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Magic – Walt Disney World, Part 1

November 11, 2012

It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.

  ~Walt Disney

We did it.  We took our three autistic children to Disney World.  We rode every ride and saw every attraction that they wanted to see.  We had an amazing time. It was even more wonderful than we had hoped.


All by itself, that should be incredible.

But there is more.

There is so much more.

Like the look on Mary’s face when she suddenly started really paying attention on her first ride at Hollywood Studios.

Or the tears in her mom and dad’s eyes as we watched her light up, dance, flap her hands and squeal in delight at the incredible light and firework dispaly that is “Fantasmic” at the end of our first night.

Or the way she just fell in love with Mickey Mouse.

There was the way she suddenly started looking at people – right at them – and observing everything around her in a way that I have never seen her do.

Mary at a dinner show, the Hoop- Dee- Doo Musical Revue

Then there was also the realization that our seemingly fragile little girl is actually quite the thrill seeker, thoroughly enjoying and giggling through multiple rides on spinning teacups, soaring elephants and even roller coasters.

Mary on the Teacups

Mary soaring on Dumbo with Troy and Daddy

Mary watching the Halloween parade (in her Merida costume, of course!)

Mary (blue dress in front) left us to go to a dance party with Jessie and Woody from Toy Story. THIS is all kinds of amazing.

Of course, there was the enormous excitement or our oldest son, Troy.  He was beside himself with excitement when he realized that at the ripe old age of 8 years, he is now tall enough to ride all the rides! Roller coasters, free-falling elevators, space expeditions, hang-gliding rides, and more roller coasters. It was all the stimulation he craved, and it was every day!

Troy, Joyce and Daddy on Thunder Mountain Railroad (front row)

Troy, Joyce and Daddy, still in the front row!

Troy, Joyce and Daddy on Splash Mountain- front row, red ponchos.

Mount Everest Roller Coaster- Daddy and Troy did this too, though they are not in this picture.

Troy loved the stunt shows, and we all loved the interactive dinner shows, like Mickey’s Backyard BBQ and the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue.

Troy watching a car stunt show, Lights, Motors, Action!


Part of the stunt show.

Lightning McQueen even made an appearance.

Dancing at Mickey’s Backyard BBQ

Rockin’ out with Goofy on Halloween night at the BBQ

More dancing.

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue- a very funny, very rowdy dinner show- our table was right next to the stage!

Joyce’s Disney World was all about the magic. Riding in the front seat of our double stroller, she happily flapped her hands and bounced her way through all of the parks. Everything was real. Everything was magical. Everything was amazing. Watching her jump right into dance parties with characters, or interact excitedly with princesses was incredible.  Each time she met a princess, she would start by reciting the same script, “Did you know you were on tv?” 

Joyce enjoyed many of the faster rides with her older brother, but as she explained to me herself, her focus was on the characters.  We did not disappoint. By booking multiple character meals, we avoided long lines and had more time to interact with characters. She met all of the standards- Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Daisy, Donald, Chip and Dale. But she also met the princesses- most of them: Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and the Little Mermaid all at one dinner. She also waited in short lines to see Tiana and Naveen, Jasmine and Aladdin, and Merida.

Belle from Beauty and the Beast

Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty

Ariel from the Little Mermaid- she took a particular liking to Mary after Joyce explained to her that Mary can’t talk. (Ariel couldn’t speak for 3 days in her story).

Princess Jasmine and Aladdin

Mary Poppins! (one of my favorites)

Merida from Brave- the one Joyce really wanted to see.

Tiana and Naveen from the Princess and the Frog- a big favorite in our house.

The magic is still fresh. It was an amazing trip. The castmembers at Disney World treated my children like royalty. I still have so much to tell you, but it will have to wait for another post. Obviously, I won’t be able to share all the pictures- there are just way too many. But I will tell you more. It was amazing.  My husband was skeptical before we went- how could any vacation be worth this much planning (and money!). But he already started discussing plans for our next trip while we were still at Disney.  We can both see clearly the change in our children when they are there. It was amazing.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2012 7:44 am

    This really touched my heart! I sit here in Copenhagen, Denmark with tears of joy while reading about your trip. Such beautiful children you have.
    My son Alfred, who is 8, has Aspergers Syndrome. We enjoy going to Legoland with him and his younger brother August here in Denmark. Great place!
    Just wanted to thank you for sharing your story and pictures.
    Best regards,

  2. November 12, 2012 2:25 pm

    The magic is in their faces! Looks like a huge step forward for the whole family! These are the kind of memories it takes a very brave and forward looking family to make. Thanks for being such an inspiration! Looking forward to reading more about it!

  3. Life&Ink permalink
    November 14, 2012 1:34 am

    Pure joy! I was so happy when I read this post. So happy for everyone. There is just something about Disney World, it truly is magical. May the magic continue to brighten your days long after the trip and until you get to visit once again. 🙂

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