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  • visiting w/ my son with autism in June,. Would like to arrange a special meeting for him as he is obsessed w/Toy Story. Also wondering about autism program in the parks such as no waiting in line. where should I contact regarding this? Thanks!!
  • - Asked by Bruce on 5/7/2009
  • Hi Bruce,

    Congratulations on your upcoming trip!  My boys LOVE Toy Story too!  Many visitors with children on the spectrum report that Disney is a very "user-friendly" vacation choice for their families.  There is no "Autism-specific" program, however, I recommend that you start your trip by visiting Guest Relations in whichever park you go to first.  If your son likes Toy Story, you might want to make your way to Hollywood Studios, which is the home of the fabulous Toy Story Mania attraction.  At Guest Relations, you can explain your son's special needs and your concerns about him not being able to wait on line for prolonged periods due to his disability, and be issued a "Guest Assistance Card".  This card will allow you to access attractions via an alternate entrance.  While the card will not eliminate waits all together, in most cases, it will greatly reduce wait times and/or provide a quieter, more low-key area to wait in.  If your son is interested in meeting with Buzz and Woody (my kids' Toy Story favorites!) there is a meet and greet area that is wonderfully-themed, indoors and air conditioned directly across from the Toy Story Ride, where your son can meet his favorite pals!  When you are done with Hollywood Studios, head over to the Magic Kingdom for a ride (or two, or three) on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin!

    The independent website www.allears.net has some wonderful stories, tips and trip reports from families traveling with kids with Autism.  If you are interested in reading some of their accounts, simply type "autism" in the search function on the home page.

    I hope your son has a Disney trip as magical as he is!

    Tanya
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