My dd has sensory challenges. You will see her around the park and she will be wearing her headphones and will have her special texture ‘blankie’ for soothing. She lives WDW but it can be really intense. I thought I read there are places (rooms) we can access to chill out if she needs a sensory break or is having a meltdown. Where can I find out more about those? Also it is very, very likely (expected) she is going to have a meltdown while we are in the parks. Crying, rocking, screaming, hyperventilating- I am trying to think thru how to handle this with all the people around. Normally I would try to move her to a quiet place, sit with her and rock her until she is under control and then we deal with whatever the issue is. But I am Not sure where to go in WDW. And what happens if it happens in line? We plan to try and get DAS ( for this and other reasons) but honestly anything can set it off.
About a week ago Universal announced opening a quiet room and Disney responded w/ a list of quieter areas: Quiet Places in Theme Parks for Autistic Children - Orlandovacation.com
sea world has gone further: SeaWorld is a Certified Autism Center - Florida Sun Adventures
This is amazing news. Thank you for posting.
Hopefully, DAS will help with the lines issues.
If you are near a CM, ask them to escort the two of you to a quiet place. They will likely know the closest place.
First Aid has beds separated by walls and/or curtains which we have used a number of times to help soothe and refresh the anxious in my family. Those were a lifesaver for us.
This is helpful info, thank you. I find the constant music to be very draining. I breathe a sigh of relief when I get away from the music at the end of a day.
Suffering from crippling anxiety myself, and having loved ones with pretty severe sensory issues as well, I’m going to try to answer this as best as I can.
Putting on my former CM hat-
DAS should absolutely help with the shortened queues. If DD has an episode in say Frozen’s DAS/LL queue, if there is a CM nearby absolutely you can ask to be let out of the line at the closest exit point to find a quiet spot, which they should be able to direct you to. If there is no CM in sight, you can send a party member back to the entrance to ask for help exiting.
They will not load if someone is in the middle of an episode, for the safety of everyone involved. I’m not implying you would try to force them on, though there certainly have been other families that would.
The main reason I’m posting this is that I’ve seen several families have children whom have had episodes while in line, both while I was working and while I was a guest. If you are able to get her to a quiet spot, and that works best for both of you then great. But I’ve also seen most parents stay right were they are, letting people pass them by as they work on trying to calm down the family member in need. I’ve got vivid memories of parents on their knees, their children in their laps, ears covered and heads buried as the parents rock them and whisper in their ears.
You will not be kicked out or dragged off (at least that wasn’t in any training manual I saw).
I find if the timing is right, the hall of presidents area before you go into the show room is nice and quiet.
There’s a list of relatively quiet, calm places on page 14 of this planning guide.
If you’re not sure where a quiet area is nearby, you can always ask a Cast Member where the closest quiet area is. In theory they should be able to direct you.
Also, If you’re in line for a ride and you need to leave, you can ask a CM for help getting to the closest exit.
You can also check out social media sites that are specifically for disabled WDW visitors, like the DISboard’s disABILITIES! forum or this facebook page Tips for Special Needs at Disney. They may have extra ideas.