Any recommendations or words of advice for parents with kids on the spectrum?

    Welcome back to the Disney Parks Moms Panel, Lance! 

    As parents of children on the autism spectrum, we too felt a little anxious about visiting a theme park with our little ones. While there are often moments of frustration and uncertainty with even neurotypical children, we found that visiting the Disneyland Resort with all of our children has become one of our favorite things to do. 

    Walt Disney did such a great job of making the Disneyland Resort a place where all feel welcome and happy. Guests with disabilities, including Guests with cognitive disabilities, are especially welcome and will find appropriate accommodations are available when needed. To learn more about how the Disneyland Resort can help make your visit more enjoyable, you may stop by a Guest Relations location to speak with the Cast Members about possible accommodations tailored to your needs. 

    Here are some things to consider as you strive to make your visit to the Disneyland Resort more magical for your family. 

    Snacks. We often find that our children have difficulty expressing themselves when something is wrong. But more often than not, the problem is hunger. We have avoided many a tantrum simply by having a favorite snack on hand. Fruit or granola bars happen to work well for our children. Of course, there are also plenty of delicious snack options available throughout the Disneyland Resort as well.

    Water. Perhaps more important than food is to remember to stay hydrated. I recommend carrying a refillable water bottle. There are plenty of places to refill water through the parks.

    Experience the theme parks through a child's eyes. Walt Disney once said that Disneyland "will give meaning to the pleasure of the children—and pleasure to the experience of adults." You'll be amazed by the magic you discover as you let your child lead the way. With some prompts or guidance in available choices, allowing your child to choose your next adventure will lead you to many happy surprises.

    Reduce wait times in lines. Using the Disney FASTPASS service, especially with the convenience of adding Disney MaxPass to your theme park tickets will help you enjoy more attractions with less wait.

    Make a plan, but stay flexible. We find that our children feel more comfortable when they know more or less what to expect. Making them aware of a general schedule for each day helps keep them from being surprised or upset. Keep planned activities spaced out to allow for adjustments. And if your little Mouseketeer happens to prefer climbing about the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, exploring the Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island, or finding surprises throughout Mickey's Toontown, don’t fret about making it to your next planned activity. Vacation value is often more about the quality of the experiences than it is about the quantity.

    I hope you have a magical time at the Disneyland Resort, Lance. Please come by again if you have any more questions.

thumbnail image for Tony

Meet the Panelist: Tony, Utah

Coming to you from the Beehive State, I’m a Disney-loving dad and husband, buzzing with excitement to share advice and tips for making your Disneyland Resort vacation as magical as possible! I’m excited to help you discover the storytelling magic of the “Happiest Place on Earth!” Learn More About Tony

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