If you have a child with autism, chances are your kid loves spinning. And though they may not be bonified occupational therapy outlets Disneyland Park and its sister park California Adventure feature plenty of spinning rides to make guests with autism quite happy! So, to help parents plan their visit to the parks here are our best Disneyland spinning rides for kids with autism.
Astro Orbitor – Tomorrowland
Feel free to blast off into space in your three seater Orbitor space machine. This outdoor attraction does not have a height requirement so that it can accommodate family members of all ages. Guests have control of the levers so they can control how high or low they can go at all times.
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters – Tomorrowland
Blast your way through space as you score points using a laser while battling the Evil Emperor Zurg. Kids with autism get to practice their hand-eye coordination while spinning. This ride is safe for all ages but does have loud sounds and dark areas.
Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin – Mickey’s Toontown
Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin Ride is inspired by the Steven Spielberg produced the film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Guests ride the toon cab car and attempt to help Roger Rabbit rescue his kidnapped wife, Jessica. Boasting animatronics figures and special effects the ride encourages riders to spin up to 360 degrees to avoid the dreaded glowing Dip released by the evil weasels.This ride allows guests to control the extent of their spinning, has no height requirements but does have loud sounds and darkness.
Mad Tea Party- Fantasyland
This ride originated in 1955, after the release of the animated movie Alice in Wonderland.The Mad Tea Party ride has been a park visitors’ favorite for decades. Guests sit in teacup shaped cars while using the wheel in the center to control the direction and spinning speed. Though it looks innocuous, this can make you dizzy so make sure you hold on to something steady as you depart the ride.
King Arthur Carousel – Fantasyland
This Disneyland original allows riders to ride their horses with King James and the Knights of the Roundtable. The old fashion ornated carrousel is a slow spinning ride, suitable for all ages. The ride does have safety belts that need to be buckled for all riders and sit down low benches for those who don’t wish to ride the horses.
Flik’s Flyers – “A Bug’s Land.”
Spin around in a box swing as you enjoy a spectacular unobstructed view of A Bug’s Land. Designed to look like food containers from the movie A Bugs Life the containers seat families of four comfortably. The outdoor has no height requirements and spins at a moderate pace up in the air but is not scary even for preschoolers.
Francis Ladybug Boogie – “A Bug’s Land.”
Francis Lady Bug Boogie is a mild to moderate outdoor spin ride with somewhat loud music.Guests of all ages can ride these Ladybug cars that boogie to music and move on a set figure-8 track. If you want the car to spin faster all you have to do is lean to one side or another.
The Golden Zephyr – Paradise Park
How about spinning around in a Retro Silver Rocketship? Count me in! On the Golden Zephyr, you will swing around in a silver gondola for 90 seconds as you experience flight. This ride is perfect for your whole family, as there are no height requirements.
Grizzly River Run – Grizzly Peak
Designed to simulate a rafting expedition thrill-seeking guests can expect a free-floating river ride with twists and turns amidst sharp falls The ride in an eight-person raft first ascends the mountain and then descends into the river all while spinning out of control ( almost!) Expect to get wet even soaked as this is a water attraction. The Grizzly River Run does have a height requirement of 42 inches, so it isn’t for the younger lot.
King Triton’s Carousel – Paradise Pier
On King Triton’s Carousel, you will get a relaxing spin around while humming the ‘Under the Sea’ hit song. This ride is perfect for little ones, as there is no height requirement, but they do ask for all riders to use a safety buckle.
Luigi’s Rollickin Roadsters and Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree – Cars Land
The two rides spin to music and are inspired by the Cars movie saga! While Luigi features snazzy Italian 1950’s microcars moving to 60’s Italian songs, Mater’s has tractors that dance to Country music. Both rides use one large belt for two riders that snaps across the lap and has a height requirement of 32 inches.
Silly Symphony Swings – Paradise Pier
As far as the spinning rides go this one is one of the fastest around. The ride starts slowly but goes into tornado mode quickly after. Guests swing high above Paradise Bay while spinning. The Silly Symphony Swings attraction is designed for the taller young ones, as there is a minimum height requirement of 40 inches. If you want to take advantage of the great views, make sure you go before the early evening hours as the ride closes for the World of Color show.
Autism travel tips
- While at Disneyland you will want to provide your kids with proper footwear. Proper footwear means no flip-flops. Flip-Flops can hurt your feet after walking, could fall off during a ride, or cause a slip and fall in the wet areas.
- Furthermore, make sure that your kids’ pockets are empty. Some of the thrill rides are fast, and if you have something in your pockets, it could fall out. If this happens, not only could it damage the ride itself, but it could also hurt other riders or people watching from below.
- Wearing proper fitting clothing is essential for comfort as well as safety. Strings and loose clothes can o get stuck in one of the moving rides and cause injuries, particularly to younger kids.
- The Disability Access Service is a program that Disney offers for individuals with cognitive disabilities like autism, so they do not have to wait in long lines. To obtain your own DAS pass, stop by the Guest Relations located near the front entrance.