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Terri Mauro

Disney Parks and Special Needs

By April 5, 2013

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Disney WorldWith summer not too far off in the future, many families may be planning their vacations to Disney parks and wondering how to minimize stress and maximize fun for their challenged kiddos. Two recent entries to the Readers Respond page on Disney and special needs share tips for a smoother visit. Writes Holly:

"We went to Disney with our 17-year-old daughter with multiple disabilities and our 8-year-old daughter. It was our first time attempting a vacation of this magnitude. Disney was so accommodating, it was really amazing. The tip I would like to share is shipping the bulk of your luggage to the hotel ahead of time and avoiding checking bags at the airport. The hotel was very accommodating, and I was even able to confirm that our things had gotten there before flying out of our city. It was an added expense, but it made travel so easy that it was worth it."

Reader Lele shared more ideas for a "Fantastic Disneyland trip":

"My daughter and I went to Disneyland last year in June. We were able to get a pass so that we could move ahead in the lines, which created even more excitement. Our trip was for 4 days, which gave us time to explore every single inch of Disneyland. We stayed across the street from Disneyland, which cut down on walking and anxiety, and ate outside the park for meals -- which saved a lot of money -- except for the last day. We did whatever she wanted to do for the whole entire day and ate whatever she wanted as well. To this day, she wants to go back to Disneyland -- we had a blast. If your child gets along with younger kids, plan a trip with cousins as we did. They were just as excited as my child and it helped a great deal that she wasn't the only one super hyper those 4 days! Planning is key, I must say, from the reservations, to the food, the rides, and having fun. If you plan ahead, your trip will be enjoyable and fun. Parents, it's okay, let your kids go wild and have fun, even if others stare!"

For more Disney strategies, read my post on "Preventing a Mickey Mouse Meltdown" and the article "Planning a Disney Trip With Sensory Processing Precautions," an excerpt from The Sensory Processing Disorder Answer Book. Do you have good ideas for a good time at Disney? Share them on the Readers Respond page.

Photo: Matt Stroshane/Getty Images

April 5, 2013 at 8:47 pm
(1) Lauri says:

We went to Disney twice when my son had his trach. He has been decannulated since 2010. We did have a lot of supplies we needed to take with us which I shipped to the hotel ahead of time. They were very helpful. We also found a local supply company that was able to supply us with an oxygen tank and whatever we couldn’t mail or take on the plane. When we went to the parks they gave us a pass that allowed us to get through the handicap lines. Disney is very accommodating when it comes to kids – and they should be – Disney IS Kids!

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