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Today’s feature is a magical one-day mini trip report from Wayne Cordova, father of a 4-yr-old Emmalee, who has multiple special needs: cerebral palsy, epilepsy, hypotonia (muscle weakness) and developmental delay. Wayne enthusiastically shares his trip-planning strategy and how he and his wife, Tina, structured their one-day visit to the Magic Kingdom so as to ensure a successful experience for their daughter. Emmalee was able to access her must-do experiences (meeting Mickey Mouse and Anna & Elsa and riding it’s a small world) with help of the DAS and the stroller-as-a-wheelchair tag.
Wayne believes that parents of children with multiple special needs have access to numerous planning resources that can help them ensure successful Walt Disney World trips for their families. He shares some of his resources here:
“Easy WDW was the first Crowd Calendar I looked at” – http://www.easywdw.com/category/calendar/01-january-2015-crowd-calendar/
“The first blog I read about the DAS card” – http://temporarytourist.com/wdw-disability-assistance-serviccard-das-walt-disney-world/
“I then turned to podcasts for some info… and found WDW Radio episode 384” – http://www.wdwradio.com/2014/11/show-384-10-things-need-know-traveling-walt-disney-world-special-needs/
“Which led me to your podcast!”
Special Mouse #045 – http://specialmouse.com/5-kids-2-das-cards-1-magical-walt-disney-world-vacation-045/
Special Mouse #050 – http://specialmouse.com/disney-das-card-survey-results-050/
(I’m thrilled that our podcast was able to help the Cordova family!) You can connect with Wayne and Tina here:
Tina’s Blog http://tinacordova.com/
Wayne’s Blog http://www.waynecordova.com/
Wayne’s Podcast http://www.geekpastor.com/
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Tip of the Week:
The DAS system is expected to go digital this week at the WDW resort and there will be a slight change in procedure. Our tip is to assist you during the transition period.
Here is how it will work:
1.) Visit Guest Relations in any park and request the DAS – The person in need of accommodation will need to have the entire party present.
2.) The Guest in need of the DAS accommodation will have a picture taken and his or her name will be entered into the system. (Up to now, the procedure is the same as before.) Now the information will also be placed on the guest’s MagicBand.
3.) To use the DAS, the Guest will go to an attraction and have their MagicBand read via the Cast Member’s scanner. The photo and information of the Guest needing the DAS will come up and the CM will verify that it matches the guest wearing the MagicBand.
The scanner will then provide a return time.
4.) Upon return to the attraction, the Guest who had the DAS assigned to them MUST scan his MagicBand first, followed by the rest of the party. If not done in that order, it won’t register.
The picture and name of the Guest needing the DAS will then be verified by the CM before the group will be allowed to enter the attraction.
Naturally, there may be a few bugs in the system during the first week or two, so today’s tip of the week to help you through the transition comes to us from two Special Mouse listeners. Maureen says,
“As a precaution so we don’t lose them, I’m going to take a screen shot of my FP+ times before I load any DAS return times into the MDE app. I know they are supposed to be in two different parts of the system, but they still have issues with FP+ messing up and I don’t want to take the risk.”
And this is echoed by Sue, who says,
“We’ve used the MDE for Fastpasses on 4 trips now and we always take screenshots.
You can go back to view them in the MDE app whenever you want, but sometimes the wifi in the parks is better than others.
So, rather than use up phone power trying to connect to wifi or use phone data time, we just do screenshots at the beginning of the day and each time we make a change.”
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MY sincere thanks to all of you who have pledged to support the publication of Walt Disney World with Autism: A Special Needs Guide and for tolerating the many, many messages about it that I’ve been sharing this month on social media. I promise that they will stop on May 7th when the campaign ends!
If you or someone you know will be traveling to WDW with a teenager or a child on the autism spectrum in the near future, pledging to the Kickstarter is a way for you to pre-order the book so that you have it on DAY ONE of its release.
There are lots of additional rewards for pledging and so I urge you to visit the page before the campaign ends on May 7th and thank you again for your friendship and your support!