BBB AUTISM SUPPORT NETWORK/AUTISM
SOCIETY ONTARIO (YORK REGION CHAPTER)
HOW TO ENJOY
...and live to tell the tale!!!
After our last issue, I had several requests to tackle this
topic, so here it goes…
year, my family and I travel to Disney World.
This is a wonderful yet not exactly relaxing vacation at the best of
times and having a child with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the party
tends to make it more challenging!
At home, we can all know and live with the behaviors.
I barely notice the stimming anymore unless it is new, very loud or of a
particularly entertaining type. Put
your child with ASD on a plane for 3 hours and every noise, every stim becomes
exaggerated. You can’t escape the
stares from other passengers and you may feel the need to over-compensate in
Seating on planes is a pain. There are four of us: 2 adults
and 2 children (both under 7). We can only buy seats in a 3 and 1 configuration,
and since I am “better” with J., my husband gets to sit alone. He reads a
novel or watches the movie, while I am wiping faces, doing joint compressions,
and checking under the seats for lost toys! J
He enjoys the airplane food while I am peeling the pasta off my face and picking
peas out of my hair! J
Would I stop going? NEVER!!!! J
all want to arrive at the airport with as little waiting time as possible.
This is imperative in this situation.
Call ahead to the airline before leaving to confirm departure time.
We have taken very early flights (6:20 a.m., meaning we have to get up at
3 a.m.) and afternoon flights. Don’t
kid yourself that your child will probably sleep on the plane if you leave early
– this is not always the case! You
may just end up with a very grouchy child falling asleep at 5pm (therefore,
awakening everyone at 2:00 a.m.!) There
are advantages to both flights, but keep in mind that most check in times for
hotels aren’t until 3:00 pm, so if you take the early flight, you may end up
with hours and hours on your hands!
your flight attendant that your child has ASD and explain what this could mean
in terms of behaviors.
you have access to business card sized explanations of autism, feel free to hand
them out to any passengers who comment on your child’s behaviors.
have stayed in a few hotels in Orlando, but by far the best experiences we have
had were when we stayed on Disney property.
You receive advantages that other park goers do not, such as the ability
to enter parks one hour earlier (8:00am – you can see a great deal in that
hour, without the crowds). Check
your guidebook to see which park opens early on which day! (Note: I recently read somewhere that Disney is not providing
this feature at this time, but are having characters visit hotels instead.
If you don’t relish the idea of being woken up to the sounds of a giant
Pooh Bear in the hallway, I suggest you ask
two favorite hotels we have found are:
Although this accommodation is by no means inexpensive, we
have found it to be superb in so many ways.
one and two bedroom villas feature living room, kitchen, and private porch.
Bedrooms have private baths (with one whirlpool tub) and queen-size beds.
Bedrooms boast TVs and plenty of room.
When you count the fold out couch, you can sleep eight comfortably!
You can also get cribs and bedrails from room service.
There are a full sized washer and dryer, ironing board and a colour TV.
plus VCR in the living room. You
get a kitchen with a dishwasher, garbage disposal, dishes, fridge, stove and
dining area. You don’t even have
to bring your hairdryer! Soaps and Shampoos also provided.
have stayed here with my husband’s family when there have been 2 newborns
present, and the sound of crying infants definitely does not carry.
Also, you cannot hear your neighbors.
accommodation is safe and comfortable. Transportation
to all parks and Downtown Disney is available. There is also an exercise
room for those really enjoying the fine dining!
is a nice restaurant called Olivia’s that is walking distance from all villas.
Check out their kids’ menu here.
There is a great place for kids called Hank’s where you can rent movies
for free, watch a Disney flick and engage in all kinds of games.
stayed there for the first time last year and were very happy with it.
calls these rooms “moderately priced”. Compared to Old Key West, space
is tight. We got 2 double beds,
colour TV, ironing board/iron, hairdryer and full bathroom (with shampoo and
soap). From room service, we got
bedrails and rented a small fridge from $10.60 per day.
are a couple of pools, laundry facilities, spa, exercise facilities, gift shops,
games room, a great restaurant, wheelchair rentals and more.
