February 2021

Text says "how to prepare your highly sensitive child for you disney vacation", with images of Spaceship earth from Epcot, Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios entrance sign. From moms make it magical dot com.

How To Prepare Your Highly Sensitive Child for Disney World

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If you are planning to take your highly sensitive or sensory sensitive child to Disney World for your family vacation, there are many ways you can prepare them. 

You might be wondering why you need to prepare them anyway.

Highly sensitive or sensory sensitive kids don’t do well with surprises and are easily overstimulated. Vacations in general can be tough because it’s such a big change from their regular routines and familiar surroundings.

Disney World vacations can be even more challenging due to the overwhelming amount of sensory and emotional experiences. 

This is why it’s all the more important to prepare and plan ahead of time, before you ever get on that airplane or in your car.  You can truly minimize (though not completely eliminate) the sensory overload meltdowns, and maximize the magic and fun for your highly sensitive kids.

So now that we understand WHY we need to prepare them, let’s think about HOW we can prepare them. Read on to find 11 strategies to prepare your highly sensitive child for their Disney World vacation.

Become Familiar with Disney Characters
Become Familiar with Rides
Become Familiar with the Hotel
Prepare for Loud Noises
Prepare for Crowds
Bring Other Items to Reduce Stimulation
Discuss General Expectations of Them
Find Things They Love
Get Walking
Make a Countdown
Adjust Your Expectations

Image of Toy Story Mania entrance at Hollywood Studios. Text says "will your highly sensitive child enjoy toy story mania?" from moms make it magical dot com.

Toy Story Mania for Highly Sensitive Kids

Going to Disney World and wondering if your highly sensitive or sensory sensitive kids will enjoy Toy Story Mania? Or will it cause meltdowns instead?

Well, you’ve found yourself in the right place!

Here you’ll find a thorough overview of Toy Story Mania, looking at factors like sudden noises, noise level, darkness, bright lights, speed, and “scary” visuals. Sometimes, these seemingly little things can induce meltdowns in our highly sensitive or sensory sensitive kids.

Toy Story Mania is a ride found in Toy Story Land at the Hollywood Studios theme park. It’s an interactive 4-D shooting game, which first opened on May 31, 2008. The ride vehicles have a have a pair of mounted pull-string cannons on each side, which means there are 4 per vehicle. It’s a really fun take on classic carnival midway games. 

Photo credit: magicguides.com

The background story is that you are “shrinking” down to the size of toys to play a carnival game that Andy got for his birthday. Some of the games include: throwing virtual eggs at farm animals, shooting virtual darts at balloons, throwing virtual baseballs at plates, and tossing virtual rings on the adorable Toy Story aliens. 

Keep in mind that you need to be wearing their special glasses to fully immerse yourself in the 4-D experience.

While there is no height minimum to ride Toy Story Mania, let’s figure out whether your highly sensitive kids will be overwhelmed OR enjoy their experience on this attraction.