Spectrummy Mummy

Asperger's, Allergies, and Adventures Abroad

Disney Magic

with 14 comments

I know I wrote a little about our Disney experience while we were away, but I really don’t think I gave the place enough credit.  I know a lot of you find Disney to be a bit much, but that is the level of stimulation Pudding needs all the time.  Her little meltdown there was because we changed the rules on her.  To her mind, you always take your shoes off on soft play areas, and then look at us mixing it all up on her.

At Easter Pudding’s grandparents took her (and the rest of us) to dine with the princesses at Epcot.  To a little girl in the midst of a Sleeping Beauty obsession, this was heaven.  Those princesses were great, I can’t tell you how thrilled she was with that experience.  I can show you a photo though.  The good thing about doing this, is that it checked off the meeting characters portion of a Disney trip.  Been there, done that.

On to this visit.  Disney has a special pass for guests with disabilities, so that the entire group can use a different entrance for attractions.  This is important, because the first time we went to Disney before her diagnosis, we didn’t manage to do a great deal.  Waiting in long queues is tortuous for Pudding, so we usually just gave up after a while without going on the rides.  I only remember riding on It’s a Small World that time.  We left the park after only a couple of hours, and I think I probably swore off going again until I heard about the pass.

I’ve read before about other families with children who don’t have physical signs of disability getting dirty looks as they went through the other entrances without queuing, but honestly we didn’t have any of that.  You can buy a FastPass anyway to avoid the long queues, so I think probably everybody thought we had those.  Now that we could do the long lines, it was time to try some rides.  Pudding enjoys lots of spinning and bouncing, and is freakishly tall for her age, so roller-coasters were the next step for us.  We rode Thunder Mountain, and she looked a little scared, but right after getting out she started bouncing up and down and declared she wanted to ride the “Aaaaaahhhhh”, which is what people say on roller-coasters.  We rode a couple more, and every time she asked for more.

Unless you live with food allergies, you have no idea how awesome it is to go to a place that has no less than 8 safe places to eat.  I’m really impressed that Disney go the extra mile here, a lot of places think that not putting bread on a sandwich or burger is dealing with a gluten intolerance.  If only the rest of the world was this easy.

The following week we went to Animal Kingdom, which I personally enjoyed even more.  Pudding rode The Everest roller-coaster which is definitely too much for a just-turned-4-year-old.  Had I known how scary that was I wouldn’t have let her go on it.  As it was she clung to me the whole ride around, repeating, “Wanttogopottywantotgopottywanttogopotty.”  Daddy rode in front and spent the whole time offering her words of comfort.  When the ride came to an end, the man in front of him shook his hand, and told him he needed to hear it was okay- it was pretty hairy on that ride at times.  As soon as we got off, I asked if she wanted go to the bathroom.  Her response?  “No, don’t want to go potty.  Want to ride it again.”

We rode a really cool safari ride.  Cubby adored having his two of his favourite things (my dad, and giraffes) in the same place.  After we rode a train, and I thought he’d burst with happiness.  Maybe one day I’ll go on a real safari and let you know how authentic it was ;-).  Then we went to a petting zoo.  I was hoping that the tactile sensory-seeking girl we know and love would be in her element, but she really didn’t want to know.  I suppose it wasn’t enough for such a thrill-seeker.  Instead, I coaxed her usually defensive brother into stroking a sheep, and from there he eagerly petted goats, a donkey, a llama, and a cow.  I was amazed.

Disney magic must have been at work.

Written by Spectrummy Mummy

December 14, 2010 at 7:46 am

14 Responses

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  1. fantastic! so happy you had a good trip. you deserve it.
    almost makes me want to go there…almost 🙂


    December 14, 2010 at 8:20 am

  2. Disney is no joke. For real! Dickson and I have been Disney freaks for EVAH! We honeymooned there and go as often as we’re able. We took Coleman when he was 3 which was 3.5 years before his diagnosis. He taught us a LOT about adjusting our expectations on that trip. 🙂

    Of course looking back with better knowledge, I can see everything that went wrong had to do with our NOT understanding his needs. We LOVE the Animal Kingdom, but had to leave after less than an hour because, after a light rain, Coleman announced that the ground was “too wet” for him to walk on. I.was.livid. Oh well. 🙂

    I’m glad you all had such a GREAT time at Disney, I am certain there is no more magical place on Earth.


