Simply got tired of not being able to find the answers to help my special needs son have fun at Theme parks!
The more I researched, the more I realized there was a need for someone to help people like me wade through the rules and regulations as well as tips and tricks to help our kids have fun at the parks. That was 15 plus long years ago. A lot has changed since then. In fact, my special needs child is no longer a child and will be graduating high school in less than 20 days! ( a feat the doctors said would never happen!)
My ultimate goal is for every special needs child or adult to be able to travel to any theme park and have as much fun as any other child. So, click on the button below to get a free copy of a few of my tips and tricks for Universal with Special Needs.
I just realized that in eight short weeks we will be in Universal! I have not started packing, barely started planning, and am so busy I don't have time to worry about it!
While it is great to be having enough business that I can say that (after the past two years the travel industry as had!) I feel bad!
I'm not completely unprepared, I mean my Universal box and luggage is where I can get it. The lanyards with our annual passes are where they are supposed to be (although until they are marked off my list I will still panic about it!) All our dining reservations are made, and a semi touring plan has been made. I've checked the hours for the week we will be there and the whole week has early hours for both parks.
And I am sending myself the complete set of emails for both first timers and old timers to Universal, so my travel agent (ahem ... me!) is keeping me on top of changes that are rapidly happening in Universal, but I just feel like I should be doing more.
Prior to the Nasty C word, travel was easier. Most things stayed consistent, you knew where you wanted to go and when you wanted to go; you had a budget and you had friends who’d been there before , or you could look it up on the internet and read the reviews, right?
And, about half the time you’d ]get the vacation you wanted. Or- you could go to a Travel Professional and REALLY get the trip you wanted.
With all the crazy 'stuff' happening in the world today, I thought we should revisit this topic!
Do I recommend Travel Insurance?
Another year has come and gone. Every year people make tons of resolutions.
Exercise more. Eat better. Be a better (fill in the blank). Spend more time with my family. And on and on.
Everyone gets busy and things you meant to do get lost in the endless ‘work’, and suddenly you forget that trip you had meant to plan with your family until it was too late to get what you really wanted or you end up spending way more money than your budget liked. I can relate!
This year, how about you make some resolutions that are more fun. Ones that you can easily keep for a longer period of time. And, maybe include some of those other resolutions that often get pushed to the background.
That’s right. It is as simple as TRAVEL. Want to spend more time with your family? Travel with them. Want to Exercise more? Travel to a beautiful location that will scream “get out and enjoy!” Want to save money? Book your travel EARLY! Want to be pampered? Cruise! Want to catch up on some reading? Travel to a nice beach resort.
Yes, it really IS that easy, and I’m here to help. I plan amazingly stress free family vacations for busy families who want a magical getaway before the kids are too old to enjoy it!
Yes, I do Disney and Universal, but I do so much more! Are you looking to cruise? How about a Caribbean All Inclusive? Yes, I can do that and so much more!
Ready to get started?
Give me a call at 770-207-0135 or email at Jeanne@JMorrisTravel.com.
So, you are planning a great vacation. Your Travel Professional has made all your reservations and arrangements, given you the perfectly customized itinerary and, you are ready to go!
You’ve decided to drive to your destination and the resort address is plugged into your GPS. Congratulations! But, not so fast. If you have kids there are a few more things to consider.
Special Needs and DIsney
Part 2 GAC/DAS
On our last installment we talked a bit about how Disney helps with "runners". Today we are going to touch on a few points about the old GAC/new DAS card.
On our first trip after the accident we found out about the GAC. Unfortunately, it was our very last day of the trip. It was a Game Changer!
It has been through a lot of changes over the years, including a name change. It remains a wonderful way for Special Needs families to tour Disney. Back when we first started using it the Guest Assistance Card was an actual paper card that allowed our family to go to the Fast Pass entrance and ride. Since one of Mr. D’s problems was the inability to understand personal space as well as waiting in lines, this was perfect for us. We only used it for things that had a longer than 15-minute wait time. Fifteen minutes was pushing Mr. D to the limit of his ability to wait. After that, he would start a meltdown. Even if he was semi quiet, it was not pretty for us or anyone around him. The GAC was a preprinted card, where they wrote the child's name on it, the dates and how many in his party. Then, they had a series of stamps they would put on it.
We purchased a special lanyard for Mr. D to keep his GAC around his neck. He liked being in charge of showing it to the Cast Member. Of course, this was one of the problems with this system that allowed so much abuse. It was very obvious to others that we were getting preferential treatment. It didn’t take long for people to figure out how to ‘use’ the system, and those bad apples spoiled the process. There were even people that were making money from it! (I cannot tell you how much that sickened me!)
This picture was taken about a week before his accident. You can see the mischief in his eyes. It is the picture we put on the window of his ICU room so people could see him the way we remembered him, not the way they saw him with tubes and wires and feeding in him.
At this point, he had been to Disney once, about a year prior. He remembers nothing about that trip, and all I can remember is we will NEVER stay offsite again!
Yet, less than a year after this picture, we were off to Disney again! This time, staying at Shades of Green. The one thing that stands out about this trip was the meltdowns. One in particular, really stands out.
It takes a lot of work to get ready for a family trip, even if you have a travel agent doing the planning and booking for you. Choosing the right places and activities, all while trying to maintain some semblance of your normal routine, especially if you have younger kids — can be a real challenge.
In the hectic pace of everything, it can be easy to forget the bigger reasons families choose to travel with their children: to enrich their lives, expand their emotional and cultural horizons, and help them become better global citizens.
So it’s great to encourage kids to be involved in the planning and to participate in family activities — but what are some ways that you can really get your child curious about your travel destinations without adding yet another list of to-dos to a parent’s already-long list?
Here are some ideas for sparking the love of travel in your child on your next vacation.
I know. Not the most exciting part of your trip, but quite possibly may be the most important thing to remember about your trip. Most people completely ignore this.
Even the most seasoned travelers sometimes feel confused about travel insurance — what’s out there, what it covers, whether or not they need it. While coverage and policies vary from state to state, of course, here are some basics of travel insurance to get you started:
1. There are five main types of travel insurance. What you might need depends largely on what kind of trip you’re taking, what kind of traveler you are, and how frequently you travel. The five main types are:
~trip cancellation and interruption (full or partial reimbursement for a trip you need to cancel prior to departure, a trip that gets cancelled because a tour company or resort goes out of business, or a trip that gets cut short for a wide variety of reasons)
~medical (for health issues that occur outside of your normal coverage area)
~evacuation (due to disaster, dangerous weather, political emergency, or medical emergency)
~baggage (reimbursement for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage)
~flight insurance (also called “crash coverage,” this is basically a life insurance policy that covers you while you’re on the plane, in the event of a statistically-rare crash)
Most of the content is written by people at JMorris Travel. Every once in a while we will have a guest blogger, usually it is part of our 'family'.Always with a nod to Family Travel!