traveling to disney world florida with an autistic child

How To Plan A Disney Vacation With An Autistic Child

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Are you wondering how to plan a Disney vacation with an autistic child? If you have an autistic child, planning a vacation to Disney World may seem like a challenging task. With a little careful planning, you can make it an enjoyable and magical experience for everyone involved.

Ready to start planning your Disney Vacation?

If you’re looking for a relaxing trip, consider spending more than a day at one of the Disney parks.

You can take a leisurely stroll down Main Street, USA, or take a ride on some of the classic attractions like It’s A Small World or The Haunted Mansion. For an action-packed vacation, consider booking a FastPass+ for some of the more popular rides like Space Mountain or Splash Mountain.

Once you’ve decided on your activities, it’s time to start planning your accommodations.

If you’re traveling with a large group, you may want to consider renting a vacation home or villa.  For smaller groups or families, there are plenty of hotels located near the Disney parks.

Tips on how to plan a Disney vacation with an autistic child:

Disney vacation florida autistic children

Autism can present a lot of challenges when it comes to vacations and travel. However, with a little bit of extra planning, you can absolutely take an amazing vacation with your autistic child.

Here are a few tips to help make the process a little easier.
  1. First and foremost, research all Orlando destinations that will be autism-friendly. This means finding places that are quiet, have minimal crowds, and have plenty of space to move around.
  2. Once you have a schedule of events in mind, reach out to hotels or resorts ahead of time and let them know about your child’s diagnosis. Many places will be more than accommodating and will even have special resources available to help make your stay more enjoyable.
  3. Stick to a schedule as much as possible. Autistic children thrive on routine and predictability, so having a set itinerary will help them feel more comfortable during the trip.
  4. Choose the right time of year to go. Avoid peak travel times when the parks are more crowded. Consider going during the off-season or mid-week when there are fewer people around.
  5. Stay at a Disney Resort hotel so you can take advantage of the Extra Magic Hours perk. This allows you to enter the parks early or stay late when it’s less crowded.
  6. Get a disability access pass from Guest Services. This will allow you to bypass the lines for rides and attractions.
  7. Make a plan before you go. Use a map of the parks and plot out which rides and attractions your child wants to see. This will help you make the most of your time in the parks.
  8. Be prepared for meltdowns. It’s important to have a plan in place for when your child gets overwhelmed or has a meltdown. Having a quiet place to retreat to, like your hotel room or a calm spot in the park, can be helpful.
  9. It’s also important to be aware of your child’s sensory needs. For some autistic children, loud noises and bright lights can be overwhelming. If this is the case, you may want to avoid some of the more crowded areas of the parks. Instead, focus on attractions that are geared towards younger children or those with special needs.

disney vacation austic child space mountain ride

Does Disney do anything for autistic children?

Walt Disney World Resort is wonderful for individuals on the spectrum.

They have a wide variety of accommodations to meet everyone’s needs, including suites with specific routines and themes tailored just right! Whether they need help in finding their way around or just want some time alone away from crowds so that emotions can settle after exploring this vast park by foot!

You can out more about the numerous accommodations that Walt Disney World provides here.

Does autism qualify for Das Disney?

Walt Disney World provides guests with autism and other developmental disabilities access to three major amusement parks. The passes are available at Guest Relations as you enter the park, but each one has its own unique features that make it more useful than others in assisting your trip!

autism awareness disney florida DAS card

It is important to note that if your special needs child must remain in their stroller during the line, you can ask for a “use stroller as wheelchair” tag accommodation. has great information to get you on the right park path.

What qualifies for a DAS card at Disney?

The Disability Access Service at Disney World is designed to ensure that every guest and family has a totally amazing experience!

It’s easy to get DAS! Guests who present any type of injury even if less visible than others will be granted access on arrival at park ticket windows – no longer do we need to wait hours just because our impairments don’t show up right away.

The comprehensive program has been updated with new features, making it easier than ever before for you, if you need assistance getting around!

Do autistic kids have to wear masks at Disney?

austic Child girl wearing a protection mask against coronavirus during Covid-19 pandemic disney world florida

Face coverings are optional at this stage of the reopening. They are optional for all guests aged 2 and above in all indoor locations as well as on all Disney transportation.

This rule is in effect for all guests, regardless of their special needs.

It can be difficult for children to wear masks when they feel uncomfortable. Are you able to access an occupational therapist?

If you do, I encourage you to contact them and ask them to help your child become more comfortable wearing a mask.

Does Disney offer special needs discounts?

Tickets for guests with disabilities and their caregivers are not eligible for discounts. As previously mentioned, Disney provides support for some guests with disabilities and special needs through the DAS (or Disability Access Service).

Can Disney ask for proof of disability?

Guests with disabilities often find themselves in a difficult position when visiting Disney Parks. You will not be asked to provide any proof of their disability, such as medical documents or an official diagnosis from the doctor’s office that they have been officially certified as being disabled by.

This has become more problematic over time because there is now legislation requiring some form of documentation about one’s condition before receiving access services like long-term parking spots at airports which can make traveling easier, but you don’t have to worry about that with Disney!

Wrapping Up…

The best way to ensure that your autistic child has a great time at Disney is to plan ahead.

Talk to your child’s doctor about any concerns you may have and make sure to pack any necessary medications. Familiarize yourself with the parks and attractions ahead of time so you know what to expect.

And most importantly, relax and enjoy the magic of Disney with your child!

With a little planning and preparation, you’re sure to create lifelong memories that will be cherished by both you and your child.

Thanks for reading! I hope this helps give you some ideas on how to plan a wonderful Disney vacation with your autistic child.

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