Monday, October 6, 2008
Preparing For Disney
Every year for the past four years we have taken Connor to Disney World for his birthday. I know this seems a bit extreme but after we went the first time we fell in love with the experience. Connor is a bit of an adrenaline junky. He loves roller coasters. He loves rides in general. He loves rides most adults cringe at going on. Luckily for him though his mama loves those rides too. Also while visiting Disney World the first time, we found out how easy it is to eat in the Disney owned restaurants. They take food allergies seriously and try to have fun kid friendly food that is safe for all kinds of allergies. We kinda feel like a rock star because the chef always comes out to talk to us and walk us through what is safe and what they can make especially for us to fit our allergies. They even have ice cream and brownies for dessert! They have dinner rolls at almost all of their restaurants. Connor NEVER gets to have bread at a restaurant so this is especially cool for him.
Our friends (and blog contributor) Aran and her family live in Florida so it is nice to meet them also and enjoy a few days with them. It is a nice break from the cold Colorado winter.
As most of you probably already know, Disney also has a pass for special needs that allows you to basically skip the lines. This is an amazing thing to have! I would trade standing in the long lines any day of the week to take away Connor's autism, but since that isn't an option right now, I will take the no wait at Disney World. It is like having a "fast pass" for every line, so it doesn't really mean no wait, but a significantly shorter wait.
We have it planned to go not only during Connor's birthday, but also Halloween. Halloween has never been a great "holiday" for us since the entire day revolves around candy. Connor has never been able to eat any of the candy he gets from trick or treating or the party at his school. One year the town we live in gave out apples for Halloween from the grocery store. Connor was thrilled since he knew he could have apples. At Disney World they have an even for Halloween called the "Not So Scary Halloween Party". It is a fun way to experience the dressing up part of Halloween and not worrying as much about the candy part of it. We let the boys get candy at the designated areas just for fun, but we trade them for non candy treats later.
Having said all of that, I will tell you that planning this trip every year is an event for me. You can't just walk into the restaurants at Disney World without a reservation. You have to call sometimes up to six months ahead of time to get into some of the more popular places. If there are characters involved, you need to plan at least six months out for it. Also, every year Connor fixates on the next thing we are going to do. He isn't even off of the ride and he is asking what we are going to do next. This is very frustrating since he can't even enjoy the ride we are on. This year I hope I have solved that dilemma by making a schedule on an index card so he can always know what is next. Having a schedule at school has worked really well, so I thought it made perfect sense to try it at Disney World. For some people this might take away the fun and spontaneity of the experience, but for us it is just another way we can take away Connor's anxiety and give him some reassurances.
I am looking forward to our trip and will post pictures and a few stories about how everyone liked the trip in a few weeks. I recommend going to anyone looking for a fun, kid friendly, allergy free vacation, with minimal waiting in line too!