This past weekend was Mother’s Day! Instead of spending that time at a nice brunch or enjoying some personal time to myself to relax, my husband and I decided to take “K” (our special needs 3 year old), to Disney World.
Nope, we don’t live in Orlando. In fact, we live all the way over on the West Coast. We have family in Florida though so we decided to make the trip out to see them and to take “K” to Disney World for the very first time!
We spent some time doing research on how to get our daughter the best experience while there (it’s changed a lot since I went 20 years ago) and how to accommodate for her needs. I’m sad to say that because so many people have abused the “special needs” card, some have even gone so far as to pay someone with special needs to go to the park with them, (so they can skip the lines) it’s not as easy as it once was. In the end though, we were able to work with Disney and had a wonderful experience.
Disney offers what is called a “DAS”, which basically allows you to wait the length of the line, without actually standing in line. You can only get 1 at a time, so you have to use it before scheduling the next one. Between the DAS and the FastPass though, we were able to fit in a lot of rides and keep “k” pretty entertained.
The highlight of the trip for us was taking “K” to meet Mickey Mouse. She was mesmerized and the Mickey was phenomenal. He sat down on the floor with her for a bit, played with her and gave her several hugs. I was able to catch it all on video and it’s something I will love watching for many years to come.
While we had the occasional tantrum or meltdown, overall we had a great trip! I might wait a few more years before taking “K” back again, but I am so glad we went!
If you plan to take your special child to Disney, make sure to check in with Guest Services when you arrive. Explain your child’s needs and they should be able to help you out. Overall, I think Disney wants everyone to have a good time. Don’t be afraid to ask for special treatment for your child.