Autism & WDW hotels

Deb286

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 3, 2016
We're a family of 5 traveling to WDW in just over a couple of weeks, staying onsite. Its been a couple of years since our last trip which was amazing. My youngest son is 8 and autistic and since booking our trip 18 months ago his anxiety, stress and behaviour is the worst I've ever seen it. He's having multiple meltdowns a day. I feel like I'll be able to cope with any meltdowns whilst out at the parks, but what I'm really worrying over is being back in the hotel and the noise and disturbance it could cause to neighbouring rooms. Should I contact the hotel before we leave and let them know? - would they be able to put us somewhere where we'll cause the least disturbance to others? Any advice greatly appreciated.
 

gap2368

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 27, 2015
You could try to ask for a room on the end where you have less people around you also what hotel are you at some have more quiet area then other
 

DisneyWishes14

DIS Veteran
Joined
Nov 21, 2011
We're a family of 5 traveling to WDW in just over a couple of weeks, staying onsite. Its been a couple of years since our last trip which was amazing. My youngest son is 8 and autistic and since booking our trip 18 months ago his anxiety, stress and behaviour is the worst I've ever seen it. He's having multiple meltdowns a day. I feel like I'll be able to cope with any meltdowns whilst out at the parks, but what I'm really worrying over is being back in the hotel and the noise and disturbance it could cause to neighbouring rooms. Should I contact the hotel before we leave and let them know? - would they be able to put us somewhere where we'll cause the least disturbance to others? Any advice greatly appreciated.
I would call WDW and ask to have a note placed on your reservation. Explain you have a medical need for a more secluded room and make the request. I would probably request a room with no connecting door which would help keep neighbor noise to a minimum. In years past, when I've made requests based on my DS12's disability, they have given me a phone number to call the resort several days prior to check-in. I haven't done this in a while as I simply place a "quiet room" request on our reservations now, so I don't know if the protocol has changed. First step, however, is to call WDW reservations and get your needs noted on your reservation. Just know, honoring these requests are hit or miss depending on what rooms are available during your travel timeframe. We have been given rooms tucked into corners and down hallways with little foot traffic (which were great!) and also rooms with connecting doors which weren't so great. Where are you staying?
 
  • StitchesGr8Fan

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 17, 2009
    I would ask for top floor, end of hall, no connecting door, unless the tantrums involve stomping and throwing things to the ground. I find voices travel up.
     

    Deb286

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2016
    Thanks for all the replies. We're staying at the Grand Floridian, I have no idea if there's a more quiet area/building but an end of hall, top floor sounds like a good idea. I will definitely give reservations a call and ask for this to be noted and hope they can accommodate our request.
     

    DisneyOma

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 27, 2015
    Really, the best thing you can probably try to move over to a Fort Wilderness Cabin. Barring that, don't let the complainers get you down. They can ask to be moved it they're too disturbed.
    I wouldn't be so rude as to call people complainers. If there's someone screaming and stomping and crashing around in the room next to yours, calling the front desk would not be seen as complaining in my book.
     
  • DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    I know what you are going through. I would ask for a room at the end of a hallway, but not a top floor room at GF, as they are dormer rooms, with smaller balconies and a vaulted ceiling which will magnify the sounds of a meltdown, making it worse for you all in the room.

    Our younger son did this on our last day at WDW last summer. We were in a ground floor room at BC, but at the corner in a Deluxe room, so it didn't disturb anyone else.

    What I might recommend is maybe speaking to your child's doctor and seeing if they think medication may be warranted at this point. My 2 boys are autistic, and the older one started having pretty severe anxiety around 8. It got so bad he was spending the majority of every day screaming and crying. He was prescribed a low dose antidepressant and the difference has been night and day. The dose is so small there are no side effects, but his anxiety is almost nonexistent. It's worth looking into.
     

    DisneyWishes14

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 21, 2011
    Really, the best thing you can probably try to move over to a Fort Wilderness Cabin. Barring that, don't let the complainers get you down. They can ask to be moved it they're too disturbed.
    I wouldn't be so rude as to call people complainers. If there's someone screaming and stomping and crashing around in the room next to yours, calling the front desk would not be seen as complaining in my book.
    As someone who had to "complain" due to people yelling expletives and, very obviously, throwing furniture and another person into furniture in the room next to ours at BWI at 5:30 am in the morning, I would have to agree that calling the call center if you hear crashing around in another room to be appropriate. I am not implying this is what is happening in the OP's case, but I applaud him/her for looking out for both her family's needs and the needs of their neighbors at GF.
     

