Recently, my family went on vacation to our favorite recreational spot. Disney World!
Last week, I shared pics of the golden chariot that carried me around the park. (For those who are just stopping by I have a disability. You can read about it by clicking here.)
This week, I have to give Disney major kudos for their new ride Toy Story Mania inside their Hollywood Studios park.
This ride is so much fun. It's a 3D virtual reality tour de force of carnival games.
(Sorry I don't have better pictures. We were so taken by the decor, we forgot to snap more pics)
The cart sits four people (two on each side) and each person has their own popper gun. The cart twists and turns along a track, stopping in front of wall size TV screens that flash up differnt carnival games such as shoot the swimming ducks, or hit the plates with arrows. And, it's all in 3D thanks to the beautiful yellow glasses they make you wear. Your goal....to get a high score. Of course, my husband won. But, there's always next time.
Now, I must digress.
The ride was fun, yes. But, there were two other things about this ride that made it a memorable experience.
One, Disney pulled out all the stops in designing this ride where the handicapped are concerned. The thing that stood out the most....No one had to wait on disabled guests to load into a cart. We were on a completely separate loading dock. A cart would leave the main drag, enter our loading dock and could be disassembled to accomodate even the bulkiest of wheelchairs. Once the person is loaded, the cart finds its way back to the main track and off it goes. For me, this is awesome. I hate making people wait just because I move slower than everyone else. Man, that stresses me out! However, on Toy Story, I could be as slow as I needed to be, and no one was put out. Loved it!!
Two, Zach. This begs explanation. You see, the Toy Story ride is new. Therefore, the line was LONG. My kids and waiting do not go very well together and if they have to stand in line for more than five minutes they get bored, which leads to straight out goofiness.
Regan, being a climber, decided it was a good idea to scale the metal poles. She continued to do this even after the Disney worker asked her not to climb. Yes, that's our girl. Inevitably, she fell and hit her mouth on the pole. Crying ensued, Mommy consoled and Zach entered the picture.
Oblivious to me there was another family behind us. However, it wasn't Mommy or Daddy that had the disability; it was there son, Zach. He was maybe two years older than Regan and he had Down Syndrome.
As I sat in my scooter with Regan in my lap, her head buried in my chest, Zach moved around and stood in front of us. With compassion in his eyes, he began stroking the back of Regan's hair. When she turned her head towards him, he leaned in and gave her a big bear hug and asked if she was okay.
Immediately, Regan's tears dried and we spent the next fifteen minutes getting to know Zach.
I was almost sad when we loaded into the cart and said bye only to find that Zach and his Mom loaded into the cart behind us and (due to the logistics of the carts) Regan and Zach faced each other for most of the ride. So, instead of these two preschoolers shooting the wall sized TV screens, they instead shot each other and when the popguns didn't seem to work, they made faces and laughed.
After the ride was over, Zach came and hugged Regan and kissed her on the cheek. We said goodbye and never saw him again.
Long lines are not always fun and can bring about many frustrations, but this line held a gift and I was happy they we were the family that unwrapped it.
Stay tuned as this Friday we will have another Love Letter and Monday will hold the next installment in Mary's Journal. And, next Wednesday, I may have to share the vacation inside the vacation....carrot cake cookies. Hmmmmm.