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Old 04-20-2013, 09:28 PM   #1
KathyRN137
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Arrow A SUMMER Adventure in Autism (6/26) We leave TOMORROW!


Q: How do you get a woman who swore she would NEVER go to Florida in the summer to make plans for a WDW vacation in July?

A: Tell her she will lose a bunch of DVC points if she doesnt!!


Hello, everyone! You guessed it: the KathyRN Family is going back... we're going to have a hot, humid, Red, White & Blue Adventure in Autism!

THE CAST

Kathy: Mom, nurse and certified Disney Nut. Married to...

Ed: Retired police lieutenant (who still works more than 40 hrs. a week -- what's up with that?) Oh. Yeah. He's married to the certified Disney Nut!

Tricia (17): Newly-licensed driver and occasionally maddening teenage girl. Not thrilled that we are going to WDW "again!?!"

Billy (15): Disney-loving boy who has classic Autism. Beyond excited that we're going to WDW again!





BACKSTORY

Our vacation was originally planned for Presidents Week this past February but had to be postponed for several reasons, not the least of which was Super Storm Sandy. We live in New Jersey and the kids lost so many days of school due to power outages that they were forced to give up their Presidents Week break. We belong to Disney Vacation Club and because of rules related to banking and saving points it just so happened that we would lose the points I had designated for the February trip if we did not use them by August of this year.

Now, I have to share with you that I cannot stand hot weather. I've been to WDW in September a couple of times and sweated through the Florida humidity -- it is not my favorite way to experience the magic! But given the alternative, I will tough it out.

Our last family vacation to The World wasn't a family vacation at all! Billy and I had a Mother-Son Adventure in Autism in November of 2011. Neither Ed nor Tricia wanted to miss a single day of school. (Ed is working on a Masters Degree now that he is retired.) I didn't write a TR for that one, but if you are interested in our previous adventures, the links are in my siggie.

That trip was a two-sided coin. On the one side, it was easier. I pretty much did anything that Billy wanted to do. Of course, I did have to put my foot down when he insisted we ride Space Mountain more than three times in a row!




On the other side of the coin, it was tough at times not having Ed around to help when Billys behaviors became an issue. (Rigidity and perseveration are hallmarks of Autism.) I also missed him and Tricia a lot! Teenagers dont relish conversations with parents; teenagers with Autism dont relish conversation at all! We had a wonderful time save the fact that I dropped my new camera and it was completely destroyed. I was determined to make our next vacation one for the entire family.


DETAILS:

The When: Were leaving on June 27th, the last day of school! Our complete trip, including travel because we will be DRIVING is June 27 through July 7.

The How: You read that right; we're driving down this time. We'll be spreading the drive out over two days to reduce our stress; probably staying overnight somewhere in South Carolina on the way down.

The What: Because we have the luxury of a car and the flexibility of taking more days off during summer vacation, Ive decided to add a visit to SEA WORLD to the beginning of our trip. This is something weve always talked about but never could manage! Billy is especially excited about this; he loves aquariums and sea life. I'm pretty excited about Sea World, too -- I love experiencing new things while on vacation!




The Where: Well spend our first night at the Doubletree Hilton Hotel in Orlando at SeaWorld.


I chose this mainly because guests of official hotels of Sea World get complimentary Quick Queue passes (SeaWorlds Front-of-the-line access).

When we get to WDW well be staying in a one bedroom Savanna View villa at Animal Kingdom Lodge, Kidani Village:




The one bedroom villas at certain DVC resorts have a King bed in the Master Bedroom and both a pull-out couch and a pull-out chair in the living room. Kidani Village is one of these resorts. This works well for us now that Billy and Tricia are too old to share. There is the added advantage of two full bathrooms; a definite plus!

I also chose Kidani Village because of its amazing pool complex, Samawati Springs. Samawati is the Swahili word for the color azure. I expect we'll be hitting the pool just about every afternoon, so it may as well be a nice one!







Well, thats the basics; more planning to follow. Thanks for reading!


Kathy

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

Handy Dandy Post Links:

The Disney Drive
Day One Plans: SeaWorld vs the Hotel Pool!
Antarctica in June...How Refreshing!
Day Two: Sea and Land!
Day Three: Donald, Animals, Yetis & Bugs!
Day Three, Con't: Afternoon at AK, and Late Date for the 'Rents!
Day Four: Soarin' to our Pizza!
Limited time Magic-al!
A Magic Kingdom Morning
So, we're leaving, um.....TOMORROW!


* * * * * * * * * * * * *


/

Last edited by KathyRN137; 06-26-2013 at 12:08 PM. Reason: Links added
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Old 04-20-2013, 11:30 PM   #2
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So happy you are doing another report!! The kids have grown so much since we have seen you, I don't know whether to smile or cry. Where has the time gone? You are braver than I am, I don't think I could do WDW in July no matter what.

I am so looking forward to following along on your adventures, especially Sea World. We are thinking of taking the van next spring so we might have to add Sea World as well.
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:01 PM   #4
KathyRN137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DisMomAmy View Post
Here!!! Wouldn't miss it!
So glad; I'm trying to get back in the DIS-groove!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsksomeday View Post
So happy you are doing another report!! The kids have grown so much since we have seen you, I don't know whether to smile or cry. Where has the time gone? You are braver than I am, I don't think I could do WDW in July no matter what.

I am so looking forward to following along on your adventures, especially Sea World. We are thinking of taking the van next spring so we might have to add Sea World as well.
Tracy, when I see how the years are flying by I laugh AND cry!

July is going to be brutal -- definitely planning to head back to the resort every day for either a swim or a nap in the A/C!

