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Vacation to Disney Land, FL with our special needs daughter in October

Vacation to Disney Land, FL with our special needs daughter in October

Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 05:31 AM
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Vacation to Disney Land, FL with our special needs daughter in October

We are planning a trip with our 12 year old special needs daughter (high functioning) to Disney Florida in October 2010. This will be her first Disney trip. We are seeking advice on do's and dont's during the trip and places to stay during the trip. Any advice is welcome.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 06:04 AM
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How many days / nights will you be there? Where are you planning on staying - on or off property?

How often will you need to return to your room, if at all?

We always went in October as the weather was cooler (still hot but not summer) and the lines were shorter (relatively speaking)
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 06:26 AM
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We are debating for 6 days but are looking for recommendations.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 08:09 AM
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You couldn't have picked a better time to visit Disney World, but I think you need to narrow the focus of your questions here. Spend some time perusing http://www.disboards.com and http://www.mousesavers.com and then you can ask for specific advice here. Oh yes, use the "Search the Forums:" box and type in something like "Disney" or "Disney World" and you will gets tons of information from recent threads

Vic's travels: http://my.flightmemory.com/vogilvie
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 08:18 AM
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Best advice I received was to get to the parks early (as soon as or before they open) as the first hour or two is usually quieter.

You know your daughter best and it would be difficult to give advice based on 'special needs' as this term covers a huge range of abilities.
I'd suggest you go at your daughter's pace and take cues from her when you need to rest or return to the hotel for downtime.

I'd definitely choose a hotel with a pool if you all enjoy swimming (great for cooling off in the afternoons).
The water parks are too crazy for me.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 08:37 AM
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I used to be that visitors with special needs, especially wheelchair visitors and their families would not have to wait in lines---you immediately got to go to the front of the line. I would sure check on that.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 08:42 AM
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October is a great time to visit WDW, but do remember to bring sunscreen and comfortable, well broken-in shoes. Go to the parks when they open and use fast pass. Epcot will be having its annual Food and Wine Festival while you're there, and Magic Kingdom will be having Mickey's Not So Scary event (a separately ticketed evening event - they usually close the park to regular visitors around 7 p.m. on the nights they have it).

Allears.net has a lot of information for people with special needs visiting Disney, including first-hand reports. http://allears.net/pl/special.htm
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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 03:35 PM
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do they still offer the handicapped pass where you can use the handicapped line to go in the rides ? We just had to get a note from our child's doctor and they gave us a pass

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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 03:51 PM
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Disney has a "Special Needs" Coordiantor. You can call regular reseration line and they will transfer you to them esp if you need ADA rooms and other special needs such as transport etc.

Food is of particular issue w/some special needs situations. You can order directly thru greengrocer.com and they will deliver to the room.

BTW if military there is a special military room rate discount for a limited time this summer or you also have access to Shades of Green
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Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 02:19 AM
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My best piece of advice for anyone going to WDW - it is not a test to see everything in the shortest time, nor will you get an award for cramming the most into your time. This is supposed to be a vacation and you can not, and likely do not need to "see everything". This means, if you or your daughter are hot and tired, quit and go to the hotel pool. "Get there early" is great advice, but if everyone is whining about having to get up early for the 3rd straight day, sleep in.

Our favorite family memory of WDW involves our fully clothed kids playing in a ground fountain (the kind where water squirts out of flat jets on the ground - designed for playing) for over an hour - when we "should" have been seeing an attraction or going on a ride.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2010, 04:12 AM
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I recommend staying at one of the Disney hotels if you can afford. Having access to the Disney transportation system and extended park hours are two major benefits. Being on site reduces transit time and eliminates the need and expense to park. October is off season. You should be able to get a room and ticket package at one of the lowest prices of the year. I believe the dining package is being offered at a discount this fall which is another benefit. I echo gail to build in plenty of down time to avoid exhaustion. It's a vacation not a race.
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Old Jun 24th, 2010, 05:54 AM
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Staying on property is definitely a big bonus if you can do it. It really changes your trip and makes things more relaxing. Also using the extra magic hours (early park open or late closing) can only be done if you are staying on property. The extra magic hours are great, but keep in mind that once that time is done, those parks tend to be busier because so many of the people on property are in that park. Sometimes going to another park that is not on EMH that day is better. Depending upon which end of October you are going in be prepared for the possibility of hurricanes / thunderstorms. I agree with everyone who said you will not see everything, so just enjoy what you can.
That being said, I have been to Disney many, many times and I have always been impressed with how accommodating they are to anyone with special needs or requests. You can also call them before you go and ask them about any questions you have. And as someone else mentioned, www.allears.net is an amazing resource for planning. Have a great trip!!
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