Sensory Integration Disorder at Art of Animation Resort
Disney’s newest value resort, the Art of Animation, showcases four classic Disney animated films: Finding Nemo, Cars, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve shied away from the value resorts because the colors and decor are too intense. Too much sensory overload, especially for guests with sensory integration disorder.
Sensory integration disorder (also sometimes called sensory processing disorder) affects a large proportion of people on the autism spectrum, although it can also affect individuals who are not on the spectrum. Normally, your brain has the ability to filter out unimportant information. For example, if you’re reading a good book, your ears take in the sounds of passing traffic, birds singing, and the neighbor’s dog barking. But your brain disregards those sounds as unimportant, so you don’t really hearthem. They don’t filter into your conscious awareness. A person with sensory integration disorder doesn’t have this ability. The consciously hear everything. You can imagine how overwhelming a fairly calm environment must be, let alone a loud one! Sensory integration disorder affects everyone differently. Some people are sensitive to sound, others to visual or tactile stimulus. People affected by this disorder are often overly sensitive to one or two types of stimulus while being under-sensitive to others.
The Art of Animation Resort also features family suites that can accomodate up to 6 guests – perfect for our family! Other resorts (except for the Deluxe Villas) require us to book two rooms, which means splitting up the family. They also include kitchenettes, which allow us to bring our own breakfasts and snacks. I’ve had high hopes that the Art of Animation Resort would offer our family an affordable option, without the sensory overload I’ve seen at the other value resorts. Disney recently released photos of guest rooms at the Art of Animation Resort, and I was happy to see that most of them are done in calming blues, greens, and browns.
The Finding Nemo suites would be difficult for someone with sensory integration disorder due to the blue carpet with red and orange stripes. The carpet is meant to evoke the sea, but it’s too visually overwhelming. The Little Mermaid suite is done in a similar color scheme, but doesn’t have the stark contrast of colors and would be less likely to overwhelm a sensory kid. The Lion King and Cars suites are both decorated in shades of brown, which are also less visually stimulating.
Overall, I think the Art of Animation Resort is worth a try for our sensory kids. You can see pictures of all the new rooms at the Art of Animation Resort at the Disney Parks Blog.