Well, here I am staring at a brand-new calendar for 2011. It's hard to believe that in less than two short weeks I'll be back at Walt Disney World, enjoying some "face time" with the other Spectrum Moms! These past couple of months have just flown by... the kids, the house, my job.... and my writing... have kept me extremely busy.
So, what's one more thing to heap onto my plate, right?
This month I'll be embarking on a new venture. I've been invited to be a regular columnist for a new Disney fan site, www.WDWFanZone.com. My column will be all about...
Well, why don't you just read the little intro I wrote for the site! I do hope to "see you there" soon.
ever taken a moment out of your Walt Disney World day to plop yourself down on
a bench and indulge in a bit of people-watching? Perhaps you’ve found yourself doing it while
riding the monorail… or while pacing outside Le Cellier with your
buzzer-thingy… or while standing shoulder to shoulder in front of the Castle,
waiting for Wishes to begin. Come on, admit it…we’ve all done it at one time or
another! Why? Because it’s fun, that’s
why! There’s genuine entertainment to be
had observing preschoolers meeting their favorite princesses for the first time
and grown men… serious businessmen in real life… wearing Goofy hats, complete
with ears. And who hasn’t taken guilty pleasure in shaking his or her head over
grandpas who mix loud stripes with plaids or women who inexplicably choose to
wear high heels while touring Epcot?
there’s another side to Disney people-watching…one that can be educational and
thought-provoking if you let it. (Not unlike a classic Disney film.) Have you ever marveled at the diversity that
exists among the masses that stream in and out of the parks on any given day…people
of all ages, sizes, shapes, and abilities? They walk, ride, wheel, scoot and
stroll through the gates… some independently and some with a bit of help. (I’ve
often remarked to my husband that I’ve yet to see the same number of
wheelchairs and ECVs in use during an entire day at our local amusement park as
I’ve encountered in one hour at Walt
Disney World.) In they come, all looking
for amusement, entertainment, and… magic. They generally find it, too, largely
in part to Disney’s world-renowned reputation for accommodating guests with
special needs, both the obvious and the less visible.
wonder, “Why do they bother?” Certainly
it’s daunting enough for a family or an individual without special challenges to meet the physical demands of a Walt
Disney World vacation… the crowds, the noise, the often surprising amount of
walking involved in touring a resort that is twice the size of Manhattan. Those
who are not prepared for them are often disappointed when their “dream
vacation” meets the reality of long lines, blisters, and meltdowns. (I still
chuckle every time I think of what the
Unofficial Guide titled their chapter on Walt Disney World with children --The Agony and the Ecstasy – how true!)
And, if that is the case, can someone with a significant disability tolerate
the same stress and truly enjoy that kind of theme park “vacation?”
we all know that Walt Disney World isn’t just any collection of theme parks!
The same Disney magic that charms the typically-abled guest holds special
meaning for those who must integrate physical, medical, sensory, or
developmental challenges into their daily lives.
As designers, we Imagineers
create spaces—guided experiences that take place in carefully structured
environments, allowing our guests to see, hear, even smell, touch and taste in
new ways. Ultimately, we give them a place to play, something Walt believed
adults need as much as children. We give power to the guest’s imagination, to
transcend their everyday routine.
~ John Hench, Disney Legend
upcoming months I’d like to introduce you to some of your fellow Walt Disney
World fans and the family members who love them. They have discovered that Walt
has given them a place to play, too….a place to “transcend their everyday
routine” and feel, even if only for a few short days, as if they were just like
everyone else. Each month you’ll meet someone new…a person who, although he or
she may need to “do Disney” a little differently, is just as much in love with
the place as you are.
stand next to me while we’re waiting for Mickey’s PhilharMagic to begin. We’ll
lean against the rail, talk Disney, and do a little people-watching. There are
some very interesting faces in the queue…
The Many Adventures of a Disney-Lovin’ Spectrum Mom is not affiliated with, authorized or endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with, The Walt Disney Company or Disney Enterprises, Inc., or any of their affiliates. All trademarks, service marks, and trade names are proprietary to Disney Enterprises, Inc., its subsidiary, affiliated and related companies, as the case may be. For the official Disney website, visit disneyparks.disney.go.com