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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Disney Day Three!

EPCOT!

Now, I had no enthusiasm about EPCOT.  No idea of what to expect.  But I was overwhelmed as we walked through the gates and saw the landscape was done by Better Homes and Gardens event. 

It was simply gorgeous.  The colors of the flowers.  The landscaping.  Simply beautiful.

And it was Amanda's favorite day.

We did Spaceship Earth.  Amanda was not happy with the dark.  She started yelling she wanted off but I was able to calm her and she enjoyed some of the ride.

Afterwards was Finding Nemo.  That was a big success.  A little afraid of the dark so I downloaded an app for any future rides.  She enjoyed the aquarium built around Nemo.

Then off to the Circle of Life which she LOVED. 

Then we split up.  Amanda wanted to find Donald Duck and Tessa and Craig wanted to run Soarin.  Amanda and I made it Epcot Mexico to find the line for Donald and the Three Caballeros when he texted that the wait was 65 minutes.  No biggie!  Amanda and I got Donald's signature for Tessa.  Amanda got her picture taken with Donald.  And we wandered.  There were playgrounds.   Flowers beyond belief.  All you could smell were roses.  It was lovely!!!

We met back up with Tessa and Craig and went for lunch and then headed back to the pool for 40 minutes.  And went back to EPCOT for dinner.  Got there early so Tessa got Aurora's signature. 

After dinner, we walked through the Butterfly House on our way to meet up with Mickey, Minnie and Goofy.  Amanda was enthralled.  She loved meeting Minnie.

She was so animated as we left the Character Meet and Greet.  She laughed at the fountain as it turned colors and sent the water higher.  She danced on the tiles with the lights and laughed.

Who would have thought that the park that I was meh about would be the park that she lit up about and that I loved the most?

Disney Trip Day Two

Today was our first official Disney Park event.  We decided to hit Magic Kingdom.  We figured that would be Amanda's favorite park.   Boy, were we wrong......

Tessa was excited right off the bat!  As we walked through the gates, Marie was there signing autographs.  Marie from Aristocats is Tessa's favorite character.  She was so happy.  Amanda wanted absolutely NOTHING to do with the characters.

We got Amanda on two rides, It's a Small World and a Carousel.  Had the GAC pass but never had a chance to use it.  She was completely overwhelmed by the park and was insisting on heading back to the hotel and pool.  We got to the park at 10:00am and she was DONE by noon.  Tessa had gotten to ride Haunted Mansion with Craig which she declared "NOT a favorite" but that was it.

By lunch time, I was literally dragging Amanda to lunch in the park when Craig turned and suggested we separate.  I would take Amanda back to the hotel while Craig took Tessa through the park.  And off we went our separately ways.  We had known this to be a possibility but did not think it would happen so early in the day.

Took Amanda back to the hotel.  Fed her.  And back to the room where she rested and played her DS.  She was quite content.  Two hours later as I was getting ready to take her to the pool, Tessa knocked at the door.

She had had a blast.  She saw Ariel and got her signature.  She was right at the edge for the afternoon parade with a new baby Marie plush.  Chip from the Chipmunks played with her hat, holding it over her head.  One of the evil step-sisters from Cinderella threw a tantrum wanting her Marie doll.  Another character cooed over the doll.  She was so excited.

Threw them in the pool and then off to Downtown Disney for dinner.  After dinner, we went back over to Magic Kingdom for the parade.  Used the GAC to get into the handicap setting area.  Popped her headphones on and waited.  She enjoyed the parade of lights and then we all paraded after to the Castle (Tessa INSISTED) to wait for the fireworks.  Amanda insisted she did not want to leave.  So we waited.

The lights dimmed and the Castle lit up.  And then the movie show started on the Castle.  And Amanda freaked OUT. (Later she told Craig that she was upset that they were changing the Castle) She want to leave NOW.  And as we were near the Castle, the streets were full behind us.  I felt a tug as she tried to run and told Craig she was at the bolting level and made for the exit.  Got to the Entrance pretty easily.  Well, easily for a parent used to these sort of situations and called Craig on his cell to say that the exit would be difficult once the fireworks started.   But like any good daddy, he was already on his way to us.

Back on the bus we went.  Was not a huge day for Amanda.  She did not enjoy Magic Kingdom as we thought she would.  Wanted nothing to do with the characters.  But she went back afterwards to try again.

Tessa had a wonderful day.   And that was worth everything to see the happiness on her face.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

We made it to Disney!

After two years of discussion and trepidation, we booked our trip to Disney in December.  It is the first trip to Disney for the whole family and our first official family vacation ever!!!

We had to be at the airport two hours early and for a flight that leaves at 8:25, that is EARLY.   It is made easier that the girls are normally early risers, but 5:00 am was a bit much even for them.....

We flew JetBlue direct to Disney and were in row 6.  JetBlue books last to front which is nice because we were not waiting inside the plane the whole time.

Take off went great.  Amanda did fabulous.  She watched Backyardians and Diego on the tv on the back of the seat in front of her.  She did not want to hear them with headphones.  She had her blankie on the plane and I was glad that I did not pack it.

She did fabulous with the landing.

Waiting to find the bus to Disney was a little much for a little girl who at this point had refused to drink anything.  Got on the bus and she sat with Craig for the ride.  LOTS of thumb-sucking.

Got to the hotel and our room was ready!  On-line check-in is the way to GO!!!  Rained on us during the walk to the hotel room but no biggie.  Our bags would take longer to get to us.  So we went and had lunch.  Managed to find a cheese pizza and pink milk.  Amanda would only drink less than half the milk.

Took the ride to Downtown Disney and took in the sights!  Tessa and I had fun in the LEGO store but did not see anything we could not get at home.  But at this point, Amanda was COOKED.  She was tired.  THIRSTY.  And hot.

Had to wait 20 minutes for the bus and the entire time, she fussed, sucked her thumb and went between Craig and I to hold her.  Got back to the hotel and forced her to drink a bit more juice.  Finally got about 4oz in her. 

Then we took her to the pool where we discovered that all the work Craig and I had down at the beach and water park had still held.  She walked down the steps up to her neck in the water and had a blast.  Walked a little too far in and Tessa had to haul her back.  But she was still determined to head back.

Had dinner.  Instead of bread, we were given cornbread and Amanda tried a bite but made a face.  But a few minutes later asked for some and then she ate two pieces of cornbread, then half her pizza and fries.  Still not happy about her small liquid intake and will have to force liquids tomorrow at Magic Kingdom.  I am not willing to try our Mickey Mouse's EMTs if she dehydrates.

8:00pm came early and my little creatures of habit put on their PJS and got into bed.  No fireworks or late nights for these little girls.

Amanda is still tossing because we have the light on but Tessa is OUT!

Tomorrow we shall play by ear.  Not sure Amanda can handle the overload and physical stress of a full park day.  There is no way she can make it until close.   I just hope we make it past lunch.  But going into this, I knew our experience with Disney was not going to be the typical family experience.   Nothing in a family with a child with a disability is typical.  All I can hope to do is provide enough of an experience that she feels safe and excited in with hampering Tessa's.  It will not be perfect.  We will not even see half a park.  We will be lucky if we see an eighth.  But if she is happy, then it works for us.