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Podcast Archives - Page 6 of 6 - Special Mouse - Unofficial Disney Parks and Travel for Your Special Needs Special Mouse – Unofficial Disney Parks and Travel for Your Special Needs
Special Mouse – Unofficial Disney Parks and Travel for Your Special Needs

Special Mouse Podcast

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GAC to be Replaced with DAS Card; WDW Trip Report with Asperger’s, Anxiety and Food Allergies

Disney confirms that the Guest Assistance Card will be replaced by the Disability Access Service Card on Oct. 9 “to create a more consistent experience for all our Guests while providing accommodations for Guests with disabilities.”  Then, Julie Westberg shares a Special WDW Trip Report with four kids, Asperger’s, Anxiety and Food Allergies.

Connect with Julie at Julie’s Mickey Memories and More where she blogs about crafting and scrapbooking.

You can read more about her family’s Disney experience HERE.

Thanks for listening!

~ Kathy

Pssst! Hey! Look up there on the right! You can follow Special Mouse on Facebook and Twitter!

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Disney Cruising with Man’s Best Friend — a Service Dog! – 014

Wounded warrior Mark Sumonka shares his experiences cruising with a service animal on the Disney Cruise Line; Kathy answers a question about availability of roll-in shower chairs at the Walt Disney World resorts.

Video: Mark’s dog Shadow has a Play Date with Pluto on the Disney Magic



Medical Supply Companies in the Orlando area:

(This is just a list of what is available; I have no personal experience with these companies and so I cannot give recommendations)

Care Medical Equipment

102 Drennen Rd
(407) 856-2273

 8451 S John Young Pkwy


(407) 363-3535


170 S Semoran Blvd
(407) 240-8600
2501 Investors Row
(407) 850-6068
Thanks for listening!
~ Kathy

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Hot! Hot! Hot! Managing the Florida Sun, Heat and Humidity – 013

Jane Glanville-Duckworth, the British Disney Diva, joins Kathy for a discussion about managing sun, heat and humidity while “on holiday” in Walt Disney World, followed by a Special Trip Report from Peter Pontecorvo (Magicmousemedic). He and Kathy talk about how his wife managed her heat intolerance and unusual allergies on their big extended family vacation this past summer.


Jane Glanville-Duckworth is a frequent contributor to Tips from the Disney Divas and Devos.  Connect with Jane on Twitter @janie_duckworth and on Facebook at Jane Glanville-Duckworth.

Connect with Peter Pontecorvo on Twitter @Magicmousemedic and on Facebook at Peter Pontecorvo.

While you’re at it, perhaps you might like to visit Special Mouse on Twitter @SpecialMousePod and on Facebook at Special Mouse Podcast. I’d love to hear from you.

Thanks for listening!


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Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party with a Child on the Autism Spectrum 012

In a new feature called “Listener Tea Party,” Kathy is joined by two moms who also have a child on the Autism Spectrum to chat about planning for Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Walt Disney World Resort. Grab your favorite Disney mug and pull up a chair!

mickey-halloween (1)Photo courtesy

On Twitter you can connect with my guests Amy Hughes @upanduptravel and Jennifer Banks @disneyjenn1.

On Facebook Amy is Up and Up Travel and Jennifer is Jennifer Banks.

Official information about Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party can be found HERE.

Thanks for listening!

~ Kathy

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FAQs for Scooter Newbies and a Visit From the Big Fat Panda – 011


Everything you need to know about renting an Electronic Convenience Vehicle, or “scooter”, at Walt Disney World — a conversation with JoEllen Andrew from Scooter Vacations. Then, a lively chat with John Saccheri from We discuss John’s youtube videos of Disney attractions, shot in “Pandavision” and how they are so engaging for children on the Autism Spectrum. We also talk about the Big Fat Panda Show, family memories, Give Kids the World, Disney Infinity…. let’s just say we talked and talked. And my son, Billy, makes a cameo appearance!

