Which Disney Park is Best for Kids with Autism?

 

 

Which Disney Park is Best for Kids with Autism? pin

Dear Margalit,

After meltdowns from our son with autism every time we had to leave the house when he was younger, we used your tips for introducing special needs children to the idea of traveling, and it has worked so well that I think we are finally ready to start visiting theme parks. Do you have any particular Walt Disney World one that you can recommend?    Thanks, Julia.

 

Dear Julia,

I’m so glad to hear about progress for your family.That’s great! Your question is a good one and one that I have been asked on some occasions. I have to say that all Disney parks excellent at accommodating special needs and disabilities for both adults and children.
Therefore, the way to choose between them will depend on your child’s specific sensory issues. With that said, I will try to highlight the pros and cons of visiting each of the four main parks in WDW.

 

Which Disney Park is Best for Kids with Autism? alice

Magic Kingdom

Since you didn’t specify your son’s age or if you have other children I have to say that the Magic Kingdom has the best indoor and outdoor options for all ages. It also has the widest selection of rides from mild and slow to moderate.

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For those who don’t like to or can’t walk a lot, it is ideal because the rides are relatively close together. If you like the outdoors, they have the Liberty Square Riverboat and Tom Sawyer Island which is fun to explore. If your son prefers to stay indoors, there are shows like the Country Bear Jamboree and Mickey’s Philharmagic. The sensory issues he might encounter are noise and darkness, but with headphones and some light from a  mobile phone, he will hopefully be okay.Which Disney Park is Best for Kids with Autism? dumbo

Visitors should be aware that the Magic Kingdom is the most visited of all Disney parks. With Disney’s new program for autism, visitors have to go to the ride they wish to experience, and the staff gives a slotted time to come back. Because of the popularity of the park, these waits can be long. Areas like Main Street are also more crowded than the other parks, so that’s also something to consider for kids who hate crowds or are noise sensitive.

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Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios has more extreme rides which cater to an older age group.
Unlike the Magic Kingdom which has parades, Hollywood Studios offers more stunt shows and live stage performances. This is THE park for kids that love thrill rides and can’t get enough of being twirled upside down or sideways.

Which Disney Park is Best for Kids with Autism? drive in

 

Also, it is the best place for kids that love movies and are fans of Star Wars. Overall, between the riders’ scream and night fireworks this park is the noisiest, something to bear in mind if your child is noise sensitive.A good time to go for kids with autism is in the early morning when they first open since the park gets more crowded by midday and evening.

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Epcot

If you and your kids prefer exotic souvenir hunting and tasting ethnic foods, then Epcot with its variety of international pavilions is for you. I have found that Epcot has been a great way to introduce children with autism to different cuisines and cultures in Disney form. It also has rides which are similar to the other theme parks and again, noise-sensitive children need to take that into consideration.

Which Disney Park is Best for Kids with Autism? epcotA highlight is the Park’s firework show  IllumiNations: Reflection of Earth, which can be seen from almost everywhere in the park. As our son is noise sensitive, we’ve discovered the best spot to watch the show was from inside the restaurants in the Unite Kingdom pavilion.

The Best Disney Park for Children with Autism epcot

The Animal Kingdom

If your family likes the outdoors and learning about animals, then The Animal Kingdom will be right up your alley, providing none of your family members are smell-sensitive. The park features a great scavenger hunt, a live stage production of The Lion King, and an interactive bird show, all of which we have found to be entertaining.

 

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Moreover, the Animal Kingdom is now open in the evenings. This fact might be a bonus, though it is still the least lit of all parks and some kids might find it scary.
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Once again, I’m thrilled you’ve decided to take a leap of faith and travel with your son to Walt Disney World. I hope that once you have had the opportunity to research and visit each park, you will be able to make a choice that suits your family best. 
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Family Stay at Embassy Suites Anaheim South Hotel

pin embassy suites anaheim south

Disneyland is possibly one of the most recognized and popular destinations for traveling families worldwide.It is, therefore, no surprise that there are over 160 hotels in the immediate area from which to choose. When our family visited the park this year, we chose to stay at the Embassy Suites Anaheim – South by Hilton in Garden Grove, a nearby town to Anaheim. The hotel, approximately one mile away from Disney’s California Adventure park, provides a good option for families that wish to visit the four area parks without paying an exorbitant price for lodging.

