We are planning to visit Disney World in mid-December and I am at a loss for how to plan for such a trip since I am brand new to "this world". I am also having a hard time deciding which park might be the least overwhelming for my 2 children, one with Asperger's and one with ASD. A trip to the grocery store can be interesting to say the least for me so any insight on how to prepare the children for an 8 hour road trip, a stay in a… read more
We live a hour from Disney and have passes the key to success is to go to guest services and get a special needs pass for the duration of your trip you are only supposed to use it on rides where you can't get a fast pass (use the exit or ask the main worker outside the ride line) or if you have a long wait time on your fast pass you can use it on another ride while u wait... Do not try to ride back to back. Magic kingdom even though always most crowded is iconic Disney and has the most ride choices Disney website has some really good breakdowns of recommended rides based on ages and they also have a guests with disabilities page. You can also preview many of the rides have online videos you can prep the kids for what they will be like... If the like Disney junior movie studios is good. Animal kingdom is pretty low key but because its so big requires a lot of walking. My ASD girl loves Epcot pretty low key their nighttime light/fireworks show is great and not overwhelming or crazy loud. Movie studios night time show is fairly loud and can be a bit scary depending on age. Let me k ow if I can help further :)
Only way to go with children with Special Needs. They just can't wait in the loooonnnng lines. We had great success with getting passes for the Family with Special Needs. Disney and Universal Studios are great about it.
Best advice I can give is a lot of advanced prep. For example, "we are going to wait in line, then we will go on a ride, it will be dark and involve XXXX." My 4-year old son wasn't exactly thrilled by any of the rides, but the advanced prep seemed to help a little. He also liked some of the rides a SECOND time, but he couldn't stand the ones that went up high and were dark. Don't hesitate to get the note from your BCBA / doctor so that you don't have to wait in the regular line the whole time. We used ours sparingly, but it was very useful when we did feel like we needed to break it out and play that card.
get the Passporters book - Disney World and special needs, very helpful
My son enjoys both parks. Disneyland has the traditional rides with storybook themes and some wicked rollar coasters. Lots of rides with fast moving parts, lights and noises, but also some milder rides. California Adventure has an outdoor adventure place with a 2 story rope climb that my son loves! Be sure to use your fast passes to reduce the waiting in line.