I remember the anxiety I had when I was planning our trip to Disney. I wasn’t sure how our son would handle the long car ride, change in routine, the crowds, the smells, the new foods, the heat, waiting in lines, the loud sounds...there were so many unknowns. I mean, Disney is unchartered territory. I did hire a travel agent to help with the careful planning to make sure everything went smoothly. I’m so glad I did.
He surprised me! He handled everything so well. He stayed in good spirits each day and took things in stride. I truly was impressed. As I sit back and reflect on the trip I keep trying to pinpoint what it was that made the trip go so smoothly.
Was it all the organized planning? I spent the month before the trip planning every detail to make sure he was entertained in the car, had plenty of snacks, and had his sensory items in case we needed them. The travel agent helped to organize the time in the park so we weren’t walking from one end to the other and back, but instead we covered one side of Magic Kingdom in one day and the other in another day.
Was it the scheduled breaks? Every day, we left the park and took a break. Each day we spent a few hours, to as little as one hour, at the hotel pool. One day it rained, so we just hung out at the hotel and relaxed. This allowed us to recharge and reset for the evening.
Was it that I prepped him daily with the schedule? Each night, after his calming shower, we discussed what would be happening the next day, down to the minute if I knew that. He seemed to be excited about what was to come. Then it was lights out, even if the rest of us needed to shower, the room was dark for him to sleep.
Or was it simply that Disney fed into his sensory needs? The need to spin...teacups, carousel, Dumbo ride, Aladdin’s Carpet! The need for speed...roller coasters! The need for constant motion...All the rides! The constant change in scenery & entertainment at every turn...Disney has that covered! It seems like everything that he craves was met while at the park. And when he became overloaded, I was prepared. I had the ear plugs, the cooling towels, the hat, his sunglasses, or we simply took a break, either inside the park by attending a show or eating a snack or trading pins, or by leaving the park.
Maybe as he’s getting older things are just getting easier. I can only hope.