Tag Archives: autism

How to survive a Disneyland or Disney World character meet and greet

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to survive a Disneyland or Disney World character meet and greet

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Survive a character meet and greet?  Aren’t those supposed to be fun?  For most people, both adults and children, they are.  It is a chance to meet their favorite characters, get autographs, interact, and have their pictures taken.  But some of us (adults and children) have physical and/or cognitive issues that can easily cause our day to go from magical to maddening.  Some may not like to be touched.  Others may need to be the one to initiate physical contact.  This can be problematic as most characters love to give hugs.  And beware; if one hug could set off a meltdown or cause physical pain, there are some characters that don’t know when to stop hugging or squeezing.  On a few occasions I have exited a meet and greet feeling like I had just been beaten up because the character was overly affectionate. There have been times when I chose to stand to meet a character only to come dangerously close to falling when a character has pulled me in for a hug.  


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, there is a way to meet your favorite character without physical or emotional trauma.  Before visiting the parks, think about how you or the person (adult or child) with the physical or cognitive sensitivities reacts to everyday greetings.  Are they in constant physical pain?  Do they initiate physical contact or are they okay with someone else being the initiator? Will they tolerate a quick hug but nothing more beyond that? Will a prolonged physical touch or a rough hug cause physical pain?  When I am experiencing a high pain day, every touch no matter how light feels like a punch.  I could feel bruised for hours or days from the gentlest of hugs.  Do they have a weak immune system, could receiving a hug from a character that has already had thousands of other bodies pressed against it cause this person to become ill?

 

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Next, write a list of what would make the meeting more magical.  Keep it simple.  No touching, handshake only, be gentle, one hug, etc…   Depending on how many characters you or the guest with sensitivities is planning on meeting, you may want to print out the requests.  This would also be beneficial if the person will be meeting characters with other party guests and not always you.  Whether you print it out or not, make sure that everyone who could possibly accompany said person to a meet and greet is informed of the requests.  When you arrive at the line for your chosen character, you will see that they always have a cast member with them.  Some have several cast members in attendance.  Be sure to inform the first one you see of your requests.  They will then inform the character prior to your turn to meet the character.  

By following this simple tip, you can avoid messy meltdowns and physical pain.  Find out how to have a most magical Disney vacation by discovering what you should know about visiting the parks with a physical disability, chronic illness, special needs, a service dog, and more by reading my Disneyland attraction posts.  Information about Disney World attractions will be coming soon as well as a tool to help handicapped guests in both parks.  Visiting with a handicap of any kind can be daunting, but when you know what to expect in advance you have that much less to stress about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Disabled Diva’s Unofficial Disneyland Vacation Planning Guide

Are chronic conditions or disability keeping you from planning a Disneyland vacation?

Guests of Disneyland should enter the gates ready to have fun, not fretting over trying to figure out what they will be able to do or how to navigate Disneyland’s handicapped system.

Disneyland’s handicapped system was frustrating even before they made it more complicated.  The changes made take time to get used to, time that most don’t have when on vacation.  I don’t know about you, but I go on vacation to have fun, not to be stressed!  Since the changes to the system went into effect a couple of years ago, I have had countless people stop me in the parks asking if they could do this or that.  Most have no clue how the handicapped system or queues work, let alone which rides or attractions are wheelchair friendly.  Not only do I get stopped while in the parks, I also receive questions from readers on a weekly basis.  Then one day it hit me! Wouldn’t it be awesome if these people could have access to this information prior to arriving at Disneyland? And that is why I wrote this guide.

 

 

While Disneyland provides basic accessible information on their website, it fails to fully explain how the system works.  This is why this guide is a must for anyone with a chronic condition or disability.  I expand upon the basic information and leave no doubts as to how to enter, board, and exit each attraction.  After reading this book, you will fully understand how the virtual queues work and what to expect when visiting with a disability.

I wish I would have had this information long ago, as it took months for me to figure it out the new system.  Don’t waste your precious vacation time by trying to figure out what to do and where to go!  Order your copy today!

Download your free copy today!

Wishing you a day filled with magical memories!

The Disabled Diva

disclosure

The Disabled Diva and Disneyability are not affiliated with the Disney Company or Disneyland.

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