Things I Learned at Disney World

We finally made the trip to Disney World that we’d been planning for about a year.  Things have been rather challenging the past few months and we considered canceling up to a week before we left, but we decided to go ahead.  It was a good call. 

I’ll write a post soon with some tips for those going to Disney with kids on the spectrum but today it’s all about me with Things I Learned in Disney:

  • A balance between intense planning and lots of flexibility on my wife’s and my part we’re the keys to setting the kids up for a successful trip.  Without either the planning or the flexibility, we would have had problems.  Come to think of it, that’s not very different than setting the kids up for success at home.
  • Disney’s accommodations for guests with disabilities in the parks made a huge difference in our family’s ability to experience the parks and rides (more on that in another post).
  • It’s possible for my kids to exceed my expectations.  It was great to be reminded of their potential.
  • A good hotel pool has most of the sensory benefits and none of the over-stimulation of a water park.  I was amazed at how much of a positive impact the pool had on the boys.
  • While, Disney does a LOT of things to make your vacation a great experience, there are still times when I felt treated like cattle.  I thought of Temple Grandin quite often.  There are so many places that they apply techniques similar to hers: making you feel comfortable, even happy, while waiting in a long crowded line.  However, there’s a lot of other places, where you’re not kept so comfortable.
  • Even an introvert like me can have a lot of fun striking up conversations with strangers in line.
  • It’s sometimes warmer in Connecticut than it is if Florida.  Unfortunately, that sometimes happens when I’m in Florida.
  • I can handle being disconnected from the internet for 10 days.
  • Did I mention that I thought of Temple Grandin a lot?
  • Lizards are cool and the kids got a kick out of seeing wildlife different than they do at home.
  • I need to teach my wife not to make a toast to a great vacation until after we arrive home.  12 hours after she made the toast, we were sitting in an airport, with our flight canceled and very few options for getting back to the airport from which we left. 

We made it home a day late, survived a detour through a different airport and awful traffic in NYC.  We were a little tired but all in one piece. It’s was great to have things go so well after the challenges of the past several months.

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2 Responses to Things I Learned at Disney World

  1. Sarah says:

    Disney is a cool place to visit! The things you learnt, must be read by every one..They are the best safety measures.

  2. Autimomma says:

    I just wanted to encourage you because sometimes (at least for me), the journey of having a child with autism can be either frustrating or confusing. I wanted to show you a video of my son, who has made awesome strides with his skills. In this video, he is reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Enjoy! Don’t lose heart! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajXaAOFY4b4

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