Disney Parks: Walt Disney World and Disneyland

Disney Parks: Walt Disney World and Disneyland

Disney Parks: Walt Disney World and Disneyland gives a behind-the-scenes look at Disney’s most recognizable properties: Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Things have changed since I first visited Disneyland in 1985! Disney Parks: Disneyland takes you on a guided tour of Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure, as well as the three resort hotels at the Disneyland Resort. Disney Parks: Walt Disney World shows how some of the magic is created and gives you a hint of things to come.

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Pros:

The Disney Parks DVDs are a great tool for preparing a child with autism for a visit to the Disney resorts. Knowing what to expect helps children with autism feel more comfortable in a new place. For parents, the Disney Parks DVD is a great planning tool for deciding which rides and shows are appropriate for their children and which will trigger sensory overload. The Test Track ride at Epcot, for example, looked like fun until I watched the Disney Parks: Walt Disney World DVD and found out that riders go through extremes of heat and cold. That part of the ride would definitely trigger Patrick, who panics in the freezer section of the grocery store.

Kids who gravitate to the mechanical workings of things will love watching the behind the scenes sections, where they will discover new ride technology and see how classic rides like the Matterhorn in Disneyland were constructed.

Cons:

Disney Parks DVDs give an undeniably one-sided view of the parks. While they were not produced directly by Disney, they are essentially an hour-long infomercial for the Disney parks. They do not give a sense of any downsides, such as long lines, crowds, or heat that can make a visit to Walt Disney World or Disneyland difficult for guests. Due to time constraints, there is less airtime devoted the resort hotels or dining.

Overall Impression:

The Disney Parks DVD is a good supplementary planning tool, and a fun way to relive a family vacation to Disney parks or build anticipation for an upcoming trip. Parents will have to watch closely for sensory information on various rides and shows, as this information isn’t necessarily front and center. It is there, however, and can be invaluable for knowing which rides to avoid and which to ride over and over.

Disney Parks: Walt Disney World and Disneyland retails for $19.99. I have watched it several times, both with my kids and on my own, when I needed to escape to Disney for an hour. I would definitely recommend the DVD for planning and reliving the magic.