Despite the size of the room, I was very happy here!
and various sundries can be obtained at “Gooding’s”
(just outside Disney World). Be
aware, it is pretty expensive, but still cheaper to get supplies for breakfast
and lunch and save your pennies for dining out!
shopping can be found at the outlet malls of
Belz. Just 12 miles from
Disney, you can find directions here.
For even more shopping, check out the Orlando
sure to visit the Rainforest Café (kids
menu – note: macaroni and cheese!!! ) in Downtown
Disney and while you are there, check out all the great stuff for
your kids to do. Be sure to visit Wolfgang
Puck’s Express also (more Mac & cheese! ).
If you happen to get an evening away from the kids, visit Fulton’s
Crab House while there. I did not see Mac & cheese anywhere on their
you have one, be sure to bring your handicap-parking pass. This way you can enter or leave the park quickly if it
becomes necessary. Although J tends
to have less meltdowns in Disney, it still happens.
rented a wheelchair every day we went into the parks.
My son can walk, but he experiences gross motor issues and tires very
quickly. We would have never been
able to do everything we wanted to if he had walked. With respect to renting wheelchairs, Disney states the
following: “Some Guests may be concerned that they do not have the stamina to
wait in our queues. We strongly suggest that these visitors consider using a
wheelchair or electric convenience vehicle, as the distance between our
attractions is much greater than the length of our queues.”
We found we needed no supporting documentation to rent a wheelchair.
help with those lineups; Disney’s developed the Fast
Pass, a reservation system for the most popular attractions. This really
made our visits a breeze!
always obtain the Park
Hopper Pass. We find that we
don’t need entire days to visit every theme park, and this saves us money. For
example: if we take a whole day and visit two parks that cuts down on the extra
day’s admission. Additionally, we
love to spend at least one evening at Epcot for dining and watching fireworks. If you are planning to visit more than one park per day, keep
your wheelchair receipt and present it at the next park.
You only need to pay one fee per day.
entering the Magic Kingdom, go to Guest Relations, located inside City Hall on
Main Street, U.S.A. Provided here
are a variety of services, including general information and information on
services for Guests with disabilities. Be
sure to request a guide map. There
are similar areas for wheelchair rentals in each theme park and many of the
(by me) Attractions By Park
are attractions that we found most accommodating for our situation. I have also
included those, which feature interesting sensory stimulation.
Buzz Lightyear Ride
Tomorrowland Indy Speedway
Disney’s Magical Moments Parade
Main Street Electrical Parade
The Legend of the Lion King
Mad Tea Party (spin, spin, spin!)
Peter Pan’s Flight
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Honey, I Shrunk the Audience
Toy Story Character Greetings
Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Bear in the Big Blue House
Fantasmic! (Bring something to eat, drink and some
blankets to sit on! Caution: Fireworks)
Beauty and the Beast – Live On Stage
Character Greeting Trails
Festival of the Lion King
It’s Tough to be a Bug (from A Bug’s Life)
Coral Reef (Living Seas):
Ursula's Chicken - Chicken Nuggets with Corn and Goldfish Crackers $4.99
Prince Eric's Sea Dog - Hot dog with Corn and Goldfish Crackers $4.99
Triton's Pasta - Pasta with Marinara Sauce $4.99
Sebastian's Sandwich - Peanut Butter and Jelly with Goldfish Crackers $4.99
Chicken Breast served with mashed potatoes and corn $7.99
Baked Mahi served with mashed potatoes and corn $8.99
Peanut Butter Play dough - $2.50
Shipwreck - $3.25
Build Your Own Sundae - $5.25
