Living with Cerebral Palsy 🍋🍋

Monday, 13 April 2015

A Whole New World-Our Disneyland Adventure Part Three

If you got through last instalment's rather long post- thank you! Post-holiday blues are most definitely kicking in for us now and Elin and I are having to listen to Disney's Greatest Hits to try and fill the empty gap in our souls that Disneyland fever used to inhabit (dramatic? moi?). We're still a bit prone to getting a bit teary (ok, that's just me not Elin. She is demonstrating her disappointment at being back in the UK by refusing to sit in her chair again, as if last week was a collective dream we all had!) but that's why you take 600 photo's on holiday, right? Looking at them and choosing which one's to share with you lovely readers is helping to lift my spirits :-)
Night time and Fireworks
Everyone bangs on about the Fireworks at Disney don't they? Well, now we understand why. To say they are amazing is a disservice, they are so much more than that. In fact 'Fireworks' isn't even an entirely accurate description . 'Fireworks' are what I watch at Gresford Colliery Club on Bonfire Night. This was a show of epic proportion, of which Fireworks were quite a small part actually. There was also water shooting up some 40 ft in the air, fire blowing from the ground to the same height (in the disabled viewing area you were so close you felt the heat on your skin), perfectly synchronised music, lasers shooting through the sky and projections onto the castle. Oh WOW those projections!!! The castle basically transformed into a giant 'screen' onto which images from several films musical numbers were projected (my faves were 'Be Our Guest' from Beauty and the Beast, 'I Can't Wait To Be King' from Lion King and 'A Friend Like Me' from Aladdin (with the heartbreaking sound of Robin William's voice as the Genie ringing out across the park) . No description can do this justice and it must have been a huge undertaking for the technicians at the park. No wonder it costs so much to get in, this show is repeated EVERY NIGHT of the year!! The castle transformed into a rainbow of colours and the Fireworks themselves were by a mile the best we'd ever seen (sorry Gresford). It really was a 'spectacle' in the truest sense of the word. This kind of thing is obviously heaven for Elin, though it was a little late for her- of course they have to wait for it to actually be dark!! Once again the service to disabled guests was super. We left it too late to leave the hotel and weren't prepared for the sheer amount of people- I'm talking crowds you couldn't even fight through. But we found a member of staff and he basically beat a path through the crowds for us to the disabled viewing area right at the front of the castle. Similarly, a lovely man in the area gave up his seat on a bench for me and Elin, though I refused at first, as soon as he saw me sitting on a blanket he literally insisted. That is actually a good summary of the atmosphere whilst we were there- everybody just wanted to help us and seemed so friendly. Very touching indeed. It's hard to pick my favourite pictures from this aptly named 'Disney Dreams' show but I'll give it a go:

On the one below you can just make out The Hunchback Of Notre Dame at the bottom of the castle-he started at the top on the highest turret and 'climbed' down- amazing projection work! Also not captured were the 'narrators' of the 'Disney Dreams' Firework show, Peter Pan and Wendy who appeared through smoke as giant holograms!!!! It was unreal.

Also, the park by night in general was a whole new world of experience. It looked stunning and again for somebody reliant on their senses like Elin was an absolute feast of stimulation. It took your breath away! We only made the Fireworks as a family once, with it being so late we found Elin was too exhausted by the time it was on. So one night I stayed with her in the hotel room and the next night Paul stayed with her and we both went back into the park at night respectively with Caitlin. This was great fun, not only because we got to see the fireworks again but because, with out the restriction of Elin's chair we got to race around and take advantage of the much shorter queue's for the rides before the Park closed at 10:00pm. Indiana Jones was my favourite and so was the 'Adventure Land' in was situated in, less Princesses and more Pirates!! There was so much to look at, everywhere you turned there was something new. The 'Pirates of the Carribean' ride was pretty awesome here too although sadly no appearance of Johnny Depp :-(

The view from our hotel room window by night :-)

Other things to do
As I have already mentioned, another thing I liked about the Parks was there was always something to look at or listen to. Even if you didn't step on a single ride the whole time you were there, was plenty to see and everything was very authentic, from a huge Pirates Galleon in Adventure Land to a replica French square by the Ratatouille ride. Elin  whiled away a good amount of time over the week in various locations with either myself or Paul as Caitlin took advantage of the wilder rides and she loved it! So many people to listen to, and things to nose at! We all know Elin loves a good nosey...

You didn't think we'd forgotten Sophie did you? Paris is her home town, after all!

Hey yooouuuu guuuyyyys!!! Soon after this photo was taken, Elin did the truffle shuffle :-)

Elin loved listening to the water gushing from the giant scary Goonies-style skeleton head!

It was whilst we were chilling out around the Park that we got chatting to other families, which was useful for various tips (such as, DON'T queue to see a Princess in the Princess Pavillion! It takes hours and you don't know which one you're queuing to see!) For those of you wondering where all the photo's are of Elin with a Princess- I took Kate from Basingstoke's advice and didn't bother. Even though we would have got in quicker, it was VERY hot that day and Elin wasn't for sitting. What really put e off was you didn't know who you were meeting. Elin and I decided if we had humbugged ourselves and been faced with that old sap Snow White we would NOT have been happy. Elin was much more impressed with Mickey and Buzz anyway, since she was the only Princess at Disney in her eyes haha. whilst I'm on the subject of other families, we saw many people with kids like Elin but one family stick out in particular. A boy called Arlon, who must have been nine or ten. He had two younger brothers. He had a tracheotomy and every time I saw his Mum (we kept bumping into them!) she was whipping a tube out ready to suction him. She explained they had driven to Paris all the way from the UK because they could not trust public transport with all his equipment since he was also ventilated via special machine at night. I was gobsmacked. There was me stressing about Elin, and here was this family carrying constant suction and basically putting him on life support every night to ensure he could breathe until the next morning. Their bravery absolutely astounded me and I will never, ever forget them. I'm sure they would not wish to be portrayed as victims anymore than we would, and I don't mean to suggest that they were- it was just a stark realisation for me that there is always, always, somebody out there dealing with far more than you could comprehend, no matter how hard you think you've got it. God bless you Arlon, I hope you had a great week and got home safe and well with your amazing family, wherever you are.

Taking in the scenery (big thunder mountain)

Yet another activity- The Disneyland Express steam train which travels around the whole of the Park on a raised track so the views are amazing. The station we got on at had the most beautiful blossom tree's, the smell was gorgeous and the breeze was blowing them onto Elins buggy. She loved it! So did we.

Finally, for this instalment (and if you got this far hearty congrats, you are a die-hard Elin fan) I must mention the Spring Parade at lunch time. It was so bright, colourful and cheery that its hard to imagine how you couldn't be taken in by the sheer infectious good feeling of it all! Another big tick to Disney for this one ;-)

Until the next (and final) instalment blog revoir!

To be continued........................


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