Family Stay at Embassy Suites Anaheim South Hotel sofa

What Makes it Family Worthy?

As mentioned before, the hotel location is convenient. It is just a short drive from Disneyland, the Los Angeles Angels Baseball Stadium, Knotts Berry Farm and Medieval Times. The property’s large suites with a two room layout can comfortably accommodate larger families. Furthermore, as a participant in Disneyland’s ‘Good Neighbor’ program, it offers a complimentary hot breakfast and a Happy Hour reception as well as free parking.

Fellow Travelers

Though Families visiting the local theme parks make up the vast majority of guests at this establishment, we also met several business people attending conferences at the local convention center.

Family Stay at Embassy Suites Anaheim South Hotel bar

Hotel Decor

The fourteen story modern looking orange building featured a central atrium with its rooms radiating outwards from it. The atrium housed the restaurant and bar as well as a small decorative pond, complete with a  fountain and swimming fish. The lobby and corridors were somewhat old fashioned; decorated in a  neutral color palette of  tans, browns, and blacks.

Family Stay at Embassy Suites Anaheim South Hotel beds

Our Room

Our suite was a generous size. We had two queen-sized beds in the main bedroom. The living room boasted an opening sofa so space could comfortably accommodate a family of six.

The living area had wall to wall carpeting in hues of tan and brown with medium and dark wood furniture consisting of a leather sofa and armchairs along with a coffee table. Though somewhat necessary it was functional with ample light, a phone, and a 40 inch TV. Across from the sofa the room had a dining table for families to dine at if they wanted to bring takeaway food back to the room. Furthermore, There was a kitchenette area with a sink, microwave and small cooler in the hallway between the living and bedroom.
Family Stay at Embassy Suites Anaheim South Hotel bathroom

 

The main bedroom featured the two queen beds as well as a small desk and a chest of drawers. There was ample closet space in the form of a standing wardrobe equipped with the standard iron and ironing board.
We were delighted to discover multiple power outlets in both rooms. The room had enough outlets for the whole family to charge their devices at the same time.

Our Bathroom

The moderately sized bathroom was well lit. The vanity countertop, with its speckled orange and gray granite, had plenty of space for cosmetics on either side. The bathroom featured a shower/tub combination along with an additional shelf area for toiletries. We were slightly surprised to see there was no place to hang damp swim suits and that there was no handheld shower head attachment.

Family Stay at Embassy Suites Anaheim South Hotel amenity

Dining

We had breakfast at the hotel’s dining room, the Serengeti Restaurant.  The typical  American breakfast buffet was delicious and hearty with plenty of pancakes, sausages, eggs, and bacon. Also, the buffet had an omelet station for guests wishing to customize their egg dish.

The Happy Hour or Manager’s Reception was available every evening during the week days. They served a few snacks and drinks, including cocktails and other alcoholic drinks and soft drinks.
Family Stay at Embassy Suites Anaheim South Hotel restaurant

Amenities

Families will be pleased to know that this site offers a daily shuttle directly to the Disneyland Resort for a nominal fee. We chose to enjoy the property’s convenient free parking and ‘uber’ to the park for under five dollars a ride.

The hotel had an indoor pool and whirlpool jacuzzi,  perfect for swimming all year round. There was also a gym for guests who wish to stay fit.

Family Stay at Embassy Suites Anaheim South Hotel snacks

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Parents should be advised that the hallways overlooking the central atrium are open and give the impression of not being very safe and secure. We would recommend that parents of special needs children request a room on the ground or first floor as any higher up can be potentially dangerous.
  • Do pack a non-slip mat for the bathroom since the hotel does not provide one.
  • For light sensitive children, parents will be glad to know that there are both thick and thin curtains in the room that block the light effectively.
  •  Temperature sensitive kids will like the a/c panel in the room that allows guests to adjust the room temperature to their personal needs.
  • Parents of noise sensitive children should ask for a room furthest from the central atrium where it is most noisy.

