We woke up in Florida!!
Now it was time to follow my schedule!
... I mean, Now it is time for some fun!
I did a lot of preparation before we came. I joined a Tips for Special Needs at Disney facebook group and reviewed the Disney World Disability page, we had a 2015 Disney vacation book, I pinned lots of stuff on Pinterest and talked to people about their experiences. I researched what to do in Florida, what activities we can do and where we can stay.
When we woke up in Florida we had a little bit of time to explore the hotel and eat before going out.
I brought a surprise for everyone (and luckily didn't pack it in my luggage, which still hadn't arrived) and we all had some mouse ears! We looked around the hotel a bit and went for breakfast, before heading out to Disney World!
One of the things that I was worried about was the Disability Access Pass. This pass allows the holder (the one with the disability) to get a time to return and go through the Fast Pass line. This means if the wait for a ride (or character greeting) is 1 hour, you get a time 1 hour later (they write it on a booklet they give you, but I have heard that as of April 30 it is now all on your Disney pass now, and the DAS link is from April 30), and you can only have one time at a time.
But I have heard of kids who were not accepted for the pass. So I was worried about that, yes Nick uses a wheelchair and it is difficult for 2 kids to wait in a line but they would have to just do it... (unlike someone with Autism for example where they are not able to wait). After talking to other parents they talked about stuff like medication (and overheating), bathroom issues and wheelchair accessibility that is just normal life for us, but still impacts the ability to wait in line.
Of course all that worry, my father went to Guest Relations with Nick in his chair and they took Nick's picture and gave him a card and we were on our way
I followed all of the tips for what to pack in your Disney bag, including entertainment, change of clothes (which was out actual clothes), bubbles, markers and notebooks, games and activity packs and food and water. And it made a very heavy bag. I also had a portable charger, because my phone was actually my camera and I wanted to get pictures of everything! Disney world has free wifi, so I had internet while there too (otherwise my phone was on airplane mode).
When we first arrived the first thing we did was wait in line of a couple of people, for a princess. There weren't that many people in the line and thought sure! We didn't know that some of the line was on the other side of the gate. But they closed the gate and took a quick break when we were at the front, but that meant when the princess came back we were first! We only waited about 30 minutes in total.
The kids each got to try out their own autograph books (which I made, with Katheryn's covered in Disney princesses, and Nick's was covered in Ninja turtles). The autograph books were photo albums that I covered, and it had cue cards that could be signed. So when we get home one side can have the picture with the princess and the other side is the signature.
Our first Princess was Merida the princess from Brave.
She was great, and got right down in the ground to be on level with Nick. The kids both thought that it was great that they got to meet a princess
Then we headed to our favorite ride!
The tea cups!
With Nick is his wheelchair we didn't wait in the regular line, but waited at the exit and went on the next round of rides (there was a short wait for this ride). They offered a special seat to get Nick transferred from his chair into the cup, but we didn't need it.
Katheryn is pretending to be afraid before the ride starts, but really it was Nick who was nervous.
Katheryn got right into it once the ride started. And the kids liked it best when Papa made the teacup go "backwards". Not really sure what the difference was, but it got them laughing and laughing! Nick said he had fun, but didn't want to do it again.
We did a couple of Fast Passes, which means that you get to pick 3 rides that you get skip the line for at certain times that are booked 30 days ahead of time.
I had booked a FastPass for the Toy Story game in Tomorrowland (which is one of the areas of the park). The Toy Story ride lets you shoot the aliens and fight with Buzz Lightyear.
Papa and Nick rode in one car, it was dark and a little noisy (so Nick didn't like it that much). You could also turn your car around in circles (and hope it doesn't make Grandma sick).
It was pouring rain, so the rain coats came out of the bag for a while. We didn't do any of the other rides in Tomorrow Land, something about riding in metal rides during a rain storm didn't seem like a good idea.
We went to the Dumbo ride, which was on Katheryn's ride list. Nick waited in line with us (5 minute wait), and then at the last minute said he was afraid to go up on the ride. I was hesitant to make him go on the ride (even though it is pretty low-key).
So Grandma and Nick went shopping under the Big Top and Katheryn and I went on the ride over and over again!
Nick didn't mind missing the ride, he was happy that he got a big lollipop!
And he made sure he got one for Katheryn as well.
We found a slower ride for Nick to ride. The carousal. He was nervous about getting on one of the horses, so Nick went in the sleigh with Papa. (Nick is a very cautious boy, in case the last 5 years didn't teach us that)
The rest of us each got a horse, Katheryn said her horse was chasing and trying to bite everyone elses. Grandma and I each got a horse next to each other, and took some pictures.
We still had lots to do. We had enough time with the Fast Passes and the rain that we could get on the smaller rides without problem. And we still had time for everyone to rest when we wanted to. Some of the Fast Passes that I picked had wait lines of only 10-20 minutes.
We did the Philharmagic Show. It was a 4D music show with Mickey and characters. It was a fun show and had music from most of the Disney shows. We sat in the very back (with the wheelchair), Nick wasn't very happy when he got splashed by water, but it was a great show (one of the highlights of the day)
One of the things I was excited for the kids was the Enchanted Tales with Belle. It wasn't it ride, it wasn't a play but it was somewhere in between.
The characters all moved and talked and were part of the story. And the plan was the put on a play for Belle who was coming to the castle. Kids got to play parts in the play, and all of the kids got to be a part as well (Nick was a picture frame and Katheryn was a plate).
I had read that you had to volunteer to be part of the play to meet Belle. And at the end, all of the kids got to meet Belle. It was really fun and interactive for the kids (see Lumière in the background? he moves and talks and is part of the story)
We had all of the Fast Passes done and went on some other rides. There is a way to use the FastPasses and Disability Pass and get extra FastPasses, but we weren't that organized. We looked for lines that were short, and then used the Disability Pass for long line ups.
We used out first Disability time for the Peter Pan ride. It had an hour wait, so we went to the Fast Pass line up, asked for a time and they wrote it down in our book. So we could come back after at least 1 hour, and explore, eat or go on some shorter rides.
We went on It's a Small World (it had a 10 minute wait). The kids thought it was fun, with the puppets and colours and catchy song (la la la la la, la la la la la). Of course it is an old one with puppets, nothing too dark or loud. Lots of bright and moving puppets.
And the kids liked the song of course ( Katheryn was very interested that we were floating in the water (and had to be told not to put her hands in the water and splash people)
With all of the rides we said Nick could get out of his chair and we would carry him on the ride. The Peter Pan ride is one that says you must be able to ambulate. They told us that was because in an emergency you would have to go up and down a ladder. (You fly through the air in a boat and watch scenes from Peter Pan below).
We were all Magic Kingdomed out for the day and it was time to head back to the hotel.
Before it was time to go we had to stop in at a dress shop (Katheryn had a surprise for lunch tomorrow and her 2 princess dresses were lost in transit).
So Katheryn spent her birthday money on a Princess Aurora dress
And Nick sweet-talked his way into a prince costume!
We got a family picture in front of the castle before we left
14,000 steps for the day, and Grandma and Papa survived!