Disney with Special Needs: Holidays at Disney Prep – Part Two

Summer is looming outside and while everyone else is prancing around thinking about the beach, shorts, and splashing around in the pool, my mind is firmly stuck at the end of fall. Like I might have turned up the air conditioning, burned a caramel candle, and eaten a sweet potato the other day. It is only 5 months until I check in to Disney for Thanksgiving and there is still so much planning to do. So. Much. Planning.

If you were with me for the first part of this series you know about the first few things that I thought about. Now I’m going into a little bit more detail about some of these ponders so that I can get my plans in place and then try to coast my way through summer (have I mentioned how uncomfortable I am around water, sunlight, heat, bathing suits, shorts, and tank tops? Yep. Summer and I are super closer friends.)

So come along with me as we pretend it isn’t blazing outside and instead the leaves have turned and it’s time for some celebrating…

Putting the holiday spirit into our trip…

I have come to terms with the idea of being away from home for Thanksgiving, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not still trying to come up with ways to make this trip special because it is over THE HOLIDAYS. You might remember that I am the Queen of the Welcome Bag and that I love to do little things to make each trip memorable. These are special to me not just to make memories for each trip, but because they help to make the planning period more bearable and the idea of the trip coming up more real for me. So far I’ve come up with a few ideas for how I will keep this trip as Thanksgiving and Christmasy as possible.

Aromatherapy. If you’ve been traveling along with me for a while you know that one of my coping mechanisms is scents that I have conditioned myself to relax with. The smell of my hubby’s shirts is one of my favorites. Smell is something that is very valuable to me and I often use it to set a specific mood or bring my mind to a certain place. I am coming up with all of the ways that I will be able to bring seasonal scents into my travel for this trip. I don’t know if I am in that place in my life where I could hang one of the turkey leg air fresheners from my rearview mirror, but there will definitely be vehicle-odorizing going on. I’m considering salted caramel, baking, or leaf scents for the way there and up until Thanksgiving, and then peppermint or tree scents for after Thanksgiving and the way back. Quick car-scenting tip — find a small jar with a firmly-fitting metal lid and use a screwdriver and hammer to pound several small holes into the lid. Break apart tarts, wax melts, or even votive candles in the scent you desire and pour them into the jar. Tuck this under the seat in your car and wait for the wonderfulness. This is a great way to use up that wax in the bottom of candles as well

Special gifts. Of course we’ll have Welcome Bags and in-room gifts, but I want to put a bit of a twist on these this year. I’m considering breaking out my soap making skills and creating custom-scented and colored bath and body products for everyone with a bit of a seasonal twist. I’m thinking that this is the time for my pumpkin pie soap, apple pie scrub, and rosemary bombs. Maybe some candy cane and hot cocoa in there, too. If the Hubster Supreme is lucky I might even make him a pumpkin beer scented assortment. In addition to these, I am planning on bringing stockings and hanging them in the middle of the night between Thanksgiving and Black Friday. I’ll fill them with little things such as lip balm, socks, and candy for a special morning surprise

Bringing tradition with us. There are traditions that we are going to have to give up when it comes to celebrating in Disney World. We’ve embraced that. I won’t be grocery shopping for weeks or spending days preparing dishes. I won’t be cooking two pans of dressing because inevitably Tutu and hubs eats the first before I can even bake it. We won’t eat for hours and then make sandwiches the next day. But there are some things that I fully intend on being able to experience. I am still going to find as many pumpkin flavored treats as I possibly can and have them in the hotel room. I plan on bringing along some vegan pumpkin creamer for my morning coffee (the only time I don’t drink my coffee black). I am also tempted to bring along a package of vegan “turkey” lunchmeat to sneak a couple sandwiches. As for traditions without food, we love to watch “National Lampoons Christmas Vacation” on Thanksgiving to usher in the yuletide. We’ll keep up with that by bringing along my computer and streaming it. I recommend choosing a few of your traditions that you can still enjoy while you are on your trip so that you don’t feel like you’ve completely turned away from the holiday. I don’t want to wake up in January and be like —- what happened to Thanksgiving??????

We’ll wrap up our way-ahead planning next time when I give you a glimpse into my packing box so you can see some of what I am going to bring along for this trip.

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Taryn was born and raised, and still lives in Richmond, Virginia. Neither she nor her husband ever had the opportunity to visit Walt Disney World when they were children, but when their daughter Avalon came along, they decided she was not going to follow in their footsteps. They brought Avalon for the first time when she was 3 and have been hooked ever since. Now along with Taryn’s mother and equally Disney-loving older brother, they go “home” at least once a year, and by the time she is staring longingly at Cinderella Castle from the ferry on their last night, Taryn is well on her way to planning the next trip. As a group consisting of two adults with Asperger’s, including one who is also vegan, a very accommodating husband, an only child, a senior, and a service dog, they are a pretty special family, but Taryn is excited to show that the World really is The Most Magical Place on Earth and that there is a place there for everyone. When she isn’t thinking about her next Disney adventure and trying to come up with a Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party costume that will beat her Oozma Kappa nerd look, she is a professional blogger and novelist, but Taryn also likes to indulge her Disney passion on her Etsy shop It’s Better in Vinyl.

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