End of Summer Disney Magic!
On a very hot September day, we visited Disney to celebrate the end of summer, and back to school. Since we are Floridians, we dressed and packed appropriately for the steamy weather we knew we were going to have.
This trip, we decided to visit Epcot, because we have not been in a few years (she has been favoring Hollywood Studios and MK).
Before our trip, I always go online and check out the food options (I am vegan, and she is just picky). Since this was our first time visiting since having her actual SPD diagnosis, I wanted to look more in to some things within the park. To my surprise….I came across various park disability guides. They are available online, but at all parks as well! In addition to these, there is a 20 page document online which is VERY helpful for visiting with Cognitive Disabilities (Autism, SPD, & more). I wish I knew about this when we went when she was 6 (major sensory meltdowns that day). These guides are GREAT and I also picked them up at the park so I could take them home (but they are available online on the Guest Services Website. They have tips for people with mobility, visual, or hearing disabilities. PLUS, there’s info on places you can go to have some quiet time to recover from a sensory meltdown and more. There is also a new program, DAS (Disney Access Service), available which will allow Guests with disabilities at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort to receive a return time for attractions based on the current wait time. WOW! I had no idea! You can find more information about this program over at the Disney Parks Blog.
I have to mention that after we spent 6 fun hours at Epcot, we took the monorail over to Magic Kingdom, and spent a few hours there too. We just wanted to walk around and get some autographs.
Ok, let’s go back and talk about food for a minute. We usually pack snacks, and eat our main meals there. We use gift cards or our Disney Rewards points for this. I usually look up food options on the various vegan Disney blogs that are out there….but this time, I really didn’t have to (very exciting).
Our first meal was lunch, and we love eating at Seasons after riding the Living with the Land attraction. I remember last time, ordering a salad, and having them leave off the cheese and chicken, but THIS TIME….on the menu there was an option already listed out as “Vegan”. How exciting! Well, the line for that particular area was VERY LONG, so I opted for a grab and go item instead, but was still delicious. And, I also got a vegan dessert.
After this yummy lunch, we used some fast passes, and then decided to go see some characters over in the world showcase. That walk was going to be very hot, so, after getting a frozen lemonade, she found a spot to cool off and get soaked for the walk over.
She got VERY soaked, and was ready to walk….but then something amazing happened. I asked her if she was ready to take the little boat over instead of walking. She has NEVER wanted to take the boat over because boats to her are too loud. Well, today, she said YES, as long as their was not a loud horn. I let her watch and see the boat for herself (no loud horn). So, we took the boat over (so proud of her).
After we did everything we wanted to do at Epcot, we rode the monorail over to Magic Kingdom to see what character greetings we could fit in. We saw a few favorites, and also got to meet Aurora, whom we missed meeting at Epcot because she had to go do some work:)
The last time we went to MK, we kept missing Gaston, and didn’t get his autograph. Well, this time, we were in luck, and we were the first few people in line for when he got back from his snack break (he needs to eat often to keep his muscles). Gaston was being, well, GASTON! And being silly and loud. She was covering her ears while he was visiting the guests in front of us, and when it was her turn, he noticed and asked her about it (see video below):
He was great with her and her sensory issues! I was also proud of her for telling him how she felt, and not just running away not wanting to see him! GREAT JOB Gaston, and thank you!
It was getting late, and we needed to grab some dinner before driving back. I decided to try to find something on the way out, on Main Street. We popped in to Casey’s Corner to see what they had there. I was happy to see a vegan dog with kraut on the menu (yum), but there was nothing there she would eat, so we had to keep walking. We went to Tomorrowland, and ate at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. I had the vegan sloppy-joe, and topped it with some goodies from the condiment bar. She had chicken strips, and some snacks we still had packed. I forgot to take pics of the vegan plate, but again, was glad they had that out on the regular menu so I didn’t have to customize anything.
New this year at Magic Kingdom, you can get a plant-based food guide! WOW! Guests can pick up one of these guides at any Table-Service or Quick Service location, any Guest Experience Team kiosk, or either of the two Guest Relations locations – City Hall or the Liberty Square Ticket Office. I can’t wait to use this on our next visit!
I don’t believe Epcot has one out yet, but I always look at Vegan Disney Wold Blog before going anyway. They have great tips!
Our end of summer/start of school fun day was over, but she was a trooper and was there from 10am-6:30pm (and walked 7.15 miles). Great day for sure!
Next, we are looking forward to attending the Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party and being able to trick or treat with food/dye allergies! Can’t wait! This will be our first year going, as she said she feels ready (and not scared).
Photo Credit: vegandisneyfood.com