Kidani, HRH & BLT in 6 nights- Yes! We are THAT crazy!! Nov 4-10,09 OBX updates 4/13

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by podsnel, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

    Well, here I am again, with another tale of what we did and how we did it. I'm Ellen, official Disney nutcase assigned to planning all vacations for my dear family. Of course it is my pleasure to plan these trips, and I feel very, very fortunate after having planned this one- because on THIS trip, we were ALL going to WDW for the first time in 2 years. Hopefully. There was no issue with myself, or my DH (Pods), or with our 2 younger sons, DS12 (Tyler) and DS10 (Timmy). We are all very happy to go, go, GO! wherever and whenever we can. The issue was with DS15 (Sean). Sean is a beautiful, intelligent, sweet young man who happens to be autistic, too. And his autism very often gets in the way of fun things like....going to summer camp (when he screamed for an hour and wouldn't get out of the car) or going to Florida to visit his Grandma & cousins (which he let us know when he wouldn't get out of the car at the airport). Fun, fun stuff. :rolleyes: I guess Sean had decided he would prefer to sleep in his bed- ONLY. Makes it a little tough to go anywhere that way. But, I was DETERMINED he was going to WDW in November 2009. Because we have been going to WDW every other year for most of his life. And WDW, well, he loves it there. And the CMs are SO KIND, the characters SO WONDERFUL to him... it is a TRULY magical experience for us all, and I was NOT going to give it up!! :thumbsup2 So, I dug my heels in, and over the course of a year, we were successful in getting him de-sensitized to hotel stays (by taking him on overnights to various Embassy Suites in NJ). All that was left would be getting him on de plane! Well, how about getting him into the airport even? Off the plane? Onto the DME? Into the hotels? Into the parks? Out to dinner? Oh boy, this is a little more challenging than it sounds. A 15 year old throwing a tantrum like a two year old is NOT ever a good thing and really needs to be avoided as much as possible. Soooo....

    What I did was make a book for him. It's about 40 pages in length. And it details EVERYTHING we would be doing over the course of our trip to WDW. Along with photos. Photos of EVERYTHING...Newark airport. The Continental plane. The monorail at the Orlando airport. DME. ALL the DVC villa rooms (including photos of the pull-out chairs, thanks to some very kind DIS friends! :hug:) and the HRH room. Even the shower stalls. Every park and every ride we know he loves. Even every restaurant we had ADRs for. And we read this book together everyday, several times, for a month before D-Day- November 4th. And everyday, about 100 times a day, I asked him, "Where are we going on November 4th?" to which he would reply, "Walt Disney World". "How do we get to WDW?" "On the airplane." Until, it was finally November 4th, and we were waking him up to get into our van and go to the airport. But would Sean do it? Would he be able to conquer all of his inexplainable fears? Would we FINALLY be going on a family vacation with our whole family, or would he be escorted home from Newark Airport at the final moment by our friend Ann who was kind enough to wake up so early and ride along in our van with us just in case? Would he be spending the week with my cousins Sheree & Henry again (the saints who watch him for us when we do go away without him)? Stay tuned to find out!! :goodvibes

    As a side note, on my last TR, I was able to finally figure out how to post links to individual posts, so I'll be doing that HERE-

    And....we're OFF!

    C'mon can do it!!

    Happy New Year Everyone!

    It's time for club Cool!

    A night in Germany- dinner at Biergarten

    The Yankees win the World Series!

    Some old Scrapbook pages

    EE in the FRONT row!

    Flying lessons at Sanaa

    Hangin at Kidani

    A Room with a view

    Finally! MK then Jambo for BOMA

    Goodbye Kidani, Hello DTD

    A Great day with my son in DTD

    Osprey Ridge Golf

    We're walkin' right down the middle of Main St, USA

    More MK with my Sean

    Uh-Oh at HRH

    Never Underestimate the power of a DVC 1 bdrm villa

    The Simpsons Ride ROCKS!

    Give a Day, Get a Day (off topic- OOPS!)

    Lunch at the beachclub- with Squirrel, but not Moose!

    Twistin' by the Pool...

    Visiting Aunt Irma

    Rip Ride Rockit- is it worth it?

    Another Blast from the past- U & IOA 2005

    Off to Mythos for lunch!

    A visit with Irma, circa 2003


    A Little Hoops before we go

    Back to the Mothership-Checking into BLT

    Chef Mickey's...for the last time

    My name is Ellen, and I am fireworks challenged

    TOWL, baby!

    Yum Yum- Kona Cafe for breakfast!

    Sidetrack-Skiing & Chinese New Year

    Buzz Cuts & Tea Cups

    More MK

    Sum of All Thrills with Satan's Spawn

    The Ooh La La Part


    It's a SNOWICANE!!

    Timmy takes on Rockin Rollercoaster!

    50's PT

    BLT pool at night with my Shawnee

    TOWL & UH-OH....

    Here in OBX

    The sun is shining!

    DVC & CR Management ROCK!

    Update from OBX last week

    Timmy gets in one last Thrill ride

    OBX Ring in the Spring!



