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.
We were at Magic Kingdom. He became over stimulated. We decided to head back to the room for a nap and a swim. We made it to the middle of Main Street when it happened. I took him out of the stroller to try and calm him. We ended up sitting in the middle of the road. I was holding him in a basket hold, trying to keep his arms and legs contained. He was screaming loudly with the only distinguishable word – “NO!” while trying to get away. While it seemed to go on for hours, it really only lasted a few minutes. My husband had taken the stroller and our 4 year old daughter into a store to distract her.
After that incident, I wondered why no security was called. Why no one tried to stop a possible abduction. It was almost as if we were invisible.
I now know, while I thought we must have been invisible, we were actually under the watchful eye of Disney. We had cameras trained on us as well as several people around us watching; knowing how and when to act if and when they needed to.
Another visit to Disney several years later showed me just how amazing Disney responds. Mr. D had gotten upset and ran out from Hollywood and Vine. I was getting his plate and he totally disappeared. He was about 11 years old. I immediately went to the podium, I had hoped he had gone out to his Special Needs Stroller parked out front of the restaurant. That would be his normal MO. But, he wasn’t there so I explained to the CM manning the podium what had happened and gave her a description of what he looked like and showed her a picture from my phone. She took a shot of the picture I had and made a phone call. When she got off she told me not to worry, it was taken care of.
In those few seconds he was located. The picture she scanned was immediately transferred to the people manning the cameras and they found him. He was on camera and a CM was watching him from a distance.
He was hugging a tree just out of view. He appeared to be agitated, so they weren’t going to intervene unless necessary. A few minutes later, the CM called the podium to let her know he was walking back towards the restaurant. After he arrived back safe and sound, the plain clothes CM stopped to chat with me to make sure all was fine with Mr. D. I learned a lot that day about how the security at Disney worked. Not about the behind the scenes workings, but how the ACTUAL system worked to spot a lost child. How their end game was always to have the child and parent reunited. How they would not intervene unless the child was hurting themselves or others.
That experience let me know that Disney was prepared for ‘runners’. I learned (in case I had ever doubted it before) that Mr. D is safer at Disney than almost anywhere else!
Oh, and why was he hugging a tree? Well he had heard on TV that if you were lost to hug a tree!
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!