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Welivefordisney
08-18-2006, 12:11 PM
I posted this on another board, I am new here and still finding my way around.
My son is getting his wish trip granted from the Sunshine foundation, we leave for Disneyland October 8th and I would love some suggestions to make his trip extra special.
He is in a wheelchair, but very active - 6 years old pirate: , we also have his older sisters (13 and 10) and grandparents. Any advice would be wonderful. The organization only paid for air tickets and hotel, so we are still on a budget.
Thanks

stampinshauna
08-18-2006, 12:31 PM
Have a wonderful trip!!!

I've heard the Toll House Cookie thing on Main Street is great for kids and it is free.

Some DISers find cheap Disney things ahead of their trip and have the items left in the room at night with notes from your child's favorite Disney character. Disneyshopping.com often has good clearance items.

Alex2kMommy
08-18-2006, 01:27 PM
Were you looking for things to 'not miss'? Things we are planning to hit that I think DS6 will love the most include: Goofy's Kitchen dinner (character meal), Lilo & Stitch breakfast (character meal), Toon Town, Buzz Lightyear ride, Turtle Talk with Crush (DCA), Tom Sawyer Island, sailing on Columbia (with pirate takeover!), Fantasyland rides, possibly the Pirates of the Caribbean ride (he's suddenly into pirates, but not sure if this ride would be a bit scary for him.) The Block Party Bash parade (DCA), the 50th parade, the fireworks. Maybe the Sword in the Stone ceremony? He might be picked to pull the sword from the stone! I'm sure there are more, these are what come to mind at the moment. :)

Everything mentioned except the character meals are part of the admission price. I've never been to DL before, but from what others say the character meals are a great way to see many characters without having to stand in long lines. They are pricey, though, so if you can fit one into the budget, go for it!

You mention you leave on Oct. 8, but not the length of your stay. Some of the things mentioned do not occur daily, so check the calendar of events during the dates you'll be there. (Go to Disneyland.com, click on the 'calendar' link at the top, and enter in your date of arrival and length of stay. It defaults to showing you all events at Disneyland, California Adventure and Downtown Disney. You can uncheck these boxes to not display a location.)

I hope you have a spectacular time!

Welivefordisney
08-18-2006, 01:35 PM
Thanks for the information. I guess I could have given a few more details. I guess I am looking for any suggestions, things at the park, ideas ahead of our trip, whatever... We are going to be in the park from October 9 to the 14th. The sword in the stone sounds fun :)

eduk8r26
08-18-2006, 01:58 PM
One thing to really not miss is the Aladdin show at DCA.

doombuggy
08-18-2006, 02:05 PM
I would suggest you pick up the Passporter guidebook for Disneyland. It just came out in May and has opinions on what's good for kids. I might not be saying it right, but I highly suggest the book! check your local bookstore or passporter.com.

Have a wonderful time!

MATTERHORN
08-18-2006, 03:20 PM
You've gotten lots of great advice!! Just wanted to say I hope you have a great trip, and I am sure you are already planning to but remember to take tons of pictures! You will also be there for all the wonderful new fall decorations and festivities so that will add some fun stuff for him also.


Andrea

Pink Disney
08-18-2006, 04:42 PM
Have an awesome time. :Pinkbounc Definately, do not miss Aladdin!! Fantasmic and Wishes are also great shows. Take some time to sit on the balcony of the Disney Gallery, and watch the scenery, very pretty. Take pictures in the Court of Angels in New Orleans Square. Turtle Talk with Crush is also very cute. We spent a lot of time in the Animation building in DCA, good fun. :banana:

Welivefordisney
08-18-2006, 06:19 PM
Is the 'Desert Inn' referring to the Anaheim Desert inn and suites? That is where we are staying, how do you like it?

Tiffer
08-18-2006, 06:48 PM
If you have been to WDW and seen Fantasmic, you may be dissappointed in DL's Fantasmic. It is hard to get a seat, unless you sit hours before. But if is GREAT if you've never seen it.

Aladdin in California Adv. is the BEST show, that Disney has. Tied with Mickey's Philarmagic ion WDW.

I think he would love Pirates of the Carribean.

My brother got a trip to WDW 20 years ago w/make a wish! Have fun.

MATTERHORN
08-18-2006, 07:59 PM
Is the 'Desert Inn' referring to the Anaheim Desert inn and suites? That is where we are staying, how do you like it?


Yep, that's the one! We have stayed there before and will be there next month. It was clean, the rooms were a nice size (I have not been in a regular room, only parlor suites and family suites) There was a good sized fridge that kept stuff very cold and a microwave. The elevator takes a long time because it's small so you have to wait in line a while (2 double strollers with us) so I would definitely request ground floor if you can.

Parking is a pain but it can be done. The pool is indoors, but we did not go (we swim a lot at home so no need) and the breakfast leaves a lot to be desired. We brought our own cereal and bowls and just used the breakfast to get milk to bring back to the room. It is right at the crosswalk so it's a very close walk, and I would stay there again.

Have a great trip!!

