Archives for Vacation Planning - Page 15

Autism and ADHD

Disney Blog Hop – The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Have a Very Happy Thursday, as Pooh would say. Thursdays ARE a Very Happy Day around here, because of course, it’s Blog Hop Day! If you’ve never been here before, welcome! If you’re an old friend, welcome back! Today’s Blog Hop theme is “The Good, The Bad, and The #8221; I originally planned to do something cute with pictures – a good picture, a fuzzy (bad) one, and maybe one of Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters…then I read Lisa’s post about her day alone in WDW and I realized that just wasn’t gonna cut it. I’ll admit, I like to focus on the warm, fuzzy, positive memories. But reality is, taking four kids ANYWHERE, even to Disney World, is going to be a roller coaster. So here goes. Keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times… when Disney was good, it was very very good . . ....
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Budgeting

Drive or Fly?

For our family, simply getting to Orlando (or Anaheim for that matter) is an undertaking. We live in the middle of Illinois—936 miles from Orlando. With 6 people, we generally assume it’s less expensive to drive when we travel, an assumption that was probably formed in childhood back when gas cost less than $1/gallon! I’ve done the math and it actually cost the same amount to fly to Orlando as it would to drive, without even considering the time and stress factors: According to Google Maps, it’s a 19 hour drive. Our kids have a hard limit of 3 hours in the car before one of them starts getting car sick and the rest try to kill each other. Assuming we left before dawn to maximize the time the kids are asleep or at least drowsy, we could do it in two days: Day 1: Leave at 4am, drive...
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Autism and ADHD

Least Crowded Time at Disney World

Nothing kills the magic for an autistic child faster than a crowd. The noise, visual stimulation, and being bumped can all lead to instant sensory overload. Add to that the fact that cast members are likely to be more rushed and less relaxed, and the entire experience can be overwhelming. If your child is a wanderer, like mine, you know how quickly they can disappear in a crowded park. I recently exchanged emails with Christine Hardenberger of Magical Mouse Plans while planning our next trip to Disney World. After explaining that avoiding the crowds was one of our biggest priorities, she offered so much great advice that I asked if she would write a guest post here at Return to Disney. Thanks Christine! Here is what Christine had to say: Every day, I am asked this question.  Everyone wants to get the most out of their time at Disney...
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Budgeting

What Makes the Magic Happen?

Disney magic is different for everyone. As I’m planning our return to Disney World, I’ve seen a lot of information on visiting Disney on a budget, cutting costs, and so on. Some of it makes sense, but I’m staring at a hard decision: What’s essential, and what’s not? I knew when I started this journey that earning enough money above and beyond what I need to contribute to our family budget wasn’t going to be easy. I still don’t know for certain that I’ll be able to pull it off. Freelancing is a high-risk career – I may be drowning in work one week and have nothing to do (except blog!) the next. I won’t know for sure that I can pull off this trip until every last dime is actually in the bank. I priced out different options recently, and it really hit me – staying at a...
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Autism and ADHD

Character Dining with Autistic Kids

Character dining is one of the most memorable activities offered at Disney resorts, but for children with autism, the experience can be stressful and overwhelming. Many autistic kids, including ours, also have sensory processing or sensory integration disorder. Simply put, they are either over- or under-sensitive to sensory input – sounds, visual stimulation, touch, even scents can be overwhelming. We attended two character dining events during our first trip to Disney World. Our first character dining experience was the safari breakfast at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom.   It was a very calm, relatively orderly affair — maybe because it was early in the morning! Everyone enjoyed the experience, although we did learn that our little Princess has a deathly fear of Goofy. Donald got a big kiss though! Our second character dining experience was completely the opposite. We went to Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort. The theme for...
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