Disney with Special Needs: Lose Yourself in the Magic

13415624_1010916475663821_6253671387114573093_oYou have had enough of the worries and the fears and trying to prepare yourself to handle those issues. Now it is time to just have fun! You are in Disney World! If there is any place where you can really relax and just let yourself be, this is it. This is why my next bit of advice for you is…

Lose yourself in the magic.

Do you remember what it was like to be a child and believe completely that the world was full of magic? You could dance and sing and play and let yourself be totally amazed by things. For far too many people this disappears as they get older. This can be especially difficult for us special needs super heroes. We already have the identities that we feel like have to force sometimes just to get through the day or to make a social situation less awkward. Not being able to enjoy the wonderful things that happen around you can feel restrictive and upsetting, and many of us find ourselves avoiding any type of expression and fun out of worry that we will do the “wrong” thing or not fit in properly.

When you’re in Disney World you can completely toss that aside. There is a reason why all of the Walt Disney World Resort, from the theme parks to the resorts, is contained within the gates, and that is because they want you to forget that anything else exists and just be fully immersed in the wonder that is Disney. This is a place to play and have fun, and no one will judge you for it, so take advantage of every minute.

Spend some time looking for the thousands of hidden Mickeys that are located throughout the parks and resorts. They can be in anything from the cobblestones on the ground to the decorations on the rides. If you have a super focused super hero in your group like I do, you will get a thrill from being the first one to spot one – but it likely won’t happen often. Instead you can come stand beside me and just be amazed and a little frustrated that you can’t see the seven Mickeys that your brother sees.

Dance to the music during the parades. Get excited meeting the characters and taking special pictures of your interactions. Focus on the amazing little details of the rides, like your name on it’s a small world or the tea party in Haunted Mansion. Don’t be afraid to play in the interactive queues. Wear special shirts with your family. Carry around your favorite character stuffed animal and take vacation pictures of it. It doesn’t matter your age or how you think that you “should” behave. Wear those ears and fly your Disney flag with pride.

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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 Baby and Toto, Too.

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