Friday, April 2, 2010

OMG! It's our trip to Disney World, part 2

The adventures continue and, yes, I have turned into one of those parents who cannot stop showing you photos. On Day 2 we hit Epcot. Max still wasn't into the rides. Not the adorable The Seas With Nemo & Friends ride, not even the Test Track car ride, though he did like checking out the GM cars on display.

Sabrina test-drove this one.

Both kids enjoyed the nearby "car wash." Sabrina decided to take a quick shower in the mist.

We roamed around the World Showcase, where Max fell for a purple dragon puppet in China and the kids downed pasta and gelato in Italy. Dave found a big old turkey leg to gnaw on, so he was content too. Great mystery of life #7329: Why do men like to gnaw on gigantic turkey legs?

Alice was lovely.

Jasmine, too. This time around, Max did not try to impress any of the ladies by blowing his nose.

There was a gorgeous Flower & Garden Festival happening, with amazing displays like this.

Next, we took a bus we over to the Animal Kingdom Park, where we all thoroughly enjoyed the safari. We did it at 5 and it was nice and calm, with lots of animals roaming around.

Along the way, we were privileged to witness the rare and wondrous spectacle of...a lion taking a dump. I chose to not capture that moment on film, but here's the homeboy himself.

After, Max played the bongo drums as Dave sang a song about a lion making a doody, to commemorate the occasion. Even now, all Dave has to say is, "Lions make big doodies!" and Max cracks up.

The following day, we headed over to Hollywood Studios and went right to the Animation Courtyard. There's a fantastic indoor area here that's perfect for kids with sensory issues; it's quiet-ish and features a Digital Ink & Paint studio. You can color in characters on-screen, or even tape voiceovers for assorted Disney scenes, like from Snow White and The Seven Dwarves.

There were character meet-and-greets, too—the Incredibles, the crew from the movie Up, and Wizard Mickey Mouse. Generally, the lines were shorter than we'd seen elsewhere, another nice perk about this area.

Then we went on The Great Movie Ride, which takes you through decades of movies, complete with real actors and a loud shooting scene. Max wailed. Eeek. Baaaaaad Mommy and Daddy. Then we tried Toy Story Mania!, a superfun ride that involves putting on 3-D glasses and whizzing in a cart through a gallery of games where you shoot down moving targets. We knew Max was not going to be into it but we wanted to give it one more shot. Again, he wailed.

That was that for rides. We headed back to The Magic Kingdom and did more laps around Tomorrowland's Indy Speedway.

Sabrina's idea of a great snack: a pickle and an ice-pop. There were healthy snacks to be had, including pieces of fruit and bowls of fruit salad.

On our last day, we hung out at the hotel and enjoyed the pool and the water slide. Max would literally not let go of the purple Mickey Mouse balloon we'd bought for him. But one of the lifeguards asked if he could bring it to the front desk to hold for us, because if the balloon got loose and made its way to the savannas, an animal could feasibly choke on it. We totally spaced and left the balloon at the hotel. Baaaaaad Mommy and Daddy, redux.

So, that was our trip to Disney. I was a little disappointed that Max didn't like the rides, both because I wanted him to enjoy them and because I wanted to enjoy them with him. I've gotten better over the years about trying not to have preconceived ideas about how Max would enjoy an event or vacation. But big trips breed big expectations.

The truth is, most of the rides are too much for him at this point (I loved Felicia's idea yesterday about letting Max view rides on YouTube ahead of time before our next trip, to help prepare him). In the end, though, Max had a wonderful time hanging with the characters, driving his car, taking in all the sights and just being a kid. And I know he had a great time because Max literally cried when we pulled up to the driveway at home; he wanted to be back at Disney.


  1. Good times, Ellen! Maybe you need to by a second home in Fla, for the kids? I am sure they would be fine with living there half the year! LOL!

  2. Your children are darling!
    Great pics!

  3. The photos are amazing. I love Epcot, although I am sure it has changed hugely in the 15 odd years since I was there. I have such a yearing to go back now though. Keep the photos coming:) Jen.

