Autistic Children at Disney World: Which Park and When?

We are going to approach the topic of best Walt Disney World Park for autistic children by looking at some of the biggest deal breakers for our kids. We have covered the fireworks dilemma previously, so let’s take a look at some lesser but important things to consider when choosing the best park for your kiddo. Additionally, you might enjoy other tips and tricks in our Autism series, found here.

Balloons are not for Everyone

For years, if we encountered a balloon artist in a restaurant, we might as well order our meal to go. Rose was not having it. If there is a balloon close by, then there is a chance that it will pop. If it pops, Rose is going to hear something a kin to an explosive devise. So we have avoided balloons at all cost. The good news is that she has learned in the past couple years to manage her fears. Her first success occurred while attending Prom. She was having a good time and wasn’t going to let those darn balloons ruin it. Humorously, her boyfriend is a balloon seller at Walt Disney World!

Balloons make great photos unless your autistic child wants nothing to do with them!

For parents of hearing sensitive autistic children, there are some tips that I can send your way. First of all, balloons are not sold at Epcot or Disney’s Animal Kingdom. However, you will find them at Disney Springs, as well as, the Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Additionally, you will find that balloons are only sold in certain areas of each park. At Magic Kingdom, once you get your little one past Main Street, you will not run into balloon sellers in Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, or Frontierland. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, they currently sell up and down Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards. You’re generally free from balloons beyond those two streets.

Evading the Crowds at Disney World

Anniversary celebrations, like Disney’s Hollywood Studios 30th, might be worth skipping
if your autistic kiddo hates crowds.

Some of our kids cannot handle crowded locations. Unfortunately, Walt Disney World has become a packed house year round. We use to enjoy some fairly quiet off-season visits, but not in the past few years. However, here are a few tips that generally hold true. First, visit any of the parks first thing in the morning or late evening. If you are in Orlando during the summer, we often have rainstorms around 3-5pm. If you can time it right, start driving to the parks around 5pm in hopes of passing the drenched tourist who are all exiting as you arrive.

Chilling at Epcot’s Living Seas. Many autistic children love this attraction.

Finally, Epcot is easily the quietest and most spacious, least crowded of the four. Bring over stimulated kids to Epcot to chill for a while. One of our favorites is the Living Seas. Kids are often calmed by watching the swimming fish in the huge aquariums. If boat rides are calming, you can find meandering boat excisions in The Land, Mexico Pavilion, as well as, a water taxi that crosses the World Showcase Lagoon.

Some Kids Love to Run even at Disney World

The Boneyard at Disney World’s Animal Kingdom provides a great location to run!

If your child just needs a good playground to run about then Disney’s Animal Kingdom might be your best choice. The Boneyard offers slides, tunnels, and a dino dig. There is only one way in and one way out, so if you position yourself strategically, you will likely not lose anyone. There is also a second story that you can keep watch from, if necessary.

Need to Enter and Exit Quickly?

If you are anxious that your child might need to go back to the hotel for a nap, or he just never does well leaving home for more than a couple hours, whatever you do, don’t go to the Magic Kingdom!! It takes seven lines to get from your hotel to the first attractions. 1) Paying for parking 2) Getting on the parking tram 3)Going through security 4)Buying your ticket 5) Boarding the monorail or boat 6) Scanning your ticket 7) Getting on your first ride. And, it will take at least three lines getting back to your hotel. From where ever you are in the Magic Kingdom plan on at least an hour from your location back to your car. If you make it in less than that, then it really is a “magic” kingdom!

Parking, waiting, riding, waiting, walking, waiting… It takes a while to get to the Magic Kingdom.

Autistic Children at Disney World are full of surprises

Let’s face it. Your trip to the parks is a little unpredictable. So, when it come to choosing a specific Disney World park for autistic children, you might find some of these tips to be helpful. However, we all know that each of our children are different. Please share some of the tips you have found while vacationing in Florida. If you’re up to visit, check out our “Meet Me in the Parks” series. Hoping your next trip is a winner!