autism at the parks: WALT DISNEY WORLD, UNIVERSAL ORLANDO, SEAWORLD
ANIMAL KINGDOM RIDES AND ATTRACTIONS
A significant issue for a guest with autism's experience at Walt Disney World is the sensory input they receive.
Our detailed description about each ride and attraction not only provides basic information about the ride but includes the sensory characteristics of what the guest will experience--vital information that will help determine if your family member would enjoy the attraction or if it could trigger significant behaviors.
WALT DISNEY WORLD has issued a Resource Guide to Walt Disney World including a description of the sensory experiences for each ride. This guide is a 23 page PDF file.
Disney's printable interactive park maps
Animal Kingdom's attraction descriptions.
FP+ means the attraction can be reserved via the Fastpass Plus ride reservation system.
It’s Tough to be a Bug FP+:
Guests wear 3D glasses during the show. The show is very loud and in complete darkness at times. Fog descends on the audience along with the feeling that things are crawling over your feet and bumping your bottom. Spiders drop from the ceiling. Small children are usually very frightened and will be crying and screaming during the show.
Festival of the Lion King show FP+:
Outstanding live performance musical show (we feel it is the best on property) with some loud music and a lot of visual stimuli. There is fire during the show, but not near the audience. We request to be seated near an exit door in case we need to leave the theater.
Kilimanjaro Safaris FP+:
Very bumpy and jerky ride in an outdoor open vehicle where you can see all types of African animals.
Kali River Rapids FP+:
Minimum Height: 38 in (97 cm):
You will most likely get wet on this ride. You may want to change into sandals or flip-flops so your walking shoes and socks don't get wet. Many people wear ponchos during this ride and while they still get wet, they are usually not soaked. We put our backpack in a kitchen trash bag to help protect the backpack if it cannot fit in the covered center storage area of the raft. There are also lockers available near the ride entrance.
Flights of Wonder show:
Entertaining show featuring a variety of exotic birds. Some birds will fly over the audience. Guests sit on benches or can remain in their wheelchair/ECV.
Expedition Everest FP+:
Minimum Height: 44 in (113 cm)
Intense roller coaster. You will be in the dark and portions of the ride will be going backwards downhill with significant g-forces. Note, in the Fastpass+ line after you walk through the first building, there are people waiting outside the ride for family members. You may experience crying/loud babies walking through this area.
Finding Nemo-The Musical FP+:
Fantastic puppet/actor show in a large theater with parts of the show taking place in the audience area.
Strollers must be parked in the designated locations unless you have a stroller as wheelchair tag.
Guests ride around in a circle in a dinosaur-shaped car and can control the height of their vehicle. Very similar to Dumbo.
Primeval Whirl FP+:
Minimum Height: 48 in (122 cm)
A lot of spinning, sudden stops and jerking movements on this attraction. The queue to this attraction can be loud and overstimulating.
Minimum Height: 40 in (102 cm):
Extremely loud, dark indoor ride through a prehistoric jungle. The queue and preshow can be loud for some, along with a loud loading/unloading zone. This ride is very rough and jarring. Loud screeching and flashing lights during parts of the ride. The last part of the ride can be intense because the T-Rex roars loudly while chasing your vehicle.
Multi-level playground with sand areas.
Na'vi River Journey FP+:
Dark indoor boat ride. Boat fits 6-8 guests depending on size of guests. The boat travels through lush scenery in a bioluminescent rainforest in search of the Na'vi Shaman of Songs. As you reach the Shaman, the singing get louder and may bother those with extreme sound sensitivity.
Avatar Flight of Passage FP+:
Minimum Height: 44 in (112 cm)
Slightly intense 3D simulator ride. Not recommended for guest who are prone to motion sickness. After the extensive queue and prior to boarding the ride, there are two separate pre-show rooms where guests are assigned their avatar image, seating is assigned and the safety message is given. Individual guest seating is a vehicle similar to a small motorcycle. The restraints on the ride vehicle are engaged by the CM attending the ride and are against the guest's calf of each leg and against the guest's back. The ride vehicle is where you will "connect" through your avatar to the back of a Banshee. Guests are only a few inches away from each other. For those who are concerned about their family member sitting alone, you will be able to touch their arm and reassure them if necessary. The room becomes dark and there are flashing lights at the beginning and end of the ride that may disturb some guests. The ride includes a lot of movement like you are flying through the air with dips and turns. You will also feel your Banshee breathing between your knees. You will be lightly sprayed with water multiple times and there are various smells during the ride.
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