A Halloween Adventure in Autism: A PTR! *Links to Trip Report chapters can be found at the end of this post! * I have been as busy as a spider these past few weeks, patiently spinning and weaving a sticky web of plans. I have sat, motionless, awaiting the vibrations as my prey flew, unsuspecting into the heart of the glistening orb. With lightning speed, I pounced! Soon my poor hubby lay, stunned, wrapped in bands of DIS-silk and unable to escape. This Halloween, KathyRN & Family will be happily haunting the most magical of kingdoms! We are going back to Walt Disney World! *So what if Im still working on my TR from November of 07? *So what if I havent even begun work on my TR from April of 08? *So what if Ive lost the notes from both these trips and Im just winging it? Ive finally got a spooky new countdown ticker and you know Im just dying to talk about plans for our next trip! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!! The Dates: Either 10/30/09 through 11/06/09 or 10/31/09 through 11/07/09. This will be our sixth family trip to WDW. Twice, Ed and I have gone without the kids for a weekend trip. I have firmly resisted scheduling any WDW vacations during the crazy-busy Christmas and Easter weeks Billy does not do well in crowds and, frankly, neither do I. Our first trip to WDW was in early September of 2003 and it was STICKY, HOT and HUMID! I vowed never to go to Disney during the heat again if I could possibly help it, so summer vacation is definitely out. Since the kids are of an age where it is no longer prudent to take them out of school for an entire week, we have had success with planning our vacation during Jersey Week the week of the NJ Teachers Convention. The kids have two days off for the convention and ½ day off for Election Day, so they get a weeklong vacation and only miss half a week of school. Its a realistic compromise. This year, Jersey Week comes early! And October 31st is the Saturday before the teachers convention. I began to think, Wouldnt it be so awesome to go to Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party and trick-or treat our way through the Magic Kingdom on Halloween?? You bet it would!! The Cast: Kathy (Me): 45yo (OMG!), Registered Nurse, lover of all things Disney, recovering Obsessive Trip Planner, still addicted to chocolate and reading WDW trip reports. Prefers old black & white movies to current Hollywood offerings. Favorite Park: Magic Kingdom. Favorite Character: Pooh-Bear. Ed (DH): 48yo, Police Lieutenant, grumpy but all-around great guy. Enjoys running and watching TV (NCIS, CSI, Bones, Man vs.Wild but has been known to tune into the Hallmark Channel as well!) Favorite Park: Epcot. Favorite Character: Grumpy. Tricia (DD): 12yo (very soon to be 13-Yikes!), voracious reader, plays field hockey and soccer, loves American Girl dolls, Twilight, flavored lip gloss and shopping for clothes. Favorite Park: Magic Kindom. Favorite Character: Minnie. Billy (DS): 10yo, autistic, loves collecting and playing DVDs, singing in the chorus as school, and jumping on the trampoline. Hes not very conversational, but he scripts, hums, chirps, shrieks, and chuckles throughout the day. Favorite Park: All of them! Favorite Character: Every time I ask, he names a different one! We have invited my DNiece, Catie (also12yo) to come along with us this time. She and Tricia are very close. My DSis and DBIL have tentatively agreed, but are also thinking of coming down for the latter part of the week for a mini-trip if feasible. Otherwise, they are fine with Catie spending the week with us. When I first mentioned to Tricia that we might be celebrating Halloween in WDW this year, she was less than enthused. You mean, I wont be able to dress up and go trick-or-treating with my friends? she whined. We already decided that we were going to be mimes! (Last year, the three went as color-coordinated witches.) Im not sure which surprised me more, her willingness to pass on Halloween at Disney, or the fact that she and her friends had already planned this years Halloween costumes (and it wasnt even Valentines Day yet!) In any case, she was not completely thrilled, and I was a bit concerned. I thought about our last couple of trips and how she had grown since her first visit to the World at age seven. She is now on the verge of becoming a teenager, and it seems as though it is getting more difficult for her to cope with her brothers annoying and sometimes embarrassing autistic behaviors. As is expected, she is moving away from wanting to spend time with her family and more toward a desire to hang out with her friends. Things will most likely change as she gets older, but right now, Ed and I are not comfortable inviting one of her 12 year-old friends to come with us to Florida. We really dont know their parents that well and, frankly, its just too much responsibility. But family .well, thats a different story! I began to toy with the idea of inviting Catie, who is the same age as Tricia, and loves to go to WDW. Although Tricia loves her brother dearly, he really is not much of a companion for her. Perhaps having her same age/same sex cousin with her would make it more fun. I mentioned the possibility and her attitude did a complete one-eighty! Suddenly, she was searching online for costume ideas and pestering me every night to find out whether or not her cousin could come so they could start planning their trip. (Caity happens to be an only child, so her mom is starting to get the same feeling about their family vacations.) Hanging out with just Mom and Dad is getting kind of old, my sister confided. I think it would be good for them to spend the time together. Finally, I am sad to say, there is a hidden bonus to bringing my niece to WDW. It has to do with the ARF. If you've read along with me before, you know what I am talking about. The ARF = The Aunt Rae Factor. To Be Continued . Kathy * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Links to TR Posts: (11/12/09) [thread=34309233]Disney Day is Here![/thread] .