Kathy
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Old 04-22-2013, 08:32 AM   #5
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Hi Kathy! I had to come to your report and post...I cannot believe that is Tricia! She is really a beauty and so grown-up. Time really does fly.

I'm in...can't wait to hear more!
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:32 PM   #6
KathyRN137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytothreeboys View Post
Hi Kathy! I had to come to your report and post...I cannot believe that is Tricia! She is really a beauty and so grown-up. Time really does fly.

I'm in...can't wait to hear more!
Thank you Missy; so glad you are here!


Kathy
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:35 PM   #7
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AHHHH you are going to be in Disney while we're there!!!

Please please please....we must meet up!!

And now back to read. I've missed your TR's!
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:49 PM   #8
KathyRN137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WDWJonasGirl View Post
....I'll be a senior in high school Despite having autism, I'm very involved in school. I have been in class council, two special needs clubs, helped plan this year's prom (which is tonight) and a rock club. I also got accepted into my school's link crew which is where a group of juniors and seniors get to help the freshmen get situated in to high school.
How wonderful! My dgt will be starting her senior year as well.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mebbradley View Post
AHHHH you are going to be in Disney while we're there!!!

Please please please....we must meet up!!

And now back to read. I've missed your TR's!
Hey there, Megan! So, you're planning to melt in July too?! So nice to have you along... yes, we must try to meet up!


Kathy
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:18 PM   #9
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Hi Kathy! I was laughing when I read the beginning of your PTR- I also swore at one point to NEVER visit Florida in the summer! My Mom and I were laughing the other day when we wondered what the weather's going to be like on the 4th- I can't remember the last time it's been anything other than 70-75 degrees around here. When we went to WDW in December 2010 however, it was truly 30 degrees outside and we didn't mind at all. I definitely prefer 30 degrees to 100 degrees!

I'm so excited that you all are going to Sea World!! My Mom and I went to our San Diego branch on Memorial Day. This woman practically shoved me out of the way so her son could pet the dolphins, but other than that it was wonderful!
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathyRN137 View Post
Hey there, Megan! So, you're planning to melt in July too?! So nice to have you along... yes, we must try to meet up!


Kathy
Yes. Silly me....I planned a wedding at Disney for June 27.

I may melt with everyone else
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:22 AM   #11
KathyRN137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mebbradley View Post
Yes. Silly me....I planned a wedding at Disney for June 27.

I may melt with everyone else

Oooh.. I must read your PJ! I am obsessed with having a Disney Vow Renewal someday and so I may need to stalk you...

Edited to add: Darn. Just realized I will be traveling still and will miss your wedding. I was so hoping to hang around the WP and get a glimpse of you...

Hey! You haven't updated since April! You had better get on the ball, your day is coming up SOON!


Kathy

Last edited by KathyRN137; 06-06-2013 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:00 AM   #12
mebbradley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KathyRN137 View Post
Oooh.. I must read your PJ! I am obsessed with having a Disney Vow Renewal someday and so I may need to stalk you...

Edited to add: Darn. Just realized I will be traveling still and will miss your wedding. I was so hoping to hang around the WP and get a glimpse of you...

Hey! You haven't updated since April! You had better get on the ball, your day is coming up SOON!


Kathy
It's on my goal list for this week! I promise!!
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:48 PM   #13
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Kathy! I'm so excited to read your PTR. Your past TRs were how I figured out how to do WDW with my daughter with autism. I've referred to them time and again.

This will be our fourth summer visit and I find it very manageable. There's always somewhere to duck into to get out of the heat. Can't wait for more!
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:32 AM   #14
KathyRN137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magichusky View Post
Hi Kathy! I was laughing when I read the beginning of your PTR- I also swore at one point to NEVER visit Florida in the summer! My Mom and I were laughing the other day when we wondered what the weather's going to be like on the 4th- I can't remember the last time it's been anything other than 70-75 degrees around here. When we went to WDW in December 2010 however, it was truly 30 degrees outside and we didn't mind at all. I definitely prefer 30 degrees to 100 degrees!
It is going to be soooo hot! We plan to spend a lot of time in the pool and the A/C!

Thanks for joining in!

Kathy
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:54 AM   #15
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Epcot: Soarin' to our pizza...

Day Four. Sunday, June 30.

Today we will be visiting EPCOT!




These are the items on Billy's Must-Do list:

1. Soarin'

2. Test Track

3. Mission Space - Green

4. Spaceship Earth

5. Captain EO (I know, I know... )


I'm hoping we can get all these done before we grab a counter service lunch (Sunshine Seasons? Electric Umbrella?) Then it will be back to Kidani to cool off with a swim!


In the evening we'll visit World Showcase and see some of the live performances. There is a wonderful site called Walt Disney World Live Entertainment that lists showtimes so you can plan ahead of time if you'd like. I'd especially like to see:

Matsuriza - the Taiko Drummers in Japan

Miyuki - the Candy Artist, also in Japan

Voices of Liberty - a cappella singers in the American pavilion

Jeweled Dragon Acrobats - China


We have a late dinner reservation at Via Napoli; this will be our first time eating here -- so excited!




We'll ask to be seated out of the sight line of the three pizza ovens, Stromboli, Vesuvio and Etna because Billy is very much afraid of fire...






I'm not sure if we'll stay for Illuminations. It's kind of a pain having to scout out a good spot and then wait for 30-45 minutes with Billy -- unless we bring along his Nintendo DS -- which may not be a bad idea!


Only twenty-three more days -- it's getting exciting!
Thanks for reading!


Kathy



Last edited by KathyRN137; 06-06-2013 at 02:39 PM.
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