 

Networking and Fun Times at the DSMMC 2016

 

At the DSMMC 2016, there was a thread of empowerment alongside exciting news. From Disney’s Moana to social media tips, there was a plethora of great information with quality Disney entertainment to follow.

Last month I had the unique opportunity to attend the DSMMC 2016 (Disney Social Media Moms Celebration) and enjoy a day in the Anaheim parks.

Networking and Fun Times at the DSMMC 2016

The event took place at Disneyland Resort Paradise Pier Hotel. It gave me the opportunity to experience the Resort’s 60th Anniversary Diamond Celebrations, which were ending in less than two weeks while catching up with Travelingmom.com bloggers and networking with fellow influencers.

Though this was a mini half day event (compared to the larger one that takes place in WDW), it was jammed packed with plenty of useful information, inspiration and of course, the typical Disney pixie dust welcome and swag.

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The magic started from the moment the invitees arrived. We were each gifted a goodie bag filled with the 60th celebration items and park hopper tickets for the day. The surprises continued as we moved onto the large ballroom. There were a dozen or so tables each decorated with a pair of light up ears and a “paintbrush” for each attendee, perfect to use during the “Paint The Night” parade. The paintbrush next to the ears is a wand that lets users change the Mickey ears of anyone nearby by choosing a color and pressing a button. Needless to say, all of us had fun switching the colors of each other’s ears!

 

Networking and Fun Times at the DSMMC 2016

But let’s get to the Exciting Disney News!

Michele Himmelberg, Director of Public Relations at the Disneyland Resort, who had recently attended Disney’s Shanghai park opening and Leanne O’Regan, Director of Content Relations for Disney Parks, started our day by sharing details of all the upcoming changes in the Parks.

Networking and Fun Times at the DSMMC 2016

The Disneyland Resort

 

The not to be missed rides in the parks this season are ‘Frozen’ at the Hyperion theater and ‘Soaring Over the World’ which replaced Soarin’ Over California.

Both Anaheim parks are ready to celebrate another spooktacular Halloween season with the Haunted Mansion turning into a ghoulish attraction with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme starting September 9th.

Be on the lookout for Elena of Avalor, Disney’s first Latin princess who is an elegant warrior.
Networking and Fun Times at the DSMMC 2016 dolls

Also, this will be the final season for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, as it is closing in January to become Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission Breakout. Apparently, the Tower’s free fall drop will transform into an intergalactic experience featuring characters from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films.

Walt Disney World

The Orlando parks just got four new attractions: The Tree of Life Awakening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot’s Soaring Over the World and Frozen rides, and the ‘Frozen Ever After’ show at the Hollywood Studios. Last April, I got to check them out first hand during Disney’s Awaken Summer event for the media.

We also saw BIG changes to Disney Springs, formerly known as Downtown Disney. The new area is revamped and is worth spending an afternoon or evening in after spending the day in the parks.

However, the BIGGEST thing to hit WDW is going to be Pandora – the new world of Avatar in the Animal Kingdom slotted to open in 2017.

Networking and Fun Times at the DSMMC 2016

The Disney Cruise Line

According to the PR team, the cruise line will be adding new itineraries and ports of call from San Diego and Galveston by next year. They will also be adding two new cruise ships by 2021 and 2023. If you still haven’t sailed with Disney, you should seriously consider doing so if possible. The experience is unparalleled when it comes to entertaining families. Did I mention the Disney Wonder will get a Frozen show, too?

Moana

We were shown a preview by Amy Smeed, first female co-head of animation on a Disney feature film. Moana, scheduled for release November 23rd of 2016, promises to be a huge success. Set in the islands of the South Pacific it has all the markings of a quality Disney franchise – a beautiful, strong-willed princess, an angry demi-god, Maui, and two quirky pet characters, Pua the pig and Hei-Hei the rooster.

