Can Dream Vacations and Amusement Parks be a Reality for Autistic Children?

Autistic children do not need to be deprived of any dream to visit Disney World or other amusement parks. Families may believe that the popular and populated theme parks are too big and dazzling for their sensory sensitive children. This does not have to be the case. If planning and preparations are done in advance for the trip, many more destinations are feasible.

Many places can be possible and fun to visit with an autistic child and many companies are beginning to cater to this market.  Walt Disney World and Disneyland have work hard for many years to build a reputation for catering to children with disabilities, including autism.  Guest Services is available to take requests for convenient parking, fast passes, gluten-free diets, and other accommodations. The Disneyland website describes potential stresses of the park environment to children with disabilities, such as lighting and lighting effects, so these issues can be addressed beforehand. Amusement parks are noisy, but families have equipped their autistic child with easy to carry earplugs.

Disney is no longer alone in providing special services.  Located in San Antonio, Texas, Morgan’s Wonderland is a new theme park inspired by the founder’s daughter who has special needs. Morgan’s Wonderland opened in 2010 and has had more than 300,000 visitors. To familiarize the autistic child with the park and its attractions, such as the music garden, butterfly playground, and sensory village, the park website offers an interactive map, plus links to YouTube videos for an in-depth virtual visit. The mission of the park is to include everyone, so that means non-autistic family members can anticipate a fun and interactive time. Guests that are autistic enter free.

Holiday World Theme Park in Santa Claus, Indiana, is another company that considers the needs of families with special needs. It is actually two parks for the price of one: Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari. Pictures of the rides, descriptions, and videos can be viewed on their website. They also offer a variety of shows that are entertaining and lively. Guest Relations handle the accommodations, parking and boarding passes of families with children who require special attenton.

In most cases, going to an amusement park means selecting a hotel, which brings up additional considerations related to autism. The Wyndham hotels and their staff have been recognized as being knowledgeable and considerate of needs particular to autism. Carlson Hotels, or the Country Inn & Suites, reportedly gives a free kit full of neat devices useful to kids, like a stool. Some hotels of these chains have in-house restaurants that can oblige dietary specifications if notified in advance.

If an amusement park has been at the top of the list for a family vacation, then this summer, no one needs to be left out of experiencing the ride of their lives.

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