Life with MS & EDS

August 18, 2009

Disney with Special Needs Kids, Part III

We divided up Epcot into two days.  The first one focused on all of the rides in the “Future” area and the second was primarily aimed at doing the “Worlds” side.

Day Five: Epcot

Waiting to get into the park was a challenge because she hated the music that was playing.  She was quite upset and demanded to go home.

Test Track – Yes, I took her on Test Track.  Correction, we all went on Test Track and she sat with my husband in the car behind me.  We said it would be like Mommy or Daddy driving really crazy.  She hated the dark part, but seemed to like the race track part outside where it was bright and sunny!  She refused to go on it again the next day when we came back, so I imagine she didn’t like it all that much.  3 stars.

Journey into the Imagination with Figment – She refused to go on the ride even though she loves the Figment character.  She did love the play area outside of the ride.  That was great!  Play area – 4 stars!

That’s all she was willing to do at Epcot.  She spent the rest of her time at the “car wash” and playing in the sidewalk fountains.  Apparently being in soaking wet clothing is a good thing!

Day Six: Epcot

She did okay at Epcot on the Worlds side.  Endurance was more of a problem here since there’s a lot of walking.  We did use a stroller to get around, but she got tired from the little bit of walking she did do.  She was pretty good during the excellent lunch we had at Great Brittan’s Rose & Crown Pub.  Then we got to find Mary Poppins at the toy store there.  She happily greeted her as Mary Poppins is one of her favorite movies (just like her mom!)  Usually Mary Poppins is outside, but it was pouring rain (quite fitting for England), so she was inside in a well lit part of the toy store.  We also did some shopping there.  They have a ton of the Little Miss and Little Mr. books.  Little Sister LOVES Little Miss Naughty (I hope it’s because she’s all purple and not because she’s naughty), so we got her a Little Miss Naughty doll, which she loves.  We tried to wait out the rain, but it wouldn’t stop.  We put on our ponchos, which thrilled her, and headed off to other destinations.

She generally waited outside while we looked around the shops in the other countries.  We got her into Mexico for a little bit.  It’s dark in there, but there are tons of beautiful, brightly colored objects there to look around at.  She also enjoyed banging on the drums there.  But, she demanded to leave after about 5 minutes.

She was thrilled about having afternoon snack at Norway’s bakery.  I got her a giant chocolate chip cookie.  It had a picture of a Viking on it on a circle of white chocolate.  I turned it over so she wouldn’t see it.  Thankfully she had already started eating it before noticing it and I explained what it was and to ignore it.  She didn’t seem bothered by it and inhaled the whole thing!

Day Seven: Sea World

Dolphin Show – She did kind of okay during the dolphin show.  She likes dolphins because the name of her previous preschool classroom was “dolphins.”  She got upset when the tone of the music changed when the mean guys came out as part of the bird portion of the show.  4 stars

Shamu – She was quite upset during this show, even though it’s an outdoor stadium in bright sunlight.  We sat in the top row of the stadium where it was a little cooler and far out of the “splash zone.”  This didn’t help her any because she spent the entire show complaining about being up high.  She kept asking to leave.  She held her ears and threw a fit most of the performance.  She spent the majority of time standing on her seat looking out the back of the stadium.  0 stars.

Penguin Exhibit – I thought she’d like seeing the penguins.  She enjoyed them when we went to Montreal two years ago and she still remembers the trip.  We got part way into the exhibit when she started to complain about the darkness.  I focused on how cute the penguins were and picked her up for a bit.  She stood on the moving sidewalks, thank goodness because although she’s barely 40 pounds, she’s hard to carry when throwing a fit. I got her over to the puffin area where she really got upset about the smell (it wasn’t pleasant).    I had to pick her up and carry her out as fast as I could, which is difficult to do when a lot of people are between you and the exit.  1 star.

Cirque du Soleil-type show – Everyone except my two girls really wanted to see this, which I found strange because we saw the real Cirque du Soleil when it was in town last year and they both liked it (goes to show how dramatically worse her sensory issues have gotten during the past year.)  Thankfully my husband’s cousins met up with us for the day and they happily took my girls over to the kids’ area so that we could see the show.

Shamu’s Happy Harbor – she had a blast here!  Yet another chance to get soaking wet while fully clothed! I think this was the most fun she had all week.  5+ stars!

Shark exhibit – I tried this with her, but it was another disaster.  Soon after we got inside I had to swoop her up and race for the exit.  She enjoyed looking at the rays in the outside tank though!  Inside – 0 stars; outside – 3 stars.

(Side note from me regarding MS and Disney/Orlando: Seaworld was far more difficult for me than the other days.  I’m not sure if it’s because it was our last destination and that I was tired or if it was because of the heat.  Seaworld definitely does not have the amount of shade that Disney locations have.  There are stretches of walkway that are in the blazing hot sun.  I was wiped out.)

Disney Trip in General:

We’re still having no luck with potty training.  It’s going very poorly.  She used the potty about 10% of the time during vacation, which is actually an improvement.  She would only use the potty when we were out and about, not at the rental house.  It was kind of like being at home.  She won’t use it here, but wants to check out bathrooms in other places.

Although we had her DAFOs on, she fell a lot.  I was concerned that she’d be covered in black and blue marks when we got her back to school, but it wasn’t too bad.  She fell at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground and on the wet floor in the Sea World café.  She also fell off her bed (while awake and just playing) at least 3 times.

I think her favorite part of the trip, aside from Dumbo and It’s a Small World, was the pool at the rental house.  The house had swimmies which made her feel safe and people took turns holding her.  She got cold easily, so she went back and forth between the pool and the hot tub.  While I love being in the water, this part was hard for me.  The pool was too cold, so I generally stayed in the hot tub, which eventually got too hot and aggravated my MS symptoms.  She and I both have a hard time regulating body temperatures.

She generally didn’t eat well the entire vacation.  The exception was a large chocolate chip cookie we got at the bakery in Epcot’s Norway, which she devoured! She was also quite quiet the whole trip. She finally started talking a lot the last day when she knew we were coming home!

Surprisingly she did really well with flying!  On the way there she had an aisle seat and was really excited to have the window for the way home.  Unlike Big Sister who demanded the window seat on the way there, but rarely ever looked out the window, Little Sister seemed to be fascinated and looked out often.  Unfortunately, she also flooded her pull-up on the flight back and had a noticeably soaked bottom when she stood up.  We made her carry her backpack to try to cover her backside, which is when she started to throw a fit.  By the time we got to baggage claim, she had the hugest tantrum I’d ever seen.  She was spitting, hitting, screaming, crying – you name it, she was doing it.  This lead to her being grounded for the first time.  We took away all screen time (e.g., TV, computer) for the rest of the day and until noon the following day, on the condition that she had to keep her pull-up dry all morning and start using the potty.  (Potty training is still a disaster, but that’s something for a different post.)

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