Moana, played by Auli’i Cravalho, is the movie’s adventurous and tenacious teen heroine. She sails off on a daring mission in an attempt to restore her people’s past as explorers. The themes of female empowerment, culture, and heritage are thought provoking and inspiring.

Amy shared with us through the copious amount of research her studio staff put into recreating the customs and cultures presented in her slideshow. These included details like the culturally significant tattoos of the men.

Watch the Moana trailer here:

 

Tapping into Disney’s bag of tricks on social media

Erin Glover (Editorial Content Director for the Disneyland Resort) and Victoria Lim (Managing Editor of Content at Walt Disney World) shared their secrets to success in the constantly evolving world of blogging and social media platforms.

 

Erin discussed running the Disney Parks Blog and described the challenges associated with organizing content and editorial calendars. She reminded us of the importance of syndication and promotion of content on multiple social platforms.

Victoria shared her favorite digital apps that help her create short professional looking videos on the go. The apps, which include Magisto, Videolicious, Quik, and WeVideo, sounded useful and user-friendly for anyone with a social media presence. All of the apps allow users to create personal collages with pictures and short clips along with music and graphics. I will try them all out and see which one I prefer.

Networking and Fun Times at the DSMMC 2016

Our surprise guests

Leave it to Disney to make our day more special by bringing two hard working celebrity moms to share their personal stories of balancing demanding jobs and family life.

Our surprise guests were Tiffani Thiessen (aka Kelly Kapowski from Saved by the Bell) and Ginger Zee (ABC News & Good Morning America meteorologist).

Networking and Fun Times at the DSMMC 2016

In their speeches, both women emphasized that though it wasn’t easy, women can have it all if they stay focused on goals and ‘just do it’ instead of being paralyzed by criticism or obsessed with perfection.

Tiffani spoke of her life as a mother, wife, and host of her own cooking show, Dinner at Tiffani’s, while running her blog. Ginger Zee relayed how she struggled to balance everything with her busy travel schedule and how she is frequently scrutinized on social media for ‘neglecting’ family.

Networking and Fun Times at the DSMMC 2016

After listening and taking selfies with these two hard-working women, we were more than ready to head on to the parks and try out the new attractions for ourselves!

Mini tour of the Parks

After the conference had ended at noon, I headed into the Parks to check out all the exciting changes since I had last visited.

Disneyland

Networking and Fun Times at the DSMMC 2016

Walking around the Magic Kingdom filled me with nostalgia and memories of the times I had visited the park with my kids over the past two decades.

However, what caught my eye were two specialized shopping spots that are sure to be a huge hit with kids, particularly for holiday gifts and birthday celebrations – the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and the Star Wars store.

The boutique sells princess outfits complete with accessories. It houses a mini beauty salon perfect for young children. Here, they can get a mani, pedi, hair and makeup done and then get a souvenir photo of the experience.

In the Star Wars store guests can construct and personalize a light saber with different saber colors, hilts and even with dual blades. The sabers light up and can be folded in like any of the light sabers you can buy at the park. Perfect for fans of all ages!

California Adventure

Though I craved my usual Dole Whip at the Tiki room, the line was rather long. Instead, I headed to the New Orleans section instead and enjoyed a refreshing mint julep before moving on to Disney’s California Adventure Park.

Since it opened back in 2001, this park has been our favorite with its thrill rides and boardwalk atmosphere. I was sad to hear that Soarin’ Over California was gone but the new Soarin’ Around the World is even better! This ride takes guests over the iconic landmarks like the Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower, ending right over Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

Networking and Fun Times at the DSMMC 2016

Attendees to the event had to select either ‘Soaring’ or ‘Frozen’ for their fast pass.Blogger friends that saw the show raved about it so I will be sure to go next time I’m in the park. For both attractions, I highly recommend a fast-pass! Even with a fast pass, there’s still a wait since the rides are currently insanely popular.

 

 

As I was heading out, I did stop to gawk at some of the eateries and stores in Downtown Disney. Here, my top picks for entertaining the kids are Build-a-Bear (currently offering unique 60th-anniversary accessories), the Lego store, and Ridemakerz, where you can build your own RC car from scratch. These are all fun options but are somewhat pricey; make sure you discuss a budget with your kids before entering.

