Disney World Hotels, Sensory sensitivities, anxiety, and fireworks

disneyfan9320

Earning My Ears
Joined
Dec 2, 2023
This is my first DIS post so feedback is welcome on how to write more effective/appropriate posts.

My 6 year old daughter has significant sensory sensitivities to loud sounds like fireworks and they can be very anxiety producing for her. She in particular finds fireworks to be quite distressing. We will be taking her first trip to Disney World since she was very little. I've seen a lot of threads discussing how to see the fireworks, but I have not found any discussion around which hotels to avoid or seek out if you plan to be in the hotel during the fireworks and don't want to hear the sounds. I'm particular, can anyone recommend ways of staying at any magic Kingdom or Epcot area hotels but avoid any fireworks concerns? Are there room types which can avoid the sounds?

I am mostly leaning towards one of the villas at wilderness Lodge or one of the swan/dolphin hotels. Does anyone have experience staying at these and being in their room during the fireworks?

Thank you!
 
She is going to have a great time! I’d suggest looking into some noise-reducing earbuds if any standard loud sounds (screams, roller coasters, loud music) might bother her since those are plentiful in the parks.

As for fireworks, Swan and Dolphin are right between 2 parks with fireworks shows so that’s a no-go.

We stay at Coronado frequently and I don’t recall hearing any fireworks. But your true best bet might be Animal Kingdom Lodge which is so veeeerrry far from everything I can’t imagine hearing road traffic let alone fireworks! So peaceful and quiet :)

One last tip - some of the daytime stage shows DO set off fireworks, which is completely unexpected during daylight, so look in the app for those (I’m thinking specifically the Castle stage shows) and avoid the area during that time.
 
I heard the fireworks loud and clear from our room at WL a few months ago. AKL has no chance of hearing fireworks as they don’t want to startle the animals. Agree with Coronado as well. We stayed there earlier this year and had a view of HS, but we didn’t hear any loud noises at all. You’ll definitely hear them at BC, BW, YC, Swolphin, and the MK area resorts. We had an Epcot view at Riviera a while back, and we were able to see the fireworks, but I can’t remember if we could hear them or not. If so, it wasn’t remarkably loud. I second the noise canceling ear phones. Fireworks times are listed in the app, so you’ll have a heads up when they need to be used. Hope something works for you. Have a great time!
 
At POR, the Royal Rooms have a "fireworks" display (fiber optics you control with a button, lasts for less than a minute, no sound) built into the headboards. The rooms are really well themed, but can be overwhelming for some of us who need a wee break from all the Disney. (Moderate category) You can see EPCOT fireworks from some locations at POR, but we have never heard them; same for POFQ. POFQ is the smallest Moderate, and is very quiet and peaceful overall - but you may want to avoid both of these Resort hotels because of the boat horns.

You can see fireworks from a few locations at Disney Springs, but again, not hear them (unless the wind is from the right direction. You can also see them on the Sassagoula boats that go from Disney Springs to OKW, POR, POFQ & SS Treehouses docks.

Just a friendly reminder that on the TV in any Disney Resort Hotel room, you can watch the fireworks (with the sound muted) if you wish.

I can report with full confidence that AKL is fireworks free (except for the offering on the TV, which you must find and turn on)

I would suggest to avoid these Resorts:
- Contemporary
- Poly
- Grand Floridian
- Wilderness Lodge
- Boardwalk
- Yacht
- Beach
- Swan & Dolphin
- OKW (possibly, depending on location)
 
Thank you for all the quick responses! I should provide some additional clarification for our situation.

Aside from the daytime fireworks that butterscotchcollins mentioned, I expect my daughter to be in bed in our hotel with the shades drawn before any fireworks shows at night. My concern is primarily the fireworks being so loud that they penetrate the walls. We live in a major city and so muffled sounds should be fine as well. But anything loud or they can be identified as fireworks in the hotel room is the concern.

