disabled girl with family and Cinderella
  • On Dec 2, 2017
    Keisha from NC Asked

    What rides/activities/parks should I plan for a child that’s 4 1/2-5 years old? Are there passes or special events for children with special needs such as Downs Syndrome? Knowing that do you think the times/days should be limited? Thanks

    Hi Keisha,

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel! Clearly, we are planning a trip to the Walt Disney World Resort for a special little one who certainly deserves the royal treatment. Mickey and Minnie Mouse will be so delighted to greet you all!

    With any child that age, I always suggest you take advantage of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel. If you do, you will have access to complimentary Resort Transportation. I also suggest that you download the Planning for Pre-School Kids and Little Ones Guide. This guide will let you know which attractions might be appropriate for your child. 

    When our girls were 5-years old, we took them to all four parks. To my surprise, their favorite park was Epcot. They loved Innoventions and we spent a lot of time there exploring the activities. They also thought designing and testing a car at Tesk Track was amazing (we helped of course) and they LOVED Soarin'. There are a ton of rides that your child might adore at Magic Kingdom - Dumbo the Flying Elephant, The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, Mad Tea Party, and The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh are a few examples.

    Keisha, since your child has special needs, review the Services for Guests with Disabilities Guide. Because my husband cannot tolerate standing in long lines, we have used the Disability Access Service. We use this service in addition to making our Fast Pass+ selections! The Disability Access Service and Fast Pass+ will save you hours of time in line for rides. 

    Finally, yes, we limit our time in the parks. We arrive early then head back by early afternoon to take a nap or enjoy the pool at the resort. You know your family best, but ours needs rest time!

    Magic, memories and Minnie Mouse hugs,
    Donyell
thumbnail image for Donyell

Meet the Panelist: Donyell, North Carolina

Hello from North Carolina! I am a mom of twin girls, wife, and university professor who has been inspired by the creativity of Disney for a lifetime. Since my first Disney visit when I was 12-years-old, I have been drawn to the adventures crafted by Disney Imagineers. Planning Disney vacations helps connect me to families who will find in Disney the kind of joy my family has experienced over the years. Allow me to help you map your own Disney journey so that you, too can create the memories of a lifetime! Learn More About Donyell

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