Why You SHOULD Take Your Highly Sensitive Child to Disney World

Photo of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom, with text- 7 reasons why you should take your highly sensitive child to Disney World. From moms make it magical dot com

7 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Highly Sensitive Child to Disney World

Have you considered the reasons why you should take your highly sensitive child to Disney World? It’s true that highly sensitive people, especially children, are easily overwhelmed and get overstimulated quickly. 

It might seem like it makes no sense to go to Disney with highly sensitive kids (or even adults!). It’s hot. It’s crowded. There’s endless visual and auditory stimulation. I’ve even shared an article discussing 14 reasons why a Disney vacation can be hard for highly sensitive or sensory sensitive kids.

But I want to pivot a little, and think about 7 reasons why you should still take your highly sensitive child to Disney World anyway!

They Like to Keep it Simple

Going to Disney World with highly sensitive kids will allow you to keep your vacation simple! There’s no need to pack in so many extra activities in your schedule or make super elaborate plans.

Being on vacation and having a change in routine is already a huge adjustment for them. And being in the theme parks, seeing characters, and going on rides, is already a source of stimulation. They really don’t need much more.

It’s the total opposite from a sensory-seeking, adventure-loving individual, who needs a jam-packed schedule!

Another perk about keeping things simple is that many of the “extras” at the Disney cost extra. Like, the character meals, dessert parties, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, building a droid, etc. So, taking your highly sensitive child to Disney World could be easier on your wallet too! 😉

I’m not saying to completely avoid all these extras. But instead, pick one or two must-dos, and keep it simple otherwise. It’ll feel like a less stressful vacation for the whole family.

They Will Help You Slow Down

Highly sensitive kids don’t react well to time pressure, feeling rushed, or being told to hurry up. Those who identify as highly sensitive often do things in a slower, more deliberate way.

Another reason why you should take your highly sensitive child to Disney World is that it will encourage your family to take it slow and appreciate all the little things. Honestly, who wants to spend their whole vacation rushing all over the place?

I made the mistake of over-scheduling our first trip to Disney World. After a few crazy frazzled mornings, we realized that too many early morning breakfast reservations didn’t work for us. Canceling those reservations allowed us to slow down in the mornings. We didn’t have to feel so rushed from the moment we woke up.

While Disney World is usually not considered a relaxing vacation, going with your highly sensitive child will give you permission to take it easy. This is definitely a great reason why you should bring your highly sensitive child to Disney World.

They Will Notice Things that Others Miss

Disney is ALL about theming, and it’s even in the smallest details. Another reason why you should take your highly sensitive child to Disney World is that they will notice things that others miss. Highly sensitive people, even children, are super detail-oriented and will notice things that others often rush past.

It could be all the things on display in the storefronts along Main Street, USA at Magic Kingdom. Or Andy’s giant footprints on the ground throughout Toy Story Land, at Hollywood Studios. Or maybe even all the unique ways Disney has decorated all the garbage cans, so they don’t stick out like a sore thumb! There’s actually an entire website that is dedicated to showcasing Disney trash cans from all over the world!

One thing I have really grown to love and appreciate about my highly sensitive kids is that they point out all the things they observe. I learn to see everything with fresh eyes in our day-to-day lives, as well as our trips to Disney World.

They Appreciate All Things Beautiful

Is your child deeply moved by music, art, movies, compelling images, or the beauty in nature? Highly sensitive people are known to really appreciate beauty and artistry in the things around them. While a Disney World vacation is not exactly a pristine getaway surrounded by natural landscapes, there is still so much beautiful theming for your highly sensitive child to enjoy.

The background music you hear wherever you go can really move you. The breath-taking views of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom, or Pandora at nighttime in Animal Kingdom, doesn’t quite compare to anything else. The intricacies and elaborate details of your child’s favorite princess dresses will fill them with such joy.

If you can convince your highly sensitive child to overcome their fears of loud noises, the Happily Ever After fireworks show at Magic Kingdom (*currently unavailable due to COVID-19) is a beautiful story they are sure to appreciate. The exhilarating music, amazing light projections on the castle, and fireworks lighting up the sky, is a sight like none other.

Just Google “beautiful spots around Disney World”. You’ll see that there is SO much that is aesthetically pleasing for people of all ages.

They Might Be More Likely to Remember Your Vacation

One notable trait for all highly sensitive people is their depth of processing. This is referring to the way a person thinks about information or experiences. Shallow processing usually results in short-term knowledge retention. Highly sensitive people, even children, are able to process things more deeply and can intuitively draw connections to past experiences and attach their own meaning to the information.