While I have considered AKL and port Orleans, my daughter's needs also make me greatly value proximity and ease of getting to/from the park. So I was really hoping to find an option amongst the MK or crescent lake properties.

For WL, I heard, as skyguy shared, that you can hear the fireworks. But I'm wondering if copper Creek or boulder ridge are more protected since WL is sort of between them and the fireworks?

And similarly for maybe a lower floor room at swan/dolphin or swan reserve, as there are buildings between them and world showcase lagoon.

If these are not going to be any good, then we'll have to accept that we can't be close to the parks, but I'm hoping there is a way to make it work!
 
Thank you for all the quick responses! I should provide some additional clarification for our situation.

Aside from the daytime fireworks that butterscotchcollins mentioned, I expect my daughter to be in bed in our hotel with the shades drawn before any fireworks shows at night. My concern is primarily the fireworks being so loud that they penetrate the walls. We live in a major city and so muffled sounds should be fine as well. But anything loud or they can be identified as fireworks in the hotel room is the concern.

While I have considered AKL and port Orleans, my daughter's needs also make me greatly value proximity and ease of getting to/from the park. So I was really hoping to find an option amongst the MK or crescent lake properties.

For WL, I heard, as skyguy shared, that you can hear the fireworks. But I'm wondering if copper Creek or boulder ridge are more protected since WL is sort of between them and the fireworks?

And similarly for maybe a lower floor room at swan/dolphin or swan reserve, as there are buildings between them and world showcase lagoon.

If these are not going to be any good, then we'll have to accept that we can't be close to the parks, but I'm hoping there is a way to make it work!
I would definitely suggest Coronado then because the buses to the parks, to me, feel really fast (it’s right by HS and Epcot but not adjacent the way Boardwalk etc. are) and they only have a few internal stops as well (if you stay in the Tower you’re the last stop so you hop on the bus and head right to the parks!)
 


If you're planning on being back in your room by the time fireworks and you're concerned about hearing them from your room (understandable, I struggle during the typical times at home since we live across from a park where people love to spend their money on things that go boom!) I'm wondering if you've ever considered and/or used a Sound Machine? They are marvelous!!! We bought one to take on our last trip after a noisy hotel stay in the summer that kept both of us awake and it was a welcome addition to our Disney trip this month. Our flight was delayed coming home and it was well after 2 am when we walked in the door. I told hubby I wasn't unpacking until the next day so just grab what he needed for the night (thinking his mouth guard and toothbrush) and he quickly riffled thru every single bag until he found the sound machine and turned it on :P

You could start off using it at home at a low level and increase it to the point that she can't hear things outside of her room. Once she's used to sleeping with it perhaps it will help with the fireworks scares? I would also suggest watching some POV videos for any rides you're considering so you can avoid ones that will lead to her anxiety (Thinking of Haunted Mansion and Living with the Land that have thunder)
 
We’ve stayed at Copper Creek multiple times and multiple times have been startled by the fireworks starting while sitting in our room with the balcony door closed and the TV on so I would definitely not recommend staying there.
 
Being close to the Magic Kingdom or Crescent Lake also puts you in proximity to fireworks so there's no getting around that. My daughter and I have sensory issues with fireworks and there aren't any resorts in those specific areas where you can avoid hearing the booming sounds inside your room at night.

You will need to choose between proximity to MK/EPCOT/DHS or being in a resort away from nighttime fireworks shows because unfortunately, you can't have both at WDW.

We have stayed at almost every WDW resort (I think we have 3 or 4 left on our list). The only resorts where we haven't heard fireworks in our rooms are AKL and the All Stars.
 
Have you looked into resorts on the skyliner route? We stayed in CBR a few years back and with the AC running the EPCOT fireworks were very muffled. The only time we really heard them were when we were watching them from Banana Cabana and with the general hustle and bustle they weren't super loud. One of my kids is sensitive to sound and even he didn't notice the noise there. Of course most nights he was snoring like lawnmower during show time.
 
