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A SUMMER Adventure in Autism (6/26) We leave TOMORROW!

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by KathyRN137, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

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    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!?!" :rolleyes2

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


    [​IMG]



    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! :crazy2:


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    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. :drive: 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. :fish: 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!


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

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    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:


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    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!


    [​IMG]


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    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!


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


    /
     
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  3. mrsksomeday

    mrsksomeday My Prince uses a power wheelchair!

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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.
     
  4. DisMomAmy

    DisMomAmy DIS Veteran

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    Here!!! Wouldn't miss it!
     
  5. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

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    :yay: So glad; I'm trying to get back in the DIS-groove!

    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! :thumbsup2

    Kathy
     
  6. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

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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!
     
  7. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

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    Thank you Missy; so glad you are here!


    Kathy
     
  8. irish dancer

    irish dancer DIS Veteran

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    I'm along for the ride too! :goodvibes We really want to do Sea World someday too so I'm looking forward to hearing all about it.

    Haven't been in July for a long time but done June the past two years. The heat is rough but with the longer park hours it's easier to take that mid-day break for a swim/nap and then head back to the parks. You might want to try and find some mini-mister fans, we used tiny ones that fit in the palm of your hand rather than the big ones that they sell in the parks. I found them at Walmart in the past but I'd look now as I remember them being out really early. Also, look into those neck wraps that you can freeze and coolmax type clothing it really does make a difference.
     
  9. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

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    Taking notes!!

    Thanks, Ann Marie!


    Kathy
     
  10. JPFamilyMom

    JPFamilyMom DIS Veteran

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    I'm in too, I've been a bad DISer the past year, but hopefully I can keep up with your posts :)

    We may be doing a 3 day trip the end of June, well my DH has to be there for a football event, so we are hoping to tag along. But I think we will be leaving before you arrive, I'm not sure of the dates for the event. I can't wait to see all the fun you are planning for your family.
     
  11. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

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    Hi Jess! :wave2: Don't worry; I've been AWOL from the DISboards, too!


    Kathy
     
  12. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

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    /

    “For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”

    – Robert Louis Stevenson


    Really??

    That's easy for him to say. Robert Louis Stevenson never had to face a grueling sixteen hours in a car traveling from New Jersey to Florida with two teenagers!! :scared: And yet, that is what I am preparing to do in order to get us to the House of Mouse this summer. A Disney Mom's gotta do what a Disney Mom's gotta do.

    The reason we're not flying down is simple: It's just too darn expensive!

    Perhaps if I had been able to purchase tickets earlier.... well, there's no use crying over spilt milk. I didn't work for 3 months at the end of last year so I couldn't save up enough money for airfare. We're driving and I'll simply have to make the best of it! :car:


    Good 'ole I-95


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    Now, my husband Ed doesn't seem to mind one little bit. He's one of those weirdos who actually likes road trips! (I think it reminds him of his childhood.) Me, I'd rather get to the Magic just as fast as I can! I just can't sit for that long in a car -- after an hour or two I'm all stiff. Plus, I can NEVER sleep in a moving vehicle, no matter how many pillows I prop myself up with. I don't know why -- I just can't.

    *Sigh*

    But, if that's the only way I can get down to Orlando then, by golly, I'm going to suck it up and do it! There's only one condition....

    We will NOT make the 16-hour drive in "one shot." Oh, no. Nuh-uh. We are spreading it out over two days. That's what we did when we drove down in 2008 and I was exceedingly glad that we did!

    I'm going to focus on the positives of the situation:

    1) Ed likes to do most of the driving.

    2) He loves to listen to audiobooks on long drives. Although he's a bit skeptical because they are "children's books" I've convinced him to try The Kingdom Keepers series by Ridley Pearson. (I've never had time to read them!) I think he's actually going to enjoy them. Who knows? We might even convince our daughter to turn off her ipod for a bit!


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    3) We'll have a car at WDW and will not have to rely 100% on Disney Transportation. This should come in handy for my 4th of July plans...

    4) I can now justify that long-anticipated side trip to Sea World!! :cool1:
    Hopefully we will get 1-1/2 days at the park. I've been trolling on the Sea World thread here on the DIS and picking up tidbits of advice.


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    5) Although traveling by car has it's downside, it is a definite 'plus' that we will avoid the hassles of air travel. None of that limitation on fluids and taking off your shoes and getting your bags searched (or LOST!)

    It won't be so bad, really. Just as long as the air conditioning doesn't konk out!! I'm just going to keep my eyes on the prize:

    We're going to Disney!! :woohoo:

    Thanks for reading,


    Kathy

     
  13. mommytothreeboys

    mommytothreeboys DIS Veteran

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    We were in the same situation this year when discussing a trip. Flying with a family of 5 is SO expensive. Although a 19 hour road trip with 3 teenage boys did not sound appealing, if it meant I got a trip to WDW, then I was willing to give it a shot! After a while, I really got excited about the adventure of it!

    Love that you are focusing on the positives! We really enjoyed having our vehicle on this trip. We like Disney transportation and have no complaints, but it was nice to be able to drive ourselves and go on our terms!

    You can do this! Just remember...Mickey is waiting at the end of that 16 hours! Embrace the adventure!! ;)
     
  14. irish dancer

    irish dancer DIS Veteran

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    We have been in the same situation on our past 3 trips, it was either a 20hr drive or no go. :sad2: It's not really all that bad and I do love having our car there for grocery trip, off-site eating and general ease of going where I want when I want.

