Here are amazing stress free Disney Vacation tips for your next vacation…
Disney Parks are an amazing playground. Sometimes though, the sheer volume of people, larger than life icons, and noise can create a challenge. The key to a successful Disney vacation: plan, plan, plan – but be flexible enough for change.
Here are 8 tips to keep in mind for those with a variety of needs to set you up for success.
Stress Free Disney Vacation Tips
Time of Year
Keep one thing in the front of your mind – no school means bigger crowds. So, avoid holidays and weekends. This limits the crowds a bit. Also, there is definitely a science to picking which park you visit on which day of the week.
Often, picking the park with the shortest hours gives you the best chance for low crowds.
There is so much to be said for choosing the right resort, and there are a few key questions that can help you narrow it down! Do you want somewhere that is bright in color and larger than life theme, or somewhere quiet and understated?
Will a themed room make it easier to spend time at the hotel or be overwhelming? (There are 6 great themes to choose from across property including Cars, Nemo and Princesses). What about transportation?
There is no one resort with quick access to all parks, however, if the close quarters on a bus are a concern, picking a resort that has walking paths or boats to some parks can be a savior.
Need assistance at the hotel? Basics like bed rails can be ordered once you arrive. Special rooms for hearing impaired or visually impaired guests can be reserved in advance.
Limited rooms at each resort also have roll in showers for those needing physical accommodations. Be aware that due to a change in Florida law in 2016, all resorts welcome service animals (trained dogs and miniature ponies only).
Emotional support dogs, on the other hand, are only allowed at 4 resorts that allow dogs with a fee.
American Sign Language Interpretation
Every park has a day (or two) with shows and attractions interpreted in ASL. Mondays and Thursdays you will find them at Magic Kingdom; Sundays and Wednesdays at Disney’s Hollywood Studios; Tuesdays and Saturdays at Disney’s Animal Kingdom; and Fridays at Epcot.
Be sure to get the specific schedule in advance, as each attraction they go to is only interpreted time a day. Even if you don’t require ASL, we find it to be beautiful to watch and a wonderful learning experience for all.
Each night during the holidays, all 3 shows of Candlelight Processional are interpreted. Check out our video of this incredibly moving experience.
Stop by Guest Services just inside of each park for a handheld captioning, reflective captioning, or video captioning device. Additionally Assistive listening devices are available for a $25 fully refundable deposit.
Upon rental you will be given a guide listing all attractions that are compatible with your device.
Disability Access Service – DAS (Previously Guest Assistance Card or GAC)
This service is only available to those unable to wait in a traditional queue who cannot be assisted in an alternate way. For example, if you are unable to stand for a long period of time, you can rent a wheelchair, and therefore would not be eligible for DAS.
At the beginning of your trip, the person needing accommodations (and an adult if that person is under 18) will need to visit Guest Services inside or outside any park or at Disney Springs. If it is determined that you are eligible for a DAS, it will be issued for your whole party for your entire stay, though it can only be used when the person in need is riding.
You simply get a return time added to your magic band at any attraction or Guest Relations Umbrella. You will still wait for the listed standby time at each attraction, but can do so from the comfort of anywhere.
When it’s your time, just enter through the fast-pass line! These return times are in addition to your regular fast-pass reservations, and we highly suggest that you use a combination of both DAS and regular fast-pass throughout your day to minimize waits.
Please keep in mind that due to HIPAA laws, Disney will not read doctors notes. With that in mind, we suggest that guests be prepared to explain what type of accommodation they need to make the process as smooth as possible..
Additional Stress Free Disney Vacation Tips
Watch Shows From Outside the Parks
If loud noises and congregating crowds are a concern, consider watching shows from alternate locations. The majority of Magic Kingdom Fireworks can be viewed from the monorail resorts; limited Epcot fireworks can be viewed from Disney’s Boardwalk Resort; Hollywood Studios Fireworks can be viewed from the parking lot of Coronado Springs.
Pro Tip: Stay in Gran Destino Tower standard view rooms and request a high floor for an awesome view right from your room!
Have a Plan to Get Out
Each park has multiple areas where you can “escape” the sensory stimulation for a little while without having to fully leave the park. Some of our favorite quiet places are:
- Magic Kingdom: Wedway People Mover or the circus tent behind Dumbo
- Epcot: Almost every Country (with the exception of Mexico and Norway) is filled with quiet crevices. We also love the calm of watching the model trains in Germany.
- Animal Kingdom: The Pangani Trail
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios: Just past Mama Melrose or the trail from Toy Story Land to Galaxy’s Edge
A Bonus Tip for You
Consider the service of a Travel Concierge who specializes in Disney travel, such as EZ Dis By Instant Impressions Travel. They are commissioned by Disney, so you don’t pay anything for the customized planning with and all their pro tips.
They can assist with things like choosing the right time of year, optimal park for each day, ideal resort, strategic fast-pass reservations, and more.
No matter what you do, remember to enjoy making memories!
Do you have any stress free Disney Vacation tips? I would love to hear about it below!