Thinking of a trip to Disney World this summer? The idea of a trip to an amusement park with lots of crowds and long lines may seem overwhelming for many Rett families, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips and tricks for those wanting to experience a little bit of Disney magic this summer.
Make sure to get a DAS (Disability Access Service) pass
Visiting Guest Services on the first day of the trip is a must. You can get a DAS (Disability Access Service) pass which will allow you to get a “return time” for rides to avoid waiting in line. The pass allows you to return to the ride and enter through the Fast Pass entrance without waiting.
How does this play out in real-time? If there is a 45-minute wait, you “reserve” a return time 45 minutes in the future, at which time you are allowed to enter through the Fast Pass line. You can show up beyond the 45 minutes if needed… as long as it is after the wait time, they don’t care. The Fast Pass option can be very useful if you are wanting to ride the many wonderful rides. It avoids the heat and general boredom of lines that, to be honest, no one likes. You can confirm your return time, and then go eat lunch, get ice cream, go in stores, etc., returning to the ride after your designated wait. The pass is valid for everyone in your party, but they must also visit Guest Services to be included (when you obtain the DAS).
Ask for a red wheelchair tag for your stroller
While at Guest Services, be sure to request a red wheelchair tag for your loved one’s stroller. This tag does not automatically come with the DAS pass, but you can ask for one. This tag allows you to bring your child through the lines in their stroller, as you would a wheel chair. It also allows you to take your stroller into the ride area, so that even if you are going to transfer your child into the ride, you don’t need to worry about parking your very expensive stroller outside (and the risk of damage or theft). Once the ride is over, your stroller will be waiting for you at the ride’s exit for easy transfer.
Find ways to beat the heat
Summer months can be quite hot, so be sure to bring cooling towels to help keep your loved one, and yourself, cool. Make sure to utilize the baby care stations that the parks have to offer. They are air-conditioned, quiet spaces that you can use if you need to cool down or escape from the abundant sensory input.
Bring food and an easy way to carry all of your belongings
Also (and very important), you can bring food into the park! Pack lunches, snacks, dinner even. Loose ice is prohibited, so make sure to bring cool packs. It may be helpful to use a carabiner clip on your child’s stroller to hang stuff; as you can tell, you may end up carrying a lot of stuff with you for the day’s adventure.
Request accessible viewing options and don’t forget to meet the characters!
Some parades and shows have handicapped spaces set aside for improved viewing. Be sure to ask cast members about them, and eliminate the worry of others blocking your views during the parades and other fun. If you have time make sure to visit the characters. They and their helpers are so accommodating. If you are up for a little “splurge” on your visit-character dining is one of the best activities for our girls. The option to eat at a buffet and lots of up-close interaction with the characters is awesome. They never rush, and they are genuinely kind and caring… and what great photo ops also!
Visits to Disney parks can be a lot to manage; however, with these tips and tricks, a wonderful experience can be had by all. Here’s to a fun summer ahead, with memories to last a lifetime!
Thank you to Allison Ballard (mom Robin) and her family for these wonderful tips! The Ballard’s are annual pass holders for Walt Disney World. They are seasoned veterans who make frequent trips and enjoy many of the wonderful aspects the parks have to offer!
Speaking of Disney World, be sure to check out all of our information about our biggest event every year, the Disney Princess Weekend here!