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Visiting Disney World With Special Needs Kids

Walt Disney World has been a longtime favorite vacation destination for many special needs families.

The reason for this is simple: not only is Disney World a magical place to make lasting memories, but it is also extremely accommodating for special needs guests, whether their disabilities be physical or cognitive.

Still, planning a Disney vacation with special needs kids can be overwhelming, so here are just a few tips to help you get started making the most of your trip.

Head to Guest Services First

Here is where you’ll be able to pick up your child’s Disability Access Service Card, which will allow you shorter wait times for attractions.

Your child must be with you and it always helps to bring an official diagnosis from your child’s doctor.

While Disney is more interested in the special concerns you have and less about your child’s specific diagnosis, having a note from a doctor can help better explain your child’s needs, particularly if they have a non-visible disability.

Disney is extremely accommodating so, whatever your needs, let guest services know and they will do their best to get you what you need.

Donít Over Plan Your Day

Disney World can be overwhelmingly exciting and if you have concerns about sensory overload, it’s especially important to go slow, take plenty of breaks, and have a game plan that includes only a few attractions.

Don’t plan for a full day in the park.

Avoid Attractions With Noises, Scares, and Darkness

There are many attractions at Disney that are not well-suited for children sensitive to external stimuli, but the good news is that there are plenty where this isn’t a concern!

Here is a list of the best and worst attractions for special needs children.

Be sure to snag a copy of the Walt Disney World Official Guide for Kids, which contains lots of helpful info about noise, scares, and darkness levels on different attractions and will help you decide which rides may not be appropriate.

Donít be Afraid to ask for Help

If there is anything you ever need while visiting Walt Disney World, even if it’s just to find out where the nearest quiet spot is to help prevent a meltdown, don’t be afraid to ask a Disney Cast Member.

For more detailed information, please refer to Walt Disney World’s complimentary  Resource for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities

For non-cognitive disabilities, see Disney’s Guidebook for Guests with Disabilities:


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