Sunday, 19 December 2010
I know I wrote a little about our Disney experience while we were away, but I really don’t think I gave the place enough credit. I know a lot of you find Disney to be a bit much, but that is the level of stimulation Pudding needs all the time. Her little meltdown there was because we changed the rules on her. To her mind, you always take your shoes off on soft play areas, and then look at us mixing it all up on her.
At Easter Pudding’s grandparents took her (and the rest of us) to dine with the princesses at Epcot. To a little girl in the midst of a Sleeping Beauty obsession, this was heaven. Those princesses were great, I can’t tell you how thrilled she was with that experience. I can show you a photo though. The good thing about doing this, is that it checked off the meeting characters portion of a Disney trip. Been there, done that.
On to this visit. Disney has a special pass for guests with disabilities, so that the entire group can use a different entrance for attractions. This is important, because the first time we went to Disney before her diagnosis, we didn’t manage to do a great deal. Waiting in long queues is tortuous for Pudding, so we usually just gave up after a while without going on the rides. I only remember riding on It’s a Small World that time. We left the park after only a couple of hours, and I think I probably swore off going again until I heard about the pass.
I’ve read before about other families with children who don’t have physical signs of disability getting dirty looks as they went through the other entrances without queuing, but honestly we didn’t have any of that. You can buy a FastPass anyway to avoid the long queues, so I think probably everybody thought we had those. Now that we could do the long lines, it was time to try some rides. Pudding enjoys lots of spinning and bouncing, and is freakishly tall for her age, so roller-coasters were the next step for us. We rode Thunder Mountain, and she looked a little scared, but right after getting out she started bouncing up and down and declared she wanted to ride the “Aaaaaahhhhh”, which is what people say on roller-coasters. We rode a couple more, and every time she asked for more.
Unless you live with food allergies, you have no idea how awesome it is to go to a place that has no less than 8 safe places to eat. I’m really impressed that Disney go the extra mile here, a lot of places think that not putting bread on a sandwich or burger is dealing with a gluten intolerance. If only the rest of the world was this easy.
The following week we went to Animal Kingdom, which I personally enjoyed even more. Pudding rode The Everest roller-coaster which is definitely too much for a just-turned-4-year-old. Had I known how scary that was I wouldn’t have let her go on it. As it was she clung to me the whole ride around, repeating, “Wanttogopottywantotgopottywanttogopotty.” Daddy rode in front and spent the whole time offering her words of comfort. When the ride came to an end, the man in front of him shook his hand, and told him he needed to hear it was okay- it was pretty hairy on that ride at times. As soon as we got off, I asked if she wanted go to the bathroom. Her response? “No, don’t want to go potty. Want to ride it again.”
We rode a really cool safari ride. Cubby adored having his two of his favourite things (my dad, and giraffes) in the same place. After we rode a train, and I thought he’d burst with happiness. Maybe one day I’ll go on a real safari and let you know how authentic it was " /> . Then we went to a petting zoo. I was hoping that the tactile sensory-seeking girl we know and love would be in her element, but she really didn’t want to know. I suppose it wasn’t enough for such a thrill-seeker. Instead, I coaxed her usually defensive brother into stroking a sheep, and from there he eagerly petted goats, a donkey, a llama, and a cow. I was amazed.
Disney magic must have been at work.