Disney World

Gosh! What is there to say about Disney World that hasn’t been said? It’s crowded and crazy and completely overwhelming. It’s kicked my butt and now I’ve gotta figure out how to recover because there’s so much going on this spring.
The first day was lukewarm at best for Charlie. He seemed to be confused mostly–not really understanding the rides and often closing his eyes because it was dark and there was soothing music. Great, right? I drag my kid all the way to Florida so he can experience lines and nap through the actual rides.
Well, at the end of the first day we took him on the Finding Nemo ride at Epcot and I sang to him a little so he would open his eyes. It was filled with fish–fish, and sting rays, and turtles, and all sorts of other sea creatures. If you’ve been by my site at all these last two weeks, you’ll know we’ve been all about the sea. He GOT it.
After that, it got easier. By far, he preferred kiddie-style rides with very bright and extreme visual images. Except for It’s a Small World. Something about that particular ride put him to sleep every. single. time.

The disability thing was quite easy. Some lovely commenter recommended getting a “stroller as a wheelchair” pass when we arrived and we did. This enables you to take your stroller into all the areas where strollers are normally not allowed. You can bring your stroller in lines and leave it right at the entrance to the ride. You do have to be able to lift your child to put them on the ride, but for the most part, it was extremely easy.

Put ourselves firmly in the “disabled” category was interesting. I find that I don’t completely love the person I am when I’m in “disabled” mode–I get aggravated with people blocking ramps for no good reason, I was mad when one family went through the disabled entrance because it was their child’s birthday, and other silly things like that. I mean, it’s not a big deal, but for some reason it bugged me. I have to work on that. Disability access should be about making things the SAME–not making them different.

We ate too much. We did the meal plan thing, and it’s really more food than you need. Seriously, no one needs two desserts in one day unless they’re marathon runners or something.
I guess I should also say that I was surprised by how normal I felt at Disney World. You see, there are all kind of people, all kinds of children, and all kinds of circumstances. Blind, palsied, autistic, fat, thin, foreign–you name it and Disney World has it. We were just one of the crowd.

For those that like to know these kinds of things, Hollywood Studio had nothing of interest for Charlie. At the Magic Kingdom he liked The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and Buzzlightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Teacups and Flying Dumbo were OK. Epcot was probably his favorite park–we went on Imagination and The Seas with Nemo and Friends several times. There’s an activity area after the Imagination ride that he also really enjoyed. He was also strangely enthralled by Mexico’s Grand Adventure which is pretty much a boat sailing by a lot of videos about Mexico. Still, we got a lot of smiles on that one so we did it more than once! In Animal Kingdom we enjoyed the flying Dinosaurs and the petting zoo area.

So, it was fun, but I’m tired.
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  1. Looks like you guys had a great time. I would probably need at least a week of sleep to recover. I am glad you went and hope it was all you dreamed of!!

  2. TheRextras says:

    Excellent post – thank you for sharing despite being so tired. I know there is a crowd besides me who have been waiting to read about your trip. Barbara

  3. What great photos, and I am glad that you found experiences that Charlie enjoyed. Going on Jamie's question, did it live up to what you thought that it would? Would you do it again?

  4. Very sweet memories! I guess after your last post it made me think of Disney World because I had a dream that I was there last night!

  5. sharonheg says:

    As someone to lives about 9 miles from WDW, let me apologize for the weather, LOL!

    From the pictures it looks as if you had a wonderful time and I am so, so glad!

    WDW is AWESOME at making "disabled" stuff "equal". Except for the older rides at MK, like Peter Pan, where there's no space for retrofitting, even wheelchairs can go through the queues. That made my mother-in-law (who uses a wheelchair) SOOO mad. But "equality" means "equal", not "jump to the head of the line". Disney's cool though…they also have a "head of the line" pass for disabled people who can't tolerate extreme heat for long periods of time.

  6. I am delighted that you and Charlie enjoyed yourselves. We did Disneyworld in October and I really loved it, much more than I would ever have expected. I love the stroller as wheelchair tip, thanks for mentioning that, I may use that soon at Disneyland. I was interested in your comment about liking who you are in disabled mode. I feel like I am new at this game, and I don't know how disabled Hannah will be, and who I will be when we get there. This is one of the reasons I read blogs every night, to help me get a handle on stuff. And oh yeah, because your son is so cute, and you are so fabulous, but anyway, I am glad I have people to go to help me get my thinking cap on. And I have nearly punched strangers for parking in disabled parking without need, even though we don't use those spots, just because I have thought about it and want those spots free for those who have need. Hmph. Rest up now, lady! You deserve it. My feet took weeks to recover.

  7. Oh Katy,
    I am thrilled that Charlie had a god time! I am not as brave as you so kuddo's, friend! Been missing you while you were gone but glad you all had fun. Maybe one day we will get there….

  8. Nadine Hightower says:

    Woo Hoo!! I love Buzz Lightyear!!!! I am so glad that Charlie enjoyed it. I hope you are able to take several times as he grows.


  9. Would I do it again? Yes. We had a great time, although honestly, the best part was simply being together as a family for an extended period of time.

    Sharon–you are right–we waited in line with all the "regular" folk for almost every ride–Disney is very good about Access.

    Ginger–I want to punch those people too and I don't have a sticker either.

  10. A) I love that you were just part of the crowd
    B) ummm, sometimes I need two desserts in one day
    C) you may have just encouraged me to do a Disney trip which is something I've been afraid of thus far

  11. Small Town Girl says:

    I'm so glad you had fun!! Sounds like it went really well, too. :)

  12. That picture of you with Charlie – and Mickey! – is awesome! So frame-worthy! =) Glad that you a good trip, overall! Thanks for the kid-friendly ride tips, too!

  13. luckeyfrog says:

    I'm so glad you had a good time! And Charlie too! :)

    I went to Disney with a friend who needed a wheelchair. She could get out of it fine, but due to multiple back surgeries she couldn't walk long distances.

    Everyone at Disney was great about not only letting her through the line, but also letting our group go through with her. At the time (a few years ago), most of the rides required a separate line which was much shorter.

    There were some people from the "regular" line that would glare seeing a group of teenagers pile on ahead of them, especially when my friend just popped out of her wheelchair. I'm sure they thought she was perfectly healthy and that we rented it to cut lines. Most people were nice, but for the one woman who wasn't at all quiet about making a fuss, my friend made a point of itching her back so that her shirt came up enough to reveal part of her huge scar. The lady shut up pretty quick. :)

  14. Oh. When you said you were out of town, you didn't mention The Happiest Place on Earth.

    ahem. heh

    I'm glad you had a grand time!

    Tammy and Parker

  15. Yay! I'm so glad he got some enjoyment out of it!
    I think I'D love the Nemo ride :)

    Can't wait to see more pictures….you DO have more, right?