ALFREDO di ROMA RISTORANTE (Italy - World Showcase – Epcot):
Spaghetti Al Pomodoro Con Polpette di Carne - with Alfredo's tomato sauce and meatballs $4.99
Le Original Fettuccine All'Alfredo - Alfredo's world famous original creation tossed in a specially prepared butter and parmesan cheese $5.50
Lasagna Pasticciate Alla Modenese - Lasagna strips baked with veal and cream sauces, Mozzarella and parmesan cheeses $5.50
Italian Chicken Fingers - $4.99
Specialty Drinks - Strawberry Slush $2.75
Chicken Fingers and fries - $4.99
Cheeseburger and Fries - $4.99
Hot Dog and Fries - $4.99
Pasta and Tomato Sauce - $4.99
Prime Rib (dinner only) $6.50
5 Ounce Sirloin Steak (dinner only) $6.50
DRAGONS (China World Showcase):
Fried Rice and Egg roll - $4.75
Sweet and Sour Chicken - $4.75
Above items served with soft drink and ice cream
China Doll - children's cocktail $1.50
RESTAURANT MARRAKESH (Morocco World Showcase)
Chicken - Chicken breast grilled and served with fried potatoes $4.95
Beef Shish Kebab - Grilled beef on a skewer served with fried potatoes $5.95
Kefta - 3 mini burgers served with tomato sauce and fried potatoes $4.95
Vegetable Couscous - Rolled semolina steamed and served with seasonal vegetables $4.25
CROWN (United Kingdom World Showcase)
Cottage Pie - spiced ground beef crowned with mashed potatoes and melted cheddar cheese $5.25
Harry Ramsden's Fish and Chips - Battered, fried Cod with crispy potatoes $6.50
Peanut Butter and Jam Sandwich - served with a bag of crisps $4.99
Macaroni and Cheese - $4.99
Child Hot Dog - served with chips $4.99
Inn (Mexico World Showcase)
Chicken Strips - Served with fried plantains and rice $4.99
Burrito - beef burrito with beans, lettuce and tomato, served with rice $4.99
Quesadillas de Pollo -flour tortilla filled with cheese and chicken breast, grilled and served with rice $4.99
Desserts: Churros Mexicanos or Ice Cream Fiesta $2.50 each
All the above served with kid's soft drink.
Blossom's Chicken Strips - served with corn and mashed potatoes
Major's Cheeseburger - served with corn and mashed potatoes
Jaq's Cheese Dog Rolls -served with corn and mashed potatoes
Yankee Doodle Noodles - Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese served with fruit $4.99
Paul Revere Chicken Strips - served with fries $4.99
Little Patriot's Hot Dog - served with fries $4.99
The Colonial Cheeseburger - served with fries $4.99
THE LUNCHING PAD (Tomorrowland At RocketTower Plaza - Fast
"Galactic Gobblers" - smoked turkey legs $4.22
Disney Character Cookie - $1.50
Frozen Carbonated Drinks - Coke, Minute Maid Cherry or Minute Maid Blueberry $2.25; served in souvenir sports bottle $5.25
Soft Drinks; Nestea - $1.75, $1.95, $2.25; served in souvenir sports bottle $4.95
Whole, Low fat or Chocolate Milk - $.99
Coffee - brewed regular or decaffeinated $1.35 and $1.55
Hot Tea or Carnation Hot Cocoa - $1.35
Fresh Orange Juice - $1.45
Bottled Water - $2.50
Includes French Fries,
beverage and a scoop of ice cream.
hotdog and mini burger combo - $4.99
cheese sandwich - $4.99
TOWN SQUARE (Main Street)
include a beverage and dessert
Tony's Spaghetti - served with a meatball and tomato sauce OR tossed with butter only $4.99
Peg's Pepperoni Pizza - $4.99
Trusty's "Old Reliable" Cheese Pizza - $4.99
Scamp's Ravioli - cheese Raviolis filled served with tomato sauce $4.99
PRIME TIME CAFÉ
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich - served with potato chips and beverage $4.99
Mickey's Pasta with Marinara - served with beverage $4.99
Mickey Pasta with Cheese Sauce - served with beverage $4.99
Kiddie Burger - Served with French fries and beverage $4.99
Grilled Hot Dog - Served with French fries and beverage $4.99
Fried Chicken Strips - Served with French fries and beverage $4.99
Beverages - Coca Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, Milk, Hot Cocoa, Pink Lemonade and a variety of juices