Andrea

Mom2micayla
08-19-2006, 11:12 AM
ITA with Andrea. The Desert Inn is an ok hotel. Very basic, no frills kind of place. But the location cannot be beat. :) You're directly across the main entrance into the park.

Oct. 8th is a Sun. Depending on how many days you are there you'll likely miss the fireworks, fantasmic, etc. If you're there long enough and your stay is including a Fri/Sat, then I'd definitely recommend seeing both of those if you can.

The cookie thing on main street is very cool. My girls love doing it. It's free and they get 2 free chocolate chip cookies out of the deal. :)

Character meals are nice, but very $$. So if you're on a budget I'd probably skip those. To save money on food, I'd strongly suggest bringing in your own snacks & drinks. We almost always pack snacks (crackers, peanuts, fruit snacks, etc) in a backpack and they get those when they are hungry between meals. We'll splurge on an ice cream or churro sometimes, but at $2-$4 per person, that can add up quick. Soda & water are $3 a bottle. We usually try to freeze a few water bottles the night before so we have cold water throughout the day. Pick up some flavored pouches for the water (Crystal Light, Kool-Aid, etc) if you want some variety. :) We generally hit Walmart or Target before our trip to stock up on snacks since they are cheaper.

calena
08-20-2006, 03:09 PM
I'm glad for you that you are having a wish trip granted. I have never been to DL, but I have been to WDW and just being there is magical. Just the feeling of being there is magic and fun. I think when you are there it should not be as busy either which will make it great to see and do all the rides. Plan well in advance by buying a book like the Unofficial Guide or Birnbaums so you have a plan when you enter the park. That way you will not waste time just getting oriented and figuring out what you want to do.
My children loved the character autograph signings but we had not bought an autograph book, so we bought one there - like six bucks or so. Yesterday at the Dollar store I saw little Disney notebooks which would work great for the same purpose and would fit in a fanny pack. We took along a backpack with snacks in it and water bottles for each child in their own fanny packs. It saves wasting money on snacks. There are places to spend money everywhere you look!!!!! We also limit how much we buy. Each child gets one t-shirt and one souvenier. That is it. So, they can look for what they want. If they want to use some of their own money that is fine. Our first time at WDW we did not go for a character meal because it would be about $100 for our family of five. Last time we went to Chef Mickeys and loved it. Would return. I think DL has something similar. It is pricey, but worth a splurge, especially if you save in other areas like snacks and souveniers. I don't know your budget at all, but if your hotel and airfare are being paid for, that is a savings, so caluculate that in. We use frequent flyer points for our airline tickets and always figure that is a savings so you don't feel it is quite as expensive.
Have a wonderful time. My sis died of cancer and I wish they (she had seven children) had had a wish trip at some point, but it never hapenned. Enjoy your time at DL!!! I know you will.
Deb

teacherkaren
08-20-2006, 05:45 PM
One thing to do in preperation is get an envelope or similar item to keep ideas and papers in that you will take with you. Start now, because when the crazy time just before you leave comes you will be glad you kept all the things you have gathered. :tigger:


Meals: There are a number of places that serve meals that are definitely large enough to share. My favorite :cool1: is the fried chicken dinner at the Plaza at the end of main street. You get 4 pieces of fried chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans and biscuit for $12.99. You could get 2 of these and select other sides for the whole family. You can go in and take a look at the food before you buy since you choose what you want and put it on a tray. Another favorite of mine is the corndogs at the cart between the photo store and Plaza Inn or over in CA Adventure down by the Jumping Jellyfish. They are hand dipped right there and cooked fresh and very yummy. Another place to go check out the food before you purchase it is Rancho del Zocalo in Frontierland next to the Shooting Gallery. Again the meals are large enough to share. In both places I think the food is very good. One other thing to share is the giant turkey legs. You get them at a small place behind the Matterhorn on your way to Small World. Yummy! popcorn:: Don't forget to buy a bucket of popcorn to share and have as a great keepsake. Churros are large enough to share as well

Rides: When you first enter the park if you go to the City Hall they will have information for you having a wheelchair in your party. Be sure to tell them you are there on a wish trip - it never hurts to see if you can get something special since this is a special trip. Nearly all the rides are now made to accomodate handicaps and you rarely have to wait in line long.

California Adventure: Be sure to go see the shows, esp. Aladdin. There is also the Brother Bear show over in the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, across from Grizzly River Run. There is a sidewalk show over infront of the Animation building and be sure to go in to see Turtle Talk with Crush inside that building. Be sure to have good seats for the Block Party Bash (ask a cast member for advice. They know where the floats stop.)

Cast Members: Be sure to stop and talk to cast members as often as you can. They know better than anyone what is going on and tips to make your time more enjoyable. I have learned the best places to sit during parades, how to get the attention of those in the parades, best times to go to rides, best places to eat,...

Have Fun! If you have a digital camera, give the kids a scavenger hunt type thing to do. How many hidden Mickeys :earsboy: can you find (esp. if the 50th hidden Mickeys are still up) , or pictures/sculptures for their favorite character; or something silly like finding all the bathrooms and taking pictures of the entrances :rotfl: When you are waiting in line, talk to the people around you and keep track of all the places they are from (keep a very small spiral to write their first names and location and what ride, maybe even ask to take a pic with them for the scrapbook. Have your kids predict how many state/countries they will get each day or how many repeats they will get.

