Character meal for preschooler with hearing loss

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by apollodi, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. apollodi

    apollodi Earning My Ears

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    In May, we will be celebrating DD2's third birthday at WDW. She has severe unilateral hearing loss and wears a hearing aid in one ear. When there is a lot of background noise (indoor pools, noisy restaurants, parties, etc.), she can't hear much at all, even with her hearing aid in. So far, though, loud places don't bother her. She just plays happily by herself or with others, even though she can't hear us.

    At WDW, I was thinking of doing a character meal to celebrate her birthday but, having read reports of how noisy they are, wanted to ask for advice here. Are there some character meals that have lower background noise than others? Would breakfast, lunch, or dinner make a difference? Or, should I consider moving the character meal to a different day and doing a different special meal on her birthday that she'll be able to hear better?

    This is our kids' first trip to WDW, so we've never done a character meal before. I want her to have a good birthday!
     
  2. marcyleecorgan

    marcyleecorgan DIS Veteran

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    Oh the Characters deal with this sort of thing ALL the time! Just make a gesture towards her hearing aid and point it out to them, or get close up to them and tell them (they can't hear awesomely well inside their costumes either LOL).
    99% of what the fur Characters do is pantomime anyway.

    If they are face Characters, just tell them, and they will happily use more gestures and non-verbal cues. Sometimes you even get lucky and find a Character who knows sign language. :)

    Have a happy birthday trip!
     
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  4. geek+nerd

    geek+nerd DIS Veteran

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    I would think Garden Grill is one of the calmer and quieter character meals. Unfortunately, most restaurants at Disney are pretty loud, character meals or not.
     
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  5. LYSE

    LYSE DIS Veteran

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    Garden grill for breakfast is calm and both times we've done it farmer Micky was signing exact English
     
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  6. DisneyWishes14

    DisneyWishes14 DIS Veteran

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    Based on my experience, any non-buffet character meal and any character meal that doesn't include some type of "parade" tend to be quieter. I would consider the Bon Voyage breakfast at Trattoria al Forno, CRT in MK or Garden Grill in EP.
     
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  7. apollodi

    apollodi Earning My Ears

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    Thank you everyone! I will look into Garden Grill, it sounds like it will work out well. And it's awesome that the characters will make adjustments for her if I point out the hearing aid.
     
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  8. CatNipRules

    CatNipRules DIS Veteran

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    Garden Grill in Epcot is definitely a quieter location. And the characters are kinda amazing there also.
     
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  9. cobright

    cobright DIS Veteran

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    Just another thought... If your kiddo enjoys the fur characters (the type with a mask over their heads) they do nearly all of their communication non-verbally.
     
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  10. apollodi

    apollodi Earning My Ears

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    Thanks! That's an excellent point, and I am definitely going to focus on character meals with fur characters for that reason. Naturally, my other daughter prefers princesses. But, this is my younger daughter's bday, and luckily she likes fur characters and at least so far doesn't care about princesses. Pluto is one of her favorites, which makes Garden Grill a good option too.
     
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