Salad - Mixed greens with tomato, carrots and choice of dressing. French, Ranch, Bleu Cheese, Thousand Island. $2.75
Mickey's Macaroni and Cheese - Pasta with cheddar cheese sauce and a beverage. $4.99
Hot Dog - With fries and a beverage. $4.99
Grilled Chicken Breast - Served with roasted red potatoes, fresh vegetables and a beverage. $5.75
Fried Florida Grouper Strips - With fries and a beverage. $6.95
Hidden Treasures - With vanilla ice cream, Oreo cookie crumbles and gummy snakes. $2.95
The Hollywood Junior - Vanilla ice milk blended with a crunchy chocolate and peanut butter candy bar. $2.95
Orange Smoothie - Vanilla ice milk blended with fresh orange juice. $2.95
Cookie Magic - Vanilla ice milk blended with Oreo cookies. $2.95
Coca-Cola Classic, Caffeine Free diet Coke, Sprite, Minute Maid Orange soda, Minute Maid Lemonade, Milk, Chocolate Milk, variety of juices
Spaghetti with Tomato or Meat Sauce - Served with beverage $4.99
Chicken Strips - Served with French Fries and beverage $4.99
Kiddie Burger - Served with beverage $4.99
Cheese Pizza - Served with beverage $4.99
Pepperoni Pizza - Served with beverage $4.99
BEVERAGES - Coca-Cola Classic, Caffeine Free Diet Coke, Sprite, Cherry Coke, Nestea Iced Tea, Milk, Chocolate Milk, Carnation Hot Cocoa, Minute Maid Apple Juice, Minute Maid Grapefruit Juice
STORY PIZZA PLANET
Buzz's Meal Deal - Individual Cheese Pizza, Side Tossed Salad, and Regular Beverage $7.75
Woody's Meal Deal - Individual Pepperoni Pizza, Side Tossed Salad, and Regular Beverage - $7.99
Junkyard Meal Deal - Individual Veggie Pizza, Side Tossed Salad and Regular Beverage $8.55
(Salad dressings: Ranch, Italian, and Bleu Cheese)
Individual Cheese Pizza $4.95
Individual Pepperoni Pizza $5.35
Individual Veggie Pizza (mushrooms, peppers, onions, & tomatoes) $5.75
Side Tossed Salad lettuce and tomatoes $1.95
Greek Salad (Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, feta cheese, onions, tomatoes topped with Greek dressing) - $5.25
Coke, Caffeine Free Diet Coke, Sprite, Nestea, Barq's Root Beer, Minute Maid Orange, Hi-C Pink Lemonade - $1.75/$2.25
Disney's Toy Story Souvenir cup (with drink) $3.75
Bottled Water $2.50
Nescafe Coffee (Reg. or Decafe.) $1.35/$1.55
Milk (whole, skim, chocolate) $.99
Carnation Hot Cocoa $1.35
Hot Tea $1.35
Minute Maid Premium Choice Orange Juice $1.50
Apple Juice $1.50
Potato Chips $1.25
Chocolate Chip Cookies $1.75
Sugar Cookies $1.75
Oatmeal Raisin Cookies $1.75
AND DALE’S COOKIE CABIN (KIOSK)
Fresh Baked Cookies - Sugar, Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Raisin - $1.49
Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich - $3.49
S'mores Brownie - $2.79
Nestle Crunch King Size Ice Cream Bar - $2.39
Coffee - $1.79
Milk - $1.89
Chocolate Milk - $1.89
Apple or Orange Juice - $2.39
Bottled Water - $2.50
Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Lemonade, Orange Soda in a Souvenir Cup - $2.34
Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Lemonade, Orange Soda in a Souvenir Mug - $3.79
Kid-sized portion of Coca-Cola products, milk or
apple juice $1.99
Add Safari fries to any meal for 95 cents
Castaway Kid's Pizza - a kid-sized cheese pizza $5.99
add pepperoni at no additional charge
Rainforest Rascal - three kid-sized mini rainforest Burgers, charbroiled and served with chips $5.99
Jurassic Chicken Tidbits - dinosaur-shaped chicken, breaded and deep-fried, served with chips $5.99
Mini Hot Dogs - three mini-hot dogs served with chips $5.99
Macaroni and Cheese - elbow pasta with lots of cheese $5.99
Milky Way - vanilla ice cream bar with chocolate coating and a caramel swirl $1.99
Snickers - vanilla ice cream in a crunchy sugar cone $1.99
M&M's - vanilla ice cream sandwich between two M&M cookies $1.99
You will find a variety of
children’s menus at many of the resort restaurants as well. Good luck!
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