Networking and Fun Times at the DSMMC 2016

Though my one day in Disneyland was short, it was well worth the two-hour drive for the networking, information, inspiration and fun memories.

 

 

disney statue

Disclosure:

I was invited as a guest of Disney Parks to attend this conference and given a free park hopper for the day as well as a bag of souvenirs. Rest assured that all opinions are my own!

Family Stay at The Red Lion Anaheim Hotel

 

The Red Lion Anaheim Hotel, located at 1850 South Harbor Boulevard, is a reliable choice for travelers looking for a budget friendly choice when visiting Anaheim attractions because of its proximity to Disneyland, family restaurants, stores and major freeways.
It offers 308 non-smoking rooms with king or two queen beds along with a 624 square foot suite fitted with a King sized bed and a living room area and an opening sofa that a child can sleep in.
There are two categories of rooms available: premium rooms with views of the Disneyland Park and standard ones with no park views.
The property also has ADA compliant rooms with wider doorways, lower grab rails, and TDD capacity and connecting rooms for larger families.

Transportation

The hotel is within walking distance of Disneyland and the Convention Center, so there is no need for guests to drive to the park and pay an additional parking fee.
If visitors want to spare their feet for walking around the park, they can get a daily 5$ pass for the Anaheim rapid transit vehicle that passes every 15-20 in front of the property or hop onboard the Disney’s resort express bus.

Fellow travelers

The hotel is a favorite with families and a few business travelers because of its proximity to the park and Convention Center.

Our room

Our room decorated in contemporary with dark woods and geometric patterns had two queen-sized beds, a comfortable ergonomic chair with a work desk and a small sitting area by the window.
Lit by several standing the lamps, the room also boasted two phones one of which is conveniently by the bedside and multiple outlets to power up electronics.
Additional room amenities helpful for traveling families include a flat-screen TV with free cable channels including HBO, ESPN and Disney, an in-room safe, Keurig coffee maker, a microwave and mini refrigerator.
Since the building didn’t have a central air conditioning /heating system, every room was equipped with its own individual with unit and thermostat.

Family Stay at The Red Lion Anaheim Hotel room


Bathroom

The bathroom was average sized for L.A based hotels with a black granite counter top and the shelving underneath that provided ample space to store cosmetics and medicines families’ travel with.
The tub had a showerhead (if you need a hand held the shower head to wash young kids you should bring a plastic one that fits over the tub spout) and a curved shower curtain.
The hotel provided eco-friendly toiletries for guests that included soaps and hair products.

Restaurants

The property’s restaurant Red’s Pasta Kitchen was open for Breakfast Lunch, and dinner in case guests returned hungry and exhausted from their day in the park. The breakfast spread for $10 per person (free for kids under 10) included cereals, bagels, pancakes scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, and sausages. Parents with children that are picky eaters should head on to the 24 hour House of package’s next door.The hotel also offered a Grab and Go venue food alternative called Café2Go, a good option for those rushing to get to the theme park for those early magic hours.

Hotel amenities

The heated outdoor pool  (no life guards on duty) and weekend roasting s’mores in the outdoor fire pits can help with entertaining kids to recover from a Disney overload.
The hotel also boasted a gym with cardio and weight lifting equipment for those wishing to maintain their exercising regime on vacation.

Useful idea

Like many other hotels in resort and theme parks, areas this hotel was equipped with laundry facilities.

Service

The hotel staff was courteous but looked a bit overwhelmed by the line of travelers checking in or out.
We did call housekeeping asking for additional towels that were delivered promptly.

Cost

Join the Red Lion Club before booking for a 15% discount and other perks like bottled waters or check websites like Expedia and Priceline.com to find the best prices.
Since the daily parking fee of $14 can add up, travelers should try to book a nightly hotel rate that includes parking.