    Hoodie

    <font color=purple>Going to BC and GF with one wee
    Joined
    Jun 3, 2008
    I'd ask about the cabins as well. Our experience at the GF was not great. We heard EVERYTHING in the neighboring rooms and they were talking normally. We've stayed all over from All-Stars to deluxe and the GF was the only hotel we had noise problems with.
     

    ChanaC

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2014
    The treehouse villas at Saratoga Springs might be another option as well. They are similar to the Ft. Wilderness cabins in that they are fairly spread out and quiet, but since they are DVC you can attempt to rent them with bought points. Do note, that in case your child is also a wanderer, a lot of them are on a riverfront.
     
  • mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    The treehouse villas at Saratoga Springs might be another option as well. They are similar to the Ft. Wilderness cabins in that they are fairly spread out and quiet, but since they are DVC you can attempt to rent them with bought points. Do note, that in case your child is also a wanderer, a lot of them are on a riverfront.
    But... some kids really love the boats at WDW - and a river view of the boats coming and going might actually be a *good* thing for them.

    We love the Cabins at FW for the peace and quiet - and privacy. You have so much space, and for a novelty factor, you could rent a golf cart to get around Fort Wilderness (lots of folks do).
     

    Deb286

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Sep 3, 2016
    [
    What I might recommend is maybe speaking to your child's doctor and seeing if they think medication may be warranted at this point.
    We have an appointment next week with our paediatrician and child psychiatrist and medication is now something I'm feeling more open to and want to discuss. It was never a consideration in the past as wasn't needed but things have changed so drastically for us. Its encouraging to hear its worked well for you.

    Really, the best thing you can probably try to move over to a Fort Wilderness Cabin.
    I don't think this is an option for us. We're coming from the UK and have a package with free dining booked through a travel agent which I don't think we can amend now. I did have a quick look on the UK reservation site anyway to see if there was any availability for our dates and there was nothing for the cabins.

    I think also if I'm honest I really want to stay at the GF and find a way to make it work as we all loved it there so much last time. One plus point is that my son does remember staying there and we often look at the pictures from our stay so there's a bit of familiarity for him - and he is looking forward to it.
     

    Betty Rohrer

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 19, 2010
    [

    We have an appointment next week with our paediatrician and child psychiatrist and medication is now something I'm feeling more open to and want to discuss. It was never a consideration in the past as wasn't needed but things have changed so drastically for us. Its encouraging to hear its worked well for you.


    I don't think this is an option for us. We're coming from the UK and have a package with free dining booked through a travel agent which I don't think we can amend now. I did have a quick look on the UK reservation site anyway to see if there was any availability for our dates and there was nothing for the cabins.

    I think also if I'm honest I really want to stay at the GF and find a way to make it work as we all loved it there so much last time. One plus point is that my son does remember staying there and we often look at the pictures from our stay so there's a bit of familiarity for him - and he is looking forward to it.
    I know in the US rge cabins can use dining plans and would keep in mind for future trips
     

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    [

    We have an appointment next week with our paediatrician and child psychiatrist and medication is now something I'm feeling more open to and want to discuss. It was never a consideration in the past as wasn't needed but things have changed so drastically for us. Its encouraging to hear its worked well for you.


    I don't think this is an option for us. We're coming from the UK and have a package with free dining booked through a travel agent which I don't think we can amend now. I did have a quick look on the UK reservation site anyway to see if there was any availability for our dates and there was nothing for the cabins.

    I think also if I'm honest I really want to stay at the GF and find a way to make it work as we all loved it there so much last time. One plus point is that my son does remember staying there and we often look at the pictures from our stay so there's a bit of familiarity for him - and he is looking forward to it.
    Good luck. I know things are different in the UK, but here in America, low dose SSRI antidepressants have been approved for use in children to treat anxiety. In my research, this appears to be the safest option, rather than relying on heavier, behavior modifying drugs that can really have some very serious side effects. Make sure you are on the same page with the doctors as to what you hope the medication can help with (in our case, the underlying anxiety, not the outbursts...some doctors want to treat the behavior rather than the root cause).

    As for GF, my boys loved it (it wasn't my favorite). We stayed there a few years ago, when they were 10 and 12 and they really liked the monorail, pool, CS restaurant, and the ability to watch fireworks from a distance (at the marina). You should have a lovely time there. We would HATE somewhere like the cabins or treehouses...just not our vacation style at all, and also, you shouldn't be made to feel like you need to hide away in some remote location just because you have a family member with autism. Your family will feel welcome at any WDW resort. Have a great trip!
     