Scooter Vacations  delivers your scooter to your preferred location—whether that’s your hotel, arriving airline terminal, timeshare or private residence—ready for your vacation use and picks up the scooter upon your departure. Generous commissions for Travel Agents. Visit them on Facebook at Disney World Scooter Rentals.

Please visit John Saccheri’s You Tube channel Big Fat Panda and connect with him on Twitter @DisneyWorlds  and on Facebook at Bigfatpanda Disneyworlds

For information about fun volunteer activities at Give Kids the World Village, visit GKTW.

Thanks for listening!

~ Kathy

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The DISboards disABILITIES Board and King-Sized Park Touring 10

SueM from MN shares her experiences as long-time moderator of the disABILITIES board on and Wesley Snyder from South Dakota gives practical advice and shares a few funny stories about touring the Disney Parks at 6’10”. We also talk about his “Blue Sky” plans to move his family to Florida and visit the WDW theme parks every day for 365 days straight.

You will find Sue M. moderating at the  DISboards disABILITIES board

Wesley Snyder blogs at 365 Days at DisneyConnect with him on Twitter @365DaysofDisney


Thanks for listening!

~ Kathy


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Using a Stroller as a Wheelchair and The Gingerbread Run 5K to benefit GKTW 009

Kathy discusses the Guest Assistance Card and using a stroller as a wheelchair in the Disney parks with Kristin Zarchan from Pixie Vacations. A brief announcement regarding the 2nd Annual Special Diets Illuminations Dessert Party, hosted by Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free at WDW is followed by visit with Lisa Bertin-Queena, Director of Special Events at Give Kids the World in Kissimmee, FL. Lisa and Kathy talk about the annual Gingerbread Run 5K coming up in November that will benefit GKTW Village, a storybook resort where children with life-threatening illnesses and their families are treated to week-long fantasy vacations.


More information about the Special Diets Illuminations Dessert Party can be found HERE.

You can connect with Kristin Zarchan on Twitter @MagicalKristin and on Facebook at Kristin’s Pixie Vacations.

Please visit Give Kids the World and register for the Gingerbread Run! Walk, run, roll or stroll!


Thanks for listening!

~ Kathy

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Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free in WDW and Prepping for a Make-A-Wish Trip 008

Sarah Norris drops in to talk about her website and new podcast, GF/DF in WDW, and in Part One of a Special Trip Report, Charolott Feldman from California discusses how her family is preparing for her daughter’s Make-A-Wish trip to Orlando, Florida. A listener asks a question about heating pureed food in the theme parks and Kathy calls upon listeners to share their special MNSSHP trip reports for an upcoming Halloween episode.


Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW Blog

The Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW Podcast

Connect with Sarah on Facebook at Gluten Free and Dairy Free at WDW and on Twitter @gfdf_wdw


Charolott is writing about her daughter’s Make-A-Wish trip on the DisBoards discussion forums. You can read all about it HERE.

Thanks for listening!


~ Kathy

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007 Autism At The Parks and Keeping Kosher at Walt Disney World

Maureen Deal joins Kathy to talk about her website, Autism at the Parks and Cheryl Perlmutter from the Disney Film Project discusses strategies for Keeping Kosher when visiting Walt Disney World.

Maureen Deal is a frequent contributor to Orlando Informer. Her site,  AutismAtTheParks “…is designed to provide information about vacationing in Orlando, Florida at Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort or SeaWorld for those families that may have a family member with a developmental disability.”

Connect with Maureen @AutismAtThePark on Twitter and on Facebook at Autism At The Parks.

Cheryl Perlmutter writes for On the Go in MCO, a website that “uncovers all the gems that the Theme Parks & Attractions of Orlando and Central Florida have to offer.” She also produces the Disney Film Project podcast, “the show that creates magic for one and all, by all of us talking about your favorite Disney films, and some of your not-so-favorite films.”


Connect with Cheryl @cherylp3 on Twitter and on Facebook at Disney Film Project.

