Our Disney trip was fantastic! The first 3 days at the Wilderness Lodge was a mix of pool time and park time. For this trip we didn’t rent a car so we used Disney transportation exclusively and even this aspect went smoother than expected. I am not much of a “bus” person but Evan did great. The parks weren’t real crowded but busier than previous October trips. Cast members said there was a large amount of people from Indiana due to the extended fall breaks from the new school schedules.
The replacement system for the Guest Assistance Card, the DAS (Disabled Assistance System) worked quite well we thought. Basically it is a revision of the GAC in which we get a return time for the attractions instead of having to wait in the long line, as this would not really work with Evan. He can usually tolerate a wait of less than 20 minutes if he can stay in his stroller, a little less without the stroller. The new system requires a bit more thought to maximize our time without causing adverse effects on Evan. We talked with quite a few other groups with special needs and they also thought the system was a good change; if change needed to be done.
We followed those 3 days with a 7 day cruise on the Disney Fantasy. Awesome ship and a truly fantastic cruise! The ship is obviously very kid-friendly but the staff went above and beyond for Evan. Our server even had food Evan would eat sent to their private island Castaway Cay. We cruised with 10 other special need families through the Autism on the Seas organization. That is us on the Fantasy’s center staircase. The therapists were incredible and helped make the trip a very memorable vacation. Evan even went in and swam in the ocean. Never happened before! If that wasn’t enough, the therapists also provided some much needed respite time and they even had a special meeting with Mickey Mouse for our group. Everything was incredible!
The end of the vacation was back at Disney and a continuation of the fun and excitement of the first 10 days. A great trip, unfortunately all good things have to come to an end. This was no different-
Now it is back to the real world which includes work, therapy, trips to the gym and continued struggles with the future and what it may bring. We are appealing an insurance decision so we are very concerned on what the future may bring. Glad I don’t have autism as the anxiety would be way too much to handle. Wish us luck! We may need it!
Awareness is the Key!
By: Jim Monroe