Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Disney Vacations 3

In the other posts I talked about ways to travel to Disney, and how to set up your park experience to hopefully get the most out of it while still giving your special needs person a fulfilling experience too.  I want to touch on some other helpful ways to make the day go a little more smoothly while you are there.

Disney has one of the greatest special needs features in the world....FAMILY BATHROOMS! Oh how we love them.  Each park has multiple locations with these bathrooms so grab a map or know ahead of time where these are located.  They are plenty big enough to wheel in a wheelchair and is equipped with all you need to potty, change clothes, wash up, etc.  

All rides are also well thought out for handicap access if that is what you need.  Most times an attendant would take us to a special area and allow us to load onto a ride more easily without disturbing other guests.  If you feel you need help in some way just ask the staff and they will do everything they can.

For us, hydration and keeping cool was also a huge key to success in the parks.  We took bottles of water in with us every day.  And as you see by the pictures, we used a special cooling towel around our necks that would stay wet and cold for hours.  Once they started to dry you could simply wet them in a sink and use them again.  We had so many people stop and ask us where we got them because we looked like the most comfortable people in the park by mid day.  We also scouted out where to find cold things like frozen cokes or frozen lemonade to sip on in the afternoon.

Another important aspect for Tyler was keeping him from getting a sunburn.  Its difficult enough to keep our special people happy when they feel ok, but with a sunburn things can get bad.  We used a spray protector as well as having him wear a hat.  We also sowed a piece of cloth to the back of the hat so it would drape down over his ears and neck in the back.  This worked brilliantly!  

Another part of our plan each day was to work as a team.  On our last trip we were with my in-laws (who are wonderfully supportive people) which allowed us to all take turns doing things with Samantha, or getting on rides in different combinations depending on who was up for what at the time.  Most of the time Tyler would be on the rides with us however so we all enjoyed everything together.  But having everyone working together and being willing to do what was best to make sure everyone was having fun is the element which will ultimately make the most difference.  

Its important to continue to gauge the tone of your special person as the day goes on.  For us, if Tyler was happy and seemed to be tolerating the activities, everyone could relax and get more accomplished.  If he showed signs of being hot or needing a rest, we backed off and got cold drinks or got him some shady break times.  

Hopefully some of these tips help with ANY kind of vacation really.  I keep going back to the same thought: know your limitations, strengths, and weaknesses and incorporate those in your planning.  And may you be blessed enough to carry great memories because of it!

Be well and good luck.   Tom

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