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Planning a trip for 6/2-6/6. I have a daughter who will be turning 3 right before this who has sensory processing disorder. Is there anything special I should do to prepare her? I don't want her to be overwhelmed.
- Asked by angela from KY on 3/21/2008
First of all the parks will be hot and crowded. So plan for frequent breaks away from the crowds and heat. You can utilize the baby care centers as a “home” base while in the parks. There are usually Disney videos playing if she finds watching movies calming at home. These facilities provide a quiet haven for some down time and a place to re-group when overwhelmed.
-Definitely consider earplugs for loud noises.
-Bring a book or other calming items that work well at home. Blanket, stuffed animal or whatever you find useful at home. Use these same strategies during your vacation.
-Practice a signal (thumbs down) or the use of visuals (happy or sad face) so your daughter can tell you that she’s “done”. This will help avoid a meltdown.
-Watch the free planning video with her or show her videos of the shows and attractions which can easily be found with a simple internet search.
-When approaching an attraction that you are unfamiliar with, do not hesitate to ask the Greeter about the noise level and other characteristics of the ride or show.
-I highly recommend the book “PassPorter’s Open Mouse for Walt Disney World and the Disney Cruise Line” for any one traveling with extra challenges.
Definitely tour in the early mornings when the crowds and heat aren't so overwhelming. Before or after lunch, return to your hotel for a swim, nap or rest in the room. Closing time at all the parks is chaotic. Perhaps schedule your touring to be out of the parks before the rush. Try to stick to your usual routines as much as possible. Enjoy the magic!