Walt Disney World is an inclusive place meant tone enjoyed by anyone who visits. For those of us who face sensory challenges, there are a few things to overcome, but there are ways to avoid meltdowns and by and large, have a fun and memorable vacation. Part of the challenge of enjoying Disney World with sensory issues is pulling back, slowing down, and taking frequent breaks. This counters the excitement and energy of Walt Disney World, but it allows for a more enriching and rewarding experience, too. Since Walt Disney World attractions are the primary draw of the parks, here are some sensory-friendly rides to plan for and some additional help on avoiding sensory-related problems in the parks.
The Sights and Sounds of Walt Disney World
One of the things you can certainly expect at Walt Disney World is an overwhelming sensory experience. While we may take the sights and sounds of the Disney Parks for granted, they can be a lot to handle for guests who have sensory challenges. Disney is very good at creating a bubble around a specific theme and they rely on sensory stimulation to achieve that illusion. On the other hand, Disney Imagineers have also mastered the art of stealing focus and directing guests toward a target to fix upon. This can be advantageous as you travel the parks in search of sensory-friendly rides.
Queueing Up For Sensory Friendly Rides
Although some rides may be ideal for a subdued sensory experience, you will not want to neglect the queues as consideration as some of them can be very stimulating. Others are quiet, dark and even have interactive features in the form of video games. The Play app also includes some interactivity while waiting in lines. However, fast passes are usually the best way to go. If you know waiting in long queues will pose a problem, you can stop at City Hall to request a Disability Access Services card so you can avoid them.
The Best Rides For Those with Sensory Challenges
Boat rides generally provide the best experience, such as The Riverboat at Liberty Square, and The Jungle Cruise in the Magic Kingdom. In Epcot, Living with the Land and The Three Caballeros Gran Fiesta Tour are also excellent boat rides that are slow and scenic. Rides like Dumbo and other spinners are also a good choice. At the Animal Kingdom the Kilimanjaro Safari makes a good experience as do many of the walkthrough animal exhibits.
Indoor Sensory Friendly Rides
The Florida heat is another potential issue to be aware of as you plan your vacation days in the parks. Ride plenty of indoor attractions to stay cool. Spaceship Earth, Frozen Ever After, and Soarin’ at Epcot are great indoor experiences. The Magic Kingdom has plenty of indoor attractions as well. Many of which are shows that take place in darkened theaters.
Another type of attraction to consider are scavenger hunts and questing games. From Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure to Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom there are a lot of self-paced activities to explore in the parks. In the Animal Kingdom, there is a Wilderness Explorer scavenger hunt. In Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom, there are several interactive Pirate quests to enlist for.