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Old 07-02-2008, 02:01 PM   #1
KPeveler
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Faith, hope, trust, and Pixie Dust!

Since we have seen far too many disappointing, upsetting, sad, and even offensive (at times) threads recently centering around disability, scooters, wheelchairs, GACs, and Disney, I thought perhaps we should create a thread of happy, wondering, or once-in-a-lifetime experiences Disney has created for disabled or ill guests be being so accessible and accommodating.

I know once a CM told a story of a young autistic girl, previously non-verbal, who spoke for the very first time in Turtle Talk with Crush, and the CMs at the attraction cleared out the theatre and allowed the girl a while of speaking with Crush, all by herself, while her mother bawled (happily) at the entrance of the theatre...

I know all of us here have great stories we could tell of the magic Disney has created for all of us.

This thread is NOT going to be a debate of Disney policy, it will not be a debate of any kind. I was just hoping to make clear to everyone that while there are negative people and situations out there, Disney is a magical place for us all!

So, what are your favorite stories of the pixie dust Disney created for you/your child/your family member that could never happen anywhere else?

Here is mine: Before I required a wheelchair at Disney, I was watching the Dapper Dans sing while standing next to a young girl in a wheelchair on a Make A Wish trip (she was wearing a button). She was wearing a hat, adn did not seem to have hair under it, so my best guess was that she was fighting cancer. Well the Dapper Dans went and kneeled next to her and sang "When you Wish Upon A Star" just for her. Needless to say, she was absolutely glowing (my guess is she was about 6 or 7 years old), and everyone in the crowd was bawling. It was then I realized just how magical Disney could really be!

Again, PLEASE do not make this a commentary on other park's possibly-lacking policies, or what Disney does wrong, or anything negative. I want to have a place to point the next time someone says something negative about disability at disney, and be able to say "look at all those wonderful stories!"
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Last edited by KPeveler; 07-02-2008 at 02:02 PM. Reason: one more warning
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:08 PM   #2
LolaCola
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I love the idea of this thread!

I don't have any stories to share about visiting Disney though.

My daughter does love watching the dvds, the re-releases in theaters and she used to love visiting the Disney store here, before it closed.

I am looking forward to reading what others may share here.
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:31 PM   #3
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I think one of my most magical moments at Disney was at Festival of the Lion King at Animal Kingdom. I had gone to watch my daughter's friend perform and I was placed in the section where the interpreters work. I did not know that the show was interpreted. I was so amazed and shocked. I understood every word of the show because of the visual support that the interpreters provided. I hadn't realized that I was missing so much.
THank you Angela and Vince. You made my day and I realized that I indeed had a hearing loss that I needed to deal with.
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Old 07-02-2008, 02:39 PM   #4
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I think this is a great idea!
I can't post a story right now because of being at work and beingon my iPod with only a little power left. I am looking forward to to reading more and writing a story or two when I get home
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:20 PM   #5
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4 years ago I was at DW with my ds and friend and her dd both of whom were/are in wheelchairs. As soon as we got into DHs (then MGM) a cast member came over and asked if our kids would like to see the characters. She then took us around to each of them; I know this would bring criticism from many but I really appreciated it. My ds has a very limited attention span and needs to be close up to people to notice them. He actually was quite tired of seeing characters by the end. My greatest memory was of him and Jasmine; I have a picture of him reaching out to her. It looks like hes reaching for the front of her dress-he was actually trying to grab her necklace. I also have a pic of him with a lipstick kiss on his cheek. Then during the parade in the afternoon, she yelled out hi to him. He thought that was pretty cool. He's now much more alert and aware so I'm looking forward to seeing him interact with the characters this time. We certainly don't expect the same treatment this time but know our trip will be magical.
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Old 07-02-2008, 03:53 PM   #6
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On my daughters first trip to Disney, we went to MK. I had no idea how she would react to anything, characters included. I figured if we could make it up Main Street without a tantrum, I would consider it a sucess. We made it all the way to Toontoon and got in line to meet Mickey. I was scared, not knowing what was going to happen. We were the last ones into the room where Mickey was. My DD was watching him, I kept thinking we would have to make a quick exit. All the other families had their turn and left. Mickey looked at my DD, I explained this was her first experience. Mickey knelt down in front of her and held out his hand. My DD took it and just starting RAMBLING on and on (I have no idea what she was saying LOL), but every now and then she would say "Lub Mickey". Everyone in the room was in tears. It was so sweet! She went on for a good 10 minutes(I got the feeling she was complaining about me ) and Mickey just sat and listened to her. I tried to head her to the exit, and the CM stopped me. He shut down the room and told me to "take as long as I needed". Mickey gave me a "thumbs up" as well. Other CM's would come into the room and listen for a few minutes and leave with tears in their eyes. Mickey sat and "listened" to her for 45 minutes! She hugged him over and over and said "Thank you Mickey". She looked at me and said "LUB MICKEY", went back for one more hug and she was ready to go.
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:06 PM   #7
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Magical Moment

Our magical moment was about 2 years ago. We went with our DS(4 at time) is moderately autistic and DD (age 2). We were waiting in line for the Character connection at Epcot. We told the CM at the entrance that our son was autistic to explain his actions (He loves the mouth and eys of the characters) and that it takes a while to get him to smile to the camera. When we went in she told the other cm the situation and stopped the line behind us. All of the characters and cm where told quitely the situation. They all played with DS and DD. We also did not feel pressure to move to the next character. The kids really enjoyed it and at one point Chip and Dale were wrestling with DS.

