Sunday, January 6, 2013

Disney.. where dreams DO come true!!

We just got back from Disney World. WOW!! 
I'm still trying to process the experience, but one thing I know, Disney does it right!! I was worried going into the trip, not sure how Maddie would hold up, and was concerned that we would have spent a fortune and the trip would be miserable. Thankfully, the trip was INCREDIBLE!! Every single worker (cast member or leader) we encountered did their absolute best to make our experience perfect.
The adventure began in Magic Kingdom with a show at the castle complete with all of the princesses and Mickey and Minnie and more. Kylie was beside herself!! We could have left immediately following the show and she would have considered it a great trip. It's funny, because in the show Mickey talks about that as long as you believe, dreams do come true and the crowd chants with him and the day is saved from the evil witch.  Well, after our experience at Disney.. I'm ready to believe Mickey!
Our most important stop, was the first stop... it was at Guest Relations and we picked up a crucial "guest assistance" card for Maddie. This card was like a super fast pass and opened doors for us that made us feel special, without feeling "special." If you have never felt the sting of life limiting your child, then you can't imagine how feeling "special" is not the thing you want on vacation. As Maddie said, they took us through the VIP entrance!! (yes, one of the rides did have VIP on the door for the alternate entrance!) This little card made a long day full of walking and rides and people possible, because it took out the waiting in lines.
Here we are on "It's a small world." Yes, I had us all wear matching shirts. 

We ate an awesome (yes, expensive..) lunch and while we were finishing up one of the manager seeming guys asked if we had been on the Winnie the Pooh ride yet. Nope. So he gave us passes to get on Winnie right then!! It was great! And this kind of kindness happened everywhere, even without our guest assistance card in view!

Dumbo was awesome.  A 2 hour wait for most.. maybe 10 minutes max for us.

The only line that we had to wait in was for the brand new Belle experience. It was a 2 hour posted wait.. and no fastpass no quick entry.  So for us, they let me stand in the line for our family and then the rest of the family joined me as we were going into see Belle. In the end, it only took a little over an hour to wait. Not too bad for me, but Maddie would have never made it. I am sooo thankful we waited though as Kylie and Lexi got to play "Chip" in the reenactment of Belle's dinner with the Beast. Kylie LOVED it. She repeated over and over that Belle touched her check with her yellow glove.  It was adorable.
The next pictures are from Universal Studios. Glad I got a decent picture. Overall it was a bust. Crazy busy. Way, way too many people. Little accommodation for special needs. Maddie got to see Hogwarts and we rode the Hogwarts ride. Other than that, it was a very, very expensive day!

Day 3 was back with Disney. We went to Epcot. Oh boy. It was nice to be back with Disney. Starting with parking at Disney. We flashed our card and parked in the 4th row!! The day was cold and rain drizzled all day. We were wet all day, but we loved every moment of Epcot.

Within moments of arriving we were on a ride and then enjoying the innovation stations. We then had pictures with Mickey, Minnie and Pluto. I love having good pictures taken at the venues, even though the overall cost is outrageous, it's worth it as a scrapbooker to have pictures of my family in focus!

One of the most poignant moments of the trip came at the France destination. It was mid-afternoon and we were wet and cold and Maddie was super pale and worn out. There is very little indoor seating at Epcot (one of the few negatives) and we were desperately trying to find a place for her to rest. I went into the gift shop next to the theater and asked if they had anywhere to sit and flashed my Guest Assistance card. The shop worker immediately went into action. He apologized that they had no where for Maddie to rest, but he got a role of paper towels, went outside and got a chair, dried it off and placed it in a quiet spot in his store!! Maddie was able to sit in the dry/warm spot for a minutes and it made all the difference!

And that is the quick and much abbreviated story of our Disney trip. If you have a child with a special need, Disney has to be the absolutely hands down place to visit.

1 comment:

  1. Aww, my eyes are tearing up! So fun and so sweet. I'm glad you guys had a magical time