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The Melting Pot

20150628_363.JPGThe Pool at Our Rental HouseIf you remember from my last post the kids, my mom and I were taking a much- needed rest by the pool at the Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando before venturing off to Disney World.

Once we got to Disney, we chose to rent a house through homeaway.com.  The kids love having the space, and each of the houses has its own pool.  While staying in the park has many perks, we have found in the past that because we always stay for at least a week, we enjoy having the house to get away from the craziness. And it’s generally only a 5 to 10 minute drive to Disney depending on traffic. (In our case, even with my mom at the wheel and me navigating, we got lost in the labyrinth of roads around the park on multiple occasions, making the drive a bit longer!).

Having had a day off, we were ready to head to Hollywood Studio’s bright and early the next morning.  My plan was to activate our tickets and head directly to Guest Services for a DAS pass (or Disability pass…I’ll get to that soon), so Master Yi-Yi could ride the Rockin’ Roller Coaster and be on time for his first fastpass to Tower of Terror.  The rest of us chose to refrain from those rides!!  Anyway, by the time I got the tickets settled, I completely forgot about the DAS pass. 

As a quick aside, for those of you not familiar with Disney, you can find more information on the new fastpass system here. I found it somewhat of a pain to guess where we would want to be when in order to coordinate fastpasses with meal reservations, but, at the same time, it was nice to have a semi-schedule mapped out in advance.  I downloaded the Disney app on my phone from which you can track reservations and add or change them if need be, and that was very helpful.  I knew that you had to use all the fastpasses before you could get another, but I mistakenly thought I could also do that on my phone.  Word to the wise: you need to use a kiosk in the park, and I didn’t find this out until I got home. 

20150628_277.JPGHollywood StudiosHollywood Studios is fairly small, so Monkey Boy did OK without any extra accommodations, though he had been complaining about his lungs and chest because of his asthma on and off for days. As the day progressed, he became more irritated.  I decided I would inquire about the DAS pass on the way out, so we would have it the next day.  It’s a relatively simple process at guest services.  You just tell them why you need one and don’t need any type of proof.  They scan the child’s ticket, take his/her picture and then scan the rest of the tickets in the party.  To use the pass, you just go to the ride and tell them you need a DAS return time.  They will then scan the ticket and give you a time to come back that is the posted wait time minus ten minutes, at which point you are allowed in the fastpass line.  The only stipulations are that you have to use it before you can get another pass and the child connected to the pass needs to go first in the party.  It can be used at any time after the given time unlike fastpasses, which need to be used within an hour window.  We didn’t use it too much, but for the most part, it worked great when we did.

20150628_323.JPGHats from "China"Our second day at Disney was a very long day at EPCOT.  Because it is one of the biggest parks, we decided to rent a wheelchair for Monkey Boy.  I knew that his stamina for long distance walking could sometimes be a problem (see my earlier blog where I wrote about his stamina), especially in the heat and humidity.  I didn’t anticipate that his asthma (which has seemed to improve as he’s gotten older) would cause him to complain nonstop about his chest and breathing, therefore also making walking at length difficult.  Monkey Boy happily allowed his brother to push him around, and he wasn’t the only mobile child we saw renting a wheelchair.  It made the day sooo much better.  We were there for at least ten hours, and that would have been impossible without the chair. 

We didn’t have lunch reservations but after several rides, everyone decided they were hungry, so I checked restaurants on my Disney App and found us a reservation within twenty minutes at Nine Dragons in “China,” giving us just enough time to walk there.  It was without a doubt some of the best Chinese food we have ever eaten.  Little H, my super picky eater, even found something she liked.

Monkey Boy started to become more irritated by the crowds and heat towards the late afternoon, and told us no more rides, but we convinced him to do a couple more.  We hadn’t done Test Track yet, and it was one of our favorites, so we retrieved a DAS time.  Of course, Monkey Boy insisted he wasn’t going to ride it and without him, none of us could.  I figured I would worry about when we got there, so we headed off to Spaceship Earth and the Living Seas until our return time.  Spaceship Earth did nothing to help Monkey Boy’s mood, but he loved the Living Seas, and therefore was in a great mood when it was time for Test Track.  He loved it so much he wanted to do it again, but the wait would have been too long.  At that point, we decided to call it a day.

8 4x6_1.jpgBlizzard BeachOur third day took us to Blizzard Beach.  The boys really enjoyed the slides, but the rest of us mostly relaxed and observed.  They had a “lazy river,” and Monkey Boy used it as a mode of transportation around the park.  As long as he was in the water, he was happy.  Besides this, there wasn’t a whole lot they wanted to do there, so we headed back to the house fairly early for a relaxing afternoon by the pool.  My mom was especially happy to get away from some of the chaos and float around on a raft (until it started to make her seasick, that is!).

We had planned on Animal Kingdom for the fourth day, so we arrived bright and early to try to beat the heat.  We started in Dinoland USA, but after one trip on the roller coaster, the kids decided they wanted to move on, so we headed to Everest.  I’m the one that chickened out.  Did I mention that I’m not the most fun person at amusement parks?  My mom, however, had it on her bucket list, so she went with the kids.  She said she was glad she did it, but one time was plenty!  Monkey Boy loved it.  After a walk through the “jungle of Asia,” and a snack in Africa, we headed off to Kali River Rapids.  It’s a good thing we had fastpasses because the wait time was 80 minutes.  Even so, Monkey Boy was disappointed that the ride was too short and upset that he barely got wet.  My mom, on the other hand, took the brunt of the spray. We worked our way through the rest of the park and ended our day with a fun late lunch at Rainforest Café.

Up through this point in our trip, we really lucked out with weather and plans, so you know we were likely to encounter one bad day.  Look for my next post, in which the Magic Kingdom wasn’t all that magical and then we had the harebrained idea to drive all the way home in one stretch!

 
 
 
 
 
 

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About Laura

laura m headshot

Laura is mostly a stay at home mom who works part time at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library.  In the past, she was a first grade teacher.  Over the years, she has kept herself busy volunteering at school, babysitting and caring for her children.  Currently, a lot of her time is spent dragging her youngest child, Monkey Boy, to various appointments in search of answers to his developmental issues.  She also has two teenagers, son:  Master Yi-Yi and daughter: Little H. Her melting pot family also includes her ex (father to her kids), the world’s best step-dad and husband, “TR” two step-daughters, two cats and a part-time dog!

Pouches' Community Corner

Adoptive parents in Fredericksburg now have a new partner on their journey to a healthy family. In 2016, Children’s Home Society was awarded a $125,000 grant from the Virginia Department of Social Services to extend their Richmond area post-adoptive services to the Fredericksburg area.

ChildrensHomeSociety

Now CHS is looking to find adoptive families in the area who need support before they hit a crisis point. “It doesn’t matter which agency they adopted from, or when that happened,” said Buckheit. “We want to offer a lifetime of support to adoptive families in the Fredericksburg area, especially those who haven’t been aware of our services in the past.”

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