Friday, August 1, 2014

Florida 2014: Disability Access Service Card

Abby was able to get the Disability Access Service Card, which made it possible for her to wait for a ride inside in the air conditioning rather than having to stand for a long time out in the heat.  Basically, we walked up to the Fast Pass attendant and he/she wrote down on our card when we could return for the ride.  When that time came, we went through the fast pass line.  While we were waiting, we could ride another ride with a short wait time, get cool, eat, or take a bathroom break.  (You could only use the DASC for one ride at a time.)  It was extremely helpful in protecting Abby from the heat.  With her reduced lung capacity, she has to breathe much harder in the heat.  We did our best to keep her cool, but waiting for a ride for 90 minutes just won't work for her.

If you or your child has a disability, I would highly recommend that you get the DASC when you go to Disney World.  I know there's been some grumbling about the new card versus the way they used to do it, but I thought this worked out very well and was exactly what we needed.  I also never used the old method, so I don't know any differently!

We also had a tag for the stroller that allowed us to take it in line (treating it like a wheelchair because Abby can't stand for too long), but it wasn't really necessary because we were able to go through the fast pass line.  If we weren't able to use the DASC for a ride and it was a long wait, I would have used the stroller tag, but that didn't happen.

FYI, they have a similar program at Lego Land.  It is not advertised at all and there's not a single mention of it on their website, but it is set up the same way as Disney World's program.  We didn't use it much at all because the lines were much, much shorter, but it is nice to know that they have it if you need it.

It's very nice that they have these services at Disney World.  Otherwise, Abby would have really struggled and we probably wouldn't have gotten to do nearly as much as we did!  I think it's especially important in the summer when the lines are long and it is very hot.  I am interested to see what Disney is like during other times of the year and whether we would need the pass as often.  I would venture to say we would not.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Florida 2014: Rides at the Magic Kingdom

For this trip, we decided to spend both of our days at Disney World at the Magic Kingdom.  There's a ton to see there and we knew that it would be crowded, so it was a good idea to give ourselves plenty of time to explore.  I'd rather do one park well than two parks halfway.


Buzz Lightyear shooting game (We probably rode this 10 times because it was air conditioned, everyone could ride--including Lucy--, and what's not to love about shooting stuff?!)

"It's a Small World" was about as boring as I remembered as a kid, but it was air conditioned!



The kids loved the carousel!  IT WAS HUGE!!!  I think it was 5 horses deep!


Hot and sweaty family picture while waiting in line for the carousel


This was our very first ride:  The Magic Carpets!


Abby rode her very first rollercoaster, "The Barn Stormer," and LOVED it!!  She rode it three times and laughed the entire time!


Monday, July 28, 2014

Florida 2014: Princesses and Castles

On Monday and Tuesday, we visited The Magic Kingdom. The girls got to meet several princesses while we were there:  Ariel, Belle, Anna, Elsa, and Cinderella!  I have lots to share about the Cinderella dinner and Anna and Elsa deserve a post of their own, so here are a few pictures of the others (and the castle!)


Belle has story time where the kids get to be in the little play and tell the story.  Anna, Lucy, and Sara were all in it, but I couldn't quite convince Abby of how cute the pictures would be much fun it would be.  We still got pictures with Belle though!






Note the humongous crowds of people.  This was taken just as we walked in right after the gate was opened that morning.  The crowds were insane!!  Have I mentioned that I really don't like crowds?!  Eek!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Florida 2014: Legos, Legos EVERYWHERE!!!

Everywhere you turned, there were people, animals, and structures made out of legos.  It was pretty remarkable!  The kids loved climbing on them too!

We were trying to get a good photo of all of the kids here...this was the best one we got, but Lucy is hiding, Abby isn't looking, and Anna isn't smiling.  It is what it is!

I just loved this!!



Abby and Anna thought he was real and kept sneaking up on him to wake him up.


Life-sized camel!






These minifigures were just Lucy's height and she loved them!



Super cool mirror in the bathroom!



Fighting crime with the Dynamic Duo




Saturday, July 26, 2014

Standing Tall by Kathy and Joel Soukup


I'm on a kick about reading books about medically complex children recently.  Perhaps it is because I have one myself?!

Standing Tall is a memoir about Joel Soukup's journey with Osteosarcoma.  Because of the location of his cancer, it was necessary for doctors to amputate Joel's cancer at the hip.  Even with this drastic measure, his cancer returned in his spine.  Currently, Joel is in remission and enjoying a normal life.

While I appreciated Joel's journey and struggle his mother Kathy shared, I struggled with the quality of the writing.  It seemed to jump around quite a bit and repeated itself often.  The lack of a smooth timeline made it difficult for me to get into the book.  I did like the insights from Joel, and I think showed bravery for that young man to share the emotions he felt during that time.  I do wish that the font for Joel's thoughts had been different.  It was just slightly smaller and it was hard to tell which thoughts were his or Kathy's.  I read the e-book, so I'm not sure if this is different in the paper version.

All in all, it was a nice memoir of a young man's cancer journey, but it didn't tug at my heart strings like other cancer memoirs I have read.

Disclaimer:  I'm a Book Looks Blogger and receive complimentary books in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Florida 2014: Lego Land Group Shots