What’s with all this cognitive psychology talk, you ask? I explain all this because deeper levels of processing usually means more elaborate, longer-lasting and stronger memory. In other words, there’s a good chance your highly sensitive child will remember your Disney World vacation.

Whether you notice it or not, your highly sensitive child will be constantly taking in everything around them and thinking deeply about it. They won’t take anything at face-value. And they will likely need time at the end of the day to ask questions and share thoughts about all the new, exciting, scary, fun, joyful things they experienced. And what brings more satisfaction than your child reminiscing on all the details (both good and bad) of your family vacation to Disney World? 

They Feel Positive Emotions More Deeply

It’s true that highly sensitive kids tend to get upset more easily than others. But the ability to feel emotions deeply goes both ways—negative and positive ones! So while there’s a chance your child will feel overwhelmed and overstimulated at Disney World, when something good or exciting happens to them, their sense of joy will also be more heightened.

And it doesn’t always take a lot for them to feel this way! It can be something seemingly small, like seeing their favorite characters on the Disney bus wrap designs, or eating their favorite Dole Whip or Mickey ice cream bar, or getting a glimpse of their favorite animals at the savannas at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Sometimes it’s in the little things where you’ll find unexpected joy. 

They Will LOVE to Help You Plan

Highly sensitive kids love routines and for things to be predictable. They like to know exactly what to expect. Vacations can be challenging just because you’re leaving behind everything familiar, and jumping into something new.

But this is exactly the reason why your highly sensitive child is perfect for helping you plan your Disney vacation. Watch ride videos together on Youtube. Print out the park maps and look over it together. Show them pictures of your hotel and the amenities they offer. Go over your whole schedule and get some input from them!

They will love and appreciate being involved with the planning process. And it will give them some idea of what to expect while there.

I’m well aware that some families enjoy surprising their children with a Disney World trip—with some kids not even knowing where they are going until they approach the Disney World Gateway.

I don’t recommend this for highly sensitive children. At all. They will truly enjoy their Disney vacation so much more if you involve them with planning. 

So, there you have it! 7 reasons why you should take your highly sensitive child to Disney World. Do you agree with my reasons? Or do you think its better to not take your highly sensitive child at all?

Join my private Facebook Group to share your opinion, ask questions, and get more tips on planning your Disney trip with your highly sensitive kids! And follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to get updates on my latest content.

And don’t forget to download your FREE copy of my must-have Disney ride planner tool! Use it so you can easily keep track of which rides you want to avoid and which you want to try with your highly sensitive kids. It will make planning your park days SO much easier! It is an editable and fillable PDF file, but there is an option to print a blank copy so you can fill it out by hand.

7 thoughts on “Why You SHOULD Take Your Highly Sensitive Child to Disney World”

  1. This is great advice! My husband and I did something similar with our daughter because she was nervous to ride a few of the new rides that had opened. Thanks for the great article!

    1. Glad you found it helpful! It definitely makes all the difference to prepare and reassure your child, and not force them into anything they REALLY don’t want to do.

  2. Nice article. Sensitives/empathy and the like are definitely a plus on a vacation. The details they notice and connections they can open are incredible.

    1. Thank you! It’s easy to get stuck on the negatives and the challenges that come with traveling with highly sensitive kids. But there are a ton of benefits too 🙂 for themselves, and those who are traveling with them.

  3. Pingback: 18 Essential Items for Highly Sensitive Kids at Disney World

  4. Rosemarie

    As someone who isn’t a kid, this actually opened my eyes as to why I last time I went, was severely overwhelmed last time I went to Disney with my parents and sister. I was looking for Disney is too overstimulating. (I love Disney! But the parks just aren’t for me as I’ve come to realize), and now I’m going to look into being highly sensitive. Thank you.

    1. I’m sorry you were so overwhelmed at Disney! It is definitely overstimulating on many levels, but I feel like it can be made more enjoyable with various accommodations. Whether it’s ear plugs for the noise, doing sit-down dining during the hottest parts of the day, taking frequent breaks to get away from the crowds, or using DAS (Disability Access Service) if you can’t tolerate standing in a traditional queue, there are definitely ways to account for those challenges. But you’re right, Disney isn’t exactly the best choice for vacation if you want to fully relax and have a peaceful/quiet time. For us, we’ve really enjoyed having a lot of resort days when we go to Disney so we don’t have to rush around the theme parks everyday.

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