Family Stay at The Red Lion Anaheim Hotel pool


Autism Travel Tips

  • Since the building has minimal soundproofing travelers should ask for a quiet room in the main building on middle floors (3-7)  away from noises of parking lots, boulevard traffic, elevators, ice machines or roof fans especially if their special needs child is noise sensitive.
  • The room A/C can get noisy at times so guests might want to have their kid sleep as far as possible from the unit if they are noise sensitive.
  • Guests may wish to bring a night light to supply the hotel room with some continuous light as the bathroom light is controlled by a motion sensor and will turn off at night.
  • For those kids who tire quickly or are uncomfortable in large crowds, the premium hotel rooms are a good option as they enable the guests to watch the fireworks over Cinderella’s Castle from the comfort of the room.

 

 

 

 

Taking Autistic Kids to Paris

Guest post by Zoe Sandell

After our visit to London, we decided to visit Paris for a few days. We took the underground that took us to the Eurostar Paris Station. The station looks a bit like an airport; we still had to check in and go through security and wait to board. Our autistic son, Brodie was getting well. With a simple stamp on our passports, we got to hop on the train. Well, not literally, as Brodie would follow my exact direction and jump if I told him to.

Taking the Eurostar

The Eurostar, like all trains, has half the seats facing forwards and the other half backwards. Of course, we ended up getting rear facing seats that Brodie dislikes. He was fine until the train started to move. I have to say he didn’t get upset, but I could see the panic in his face. Luckily, we found two seats facing the right way and moved. Once settled all was well.

The actual tunnel through the channel only goes for about 20 minutes but was still exciting. Brodie watched “Madagascar” on his DVD player, and we took a walk to the café carriage for the experience.

For a reason, only Brodie knows when we did arrive in Paris, he threw himself to the ground and started banging his head (I received a few hits too). However, he made a quick recovery. A fellow passenger who sat in front of us on the train felt the need to come up and reassure us; we were doing a fantastic job Brodie and added that her grandson had autism. I thanked her and replied that at times like these. We wondered whether we are crazy for traveling with him around the world. She reassured me we were giving Brodie unusual experiences. Her answer brought tears to my eyes.

Taking Autistic Kids To Paris eiffel

Photo Credit-Zoe Sandell

Paris!

So we finally arrived at Paris-city of lights. My first impression was I needed to hold onto my handbags and watch my pockets! There were posted signs all over the station warning travelers of pickpockets. We were approached by several girls pretending to be collecting donations for disabled kids.

Finding our next train (the regional RER) was quite an ordeal too.We needed to get change for the ticket machine. My dad (who was traveling with us) had me worried when he headed off with some young boys trying to sell used train tickets as a scam! Our older son, Harley as I have mentioned before was a superstar – fantastic at helping work out which lifts we needed to take and where the train platforms were.

The train (when we found it) took us directly to the Eiffel Tower. If you want to go to the top of the Tower. I would advise you to book tickets in advance to skip the long lines at the register. The caveat was that we arrived too early for our time slot, so we were stuck sitting around waiting. So we passed the time getting lunch and some souvenirs. A few trips to the restroom and we were ready to hit the line up (yes, there was a separate one for the pre-booked tickets)

Visiting the Eiffel Tower

Going to the top of the Eiffel Tower isn’t as easy as it may sound! Many times the weather can be windy or cold, so they close the top off to visitors. Some days the top may be open, but there is no view if it is cloudy.

On the day we visited, it was a perfect! At one point during our lining up, the sign said the top of the tower was closed due to congestion, so we weren’t sure if we would make it! Congestion also meant elevator rides with hoards of strangers, but Brodie managed to behave wonderfully on both elevators (first and second levels).Certainly worth a ride on the carousel as a reward afterwards! The view was incredible, and just the fact that we had a child with severe Autism ON THE TOP of the Eiffel Tower was enough to blow our minds!

The train back from the Eiffel tower to the central train station where we had left our bags was incredibly crowded too. We squeezed onto the train, and there was a woman in front of me with a pusher with a small child in it and another young child holding onto it. She kept saying to me “no space, no space” while people behind me were still pushing me forward into her so that they could get onboard.