Mentioned in this episode:

Kosher for the Clueless but Curious: A Fun, Fact-Filled, and Spiritual Guide to All Things Kosher

Kosher Restaurants in the Orlando Area

Pesach Villas Program in the Orlando Area

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006: DTD BabyCakes NYC; WDW Fairytale Wedding with Fibromyalgia


Today’s feature interview is with Emily Woestoff, General Manager at Downtown Disney’s BabyCakes NYC — the only organic, vegan, gluten-free bakery on Disney property!

DTD BabyCakes NYC

DTD BabyCakes NYC


1674 East Buena Vista Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
(Google map)

Telephone 407.938.9044
Twitter: @DTDBabyCakesNYC

Hours of Operation
9:30am until 11pm daily!
View our exclusive Downtown Disney bakery menu.

We happily accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, and cash.

Tip! Make sure to pull into Parking Lot 2 to park. BabyCakes is located in the same building as Pollo Campero and Bodie’s, just next door to LEGO Imagination Center!


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This week’s Special Trip Report is from Kristen Kirk (The DVC Mom) who discusses managing her Fibromyalgia while on a recent trip to Walt Disney World. Kristen also dishes about what it’s like to be Maid of Honor at a Disney Fairytale Wedding!


Please check out Kristin’s blog, The DVC Mom.   Click on this link to learn more about FIBROMYALGIA.

Thanks for listening!



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005: Ron Miles, author of 3500: An Autistic Boy’s Ten-Year Romance with Snow White




Today I’m chatting with the father of Ben, a young man with Autism who rode Snow White’s Scary Adventures in WDW thousands of times over the course of ten years. With the help of some very special Cast Members, Ben was the last person to ride the attraction before it closed permanently on May 31, 2012.


Ben and his princess

Ben and his princess


Please visit Ron’s website,, for more information about the book and about his original song, Benjamin’s Lullaby. All proceeds from sale of both the book and the song go directly to Ben’s special needs trust fund.

Prior to the feature I answer a listener question regarding my personal experience obtaining the Guest Assistance Card at Walt Disney World earlier this month (July, 2013).

If you have questions about Disney parks and travel with special needs or health challenges, please click on the CONTACT tab (above) or tweet me @SpecialMousePod. You can also connect with the podcast on our Facebook page: Special Mouse Podcast.

Thanks for listening!

~ Kathy

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004: WDW Autism, Soarin’ in a Wheelchair and Disney with Diabetes!


We begin with an excellent question from one of our listeners about Food Allergies and the International Food & Wine Festival at Epcot.

If you have a special-needs Disney travel question, please use the Contact Page — or — connect with me on Twitter @SpecialMousePod or on Facebook at Special Mouse Podcast!

Ray and Rachel Pilgrim from the Mouse Travel Tips podcast join me for the feature interview. We discuss their original venture,, and how it serves as a valuable planning resource for families with autism spectrum disorder.

You can connect with Ray on Facebook at Ray Pilgrim and with Rachel at Rachel Williams Pilgrim.

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Melissa Knight from the Disney on Wheels Blog gives us wheelchair accessibility tips for the Soarin’ attraction at Epcot.

You can connect with Melissa on Facebook at Melissa Knight Coulter and on Twitter @DisneyOnWheels.

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Finally, Cheryl Koren from New Jersey gives us a Special Trip Report on her recent trip to Walt Disney World with insulin-dependent diabetes and food allergies.



Cheryl blogs about Disney at Magical Memory Maker.  She is a Magic Maker with Off to Neverland Travel, an Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.

You can connect with Cheryl on Facebook at Cheryl Koren – Off to Neverland Travel.  Her Pinterest board is Magical Memory Maker

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Click the icons, RIGHT, to subscribe to Special Mouse in either iTunes or Stitcher!


Thanks for listening!

~ Kathy 



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Episode 003: Disneyland Accessibility/Gluten-Free Trip Report


On this episode of Special Mouse I begin by answering a listener question regarding Autism and The Guest Assistance Card.


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My Feature Interview is with Stuart Haasis, author of the soon-to-be-released book, “A Disabled Person’s Guide to Disneyland.”