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  3. praisehisname

    praisehisname New Member

    I'm here and can't wait to hear all about it!
  4. NikkiLovesWDW!

    NikkiLovesWDW! "Are you seeing an increase in lateral forces?" "S

    I'm here and I'm ready! :thumbsup2
  5. WannaBeADisMom

    WannaBeADisMom's my "happy place"....

    I'm here and can't wait to read more!!!:yay:
  6. CRdisMom

    CRdisMom New Member

    Can't wait to hear all the details. I have a new love for social stories. Hope Christmas was good.
  7. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

    Hi Denise! Thanks for being first! :goodvibes

    Hey Nikki! How was your Christmas? Enjoying the vacation? Thanks for coming along! :thumbsup2

    Joan! How was Christmas? I haven't talked to you in two whole days, I'm going through withdrawals!! :rotfl: Did Peter like his keggerator? Pods says his works just fine- at least it did all Christmas day! :rotfl: I think I see some Pilsner glasses in his future...
  8. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

    Hi Laura! Yes, christmas was good- how was yours? And the social stories can really help Sean- along with using the calendar to make sure he's prepared. It's working for you guys,too? :banana: :banana: :banana: :banana: So HAPPY!!!!
  9. MEK

    MEK Active Member

    :woohoo: I am pretty darn excited to see that this TR has started! popcorn::

    And for Sean :flower3: I hope it was a great trip for him!
  10. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

    Well, we pulled up to the airport drop-off, and Sean wouldn't get out of the car. :sad2: He slammed the door shut. And Pods got out to get the luggage from the trunk, and I got out and tried with Sean one more time...

    "Shawnee, please get out of the car. It's time to go to WDW. Let's GO!"

    And when Pods looked up from the luggage....

    Sean was standing next to me on the curb. :yay: :yay: :dance3: :dance3:
    He had opened the door on his own, and hopped right out! We were so proud of our son. He was doing it!!!!! And not too long after that, he was doin' THIS-


    And he was an absolute angel on the flight- we were in heaven! Soon we were on line for the DME-


    And finally, finally, FINALLY, we were checking in at Kidani- I think it was about 12:30. And our 1 BDRM SV was READY!!!! So, of course, up we went to the third floor to check out our room very quickly while we dropped off our luggage- we were running late for an ADR at the Crystal Palace, our traditional 1st meal at WDW. Luckily, we were in one of the first villas off the elevator- our location was PERFECT!!!





    We went out to catch the MK bus.


    Except, there wasn't one. For a looooooonnng time. :sad2: I think we must have missed the last one when we were briefly up in the room. And we watched multiple buses go by for other parks...but none for MK. And the troops were hungry. And Sean will only eat french fries (and pb&j on certain kinds of bread) for lunch, so Sanaa was out. And we were waaaaayyy past our ADR at this point, sadly. So we chose to hop a bus over to the Mara, and had a nice lunch there.

    Tyler was excited to grab these babies for his dessert- he loves zebra domes!

    Pods & I shared some flatbreads. This one was veggie with olives & pesto-

    This one was chicken, corn & mozzerella

    Tyler had a burger-

    Timmy had chicken nuggets, adult size-

    Sean had a couple of orders of fries, as well as most of his brothers'! This is probably the biggest reason for us not to do the DDP- very hard to eat $40 in french fries a day, even for Sean!

    The Mara is a very pretty counter service restaurant, I had really never noticed before, and this was my 3rd time staying at AKV. The ceiling is beautiful.



    Well, we were soon again waiting for a bus to MK....and we just couldn't hit one. So we made an executive decision, and chose to get on the EPCOT bus instead.

    But would it all work out? Remember, Sean was counting on the day to go a certain way, and, for the past hour or so, we were striking out! :scared1: You'll have to wait and the next post.

  11. praisehisname

    praisehisname New Member

    Woo Hoo! The whole family will be together! :yay:
  12. jeminni

    jeminni It's 5 o'clock somewhere

    I'm in. Your family is beautiful. :goodvibes
  13. praisehisname

    praisehisname New Member

    Bummer about missing your ADR at CP, but that flatbread looks delicious!

  14. areck

    areck New Member

    I'm new to the Disboards when it comes to replying. I have been reading/lurking for years. I will not let another PODSNEL report go by without saying how much I enjoy your attention to detail and the fun you have wherever you go. Your photos tell a story on their own. Your stories exude love and laughter. I'm on board for another adventure!:thumbsup2
  15. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

    Hi ME!! I'm so glad you're excited!!! I'm excited you're here!!:banana: And it WAS a great trip for Sean- so it was for us all!! He really only had a hard time in a couple of instances- so it was really, really good. :love:

    :dance3: :dance3: :dance3: :dance3:

    Well, thank-you so much! ANd thanks for joining in! :woohoo:

    The flatbread WAS very good- both of them were. I was glad, because the last time we ate at the Mara we weren't that excited about it. But definitely enjoyed the food this time around. And the atmosphere!