While I have considered AKL and port Orleans, my daughter's needs also make me greatly value proximity and ease of getting to/from the park. So I was really hoping to find an option amongst the MK or crescent lake properties.
May I ask, what are those needs? Because a bus from Animal Kingdom lodge to MK versus a boat or bus from Wilderness Lodge to MK, might save you only 30 minutes travel time (2x 15 min) per day, I estimate. What would you prefer, shorter travel times or a quieter resort?

I am no expert, but I understood that the horns of the boats on the lake can be quite loud and go on for an hour time after the park closes. Not sure how bad this is, but maybe avoiding the lake resorts should be added to your list as well.
 
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This is my first DIS post so feedback is welcome on how to write more effective/appropriate posts.

My 6 year old daughter has significant sensory sensitivities to loud sounds like fireworks and they can be very anxiety producing for her. She in particular finds fireworks to be quite distressing. We will be taking her first trip to Disney World since she was very little. I've seen a lot of threads discussing how to see the fireworks, but I have not found any discussion around which hotels to avoid or seek out if you plan to be in the hotel during the fireworks and don't want to hear the sounds. I'm particular, can anyone recommend ways of staying at any magic Kingdom or Epcot area hotels but avoid any fireworks concerns? Are there room types which can avoid the sounds?

I am mostly leaning towards one of the villas at wilderness Lodge or one of the swan/dolphin hotels. Does anyone have experience staying at these and being in their room during the fireworks?

Thank you!
you are going to hear the fireworks from any of resorts you mention. Animal Kingdom Lodge would be your best bet to not hear fireworks. which could be why no discussions about what you are looking for. only thing I can think of that might help you would be the noise cancelling headphones during the fireworks even in your room but no room type as such that will avoid firework noise. we have even heard fireworks from RV and cabins at the Fort
 
I am no expert, but I understood that the horns of the boats on the lake can be quite load and go on for an hour time after the park closes. Not sure how bad this is, but maybe avoiding the lake resorts should be added to your list as well.
Ugh, those boat horns. You can hear them up to 90 minutes after park closing and then they begin again around 90 minutes before park opening.
 
can anyone recommend ways of staying at any magic Kingdom or Epcot area hotels but avoid any fireworks concerns?
As others have said, there aren't going to be room-types at any of those resorts that are "immune" to the fireworks sounds. A couple of questions: 1) do you expect her to be awake or asleep at fireworks time? 2) if asleep, would the sounds wake her?

If she'll be awake, would she wear earmuffs to block out the sounds? Many kids (and some adults) wear them in the parks to help avoid aural-sensory stimulation. They should work in a resort room for this need.

If she'll be asleep and isn't prone to waking, an MK or Epcot area resort may work if you are careful about watching the schedule for when fireworks are planned each evening.

If she'll be asleep but wakes to noises, maybe consider either earplugs and/or a noise machine. Something as simple as the sound of a fan next to her bed might drown out other noises enough to not wake her.

You may need to weigh the options and pros/cons of her needs to determine which is more important -- proximity to the parks or a resort room far enough away to avoid fireworks (or boats or other) noises. I would NOT choose a waterview room, which could put you near the pool at many resorts; that can be very loud with kids during the day as well as evenings.
 
I have a friend that dose not do well with the fireworks he wears headphones and goes into the bathroom with the fan on and watches YouTube videos on his phone. He has never had a problem and he is an AP and DVC member so he goes quite often and stays at a number of different hotels.

Hope this helps
 
If she’s going to be asleep, will she wear ear plugs or use a sound machine? My son hates fireworks and all loud noises and wears noise cancelling headphones anytime he can hear them. So far we’ve stayed at several resorts, and he’s usually asleep with a sound machine by fireworks, and he’s never woken up from them (we’ve done Pop, Caribbean Beach, and OKW). Also put her in the bed furthest from the window or door.
 

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