I’m back with some more tips and suggestions to make your trip to Disney easier and more enjoyable for your kids with special needs.
Most kids with special needs, whether they are physical, emotional or intellectual, can’t wait long. If that is the case in your family, I suggest staying at a Monorail resort. The resorts on the Monorail are Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort and Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. These resorts are a stone’s throw from The Magic Kingdom, and the monorail stops at the Transportation and Ticket center that can easily get you to Epcot. That being said, we have stayed at other resorts and have not had issues with transportation. All Disney buses are equipped with a lift gate for wheel chairs and electronic scooters. While waiting for buses, I often have very small bottles of bubbles to keep the kiddos distracted and busy while waiting.
It’s important to give kiddos a break from the sensory overload going on during the day. If possible, try to take a break during the day and head back to your hotel and take a swim or a nap. We always find that this really helps the kids reset, and us as well! If you can’t make it back to your resort, find an area in the park that you can stop and take a break. I also find that kids with ADD/ADHD need to burn off some of that extra energy they are carrying round. To help burn some energy, head to some of the play areas in the parks; The Bone Yard at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is our favorite!
Ok this is important for everyone going, however really important for kids with special needs. Did you know that kiddos with Autism, ADD/ADHD can dehydrate faster? Take some bottles of water into the park to make sure you and the kids keep hydrated. Don’t forget you can also go to any quick serve dining location and request water, and it is free!
Disney is a big place, and the crowds can be intimidating. I try to dress my kids in matching outfits and tend to stick to brighter colors too. I also take a picture of them every morning when we head out the door to the parks so I have a photo of them in their outfits for the day. You can also buy/make bracelets with beads on them with your cellphone number so that if they get separated from you, they can show the bracelet to a cast member and they can call you. I always point out cast members to my kids so they know they can go to them if they get separated or need help.
Where to dine is a big deal at Disney! Know a bit about the restaurants you may want to go to. Are they too loud, sensory overload, will they take too much time up eating there? My suggestion is to make reservations for off-times to eat. They crowds won’t be as bad and it's not as loud.
Plan, Plan, Plan
I find the more organized you are, the better you will do and the better your kids will do too. Get help planning! We would love to help you plan out the details of your trip so that it can be enjoyable for you. I hate it when I hear about someone having a bad time at Disney, and usually it’s because it wasn’t planned out well. While planning out the details of a trip is important for everyone, I think it is of the utmost importance to families with kiddos that have special needs. You want to have every tool available to you to make your trip a success.
Have a magical vacation!
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