A family's story

We are back! Of course, we have been been back since the 22nd, but holiday revelry ensued. All things considered, we had a great vacation to Disney World. My top 10 faves are below, in no particular order…

10. The ability to go for a walk around our resort and seeing various wildlife creatures in plain sight. My animal obsessed loving Jake was in pure heaven. The excitement and joy he expressed verbally and not was worth every cent of the room.

9. My new best friend at the airport. We got to the airport at 5 am for our 7 am flight. Security was already getting busy. A kind/gentle/completely awesome angel saw us trying to wrangle cats kids motioned to us and had us come to the preferred line. Security took all of 10 minutes, and that included the 3 times Tate had to go back through the scanner thing because he wanted to touch the sides as he passed through. It was like a fast-pass through security!!

8. Disney World Transportation. We didn’t have to drive at all. No navigating foreign highways, streets, crazy holiday traffic, or long lines into or out of the parks. This was also worth the money we spent to stay “on property”.

7. Disney’s Guest Assistance Card. This little gem saved my family from stress, heartache, and mega-meltdowns. With the Guest Assistance Card, we could use the alternate entrances and had a shorter wait time…it was like a Fast-Pass for most rides. This was golden for Tate who cannot handle waiting for anything for any period of time. It helped immensely.

6. Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s Spectacle of Lights. Oh.My.Wow!! It was absolutely breathtaking. They had the whole backlot section of the park decorated with lights that moved to the various carols. Totally worth visiting this park to experience the magic here. My sensory-seeking Tate LOVED the flashing lights, moving pieces and music. The other 2 boys enjoyed the music and lights. Oh, and it “snows”. In 55 degree weather. In Florida. Amazing.

5. Epcot at Christmas. Especially the World Showcase. I so enjoyed seeing all of the traditions of the various countries and their Christmas/Holiday celebrations. We also had the pleasure of listening to the holiday concert. It was phenomenal.

4. Understanding characters at the character meals. I am sure that the “cast members” who embody the characters have seen it “all”. However, I must commend the ones on duty while we were there. They really seemed keyed in to the anxieties and fears that Tate exhibited when they were near. They tried to engage him, but never pushed too far. They never mocked or ridiculed him for not wanting to be a part of the photos. In the end, they were rewarded with a high-five from Tate…and heart-felt thank-you’s from 2 slightly overwhelmed and on-edge parents who were grateful for their acceptance of our family’s situation.

3. Magic Kingdom. At Christmas. I didn’t think that anyone could make this park any more magical….but they did. The lights on Cinderella’s castle made me squeal with delight…the decorations and snow on Main Street…the Christmastime Parade…the special mugs and containers…the Christmas Carols piped in throughout the park. It was uh-may-ZING!! Everyone should experience this once.

2. Mickey’s Very Christmas Party. Seriously one of the most fun nights we have ever had with the kids. The lights were fun to see. The parade was so magical. The “complimentary cookies and cocoa” were very yummy. (I use the quotes, as we had to pay extra for the party.) They also had cold apple cider, which all 3 of our boys gulped down like it was going out of style. (If you were health conscious, they also had apple slices.) To top it off, the park is only open to 20,000 people, so waits are non-existent, and we could use everything without whipping out our GAC card, which made us feel more like a “typical” family. It was just awe-inspiring that night. The fireworks freaked out Tate, who couldn’t tolerate the noise, but we just roamed the park and gave him a phone to play “Angry Birds”, and the rest of us could sneak a peek at the show going on above our heads.

1. The smiles and giggles and joy that all 3 boys had on our trip. We had such fun. The boys were all quite happy and enjoyable on the trip. Each had moments of ugly…but overall, we really enjoyed each other and our surroundings. Disney World really can be the most magical place on Earth!!

Ok, so maybe I did go in order…but we had a great trip, and we would do it again…in a few years…but this trip did give me hope for more vacations to come!

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