If you are visiting Disneyland Paris with an autistic child or a child with a Sensory Processing Disorder which means they cant cope with queues, then the Priority Card will be extremely helpful to you! Although the Priority Card is available for all kinds of disabilities, it works in different ways so for the sake of this post I am explaining using the card with an Autistic guest.
Where do I get the Priority Card?
In order to get a Priority Card for your child you need to go to the City Hall which is located on the left as you enter the Disneyland park. If you are visiting the Walt Disney Studios park then you can go to Studio Services. You only need to go once as the card works in whichever parks you have tickets for and for the duration of your stay.
What proof do I need to take?
You will need to provide park tickets for your whole party, proof of Autism or disability and depending on the cast member seeing to you, ID for you and your child. The ID must match the names on the proof document.
If you are French the proof can be a Disability card, a Disabled Persons Priority card, a Difficulty Standing card, a CMI card, a War Disability card or a European disabled parking badge. If you are a resident of the UK, proof can be either a valid blue badge, a Disability Living Allowance letter, Attendance Allowance award letter or a Personal Independance Payment letter. All letters should be issued less than a year ago.
What if my child hasn’t been diagnosed yet?
You can take a letter signed by your Doctor which is dated within the last three months explaining why your child cant cope with queues and crowds. In this circumstance you may end up getting an Easy Access Card instead of a Priority Card. The Easy Access Card enables you to get a return time for rides rather than queue.
What will I be given?
The cast member will issue you with a Priority Card. They will write on the card your child’s name and dates that it is valid for. They will also stamp the number of people in your party on the back. The maximum number of people that can accompany the disabled guest on the rides is four so if you are a party of more than five that want to ride together you may need to take turns or rethink the pass. With an autistic guest you can also use the disabled parade and firework viewing areas but only one person may accompany the autistic guest for this.
Additionally to the card you will be given accessibility maps of the parks, with information on them for disabled guests. On the maps there is helpful information about each attraction and if it is suitable for each disability.
Can my child go on every attraction?
With Autism, all attractions except one in the Walt Disney Studios Park are suitable. However the Autistic guest must be accompanied on all attractions by a helper aged over 15 who is capable of helping them.
How does the Priority Card work for attractions?
The Priority Card enables you to have priority access to attractions via specially adapted entrances. The entrances are normally at the exit to the rides and are signposted as disabled entrances. You show the cast member your Priority card and they will ask who the card is for. They may ask for ID so it is worth carrying it with you incase. Normally they will show you straight on to the ride, however if there is need to wait a short while you will be provided with somewhere out of the queue to wait.
If an attraction has limited capacity a timed reservation system may be in place.
How does the Priority Card work for meeting Characters?
You can use your Priority Card to meet Characters and this works a little differently. If the queue for the character is longer than fifty minutes, you will be able to make an appointment for a return time. When you return you will again use a special entrance and normally only wait for the group in front of you to finish.
Many Autistic children can’t cope with queues or crowds. The Priority Card is brilliant because it enables families who would otherwise greatly struggle in the parks, to access the attractions and character meets. It can literally turn an extremely stressful, meltdown inducing couple of hours into a magical day at Disneyland!
I hope you have found this information useful. If you need more information you can talk to Disneyland Paris on 08448 008 111. This number costs 5p per minute from a BT landline, other networks may vary.
I have also written posts about some of the rides and hotels etc that you may find helpful. Each post contains information on taking an autistic child. You can find these here:
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