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Old 06-09-2014, 07:46 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Need advice - Autistic son lost favorite Star Wars hat at Disney

We are having a situation and I am hoping someone here can help us.

My 9 year old son has mild autism. He has a favorite R2-D2 Star Wars Mickey Mouse ears hat that he has taken on every single Disney World trip for the past few years. He literally wears the hat every day all day at the Disney theme parks. He loves his R2-D2 hat.

We ate dinner at Boma on May 30th and stopped by the Animal Kingdom Lodge gift shop on the way out. My kids were in the front of the store playing Tic Tac Toe and his R2-D2 hat was sitting on the table. My other child had a bathroom emergency and the end result was the hat was left on the front table at Animal Kingdom gift shop and my son realized it when we got back to our resort. My husband made numerous phone calls, but could not get any human on the phone.

On our way to the airport the next morning, we stopped by the Animal Kingdom Lodge to try and locate the missing hat. This hat is not sold there, so I figured it would not be hard to find. Gift shop didn't have it and the hotel front desk did not have it. I explained the situation to the Cast Member and she said she would contact someone at Hollywood Studios Star Wars Weekend and send him a new hat. I THANKED her a million times over. We told my son Mickey was aware his hat was missing and would help us. He seemed satisfied, but asked every other day if Mickey found his hat yet.

Today, we received a package from Animal Kingdom with a brand new R2-D2 hat! I thought my son would be thrilled, but instead his eyes filled up with tears saying it was not his hat. His hat apparently was an earlier version and the buttons could be turned and some of the markings/details are apparently not the same. He asked why Mickey didn't send him his hat. He is now hiding under a blanket and is extremely sad and withdrawn.

I feel really, really bad and am kicking myself for not driving back to the Animal Kingdom that night to get his hat. I figured it would be waiting in the gift shop in the morning. Apparently, everything gets swept at the end of the night to a centralized Lost and Found facility. I had no idea of the complexity of the Disney Lost and Found system. Disney went above and beyond replacing the hat and I am still very grateful.

Any advice greatly appreciated! Thank you!
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Old 06-09-2014, 07:52 PM   #2
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This is probably a dumb question but I assume you have contacted the central lost and found? It can take a few days for it to appear there even if it was turned in immediately. You probably have a picture to help validate that it is the correct one?
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:07 PM   #3
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I actually have a photo of the hat sitting on the table right before it got left there (plus hundreds and hundreds of photos of him wearing it on many trips). At a glance the hat looks identical to the newer version.

I called central lost and found today. Apparently, the one I called is for the theme parks and downtown Disney, not the resorts. Tried calling the number for the resorts lost and found, but they are only open 9:30-4pm and was closed. I will try again tomorrow.
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Old 06-09-2014, 08:35 PM   #4
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I hope the hat is at central lost and found and is able to be returned to you.

(I'm teary for your son. I, too, hate it when precious-to-me things go missing or are ruined and can't be replaced. )
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:31 PM   #5
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When my autistic nephew outgrew his favorite shirt I was able to find an identical one on ebay. Used, but the same
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:31 AM   #6
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. . . all items turned into local Lost & Found at that resort
. . . held for 3-days
. . . after 3-days, items are taken to Central Lost & Found

NOTE: There are some minor exceptions. If you lose a phone charger, we
keep these at the resort, They are good for other when they lose theirs.
The same goes for minor things like crayons, paper tablets, etc.
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Old 06-10-2014, 08:51 AM   #7
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Oh man, I am so sorry! I have an Aspie who has those same ears (but his ears don't have the cool sound effects) that he wears EVERY SINGLE YEAR. His is the old style with the fabric hat and sewn-on buttons (not the newer vinyl hats with stick-out buttons). I do not know what I would do if he lost those.

My thoughts are: If you haven't found them either through the resort or central lost & found, I'd venture to guess that some lucky kid walked off with a new (to him/her) pair of super awesome R2-D2 ears.

I think it is so sweet that AK sent him a new hat. I'm just sorry it wasn't exactly like his old one.
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Old 06-11-2014, 11:39 AM   #8
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:19 PM   #9
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It is so nice they sent you a hat for free. It would be great if they can find the oold one but they really went above and beyond by sending him a brand new one free of charge. That's a warm moment right there

I'm sorry that he was disappointed in the gift they gave him, I understand it is really hard for kids when they lose a favorite item..trust me we had a huge affair about a teddy bear ourselves! and I don't want this to be taken as rude but...I think this really a teachable moment, a good parenting opportunity...an opportunity to teach him gratefulness - he lost his hat, he was give a new one for free- instead of being upset he needs to learn to appreciate the kind gesture. After all they didn't have to give him anything. No, it's not the same as his old hat, but he lost that one, and they really did something wonderful for him to send him a new one and not make you pay for it.
Just my two cents..like I said we have been there.
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