    A bonus to Kidani is there is a Publix very nearby on 192 along with an array of both fast food and sit down restaurants to give your wallet a rest from Disney prices. ;) Another plus to staying at Kidani is you can park underground which will be a lifesaver in June, no more sweltering car to start the day. :thumbsup2
     
  15. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

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    That's my attitude exactly! :thumbsup2


    Kathy
     
  16. TxDisMom

    TxDisMom Earning My Ears

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    Enjoyed reading your plans (I just posted my first ever pre=trip report myself!) I know you'll have an amazing time even given the July heat. I LOL'd because I absolutely hate heat and humidity too and would rather poke my eyes out than sweat during July in central Florida. That being said, I'd probably go anyway if someone offered me the chance. We are going in 2 1/2 weeks in hope of avoiding that dreaded heat.

    I wish you lots of fun!

    Carla
     
  17. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

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    The list of positives keeps getting longer! :goodvibes

    Hi Carla! :welcome: I hope you have gorgeous weather!


    Kathy
     
  18. JPFamilyMom

    JPFamilyMom DIS Veteran

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    The drive should be an adventure in itself. My boys love a hotel stay, they don't care what hotel, we try and find fun things on the way, a restaurant, rest stop, etc. I like your plans for the drive.

    Do you know your Sea World park dates yet? The football thing for my husband is from Thurs June 27 -Sun 30 at ESPN wide world of sports. I'm waiting to get his schedule before booking hotel and planning anything, but hoping to go to Sea World that Friday or Saturday. And just so you know those days there will be a bunch of highschool football players on property, not sure if there is a host hotel.

    Can't wait to see your plans.
     
  19. indimom

    indimom Are We There Yet?

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    Hello! May I join???
    You've got some great plans so far.

    As far as that summer heat and humidity goes... you had no choice...
    this is an addiction we're talking about...
    And no addict is going to just throw away a fix. :rotfl:
    We neeeeeeeeed it!!!! :rolleyes1

    As it happens, while your "glistening" lightly in the Florida sun this June, imagine the following image and I'm sure it will cool you off (and probably make you laugh):

    We're going to Disney at the end of July....




    And tent camping.
    Yep, tent camping.





    With two box fans. :rotfl2:




    Feel free to pray for me. :rotfl:




    But, like ya said, I get to go to Disney, so I'm going to suck it up and enjoy the ride.


    Speaking of rides, we'll be doing that too.
    It's 16 hours from our home as well.

    But, we'll be pulling an all nighter to get there.
    DH is the primary driver, and he's done it before.
    I work nights so I can certainly spell him...if he'll relax long enough to let me. (can anyone say, control freak?)


    Anyway,
    Can't wait to hear more of your plans! Your trip sounds lovely so far!!
    You can do it!
     
  20. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

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    As mentioned in the previous post, we will be spreading our drive from NJ to FL over two days. I’d like to say that this is because of Billy's sensory issues but frankly, it's for ME!! Thankfully, now that he’s older Billy does much better on car trips. (Thank you, thank you, hand held electronics!) :worship: We’ll do the bulk of the drive on the first day. On the way down on Thursday we’ll probably stop in Florence, South Carolina (11 ½ hours per Mapquest). Of course, Mapquest figures that we’ll be driving the speed limit… :rolleyes1 Ed has the proverbial lead foot! Actually, I suppose if you factor in a break for lunch and restrooms that’s probably about right.

    The next day after a quick (!) 7 hour drive we’ll spend our first night, not at Disney but at the Doubletree at SeaWorld!

    Can you believe that we’ve been going to WDW almost every year for the past 10 years and this is the first time we’re doing anything off property? I am so excited for SeaWorld!:banana: Billy keeps talking about all the sea creatures he wants to "pet", so I know he's excited, too.

    We should pull into town in the late afternoon and with any luck our room will be ready and we can freshen up. I’m planning to pack a small “jump bag” for this quick one-nighter so we don’t have to hump all of our bags inside. It may be ridiculously optimistic of me, but I’d love to hop over to the park since it is open until ten o’clock! We’ll have to play that one by ear. I know that Ed will want to relax by the pool (or in front of the TV) after all that driving.


    [​IMG]


    It does look refreshing, doesn't it? Perhaps I shouldn’t push it since I'm already getting the "we never get to relax on our vacations" comments. You've got to pick your battles, right?!

    I swear, we are polar opposites when it comes to vacation styles! I like to go-go-go and he likes to veg-veg-veg!!

    Nevertheless... if we do get over to SeaWorld that night I know that we are definitely interested in several of these exhibits:




    Stingray Lagoon

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    Dolphin Cove

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    [​IMG]


    Dolphin Nursery

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    Shark Encounter

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    That's probably about all we can fit in without staying up too late. We'll want to hit the park bright and early for 9am opening. It will be Saturday and that = Weekend Crowds!! :crowded:


    Thanks for reading!


    Kathy
     
  21. KathyRN137

    KathyRN137 ...and the greatest of these is Love

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    Jess, we'll be at SeaWorld on Saturday for sure, hopefully we'll squeeze a little into Friday night as well. I'd love to meet up with you! :grouphug:

    I'm not surprised about the football crowds -- frankly, I'm prepared for the fact that it's going to be a much more crowded trip since it will be (1) Summer, and (2) the week of the 4th of July holiday.

    "Slow and Easy" will be my mantra!!


    Ain't it the truth?!

    :welcome:



    I'll start praying now.... :rolleyes:


    Ed always takes the lion's share of the driving, too. But he actually likes it! He's worked nights for many years and likes to get on the road somewhere around 2-3 am. :scared: It kind of messes me up because I cannot get to sleep in the car...

    You pray for me and I'll pray for you, okay? lol


    Kathy
     

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