Hidden Needs Advice from Passporter Members 1

Cinderella's Castle on a Beautiful Sunny Day by Tere_WDW

This week, I want to look at some questions regarding Hidden Needs posed on the PassPorterBoards.com forums. First up is a mom that asks about being able to accommodate her son’s dining needs. Then we will look at a grandmother’s question regarding how to help her grandson enjoy Walt Disney World with a seizure disorder. We will finish up with accommodations for a vision issue and older children still in need of changing tables.


Recently PassPorter member Tinkblat posted what she felt might be an odd question. Just like in school, NO question is ever odd. Chances are very good that if you have the question, then someone else does too. Tinkblat found out that this applies to questions on PassPorter.com also. You see, what she describes is really a Hidden Need! In short, she tells readers that her son, who has mild autism, cannot have any of his food touching and even needs to use separate utensils for each food item. Her question is: Will Disney provide the multiple utensils and also multiple dishes to ensure that her son is able to enjoy his meal? The answer, as she found out, is a resounding yes. You can read the entire thread in the Feasting and Snacking Forum of PassPorter.com.


Dammfam requested a few suggestions to pass along to her daughter’s teacher. The teacher is planning a summer trip with her grandchildren.  The teacher is concerned with how the Florida summer heat will affect her grandson’s heat related seizure disorder.  The first suggestion that comes to mind is to go during a cooler time of the year. However, if that is unavoidable, then a few other suggestions were made. Take a break in touring during the hottest part of the day. Keep him hydrated and try to visit as many air conditioned attractions as possible. These were just a few of the suggestions offered in the thread.   Her grandson will benefit from a Guest Assistance Card while visiting Walt Disney World. They will need to explain that her grandson needs to wait in an  air conditioned area for the ride vehicles.


Another member, Coopercw, asks if her husband would qualify and/or benefit from a Guest Assistance Card with Retinitis Pigmentosis, a vision disorder. She states that he has a harder time navigating in the dark. Passporter members replied with yet another resounding “yes.” Other members tell her to make sure to explain to Guest Relations exactly what his needs are. In other words tell the Cast Member that her husband has night blindness and tunnel vision and ask what accommodations can be made. The Cast Members at Walt Disney World and Disneyland are well versed in what accommodations can be provided for various needs.  You can read through the entire thread here.


Tabitha34 wanted to know about changing tables for older children. In the Vacationing Your Way: Your Special Needs forum. She explains that her younger child is getting too big for the usual changing tables found in the restrooms. She was offered lots of advice to check out the Baby Care Centers or First Aid Centers at the parks. After her trip, she reported back that the Baby Care Centers were a life (and back) saver for her.  She also said that World Showcase “proved to be one of the most difficult places to find a large enough changing table.” So if your child still needs the use of changing tables, but they have outgrown the size of the changing tables, try for the Baby Care Centers.Check out the entire thread here. Also, for more information about Tabitha34’s daughter and her Hidden Needs check out her blog.


As you can see, Disney World can accommodate a wide variety of Hidden Needs and Passporter.com is a wonderful site to find out what you need to do to make sure your family has the accommodations you need for a truly awesome and magical Disney vacation. Check out the Vacationing Your Way forum for tips on renting wheelchairs or ECV’s from offsite, First Aid and Health tips for touring Walt Disney World and information on dealing with the TSA when you have a disability. Thank you to all the awesome Passporter.com members that offer such great advice to each other.


About Pamela Dorr

I am a mom, a girlfriend, a caregiver, and a nerd. As a Disney nerd, I enjoy planning Disney vacations for myself and others. I am a travel agent with Off To Neverland Travel, in addition to being a mathematics tutor at the local university. My love of Disney has overflowed and found a home in the hearts of my beautiful daughter and my loving boyfriend. Both of my loved ones have special needs that must be considered when planning a Disney vacation. Whether it is a trip to Walt Disney World or a Disney Cruise, I know that the Disney Cast Members will help me to plan an awesome trip for both of them. In the Disney With Hidden Needs Blog, I hope to offer a few insights, tips, and tricks to planning a fantastic Disney vacation with Hidden Needs in your party.

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