I have resisted taking a long vacation with Gage, one that required an airplane and less access to food from home, but when Jason had to go to Orlando for work last week I couldn’t not take advantage of the opportunity. Gage is sensitive to loud sounds and I was afraid that the airplane might be too loud. It wasn’t. I was afraid of trusting restaurants to handle Gage’s diet. I was right on that one. But, in the end we had a fantastic family vacation and Gage gave Florida two thumbs up, which according to him means, “we’re coming back soon.” We’ll see.
We flew Frontier for the first time on the way there and except for the dirty snacks all over the floor, it was fine. Gage loved the flight!
We stayed at Coronado Springs Resort in Animal Kingdom at Disney World and it was really nice. I was under the impression from different people that Disney did a good job accommodating special diets and I guess they did, but to a bare minimum.
We ordered at their restaurant and when they brought out his chicken, potatoes and grapes there was a big smear of melted cheese on the plate! These are the things that keep moms like me on the crazy side when it comes to food. He always found something to eat in the 2.5 days we were there, but I have no doubt there was gluten in there somewhere. We saw behaviors that we haven’t seen in years, but better gluten than dairy since that would have sent us to the hospital. So, the silver lining was that there were no hospital visits 🙂
Two tips that I had from people before we went. One, we rented a stroller and it was a lifesaver. Gage is 6 and I donated our strollers 2 summers ago, so I was a bit skeptical of this advice at first, but it came from mamas who had kids older than Gage. Without a doubt he would not have lasted 9 hours at the park had we not had the stroller. It also saved us from having to drag or tell him to hurry all day. The second tip was to get the fast pass. We didn’t, BUT we did wait 20 minutes when we got there to get the disability pass, which they give to kids on the spectrum. So, when we went to a ride and there was an hour wait, we signed in and came back in 50 minutes to ride. Essentially, we still had to wait (minus 10 minutes) but we could go do other things instead of waiting in line. It was free and we only had to sign up the first day and it was good for a month at all the Disney parks. It’s a great feature.
We spent our first day at Magic Kingdom and we all loved it. It was hot and busy, but it was Memorial Day so that was to be expected. The second day we spent at Animal Kingdom and I was miserable. It was 95 and a worker there told me that because of the greenhouse effect of all the trees the park was often 10 degrees hotter. I was dripping sweat within about 15 minutes. Gage barely made the height requirement for Expedition Everest, but he wanted to ride the big coaster and he did twice – with dad.
We then moved on to the Hyatt Regency where Jason had a conference. Gage and I got to spend a few days hanging out together in Orlando. We didn’t venture all that far, but had fun. When Jason was finished on Friday we headed to Sea World and had a great time. This was my favorite park. The crowds weren’t too bad and the weather was more reasonable for this Ohio gal. Gage insisted on riding this water ride four times, twice with Jason and twice with me. He claimed he loved it. But look a little closer at his face the third time he rode it… Look at that face! He looks like he’s being tortured! Jason looks like he’s having fun at least 🙂 Makes me laugh a little every time because I know that he kept begging to ride it. We had a fun day there, even if it got cut short by rain.
The trip was a success, but the food was a problem, so I’ll be planning a little better next time. I’m so glad that we were able to do it. And I got to be the parent that told his kid’s teachers that he was missing the last two days of kindergarten to go to Disney World 🙂