Once a cast member told me to always be sure to look up :rolleyes1 when walking around the park. There are some wonderful things above you that never get noticed - part of the Disney magic.

I know Fantasmic has a great seating area for groups with wheelchairs - take advantage of that. Ask a cast member if there are areas for the parades, too. I know I said it before - TALK TO THE CAST MEMBERS :tink:

Have a wonderful time! :wave:

grumpy's fan
08-20-2006, 07:29 PM
I'm so excited about your upcoming trip! My husband has battled cancer for years and we just took a few days in between treatments last month to take our 5 yr old to Disneyland. Its her favorite place!

You are getting some great advice!

I would check to see if there are any fairy godmailers available before your trip who could send a card to your kids from a character. (If there isn't any available let me know since I have some extra cards from our recent trip and can do this for you)

I always have a gift bag prepared for my daughter that Tinkerbell leaves in the room for her (I run in before she and my husband make it to the room and quickly pull it out of the luggage and throw it on the bed!!) I usually put a disposable camera, bubbles, autograph book and pen, light up necklaces (from the dollar store) a new princess nightgown, and some items to occupy her attention while waiting in line plus a few of her favorite types of candy and gum.

We've stayed at the Desert Inn in February and enjoyed it. We stayed in a parlor room and it was very roomy and the fridge and microwave were great. We didn't eat the breakfast as we had stopped at a grocery store to buy breakfast and snack items along with water to take into the park. My daughter enjoyed the pool but we only swam for a short while. It is right across the street so its very convienent for afternoon breaks.

Do speak to the CMs as they can help guide you through the park with your son in his wheelchair.

Have a great time!!!

Welivefordisney
08-21-2006, 12:11 PM
Having a gift prepared is a great idea.
What is the fairy godmailers? How do I check on those?

Tiffer
08-21-2006, 02:41 PM
Having a gift prepared is a great idea.
What is the fairy godmailers? How do I check on those?

It is when someone who is going to WDW or DL send a postcard to someone you request and a message, by u providing a name and address prior to going.

Sometimes they can get a character autographes postcard.

You have to do a search for DL. I tried to do it for you, but of course I got a server to busy message.

It is also under pay it forward. I had done it a few times (giving and receiving) and it is fabulous. I have had pc's sent from WDW before a trip saying can't wait to see you ____ for my daughter.

Look for someone offering and send them a private message.

Hope that helps. Sorry I couldn't get a link for you.

Welivefordisney
08-21-2006, 03:03 PM
It is when someone who is going to WDW or DL send a postcard to someone you request and a message, by u providing a name and address prior to going.

Sometimes they can get a character autographes postcard.

You have to do a search for DL. I tried to do it for you, but of course I got a server to busy message.

It is also under pay it forward. I had done it a few times (giving and receiving) and it is fabulous. I have had pc's sent from WDW before a trip saying can't wait to see you ____ for my daughter.

Look for someone offering and send them a private message.

Hope that helps. Sorry I couldn't get a link for you.


Thank you for the information... I will see what I can find.

SueM in MN
08-21-2006, 04:13 PM
Here's a link to the Disneyland Guest Services webpage for guests with mobility disabilities. (http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/en_US/help/gsDetail?name=MobilityDisabilityGSDetailPage) It includes a list of attractions that are wheelchair accessible where he would be able to stay in his wheelchair for the entire attraction, those where you have to transfer to a ride car (but could bring the wheelchair close to the ride car) and those that you need to be ambulatory for.
If you click on each attraction, you will get a link to a description of that attraction and how you access the attraction.
Here's a link to the height requirement for different attractions. (http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/en_US/help/gsDetail?name=HeightRequirementsGSDetailPage) In our experience at WDW, they will ask you how tall your child is if he can't stand and will take your word for his height if he looks tall enough. I would imagine they would do the same at DL.

Welivefordisney
08-22-2006, 12:01 PM
Here's a link to the Disneyland Guest Services webpage for guests with mobility disabilities. (http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/en_US/help/gsDetail?name=MobilityDisabilityGSDetailPage) It includes a list of attractions that are wheelchair accessible where he would be able to stay in his wheelchair for the entire attraction, those where you have to transfer to a ride car (but could bring the wheelchair close to the ride car) and those that you need to be ambulatory for.
If you click on each attraction, you will get a link to a description of that attraction and how you access the attraction.
Here's a link to the height requirement for different attractions. (http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/en_US/help/gsDetail?name=HeightRequirementsGSDetailPage) In our experience at WDW, they will ask you how tall your child is if he can't stand and will take your word for his height if he looks tall enough. I would imagine they would do the same at DL.


Thank you , I will look into that information.

Welivefordisney
09-08-2006, 11:30 AM
We are just one month away from the wish trip and the kids couldn't be more excited.

All arrangements have been made and with the new hours up on Disney website we now see that Fantasmic will not be running on Friday October 13th - bummer.

Does anyone have anymore 'must do', 'must see' things that we should add to our agenda??