Top Disneyland Indoor Rides and Attractions for Autism

 

Albert Hammond may make beautiful music, but he was a little off with “It never rains in Southern California.”  The truth is, it does rain, most often during the winter months. Then, of course, there’s the Southern California summer when average temperatures can easily surpass 100 degrees fahrenheit.

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions sign

So, whether you are visiting the parks in summer or winter chances are you might encounter some extreme weather pattern that may send you and your child with autism indoors. But guests to  Disneyland California need not worry; there are plenty of indoor activities!

To help families with autism plan their trip we have compiled a list of the top Disneyland indoor rides and attractions.

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions front

 Disneyland Railroad (most relaxing)

The railroad is a  great way to see  Disneyland without having to walk around as well as get from one part of the park to another when you are tired. Though the passenger cars aren’t closed they still provide enough shelter from the elements.

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions plaza

The train has four stops: Main street USA, Tomorrowland, New Orleans Square and Mickey’s Toon Town. Aside from superb views of the park guests will be surprised to see (we sure were!)  the Grand Canyon and Land of the Dinosaurs delightfully depicted in the typical Disneyesque fashion.

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions train

The Enchanted Tiki Room  -Adventureland (tastiest)

At  Adventureland’s the Enchanted Tiki Room, you will get a 15-minute break as you sing along  with the parrots and watch the show.

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions tiki birds

The upside is you can enjoy a  delicious Pineapple Dole Whip drink available at the nearby Tiki Bar. The downside is that it might take days to get that infectious ‘in the Tiki tiki tiki room’ melody out of your mind.

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions drink

 

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle- Fantasyland  (best exercise)

Have an antsy kid that needs some exercise?
The Sleeping Beauty Castle walkthrough in Fantasyland is an excellent way to let off some steam. Guests walk through Aurora’s Castle and can see the fairytale highlights in unique displays. There are some stairs to navigate and some dark areas but overall fun to check out.

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions cinderella castle

 Peter Pan’s Flight – Fantasyland (favorite animated)

Fantasyland is the ideal area for avid Disney fans as it still houses many of the park’s original indoor rides.Rides like ‘It’s a small world,’ ‘ ‘Mr. Toad’s wild ride’,  and ‘Pinocchio’s Daring Journey,’ are all mild rides with no height restrictions.

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions mermaid seats

Our favorite is ‘Peter Pan’s Flight’ that follows the animated movie’s storyline which makes it easy for even younger kids to understand. With that said, these rides do use darkness and some loud noises as special effects which might bother some kids on the autism spectrum.

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions peter pan

The Star War  Tours -The  Adventure Continues in Tomorrowland (for thrill seekers )

Tomorrowland’s  indoor rides and attractions are geared towards the older thrill-seeking kids and adults.  The Star War  Tours -The  Adventure Continues attraction features a simulator with state of the art 3D technology incorportaing movie characters from the latest movies.

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions displays

The fun starts while waiting in line as you are ‘pre-boarding’ the spacecraft at the Star Wars spaceport. It continues when guests get to join the Resistance with a reluctant C-3PO in charge.  Be advised that this is a thrill ride with drops, loud noises, and darkness which may not be suitable for those with noise or motion sensitivities. Furthermore, riders need to wear special 3D glasses.

 

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions star war attraction

California Adventure Park’s Animation Academy (best activity and souvenir)

The animation academy is a fantastic place for a child with autism as it is a quiet environment. It offers free drawing classes every 30 minutes with no reservations required!

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions free drawing lessons
Tutored by a Disney artist, participants learn to draw favorite characters. The experience is fun for all ages no matter the abilities, and you get to take the illustration home as a souvenir!

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions animation academy tools

While waiting for their turn for the art lesson guests can wander about the animation court and watch animated movies clips, explore the Magic Mirror Realm in the Sorcerer’s Workshop or live chat with Crush the turtle from Finding Nemo.

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions beast's study room

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters – Tomorrowland (best O.T. experience)

Soarin’ Around the World – Grizzly Peak ( most educational)

Though this ride does have a height requirement of 40 inches, it is a slow ride the entire family can enjoy. No passports required this ride is a great way to introduce kids to the wonders of travel.

 

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions soaring end

Soaring Around the World guests ride over famous landmarks in multiple countries;  starting with the  Swiss Alps and ending with what else Disneyland!  Be on the lookout for the subtle sensory enhancements like mist and pine scents featured during the ride.

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions soaring entrance

Frozen  at the Hyperion Theater (best musical experience)

This meticulously choreographed show at the Hyperion Theater became a crowd pleaser overnight. The production showcases the movie story and brings favorite characters to life with elaborate costumes and special effects.

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions elsa and anna
Be on the lookout for  Elsa’s famous song on the Ice staircase and try to catch the ‘snowflakes’ that land on the audience.

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions raindeer sven

Autism Travel Tips

  • For rainy days, purchase some inexpensive ponchos from the local dollar store. Since they rip easily, I make sure to have extra ones in my purse.
  • Have your children wear shoes with anti-slip soles. Anti-slip soles will give them an extra layer of protection if they walk on a slippery surface. Also, pack extra socks since it is no fun to walk around in wet socks after a downpour.
  • For super-hot days, make sure to have a hand-held fan that has a water bottle attached. This way kids can mist themselves off as they walk around the park.
  • Many of the rides mentioned are very popular so the wait times can be high particularly during the summertime. Make sure you use the DAS pass to help plan your visit.

Disneyland's Top Indoor Autism Friendly Rides and Attractions california adventure lake

Have you ever experienced Disneyland during hot or rainy weather conditions? How did you keep your family comfortable and enjoy your day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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