This weekend I went way out of my comfort zone. I did two things I never would have thought I would do. I took my two kids to Disney by myself and I went to Disney by myself. In the past, I would have been crippled by anxiety and never would have thought to try either one of these things. I am becoming more confident in myself and as a result, I took the leap and jumped in headfirst.
Disney with My Kids
This may seem silly because people probably do this all the time. I have an 8-year-old and a 5-year-old, who is special needs. Taking my kids anywhere takes a lot of time and planning. I can easily get away with a few errands here and there but major trips to Disney without any backup were not on my radar.
My husband and 8-year-old stepdaughter went on a trip to Chicago this weekend so it was just me and the other two girls. I do not like to just keep them at home all weekend and do nothing special with them. My husband isn’t out of town very often and this was an opportunity to have a fun girls day. My older daughter asked me the day before if we could go to Disney. I was hesitant but I made the plans and then I began to stress about it. My 5-year-old is special needs. We do not know exactly what issues she has but one of the ones we know about is that she has severe ADHD. She takes medication for it. My experience with her out and about is mixed. She can be fine but then all of a sudden she can launch into fits and I feel powerless to do anything to stop it. I always have back up with me so it doesn’t end up being that bad. But, in this case, I would be alone. I told my younger daughter in the car a few times she needed to behave or we would have to leave. She agreed to behave and I hoped for the best.
I took them to the Magic Kingdom. I made fast passes ahead of time and planned of using my younger daughter’s DAS (Disability Access Service) pass. Her condition does not allow her to stand in long lines. I have done it before and its a nightmare. It’s a real relief to have this pass as an option for her. I set up a DAS experience for us and we started our adventure. We went on several rides, ate ice cream, had a snack, walked around and enjoyed the sites, and even got a nice picture taken by a Disney PhotoPass Cast Member. Both of my girls behaved themselves and we were actually able to stay until around 9pm. I truly enjoyed the experience and I hope to be able to do it again soon. I’m so happy I put aside my issues with anxiety and had a memorable experience with my kids.
My Solo Disney Day
The day before I took my two girls to Disney by myself and I struggled with doing that due to my anxiety issues. My girls go with their dad on Sunday’s and I was going to be alone at the house. I was missing my husband and didn’t want to be alone all day. I decided to do a solo Disney day. I made fast passes for myself and mapped out a tentative plan. I decided to do all the things I always wanted to do but didn’t because I was with other people. I started off my experience with a quick shopping trip. The new limited release Minnie Mouse attractions collections debuted the day before and I wanted to get the pins and the new ears. I picked those up and headed out to use my fast passes. On the way to the park, while riding the ferry boat I got a notification that one of my fast passes (Space Mountain) was down. As a result, I was given another fast pass that could be used at a number of other attractions. I decided to go on Big Thunder Mountain. I got to the ride and while standing in the line an announcement came on that said the attraction was down and we all had to evaluate. Guess what I got! Another fast pass. At this point, I was thinking rides were out of the question.
I went to get something to eat and then headed to my next fast pass. I FINALLY got to ride something! I went on The Little Mermaid ride. After I finished that I decided to use my extra fast pass to meet Ariel. I have met her many times before but this time she was wearing her winter outfit. I had never seen her in anything other than her signature purple seashells. I love meeting characters. I know it may seem dumb since I am a 38-year-old woman but there is something about meeting a Disney character and having that interaction with them. After I did the Ariel meet and greet I decided to do something I have always wanted to do. I was finally for the FIRST time EVER have ice cream at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor!
I got in the line and had a hard time deciding. My husband has diabetes and sweets that he can have are very limited. So going here with him is most likely out of the question. After quite a bit of back and forth, I went with the brownie sundae. OMG it was delicious! I literally had a smile on my face a mile wide. I ate it and walked toward my next fast pass which was The Haunted Mansion.
I LOVE the Haunted Mansion! I consider this ride my husband and I’s ride. We go on it almost every time we go to the Magic Kingdom. When we went on a short one night honeymoon after we got married we went on this ride and got our picture taken by a PhotoPass Photographer. I even have a small collection of Funko Pops themed around Mansion characters. I enjoy taking in the sites on the ride and trying to see if I see anything new. I particularly pay attention to the ballroom scene and the graveyard scene. I have seen both a million times but every time I see something new just by looking in a different direction. In the ballroom scene, this time I was paying close attention to the couples dancing and I noticed that one of the women dancing had red hair like I do and her dance partner has dark brown hair with a beard like my husband Adam. It was like the two of us were dancing together on our favorite ride.
After I finished up at the Haunted Mansion I decided to go to EPCOT. I wanted to check out the International Festival of the Arts that had just started and maybe go on a few rides. I took the monorail over to the park and was able to ride 4 rides without having a fast pass. I went on the Finding Nemo ride, Living with the Land, Journey into Imagination, and the ride in Mexico. I also walked around and checked out the art displays and did several PhotoPasses. I even met Princess Aurora who my stepdaughter Scarlett Aurora is named after. I took a selfie with her and sent it to my husband so he could show her.
During my day at the park, I did a lot of PhotoPass pictures. I figured why not I pay for it in the cost of my annual pass so why not take advantage and get some cute professional pictures taken. I like to do this with my husband and kids as well it’s a great way to get some awesome family shots to display at our house. I highly recommend doing this. You can get some great shots with amazing backgrounds by professional photographers. I have a platinum pass so its included with my pass. I get the pictures sent to My Disney Experience app and I can print out the ones I want with a photo app I have on my phone.
Overall, this was a great experience. I had a lot of fun and did everything I wanted to do. I didn’t have to be a mom for once at the park and wrangle my kids. I could simply enjoy the sights and experiences both parks had to offer.
A few years ago I would never have had the courage to do this. I have suffered from anxiety most of my life. I have always been the person who needs someone with them to do anything. I’m really glad that I took a chance and spent some quality time with my kids and that I was brave enough to do it all again the next day by myself. It was a very empowering experience and I hope to do it again someday soon. I think its important to be able to do things alone and not depend on other people. If I could give you one piece of advice I would say don’t let your own issues stand in the way of your fun. If you live in fear, you might miss out on something great.