Ray Pilgrim (NDD#104) (11 Posts)

Ray grew up with Disney having visited Disneyland several times as a kid, and Walt Disney World once. He had always had fond memories of the trips, but really became a Neurotic Disney Dad when he started to take his kids to the Disney Parks. His oldest child has Autism Spectrum Disorder. So taking his kids to Disney took a little more planning and some lessons learned the hard way. To help others, he and his wife have created Disney for Families with Autism Spectrum Disorder (WDWAutism.com) to help others plan their magical trips to Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Cruise Line. WDWAutism also has planning aides to help families prepare for their trips. Rachel and Ray also produce a weekly Disney Parks planning podcast called Mouse Travel Tips.

Photo Credit: Ray Pilgrim

One universal truth about Disney is that it can get loud and busy.  There are some slower times of the years, but even then it can still get crowded.  Special needs children, normal children, and just about everyone can get overwhelmed.  There can be times where you just need a break from the magic.  The smart thing is go back to the resort, and take a break.  However, this is not always possible.

Now when I tell you this you may find it hard to believe, but there are quiet places in the parks.  This is for those that cannot go back to the resort for one reason or another.  Before the meltdown becomes inevitable, search out those quiet places.  Grab a bucket of popcorn or a premium ice cream bar and sit down and enjoy the environment.  Taking a short break will pay off later and help make the park more enjoyable.

The quiet areas are usually off the beaten path, but they are there.  Frontierland is always a busy area as you have two very popular rides.  Finding a quiet area is almost impossible there, but after a little raft ride you are at Tom Sawyer’s Island.  It is almost always quiet and there are places to sit, take break, and watch the people on the other side of the river run around.

Sometime even attractions can be a chance to sit and relax.  We love to ride the TTA Peoplemover in Tomorrowland.  It is a good 10 minutes of just sitting down and riding around Tomorrowland.  We again get to watch the magic of the park, but sit down and take a break.  Another attraction in Magic Kingdom that is pretty good for a break is the Liberty Square Riverboat .  What’s better than a paddleboat ride around Tom Sawyer’s Island to take it easy?  True these are not E-Ticket rides, but you may soon find these to be among your favorites.

If you are not sure where you can go to sit down, look for a cast member.  They can usually point out a few good places.  At WDWAutism, we listed a couple of quiet places we have found from our trips.  As I mentioned earlier, they are off the beaten path.  Just look around, and you will be able to find one.  It is usually the place away from the masses or near those attractions that aren’t too popular.

I will be the first one to admit it’s hard to take a break.  For my family it’s always go, go, and lets go.  When that happens, there is a meltdown on the horizon, and it is not always from the children.  Also, when you sit down and relax, you give yourself a chance to notice the details in the park that make up the magic. So, grab some popcorn, walk down the path that seems to go nowhere, and relax.  The park will still be there when you’re done.

Contributed by: Ray Pilgrim (NDD#104) Ray is the DDL Special Needs Blogger. He is also the creator of WDW Autism.

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