Doing Disney from a different perspective

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Over a month ago I broke my foot. I feel up the stairs. Seriously, WHO does that?! Me obviously. Anyway…I went straight into a cast and couldn’t walk or drive because it was my right foot. Unfortunately, it was less than a month away before we were heading to Walt Disney World to attend our first ever Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween party and celebrate my Momma Jane’s Birthday. Since Mom was going to be in a wheelchair (by choice because she just can’t walk long distances anymore, thank you congestive heart failure :P) and I wasn’t able to walk…we knew this trip was going to be different. My Orthopedic Doctor had removed my cast a few days before we left and was about to put another one on until I reminded him of our trip. He feared if I were in a cast for the trip, my leg may swell up and end up in the ER needing to have the cast cut off so he opted to put me in a walking boot. A walking boot that I couldn’t put any weight on OR walk on though. Soooooo I had to stay off my foot.

The first thing I did was call our friend/travel agent Kim Stiles from Fantasy Trip Travel to tell her what happened to my foot. We both agreed that a motorized scooter would be my best choice and she helped me rent one to be delivered to the hotel upon our arrival. SO cool! I had my awesome Minnie inspired crutches (thank you CastCoverz) but there was no way I could only crutch around Walt Disney World so I needed both. After I had my electric scooter booked, I headed to the Walt Disney World Parks website to check out what our options were for both my mom and myfile-sep-20-10-18-39-am disabilities. I learned that an electric scooter is called an Electric Conveyance Vehicle aka ECV and of course Disney has a page dedicated to services for guests with disabilities so I started there. My concern was mostly the whole not being able to walk thing. How do you get on rides? How do get around at the parks? However Disney literally lists EVERY single attraction at all of the Walt Disney World Resort Parks and how you access each one according to your mobility disability. No kidding. Reason #8,471,397 I love Disney!

Initially, everyone said to me…”score, you’re going to the front of the line!” Nope. Not anymore. I had heard years ago that several people were, how do I say this, taking advantage of the system by faking disabilities or paying someone with disabilities to accompany them to Walt Disney World. What? Really? Shame. Shame Shame. So because of people’s dishonesty, Walt Disney World had to change their Disability Access Service (DAS) which you can see here. But here’s a snippet:

“Disney Parks have an unwavering commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment and accessible experiences for our Guests. As part of this commitment, Disability Access Service (DAS) is a tool provided at the Walt Disney World® theme parks to enhance the service we provide to our Guests with disabilities. A Guest whose disability is based on the necessity to use a wheelchair or scooter does not need a DAS. Depending on the attraction, Guests utilizing a wheelchair or scooter will either wait in the standard queue or receive a return time at the attraction comparable to the current wait time.”

The cool part of the Disability Access Service is that you can also use your DAS with your regular ol’ FastPass+. Fortunately, our situation was more mobility issues for Mom and me so we did not utilize the Disability Access Service. We just waited in the queue in her wheelchair and on my ECV. Mom was able to park her wheelchair and get on the ride. (Note: there are actually a few attractions where you even can take your wheelchair or EC straight onto the attraction…ie The Jungle Cruise) Most attractions though, I would just get off my ECV and have my husband help me hop over to get on the ride. Yes, that was a sight to see. lol Talk about Disney dedication. Side note…my absolute FAVORITE ride at Walt Disney World Resort is the Haunted Mansion because it was my favorite ride growing up at Disneyland California. I remember when the ride would stop, I would get annoyed or frustrated…not anymore. They stopped that ride for me and my mom so we could get on and feel comfortable getting on at the speed we could so because they stopped the ride, I got to ride my favorite ride with a broken foot. So now instead of feeling frustrated when a ride stops, I will forever say a little prayer of gratitude and a prayer for the person for whom the ride was stopped.

I have to admit I was having some pretty lame anxiety about not being able to walk around at Disney and trying to get on rides and blah blah blah. Like really? It’s Disney. One of my most favorite places in the world. I just didn’t want to put my family out, be a burden and yes, partly it was some silly self-pity. As I was sitting on one of the Walt Disney World Transportation busses where you roll up the ramp to get on the bus and feeling slightly silly embarassed about having a broken foot…I saw a little girl. She was visually impaired and boy, it made me really check myself. Although the whole not walking thing pretty much stinks, ooooobviously I am gonna walk again eventually. This sweet girl was at Disney, happy as could be…without seemingly a care in the world AND not being able to see the sights of Disney. The thing is though, she didn’t even seem like she needed to…she seemed so happy to be just feeling the magic all around her.  You could tell by looking at her too. Surrounded by family, love and happiness. But duh… THAT is what is important right?! It made me smile so big and brought a tear to my eye because it reminded that life really is truly precious. It’s so easy to get down about an injury, an illness, a bad day, haters, a relationship, a job, life…silly things that may not even matter ten years from now or even ten minutes from now, but wow life can change or be gone in an instant…we really need to just savor every moment.

It’s exactly what Surviving Mommy is all about…finding joy in surviving life!

XO Surviving Mommy

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