    Well, Hello, areck!! Thank-you very, very much for all of your kind words. I am so honored to be your first post coming out of years of lurkdom! :worship: But...more than that...I am incredibly touched by your kind and generous spirit. I had tears streaming down my cheeks this morning when I read your post. It means so much to me that you enjoy what i'm writing, that you're getting something out of it. If I am doing everything you say I am, writing all these TRs, well, then, I think it is soooo worth it. Many, many thanks for letting me know. :hug:
  16. Must C Mickey

    Must C Mickey New Member

    Just wanted to say how great it is that Sean was along for the trip. I'm in too & ready for another post... :thumbsup2
  17. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

    Our plans had to take a turn because it was getting later than we thought, and we decided to just go to Epcot and save MK for another day.

    We ALWAYS do MK first on our trips with Sean.

    We ALWAYS do Crystal Palace on our first day with Sean.

    Well, that wasn't happening today. And I guess we were getting over-confident because things were going so well. So we just skipped that part of our day. But...for Sean, that meant we were deviating from our plan. Our plan that was in writing. In a book. That he knew by heart. The book that helped him to feel safe, and secure in a world of unexpected and unwanted surprises. :sad2: Uh-Oh!

    We got to Epcot, and went to buy Sean his ticket (DH & I have DVC APs, and I had gotten tickets online before leaving for T&T, just in case Sean wasn't going to come). And he started to get upset. So we purchased a 3 day pass for him, knowing we could add-on as we went. But Sean was NOT going into the park. He was just not ready. Because this was not the plan.:sad2:

    Oh boy. Are we stupid, or what? :faint: So Pods stayed outside of the EPCOT entrance with Sean, and the rest of us went into the park. UGH. The single rider line for TT was only 5 minutes, so we went for that. And with our matching tie-dyes (that I had made at the HHI DVC), I guess it was easy to see we were a set, so guess what? They put us all together anyway! :woohoo:



    We love that ride! And we were so bummed Sean wasn't with us, because it is one of HIS favorites, too. Oh well, hopefully we would have plenty of rides later...:sad2: Anyway, we were deciding what to do next, and I called Pods to see how it was going....guess what? They were IN EPCOT!! :yay: He had promised Sean popcorn, so that's what they were looking for when we found them. Ahhh...what a relief! Here's a cautious Sean, FINALLY in the park-


    We made our way back to the front to hit Guest Services for our GAC. Then we found a photographer to take our family's photo to commemorate this very special occasion!


    We stopped for a minute to look at the fountains-


    Before heading back to TT for our first of what we assumed would be many, many TT rides.


    Well, you know what they say about when you A$$-u-me something. A few minutes into the wait, it was announced that TT was having technical difficulties, and we should come back later. Uh-oh....this is the perfect situation for a melt down....but...Sean was fine. He just turned around and walked out like this was something that happens every day. :scared1: We were shocked- and sooooooooooo relieved!! We headed over to Mission Space, which he didn't want to ride, so he waited with Dad while the others of us rode.


    We went over to the Living Seas to ride Nemo, but 2 minutes into the building, Sean didn't want to go in, so he stayed outside with Dad.



    A quick look at the manatees and we were back outside-


    To head over to Soarin', where it was pods' turn to ride with the boys. Sean and I went looking for some space for him to burn off some energy, and found a little spot over by Imagination where he could run around-

    First, he sat quietly and played with the calculator on my phone.

    Then, he ran around like aspeed demon, which he usually does.

    I guess this might sound like a "bust", being that he was saying no to so many attractions. But it is actually the opposite of a "bust", this was all a huge success. Because look at him- he was somewhere other than our house or his school, and he was happy. So, SO happy!


    [​IMG] good. :hug:

  18. NMW

    NMW New Member

  19. podsnel

    podsnel <font color=blue>just skippin' around, amusing mys

    Hi Lori!! Thanks so much for sharing our happiness! :goodvibes Thanks for reading!
  20. NikkiLovesWDW!

    NikkiLovesWDW! "Are you seeing an increase in lateral forces?" "S

    I LOVE those pictures of Sean smiling! Makes me want to cry! :sad1: SO sweet! And I LOVE the family photo of ALL of you in front of Spaceship Earth. I imagine it is really hard having to constantly be worried about how he is going to react, but I imagine it's just as difficult when he's not your family isn't complete. All the worrying and meltdowns must be worth it for the moments you had with Sean this day in Epcot!

    Just out of curiousity, how do the younger boys handle it all? I'm sure it must be frustrating for them at times, to have to wait around or plan your next move around him. I am glad that you and the boys went into Epcot when Sean wouldn't. As much as I'm sure they'd understand, it wouldn't be fair to them to leave and THANK GOD it worked out and Sean went in after all! Seems like you and Pods are a great team! :thumbsup2
  21. UGAFan0829

    UGAFan0829 New Member

    Wooo-hoo, another Ellen TR!!:woohoo: I just made my way here, and I am so enjoying it already! I am soooo very happy that you guys were able to get Sean to come along on this trip--I can only imagine how much this meant to you. You guys are wonderful parents...seeing what you go through just to coach him out of his fears is truly amazing. I can't wait to read more!!

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