I have a super-fun special feature for you this week. We’re going behind the scenes at Cinderella Castle’s Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique with a recent graduate of the Disney College Program! As a Fairy Godmother-in-Training, Ellie had plenty of experience making magic for kids with special needs and she’ll be sharing some of her favorite memories of working at the Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
Ellie is studying special education and speech, so she has a keen interest in families with special needs children. She writes a blog about her Disney College Program experience called Ellie Earns her Ears; recently she posted Be Prepared – Advice for Princesses with Special Needs. Here is a small sample of her advice:
- When you meet your fairy godmother
- Let her know about your child’s needs. You don’t need to give your child’s diagnoses, but letting her know that she is sensitive to sound, touch or smell is important. If your child feels more comfortable with her glasses on, address that (I wear glasses, so I know how important that is to me, but for fairy godmothers who don’t wear glasses, they may not be as quick to realize this), if your child wears hearing aids or has a cochlear implant, ask that the fairy godmother leaves them on for as much as the process as possible. If you know your child will have a hard time sitting, let her know, and she can try to get a buddy to make things easier for your child. Whatever your child’s needs are, let your fairy godmother know.
- If your child is a cancer survivor, or has dealt with severe medical issues, your fairy godmother may be able to create some extra magic. Understandably, some families would rather not talk about these difficulties while on vacation. However, I can say that when families told me their personal struggles, I was able to create some personalized magic for those children that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, so it is worth mentioning if you feel comfortable.
- If your child has allergies, ask to read the bottles of hair product. I’ve seen some parents be concerned about the detangler because it smells fruity, so it is worth reading if your child could have a reaction.
Tip of the Week:
This week’s tip is about a new MagicBand accessory available for purchase at the Walt Disney World Resort. Thanks to listener IRENE RODRIGEZ for sharing a blog posted this past week on magicbandcollectors.com. This is a specialty fan website for collectors of graphic and rare Disney MagicBands, hosted by ETHAN ALLEN.
A new MagicBand accessory was released on June 26th called a MagicBand Keeper. These are stuffed accessories that come in the form of either a Mickey hand or a Minnie bow. Perhaps you’ve seen the big white Mickey glove that Disney Cast Members sometimes wave with? The glove looks like that and the Minnie bow looks like a stuffed red bow with white polka dots – cute
Your MagicBand connects around Mickey hand on the Keeper, like it would on someone’s wrist. On the bow, it wraps around the center portion. There is a plastic retracting spring and a plastic hook that connects the Keeper to your stroller, backpack or wheelchair. The Keeper makes it easier for a person to grab their MagicBand, touch the FP+ point, and let it snap back.
MagicBand Keepers are now available throughout the Walt Disney World Resort for $14.95: and although some feel this is way too pricey for an accessory, it is comparable to what the same-sized plush would cost in the parks.
I can definitely see this being used for a child or adult who has sensory issues and is adverse wearing the plastic MagicBand on the wrist, OR perhaps someone who lacks strength or coordination required to touch a wrist to a sensor point in just the right way for it to light up easily.
This may not be something that is of interest to everyone. For example, I can see a very young child not really caring whether Mom or Dad wears the MagicBand for him or carries it in a bag. But, it could simply be a fun way to keep the Band handy so parents don’t have to keep reaching in and out of a diaper bag or back pack all day.
And if you’re talking about a teen or an adult who may NOT want someone else to carry the MagicBand for him, this could be a helpful tool for maintaining that all-important sense of independence and self-reliance. Keep that in mind.
Thanks for the tip, Ethan!
And if you are into collecting Disney MagicBands, please check out magicbandcollectors.com.
Mousekeeping: If you would like to receive an email notification when Walt Disney World with Autism: A Special Needs Guide becomes available on Amazon.com, visit specialmouse.com/book.
Thanks for listening!