    December 14, 2010 at 8:36 am

    • Glad that you love it too! We got married in Orlando, and had a mickey and minnie cake topper, so I guess it is only natural the kids would feel the same. I feel the same way about our first trip to Disney, we didn’t know how to support her there, so it just became a mess. This time was soooo much better. I’m going to go ahead and say that I like Animal Kingdom even more, less crowded for sure.

      Spectrummy Mummy

      December 14, 2010 at 11:42 am

  3. so glad you all had a great time at disney! oh my goodness, my younger daughter Hope would just die for a chance to dine with the princesses! somehow, i must make this happen! and i did not know about the allergy-free places to eat there. thanks for writing about this! last summer i took the girls to a small amusement park for the first time. rhema did well, and the disability pass definitely helped. maybe we’re ready for Disney(?).


    December 14, 2010 at 10:52 am

    • The princess dining at Epcot was amazing. We had to go there rather than Cinderella’s at the Magic Kingdom, because Sleeping Beauty is her favourite, and there would have been all hell to pay if she didn’t get to meet her. I’m so glad we did it, they really go out of their way to make it great. We made a booking for this trip for her 4th birthday, but with the cost of entrance and dinner on top, it got too expensive and I canceled. As it turns out, she has slightly shifted her attentions anyway, so it might have been for the best. I think you should go though- just book well in advance, and pick a quiet time of year. Disney also does a thing where you can get the princess to call your child. Pudding isn’t good at phone conversations, so we never tried it, but I’ve heard good things. And surely more affordable than a trip to Florida. 🙂

      Spectrummy Mummy

      December 14, 2010 at 11:55 am

  4. When I saw you were going to Disney, I wanted to share this tip too, but never got a chance to do so. Maybe some of the your readers can take advantage in the future. Each park has a center called a “baby care center” or some similar name. When my kids were little, it was sponsored by Gerber. Any way it is a WONDERFUL place to take the family with younger children to change diapers, feed or nurse them and just take a break out of the heat or commotion. They have a quiet, low light nursing room with rockers, kitchen area with high chairs and a microwave and sink to prepare food, a room with nice changing tables. They sell formula, baby food and baby products. There’s even a sitting area for dads and a little play area for sibs.


    December 14, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    • Yes, thank you for sharing this! I’ve decided that I totally should have written this post with tips instead, maybe I’ll do another one. We didn’t make use of it at Disney, but I think all the theme parks do a similar thing, and we used one during a very bad day at Sea World last year. An amazing place to nurse and change the baby, and a refuge from the crowds and the heat. Thank you, Karen, I’d forgotten about them. It just shows how differently this trip went to last year- I just about barricaded myself in there and refused to leave! 😉

      Spectrummy Mummy

      December 14, 2010 at 12:35 pm

  5. What a fabulous story! It restores my hope that holidays can be successful…..so happy you all had such an awesome time. X


    December 14, 2010 at 10:01 pm

  6. Wow! Sounds great fun. I would have loved to have visited Disneyland when I was young . Sounds like Pudding really gained a lot from the whole experience which must have been wonderful for you.
    I am visiting from blog gems, hello!

    Jenny paulin

    January 30, 2011 at 5:35 pm

  7. Hi, I’m here from Blog Gems. Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all of you! I have been wanting to take my family there and I love hearing about all of the families that have a great time there.

    Debbi Henry

    January 30, 2011 at 6:28 pm

  8. […] Ernie, around the time of Bashful, but after Upsy-Daisy, there was Sleeping Beauty and all the Disney Princesses.  She still likes Disney Princesses to this day.  So do we.  Having a 4 year-old girl in the […]

  9. You have been featured on this week’s State Department Blog Round-Up! Please email me if you disagree with the content or would like to have the link removed. Thank you for your hard work! Heather @ http://thewanderingdrays.blogspot.com/2011/06/week-ending-62411-fs-rodeoround.html

    Heather Dray

    June 24, 2011 at 3:20 pm

  10. […] Our home leave point is Florida, and the grandparents have already promised Pudding a repeat breakfast with the princesses, and pirates for Cubby. Disney has changes its policies for guests with disabilities since we were […]

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