My birthday was a couple of weeks ago. My sister and her family came to visit – it was her birthday too. They wanted to go to California Adventure and Disneyland. This is not something we have cared to do with Magnolia, again.
The last time we went to Disney, was the day after Magnolia’s diagnosis. December 18,2013. It was a nightmare. Crowds, sensory overload, heat and waiting in long lines are all things that Magnolia doesn’t handle well. Even with Disney’s Disability pass, which helps ease some of the wait, it wasn’t an ideal situation. We were hoping Disney would cheer us up, but she ended up having such a bad time, we hadn’t been back. Until now.
After standing in a long line to buy tickets to get in, then standing in a long line to get in the gate, we headed over to stand in a short line at guest services to get the Disability pass. I was already uneasy, but I put on a brave face for Maggie. She, on the other hand, was so excited – her smile ear to ear.
We met up with Lynn, Sean, Lindsey and Sadie – they had been at the park for a few hours already, so they were ready to take it slower with us for awhile. We rode the Little Mermaid ride, then the swings, the parachutes and a few other rides. We rode on Maggie’s new favorite (and mine), the Cars ride. We even went and saw the Live show Frozen. Any of those kinds of shows have been hard to hold her attention – but she sat for an hour watching and bopping along to what essentially amounted to the Frozen soundtrack. Magnolia did great, there were a few meltdowns, and one small seizure, but it was hot and busy, so it was all to be expected. Even the seizure is something we’ve become so adept at handling that little ones barely phase me. But, still it was a lot and we decided at 4:30, we were done. It was a great day. I couldn’t believe how well she did.
The next day was Disneyland. Disneyland was so crowded, a cast member ended up telling me, it was one of the busiest days of the year. Perfect.
Maybe two days in a row at theme parks was too much for her – that first day went so well, we just assumed she’d be great. But she was overwhelmed, tired and hot. She melted down waiting to meet Tigger. So we ducked into an air conditioned store where she rejuvenated a little. We rode Splash Mountain, which she loved. She also loved the Jungle cruise ride. In between all the rides, though, it was hard for her, and ultimately, she had to leave earlier than she would have wanted on the second day. To minimize the sensory overload, we have her wear earplugs, and that really helps.
I’ll take this trip to Disneyland as a win. She wasn’t miserable and I think she’d like to go back. Maybe next time, we head to Disneyland first and not go to two parks in two days. Live and learn.
It was great to be with family, people that love Maggie and want her to have a great time. I think she will probably just remember this trip to Disneyland as fun. We probably could have ridden Splash Mountain the entire time and she’d have loved it.
California Adventure swings that go in a circle? She loved it.
California Adventure, walking with the cousins. She loved it.
Disneyland Splash Mountain. She loved it!
Disneyland Jungle cruise. loved it.
When the weather dumps rain all over Los Angeles and dumps snow in the mountains. Sometimes you just need to make a trip to play in the snow. Living in Los Angeles, we are only an hour and a half away from the closest Mountain Resort, Mountain High. So Sunday, that is what we did.
We want to take Maggie on as many adventures as possible. If she can’t have a typical life, at least we can make her life fun and adventurous for her. We have good days and bad days. Saturday Maggie didn’t have a great day, so when she woke up Sunday and she was doing well, we were excited to go.
The drive up there was easy, the kids napped, our friend Stephanie was stuck between their two carseats in the back and assisted Maggie when she needed help. We had lunch at a cute mountain cafe area.
It was a gorgeous day, families were sledding all over he mountain. We could see skiers and boarders and the snow tube area was at the top. AJ went to get the tubing tickets while Steph and I got the kids stuffed into their snow gear, which isn’t easy to do in a car. AJ returned to tell us the tubing was so packed we would only get two runs in. We were not putting the kids back in the car after getting them into their snow gear, we decided to play in the snow, while AJ went back into town and bought sleds. Stephanie convinced snow tubing staff to let us pull the kids around in the tubes while we waited. So technically, we did snow tube.
Maggie loved the mountain, her brother was confused. Finally AJ returned, we loaded everyone in the car and found a great area to sled. There were a few other families there. On the first run, AJ’s sled broke in half, thankfully he bought two sleds. Sledding was scarier than I expected. Maggie tried a couple of times and then she was very upset. Mostly because she was tired and hungry. She calmed down, went for a couple of more runs. I finally went down the hill with Gray and almost ran over another family.
All in all we had a fun day. There were less breathing issues, no rett episodes, just a couple of meltdowns. Maggie was so excited, her and AJ wrote a story on her Tobii. Just trying to make it work.