    Mleach

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 13, 2017
    Hi! My kid has autism (and other things) and we have been successful asking politely for a studio (we normally have a studio) that isn't a lockoff, and is placed at the end of a bank of rooms. We are conscious of other people vacationing and the peace and quiet we used to have ;) so we just ask right up front. When she was about 5 we began to use a prescribed sedative in situations that we couldn't control such as hotel rooms and airplanes. It feels weird the first time you use medication, but it made our vacations much, much nicer for our daughter too.

    Since you mentioned you're going to the doctor, our story: When the meltdowns began to change for the worse (age 6.5), we did a sleep study with overnight EEG and discovered that she has a serious form of epilepsy and wasn't having a sleep structure - she was having subclinical seizures almost all night, every night, which was seriously exacerbating behavior issues during the day (I can't imagine behaving nicely when seriously sleep deprived). There are disorders that start at different ages, such as this one. She's now being treated with major anti-epileptics and it has helped daytime behavior tremendously. Anyway, it took way too many doctors before someone believed me about the behaviors getting much worse. It helped me to keep a log of meltdowns and show it to her doctor so they would take me seriously. Also, definitely note any regression or stagnation in educational goals as that is a excellent indication that something new is happening. I hope you have a fabulous vacation.
     

    ChanaC

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 25, 2014
    But... some kids really love the boats at WDW - and a river view of the boats coming and going might actually be a *good* thing for them.
    What I meant to insinuate (without being too dark) is that some kids, with and without autism, wander away from adults, including opening doors at night. I've heard too many horror stories of kids drowning in pools, lakes, and rivers because they run off before anyone could catch them. If someone has a kid that does that, they should be aware of how close some of the treehouse villas are to the river. Something to be aware of too in the Ft. Wilderness cabins.
     

    mamabunny

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 11, 2012
    ...As for GF, my boys loved it (it wasn't my favorite). We stayed there a few years ago, when they were 10 and 12 and they really liked the monorail, pool, CS restaurant, and the ability to watch fireworks from a distance (at the marina). You should have a lovely time there. We would HATE somewhere like the cabins or treehouses...just not our vacation style at all, and also, you shouldn't be made to feel like you need to hide away in some remote location just because you have a family member with autism. Your family will feel welcome at any WDW resort. Have a great trip!
    I believe you may have misunderstood a bit - I don't think we were suggesting that they "hide away" because of the child's autism, as much as offering alternatives that gave the family the maximum amount of privacy - and the least likelihood of any meltdowns being heard by others, since that is (one of the things) the OP mentioned she was concerned about.

    I have *zero* problems with anyone - with *any* type of condition - visiting WDW, autism included, and I hope that the OP knows we (myself and @ChanaC) made those suggestions only with privacy/less stress for the family as the guiding factors.

    If the those locations aren't desirable for some other reason (perhaps they aren't fancy enough, or they are *too* remote, or they aren't on the Monorail line - for whatever reason) that's totally cool. And the OP believes that she won't be able to change their reservations because of how their trip was booked - and she said that they are looking forward to staying at GF. Your suggestions are great - exactly what she needs.

    But no one here EVER wanted the OP & her family (or you & yours, for that matter) to "hide away" - while at WDW, or anywhere else.
     

    GoofyRonda

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Oct 21, 2010
    My 23 year son has autism and a seizure disorder and just completed his 23rd trip to WDW. We have had great days, tough days and 2 spectacular meltdowns in DHS and BB. I agree call Disney and explain your situation and ask for a room at the end and no connecting door. Also consider ground floor so he can get out on the grassy area if needed. For our guy the key is planning, together we plan each day in sections ie morning park time, afternoon break at the pool or water parks, evening dinner and return park visit or just down time at hotel. My son takes a low dose of Prozac and it works very well. Have a great time
     

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    My 23 year son has autism and a seizure disorder and just completed his 23rd trip to WDW. We have had great days, tough days and 2 spectacular meltdowns in DHS and BB. I agree call Disney and explain your situation and ask for a room at the end and no connecting door. Also consider ground floor so he can get out on the grassy area if needed. For our guy the key is planning, together we plan each day in sections ie morning park time, afternoon break at the pool or water parks, evening dinner and return park visit or just down time at hotel. My son takes a low dose of Prozac and it works very well. Have a great time
    My son takes the same medication. He is 15 now and it helps SO much. We do a similar thing with following a routine, except ours is morning: waterpark or hotel pool (when they aren't crowded); midday freshen up and relax in room (my kids You Tube time); evening: parks. We never hit the parks early in the day as it's too hot, unless we are visiting in the winter, which we only did once. Following a routine helps a lot.
     


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