We are headed for an adventure! This time, just the three of us – Jess, her dad, and me. While Campbell and I have been excited for a couple of weeks (actually, more than a couple of months) about departure date nearing, Jess has been more reserved. It’s not that she has been unhappy about it. She just hasn’t been quite happy – which is a bummer since we are on our way to Walt Disney World.
Disney is our happy place. Although it is usually completely exhausting, there is just something magic about it. I know… corny. But, those that are Disney fans get it.
We have been blessed to have traveled to Disney World at least 10 times since Y2K. Each visit, we strive for new experiences or do something a little different. This year, there are multiple new aspects about our trip that we are looking forward to.
The most exciting new thing is that we are staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Luckily, we were able to book a room with a Savannah View. From the balcony of our room, we will be able to see wild animals roaming.
However, to enjoy the resort and specifically our view, we need to actually be at the resort some during waking hours. Contrary to that, Jess strongly believes that we must always hit all the parks long enough to ride all the rides at least once.
The solution we chose was to extend our stay a little longer than usual to have a more leisurely trip. We have a schedule planned that allows for daily excursions to parks, but also daily rest breaks back at our resort.
DISNEY MAKES IT EASY TO HAVE NEW EXPERIENCES
Disney seems to always be updating their parks in one way or another. They have made quite a few changes since our visit in Spring of 2017.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Toy Story Land has opened in Hollywood Studios, and that means a new coaster for Jess, and a new restaurant that serves tater tots!
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
At Animal Kingdom, Pandora opened just weeks after our last visit. Campbell and I are really looking forward to the Avatar Flight of Passage experience, although it will be something in which Jess will not be able to participate. More about that later. Hannah road it this past January and said Flight of Passage is absolutely incredible.
I am particularly excited about my first time at Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival. While I am a very picky (squeamish) eater, I am going to be brave and try new stuff. I have even talked Jess into being excited about it by telling her that we will also try lots of different desserts.
Speaking of food, our next new thing is to experience lots of new food locations inside the various parks. I procrastinated too much to get reservations at some places we wanted to try, but I was able to schedule us some new casual/counter experiences.
As with most things autism, a detailed schedule was needed for everyone’s peace of mind. I went completely overboard and created an absurdly detailed electronic worksheet for every part of every day, including links to entertainment information and restaurants that we are going to try.
I admit, I loved every minute of the overboard planning. I have read the whole thing to Jess twice per her request. Now, when Jess starts asking questions, I can immediately pull up the schedule on my phone and give her a concrete answer. “Maybe”, “I don’t know”, and “we’ll see” just makes life harder for all of us.
FOLLOW JESSICA’S GAMET OF EMOTIONS – We think she’ll be happy.
We do expect Jess to eventually show some excitement. During our stay we also expect silliness, dimples, exhaustion, and stress. Today started off with irritability and with sunscreen in her eyes.
We’d love for you to follow the journal of our trip. My website, autisticinterpretations.com, will be the place with the most details. I will also be sharing some photos on Instagram @autistic_interpretations.