  4. I keep thinking about Max and the rides and the "sensory assault" and how to mitigate it...and I woke up this morning thinking about something I saw in the Walmart last week--noise-cancelling headphones! They have really expensive (and probably really good, too, for that kind of money) ones in the Best Buy, but the Walmart has some that are way less and I was eyeballing them.

    I wonder if they'd work to cut down the ambient noise and reduce the "input," as it were? I'd love to hear from someone who has them about how well they work, if they're comfortable to wear, or if you'd be just better off loading up an iPod with "favorite/familiar" tunes instead?

    Love the photos, and love,love,love the poor lion taking a dump!! Everybody does, indeed, POOP!!

    Men and turkey legs? It's the CAVE MAN syndrome rearing its ugly head! Guys are a bunch of Flintstones in that regard! And pickle and ice pop? Sweet and sour Sabrina!!! Clever girl!

  5. Oh, that first photo. How heartbreakingly beautiful. Thank you for the loveliness.

  6. Barbara from BostonApril 2, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    Love the pictures- keep em coming. I'm living vicariously through you and yours.
    For Felicia, the "noise dampers" do work and are worth the price. However there are sites like the FREE section of Craig's List and Freecycle (for your specific area(s)) where you can request what you want, or try to get in on what someone else is offering.This is so worth it and no money is involved. We have gotten a microwave, ministry tapes, water filters,etc... Definitely worth a try.

  7. Our friends were telling us the other night that they're completely typical seven year old still doesn't want to go on any "scary rides." I think that all kids develop at their own rate and have their own idea about what's fun.

  8. For Barbara from Boston--thanks for those tips! I will look into them!

    Ellen, that Movie Ride looks like a ton of fun, (yes--I found a twenty three minute full video of it on the YOUTUBE!!! Ha ha! I'm visiting Disney from my couch!!! ) but I can see where Max might have been startled in a few places!

    I was watching a dinosaur ride and they advertised a DVD called "Relive the Magic" that supposedly has all the DISNEY WORLD rides on it--I don't know how good it is but it might be worth researching in advance of your next trip!

  9. I'm with Max - who wouldn't want to live in Disney! Looks like lots of fun!

  10. Oh, I am so sorry Max did not love the Nemo ride. I took my littles on it multiple times because it was such a hit and then we did tutle Talk with Crush, which was awesome.

    I always get good info here, like the YouTube preview, which I think I will use for my typically developing child, as she might then forgive me for making her do things like the haunted house. She did love Pirates though, which surprised and delighted me.

    I ate the turkey leg, much to my husband's dismay. Maybe it was hard on him to have a chubby wife eating a turkey leg in public?

  11. Thanks again for the great advice, Felicia, as always! And Ginger, once in a while I see women eating those legs, too (especially at Renaissance Fairs), but it's typically men.

  12. Now that looks like a successful vacation! Food, fun, swimming, sun! For a sensory sensitive kid like my Jack, there's no way he'd go on a ride and no way I'd take him on a ride. And look how fun Disney was without rides! That's why they built Epcot, right?: food, fun, more eating. It's great that Max is such a healthy eater! I'm always wondering if it is the CP or the acid reflux or the oral sensitivity that makes eating so difficult for Jack.

    Anyway, Happy Vacation!

  13. Men (and I am one) like to gnaw on large turkey legs (as I do) because it is as close as we manage to get, and I suspect as close as most of us are willing to get, to emulating the dining style of our cave-dwelling ancestors.

    Any other questions?

    Great pics and your writing made me feel as if I were there.

  14. Love it!
    I used to work for Disney as a Princess....back when I was perky! ;)

    Ellen...did you use the disability services through Disney? We are planning another trip and aren't sure what to do with Jack. Just checking...want to cover all my bases.

  15. Heather, you left out something really important: WHICH princess were you? I got the Guest Assistance Card for Max through Guest Services.

    Deven: Welcome! I suspected as much. :)


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