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Older Kids, New Possibilities at Walt Disney World

Welcome to those of you joining me from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse and those of you just hopping aboard. I am the 3rd stop on our Magical Blogorail. This month we’re discussing that one thing we are looking forward to on our next Disney trip. I started writing this blog post during our first Disney trip, before I had any idea I would even start a Disney blog! We only had 4 1/2 days, not nearly enough time to do everything, and spent a lot of our time making mental notes of things to do on our next trip. On that first trip, our kids were 8, 6, 5, and 2. They’re older – and taller! – now, so one of the things I’m really looking forward to is being able to enjoy more of the attractions together, instead of one parent taking the kids on the big rides while the...
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Disney Magic

Surprise Adventures inspired by Disney Magic

Have a Very Happy Thursday! Of course, Thursdays are always Very Happy here because it’s blog hop day, hosted by Lisa at Babes in Disneyland. Today we’re talking about ways that we create Disney magic for the people around us. I’m going to go “off-topic” today and share our most recent adventure and the Disney magic that inspired it. Waaaaayyyy back when I started blogging here, I mused about surprising the kids with a trip back to Walt Disney World. Life happens, and we haven’t been able to book that surprise trip. Yet. But a couple of weeks ago we gave it a trial run! As I mentioned earlier this week, Bill loves Halloween. The creepier and scarier the better. Every year we go to Fright Fest at 6 Flags, which is about three hours away. Then that Sunday happened. It was one of those days, when anything that could...
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Disney Dining

Avoid Overheating at Disney

Florida gets hot. Miserably, sticky, HOT. The weather is one of those background things that you might not take into consideration before you arrive, but once you’re there it’s hard to escape it. We planned for the weather only to the extent that I packed shorts for the boys and sundresses for my princess. We bought a camel pack (which we promptly forgot at home. Whoops.) to stay hydrated. Unfortunately, simply dressing for the weather and drinking plenty of water wasn’t enough. Several members of our family are extremely sensitive to heat, and I dehydrate at the drop of a hat. Luckily, there were plenty of ways at Disney World to get out of the heat and avoid meltdowns. Safety First Overheating and dehydration are not things you can just live with. At least for our family, moderate discomfort can escalate into full-on heat stroke in a heartbeat. Carry water...
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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

Disney World with Autistic Kids

10 tips for making Disney magical for your autistic child: Bring small sensory items – a chewy, Wilbarger brush, or headphones if your child uses them. Disney can be loud and visually stimulating on a slow day. Add in large crowds and any child – with or without sensory issues – can get overwhelmed. Being able to duck into a restroom or another quiet spot for a quick brushing helped our kids deal with the sensory overload. Choose your character dining experiences – we went to the safari breakfast at Tusker House and loved it. The character dinner at Chef Mickey’s was too much. Had we known that the theme at Chef Mickey’s was a rock-and-roll party, we would have done something else instead. You can always call ahead and simply ask if there will be loud music, flashing lights, or any other triggers. Ask where the nursing rooms are...
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