At this point, I was expecting Brodie to lose it! But no he dealt with being a human sardine so well!  You just cannot imagine the amount of people on that metro train.As we got off more and more people just piled onto the train, and all I could think was that woman, and her small children were still in there somewhere!

Taking Autistic Kids to Paris disneyland

Photo credit-Zoe Sandell

We picked up our bags from the lockers and boarded the train to Disneyland  Paris ( quite far from the actual city ).It was at that point Brodie said “you know what, I’ve had enough”  and proceeded to lie down on the floor in the station and cry!

By this point, we had all pretty tired and were relieved when we arrived at our apartment one train stop away from Euro Disneyland. It was almost magical to put Brodie to bed that night and show him in his social story where he would be going to the next morning.

Disneyland Paris

EuroDisneyland was incredible! We had a marvelous time riding the rides for two days straight.We decided NOT to hire a wheelchair for Brodie but did buy him a well deserved “Mickey Mouse” balloon for walking that long.

What we did get was Disney’s disability access pass. This is incredible and if you ever take autistic kids to Disneyland, do get one of these (we also did it in Los Angeles). The staff in EuroDisney was helpful but this time, we did have to show a doctor’s note stating Brodie had Autism. The last time we visited he was in his wheelchair, so we didn’t have to do that. The pass was easy to get and cast members were only too happy to explain how it worked.

The pass works a little different in Paris than in Los Angeles. In L.A, you walk up to the exit and wait until they have a spot to put you on the ride thus avoiding the line. In fact, we could all go with Brodie on the ride which was great, so we could all stay together. In EuroDisney, each ride had a number next to it, and this was the number of people plus Brodie, who could use the exit to access the ride. There are some rides where you could go to the exit and book a time to come back and do that ride. No matter, matter the systems it meant lines were shorter, which helped us get to the parks quicker! Honestly, we didn’t even have to use the pass so much since most weren’t that long, but we still liked having it as an option.

What a wonderful initiative from Disneyland -we can’t thank them enough for making our lives easier!

Taking Autistic Kids to Paris castle

Photo credit-Zoe Sandell

Our Mentionable  EuroDisney Highlights are:

Dad noticed that one of the rollercoasters was going to close the following day for maintenance, so we went across to Disneyworld and had three turns on that one before it closed the next day.
The Tower of Terror was Harley’s and my favorite in LA, and I think this time it turned into Brodie’s favorite too.It features a sharp drop.Here  I’m sitting telling Tim to hold onto to Brodie since he doesn’t know it is about to drop.I the meanwhile Brodie is pushing Tim’s hands away and as soon as the ride drops-Brodie lets out a hilarious giggle and signs he wants more as soon as it was done.Totally priceless! Of course, I had to buy them both a Tower of Terror T-shirt!
I don’t remember the official name, but we called it the turtle rollercoaster ride. It featured a character from “Finding Nemo” based on the turtles riding the East Australian Current.  This ride was a “kids” rollercoaster, but it was quite extreme (a part we forgot to mention to mum before she had a turn on it.)
We enjoyed lunch in “pizza planet”, watched some shows and a Parade.AAfter all, you can’t go to Disneyland and not see a Parade!

Sacre Coeur and Montmartre

The third day after visiting  “the largest shopping mall you have ever seen” and an adjacent “sea life” park, we enjoyed a short cruise on the Seine.Mum and I decided to take the boys for a walk to the famous church of Montmartre, Sacre-Coeur.The walk was a little scary at times but fascinating.We liked the cable car ride up the hill.As we entered the Church, we saw the signs asking visitors to keep quiet. We were half way through our tour and remembered thinking to myself that  Brodie must have known he has to be quiet since he was so good. The very next minute he made one of the loudest noises he possibly could!  Harley and I both told him to stop which further set him off.Guess he enjoyed our reaction so much he decided to do an encore.Needless to say, we all made a very quick exit.Later that evening we re-joined the men and caught the EuroStar back to London.

Taking Autistic Kids to Paris city

photo credit-Zoe Sandell

I can safely say we officially rocked Paris!

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