We did not expect or demand the special treatment, so it was very nice that they treated my son that way. That was our first trip as our family and since then we have become Disney Fans to the extent that we just joined DVC. We know that at WDW our children will have a good time and we don't have to worry about it.
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Old 07-02-2008, 04:22 PM   #8
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One of the nicest things we experienced was at the castle. We were waiting to be seated and the saxophone quartet was playing Disney tunes. Christian loves music, so he was flapping and waggling his head, looking most handicapped. Cinderella came out and all the kidlets ran over to see her. We kept Christian with us because...well, he drools and shrieks and sometimes other people get turned off.

When all the kids were gone, Cinderella walked over and just quietly sat down next to Christian. He couldn't look at her, but he would cut his eyes at her occasionally. She spoke to him softly, but did not try to touch him. In a few minutes, Christian reached over and stroked her satiny-gloved hand. Then he leaned his head over on her shoulder, still not looking at her. And she let him sit that way, Christian rubbing her arm, his head on her shoulder, for at least 10 minutes until he was ready to move on. There was not a dry eye in the house.
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Old 07-02-2008, 10:50 PM   #9
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My favorite magical moment was when on an especially hot day about 15 years ago, when Splash Mtn first opened. my mom and I took my sister on it, and we weren't really sure if she would like the ride. After the big drop, my sister would not stop laughing and smiling.

When we reached the part where you get off, the CMs asked if we enjoyed the ride and my sister looked at one of them in the eye (which is close to a miracle with the head shaking) and smiled broadly.Without another word, the CMs just sent us around again. That was one of the nicest moments we have ever had.
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:56 PM   #10
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Dang you all!

I swore I would not tear up today but you all made me a liar after reading this thread.
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:31 PM   #11
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We used our stroller as a wheelchair for my 4 year old on our last trip. He has autism and an immune disease that tires him out quite easily. He positively loved the Buzz Lightyear ride, and we probably rode it 10 times or more each day we were at MK. As we'd veer off the line for the wheelchair boarding, he'd start kicking his legs and waving his arms. Once when we got to the boading area, he bounced out of the stroller. The CM looked surprised, and I almost cried. He was sooo excited.

We've been back from WDW for almost 2 months. In that time we've learned DS probably has a degenerative neuromuscular disorder. He's lost a lot of strength, and the neurologist has ordered a wheelchair for him. He's tired all the time and losing skills. It's devastating, and I thank God we did the trip. I think that was the last time I saw him so energized and happy. That mental picture of him bounding out of the stroller loops through my head everyday.
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Old 07-03-2008, 11:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livndisney View Post
On my daughters first trip to Disney, we went to MK. I had no idea how she would react to anything, characters included. I figured if we could make it up Main Street without a tantrum, I would consider it a sucess. We made it all the way to Toontoon and got in line to meet Mickey. I was scared, not knowing what was going to happen. We were the last ones into the room where Mickey was. My DD was watching him, I kept thinking we would have to make a quick exit. All the other families had their turn and left. Mickey looked at my DD, I explained this was her first experience. Mickey knelt down in front of her and held out his hand. My DD took it and just starting RAMBLING on and on (I have no idea what she was saying LOL), but every now and then she would say "Lub Mickey". Everyone in the room was in tears. It was so sweet! She went on for a good 10 minutes(I got the feeling she was complaining about me ) and Mickey just sat and listened to her. I tried to head her to the exit, and the CM stopped me. He shut down the room and told me to "take as long as I needed". Mickey gave me a "thumbs up" as well. Other CM's would come into the room and listen for a few minutes and leave with tears in their eyes. Mickey sat and "listened" to her for 45 minutes! She hugged him over and over and said "Thank you Mickey". She looked at me and said "LUB MICKEY", went back for one more hug and she was ready to go.
Oh my goodness, I just started reading this thread and I'm already balling. What a fabulous experience! I have nothing to share, as we are taking our first family trip next month... but it gives me such joy and hope to read these amazing stories. Thank you so much for sharing!

I'm off to read the rest... and probably cry a lot more!

Karen
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Old 07-04-2008, 12:13 AM   #13
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Thank you

Kpeveler, you did a great thing starting this thread. There is so much MORE positive than negative about WDW and disabilities.

Those of us who are wish trippers (Wish Trippers Unite! thread) are trying to find more ways to say big thank yous to Disney and all the CMs for what they do for us.

Bill
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Old 07-04-2008, 03:12 AM   #14
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I have a couple to share, but right now I have a couple tears streaming down my face, I am so moved. Thank you all for sharing what makes Disney truly magical.
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Old 07-04-2008, 06:52 AM   #15
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Thank you K!! This is a wonderful idea for a thread, and has made me both and (in a good way) at the same time!

I can't really think of any specific stories off the top of my head, but one of the millions of reasons I love Disney so much, is that when I'm there, I can forget about the Fibro for a while. The sunshine and happiness eases the pain, and the wonderful accessibility of the place means I don't have to think about the wheelchair as much - I can just go where I want and know I'll be able get the wheelchair there!

Ooh! Thought of a story!! When my mother and I were there in September, we met a lovely family while waiting for the light parade. They were a couple taking their Autistic niece (about 5 years old) to WDW, to give her mother some R&R time back home. Apparently they take her once or twice a year, and every time she went, she passed some wonderful milestone (as I know a lot of others here have reported, too). Anyway, while we were waiting, she was very quiet and reserved, entertaining herself by drawing in a notebook. She did eye up the decorations on my wheelchair, but didn't interact with me about them.
As soon as the parade started, though, she lit up more than the floats! She was bouncing in her stroller, waving at all of the characters, pointing them out to her Aunt and Uncle. The characters played right up to this, with almost all of them waving right at her or blowing kisses. A lot of the walking characters came up to her, and she let them ruffle her hair or shake her hand. I found myself watching her, almost as much as I was the parade! It was as though she was suddenly a different child from the quiet, reticent little girl she had been, before the parade started. It was a lovely reminder that magic really does exist, and that they really do hand-craft it in Disney!
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