Suggestion: A Calming Room

NightGuardianAngel

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jan 4, 2021
I sure wish Disney would add a sensory and calming room that is quiet with weighted blankets and other items and Disney theme books and toys for children to make them comfortable at all of its theme parks and Disney Springs for those who have autism spectrum disorders and other sensory conditions. This would definitely be wonderful place to go to when overwhelmed while waiting for DAS return times. Places such as Dollywood, Cedar Point, Legoland, and even Space Center Houston have them.
 
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Betty Rohrer

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2010
I sure wish Disney would add a sensory and calming room that is quiet with weighted blankets and other items and Disney theme books and toys for children to make them comfortable at all of its theme parks and Disney Springs for those who have autism spectrum disorders and other sensory conditions. This would definitely be wonderful place to go to when overwhelmed while waiting for DAS return times. Places such as Dollywood, Cedar Point, Legoland, and even Space Center Houston have them.
only thing that would worry me is how clean are the shared items? how are they cleaned between families? know it is not the same but I have had other people knock and yell at me because I was taking too long to handicapped restrooms. could that happen there? the few times I have been at Dollywood room was either in use or locked when I was there.
 

DisneyOma

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 27, 2015
only thing that would worry me is how clean are the shared items? how are they cleaned between families? know it is not the same but I have had other people knock and yell at me because I was taking too long to handicapped restrooms. could that happen there? the few times I have been at Dollywood room was either in use or locked when I was there.
Smaller parks are able to have these rooms because they have a smaller population to handle - I agree that the room would be very hard to manage at WDW. How would one clean a weighted blanket, for example? And those things are expensive; imagine how many people would try to walk out with one! People would also take the books, etc. Not feasible, IMO. That's something a family should manage on their own, in their room, or they could go to First Aid and use a spot there with their own books and blankets.
 

daisy2013

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jun 25, 2018
There is the baby care center. I haven’t used it in years so I’m not sure what they look like now but there was an area with a tv some places to rock kids and feed them etc. depending on the age of the child it could be an appropriate option
 

RoseGold

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 21, 2020
Isn't this the baby care center?

I mean except for the weighted blankets they are supposed to wash 20 times a day somehow.
 

DLgal

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
It would be nice, but it's not that practical, honestly. There are plenty of quiet, tucked away spots in the parks to go if your kid needs to just chill for a bit. I have 2 sons with autism and over the years we have found great spots for this purpose, but oftentimes it's not enough and the only solution is to head out. It is what it is.

What I think more parents need to realize is that it often takes a LONG time (hours) for autistic kids to reset after being over stimulated, and the best way to manage it is to MANAGE the stimulation and try to prevent overstimulation in the first place. Take lots of breaks. Use hearing protection, eye protection, protection from overheating, give the kid opportunities to stim openly or move around to self regulate. I see so many kids confined in strollers...let them walk more, walking provides sensory input that is important. Let them touch things, etc. Minimize long waits. Minimize long park days. Do the parks in short bursts and spend LOTS of time at the hotel in the pool, or playing with the sand on the beach, or sitting in a dark, cool hotel room with some familiar entertainment.

These rooms are a nice thought for places like airports and such, where you are sort of trapped, but at WDW, they are like a tiny bandaid for a stab wound.
 

tetera

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 13, 2017
only thing that would worry me is how clean are the shared items? how are they cleaned between families? know it is not the same but I have had other people knock and yell at me because I was taking too long to handicapped restrooms. could that happen there? the few times I have been at Dollywood room was either in use or locked when I was there.

Just FYI, the Dollywood room stays locked - if you want/need to use it you need to call someone to open it for you. At least pre-pandemic, when you would check in at the Ride Accessibility Center upon arrival they would write the phone number for the Calming Room on your ride accessibility pass - any time we have needed to use it we would just head over there and call on our cell while heading in that direction and someone has always been there to meet us and open the room. It has been a lifesaver for us in years past....
 

Betty Rohrer

DIS Veteran
Joined
May 19, 2010
Just FYI, the Dollywood room stays locked - if you want/need to use it you need to call someone to open it for you. At least pre-pandemic, when you would check in at the Ride Accessibility Center upon arrival they would write the phone number for the Calming Room on your ride accessibility pass - any time we have needed to use it we would just head over there and call on our cell while heading in that direction and someone has always been there to meet us and open the room. It has been a lifesaver for us in years past....
that was my guess but was not sure. have a friend who works in the park and she was not sure how it works not her area. and I agree with others what works there would not because of number of people at Disney. guessing it would not work for more than one family at a time. how would you handle more than one at a time
 

jo-jo

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 28, 2011
And considering how even a bench is getting hard to find, what's to stop other people who just want a spot to rest.
 

doubletoast

Earning My Ears
Joined
Jun 24, 2019
Due to the amount of guest , impossible to maintain.
Would be used by more than just autism families, so VERY few people would be able to use room each day.
Not necessarily. The Philadelphia Eagles stadium built a sensory room in 2019 for use during games and they routinely have near 70K people at each event, which is close enough to be comparable.
 

DLgal

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 12, 2013
Not necessarily. The Philadelphia Eagles stadium built a sensory room in 2019 for use during games and they routinely have near 70K people at each event, which is close enough to be comparable.

I'd venture a guess that a football game has FAR LESS kids who have sensory issues at any given time than any major theme park. We went to ONE baseball game ONCE. Kid couldn't handle the environment at all. Left by the 3rd inning. Never went back again. It's a complete sensory assault and you are essentially trapped in a stadium surrounded by screaming people.
 

Evita_W

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 30, 2007
It wouldn't be too hard for them to add a room, unlike smaller parks, they likely would need to have a cast member stationed at each one to ensure items are properly sanitized and make sure people don't walk off with things.

Another choice would be to do what the San Diego Zoo has done and have sensory bags available that contain various items, some you keep, others have to be returned (with a refundable deposit to ensure they are), the pack includes things like fidget toys, headphones, etc. and then they have designated quiet areas of the zoo where no music or such is piped into.
 

DisSurfer878

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 25, 2018
only thing that would worry me is how clean are the shared items? how are they cleaned between families? know it is not the same but I have had other people knock and yell at me because I was taking too long to handicapped restrooms. could that happen there? the few times I have been at Dollywood room was either in use or locked when I was there.
Thank you! As an educator I have had several students who would benefit from such rooms... but put EVERYTHING in their mouth.

I don't see how it's possible to sanitize the amount of drool some of these kids would contribute to the room 🤣
 








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