You can read an excerpt from his book HERE. Connect with Stu on Twitter @DisneyAccess and on Facebook at Stu Haasis.


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Melissa Knight from Disney On Wheels returns with a wheelchair accessibility tip for the Merida Meet ‘n Greet at the Magic Kingdom!



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For our Special Trip Report we’re going Gluten-Free with Karen Stoj, who was diagnosed with Celiac Disease only a few days before her trip to Walt Disney World!


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The Special Mouse Podcast and Disney On Wheels are having a Meet ‘n Greet at WALT DISNEY WORLD on Saturday, Sept. 29th, 3:30-5:00pm at Disney’s BEACH CLUB Resort. If you’re going to be in WDW celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Epcot, please stop in and say “Hello!”


For more information, go HERE.

Thanks for listening!

~ Kathy

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002: Touring with Infants and Rolling through Rain!

This Episode of Special Mouse is dedicated to the memory of Nolan Woodall. Rest in peace, my friend.

Feature Interview: Jennifer Lissak, author of The Disney Babies Blog, chats with me about the special needs of infants at Disney. Please visit her blog for more information, particularly about Baby Wearing.


 This is one of Jennifer’s favorite resources for Baby Wearing products: Carry Me Away

You can connect with Jennifer on Twitter @Disneybabiesblg and on Facebook at Jennifer Dreispul Lissak.


Our Special Trip Report comes from Melissa Knight, author of Disney on Wheels: Rolling with the Magic.

Melissa and her husband traveled from Georgia to Walt Disney World in May, 2012 — the same week that Tropical Storm Alberto was visiting Florida! Melissa gives us insight into the accessibility of many rides and attractions, including the new Dumbo at the Magic Kingdom, Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Mission Space at Epcot.

Melissa posts videos of herself utilizing many accessible attractions at Walt Disney World on her blog, so please check it out!


I’m thrilled to announce that Melissa Knight will be joining me during future episodes of Special Mouse for a special feature called Disney on Wheels!  Melissa has a lot of accessibility tips to share that I hope will benefit our listeners with a variety of mobility issues.

You can connect with Melissa on Twitter @DisneyOnWheels and on Facebook at Melissa Knight Coulter.

Thanks to all of you who have posted such lovely Tweets on Twitter and to those of you who have “liked” us on Facebook! Thanks also for all the lovely reviews on iTunes; I’m so happy to have your feedback!

~ Kathy

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Episode 001 Introducing the Special Mouse Podcast!

Welcome to the first episode of the Special Mouse Podcast! I hope to bring you both information and inspiration when it comes to Disney travel and your extra challenges.

In the Introduction, I share my own Disney-with-special-needs experience with you (my youngest child has Autism) and offer a bit of insight into why I created this podcast.

Feature Interview: Colette Krahenbuhl from Give Kids The World Village in Central Florida.

Colette details the history of Give Kids The World, a non-profit organization whose mission is “to fulfill the wishes of all children with life-threatening illnesses and their families from around the world to experience a memorable, joyful, cost-free visit to the Central Florida attractions…”

We discuss the many ways in which listeners can support GKTW through the sharing of time, talent and/or resources.

To learn more, please visit the website at Give Kids The World. You can tweet with GKTW on Twitter @GKTWVillage

Your Special Trip Report: Bill and Tracy from Southern Illinois, USA.

Bill and Tracy share highlights from their latest (of many) trips to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Bill has Cerebral Palsy and lives with both mobility and speech impairments. We discuss the complexities of  air travel with a power wheelchair and hotel room accessibility at both the Pop Century Resort and the Boardwalk Villas. Tracy shares some of her experiences traveling and touring WDW as a person of size.


Just wait until you hear about the surprise Bill planned for Tracy during their Private Dining Experience at the Grand Floridian!  So romantic! *sigh*

If you would like to connect with Bill or Tracy you can find them on Facebook at Tracy Brooks and Bill Kaiser, and on Twitter @mrsksomeday and @kaiserb.

Thanks for listening! ~ Kathy

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