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Same Crap, Differnt Location, The Florida trip, part two

I took 5 kids to Disney.
My liver is still intact.

I believe in miracles.
Disney, the "ultimate place for everything awesome". That's what the DVD implied, but our first impression was an entirely different story.

We got to the Magic Kingdom, parked the car, sprayed everyone with sunscreen and got on to the trolley. We were lucky to have Eric, our therapist, along for the journey. We got out of the trolley, went to bag check, which took quite a long time and I wondered why they didn't have more people working the tables. People do bring bags in far more often than they don't, but I digress. We went to the ticket booth, showed her the tickets and wondered why she told me to write everyone's names on the tickets, and then handed us our buttons, "My first time at Disney." We then went to the gate to enter the park. I had all the tickets in my hand and was intent on keeping those expensive tickets safe during our transition through the gate. However, that was not the Disney plan.

We approached the gate which was manned by an older, English woman. Definitely someone's pissed off grandma somewhere in the universe. I approached her with the tickets in hand and asked if I could scan them for the kids, but before I could tell her why, she yelled to the air, "each person needs to hold their own tickets." I tried to explain again and she yelled her statement over again. Chaos at the entry point. I attempted to hand the tickets to each of the kids and that is when it turned to shit. #1 threw his, #2 refused to take his and #3 completely melted and started screaming. The girls took their tickets and with assistance, made it through the gate. Before #3 had a chance to hit the English meanie, Eric grabbed him, pushed him through the gate and brought him to a quiet place in the shade. (It was really hot). At that point, another Disney cast member walked up to Eric and #3 and asked, "this is the happiest place on earth, why are you crying?" Then #3 screamed again while trying to hit her. How about I punch you in the face. Would you be happy? Eric replied, "Because this whole process is not Autism friendly. Go away." The verbally wounded cast member departed and we joined them shortly after. But then, we had to deal with #3 who was hitting anyone he could get close to and #1 who was agitated listening to #3 scream and was trying to squeeze him. So, we had to separate #3 and #1 and we had to praise #2 for not getting sucked into the vortex. Meanwhile, the twins were pulling on me to get moving so they could see the castle. It was a scene.

Great, just freaking great. I just spent hundreds of dollars to go to an awesome place and some idiot bitch just wrecked it for my family. When #3 melts, it is unpredictable what the outcome will be. Sometimes he recovers and other times, it takes the whole day for him to regroup. It was hard to determine what he would do, so we let him chill-out with Eric as I went to the guest services desk to get the pass which would allow us to move to the front of the line on the rides. I then told the cast member about our horrific experience at the gate. She advised that I send an email to the website. Great. Just freaking great. You can hear my kid screaming from here and you're not going to do anything? Can I punch you in the face?
When I returned with the pass, #3 had calmed down a little bit, so we decided to push it. We had a character lunch scheduled for an hour after we entered the park, so we had to go. We had time for one ride before lunch and armed with the pass, we were able to ride the ride and make it back for lunch. Disney has a special pass for people with disabilities that allows them to move to the front of the line. This pass is essential to success at Disney. If the kids had to wait on line for more than 10 minutes, they would have lost it and it would have been a complete failure. The pass allowed us to avoid the meltdowns and whining, and we were able to have a good time. 

#3 did recover and by the time we went to the character lunch and met Winnie the Pooh and friends, he was fine. Still a little pissy, but fine. The kids had a great time even though we missed some rides because of the rain. The best part was watching the kids dance and react to the Electrical parade. Watching the kids faces as they saw the characters and the princesses,  the Disney promise materialized, "give your kids the memories of a life time." After watching them and hearing them talk about their Disney experience, I believe we did exactly that. 

At least we will have a leg to stand on when they're in therapy. We'll always have Disney.



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