California Girl Takes Utah Girl to Disneyland

I’m a California Girl and California Girls don’t go to Disneyland on weekends or holidays. We go to Disneyland on overcast, slight chance of rain days, in the middle of the week.

My family moved from Southern California when I was 11 years old. I am not sure that I ever really became a Utah Girl, but that’s not really the point. Once in Utah, I was struck by my peers’ conversations about Disneyland. “How many times have you been?” They were one-upping each other on the bus. “Four times” or “five times” produced dropped jaws. I kept quiet. I shook my head. Oh, those poor theme-parkless kids. They’d never believe me, even if I could add up all of those trips and produce a number for them.

Now, I have Utah Girls of my own. And I get it. Disneyland is no longer a mid-week, skip school, stay for fireworks and drive home exhausted kind of thing. It is an event. It is a… dare I say it? A long weekend kind of event, now that we live in Utah. My cute girls have no idea of the personal rules I break for them. Taking on Disneyland on a weekend? Sheesh!

Nevertheless, we do these things as parents… we do them for our children.

But… I still have an unfair advantage over the rest of you who are investing hundreds of dollars on a weekend, where your kids had better have fun, they’d better like it, and they’d better behave because it costs a small fortune just to walk through the metal detectors and finally cross the threshold to the Happiest Place on Earth.

Happiest Expensive Place on Earth

Happiest Expensive Place on Earth

Yes, it’s true. I have an unfair Disneyland advantage… I have a child in a wheelchair.


Now, if you can’t hack this conversation, click away. I’m just telling it like it is. 😉

It used to be that a wheelchair, in Disneyland, was akin to a free ticket. Not “free” free, but pretty close to it. This fancy wheelchair used to allow us to walk right up the exits of rides, wait a car or two and then ride away in complete bliss. Especially blissful when you realize how many other folks were left juggling tired children, backpacks, strollers, and $6 sodas for hours on end, often for one short spin on Dumbo.

Well, things have changed a bit at Disneyland. Each time they update a ride, they also manage to bring it up to code. California Adventure, for example is so stinking accessible, we get to wait in their wheelchair-width mazes just like everyone else. Don’t waste your time trying to get an accessibility pass in California Adventure, go to Disneyland for it.

When Lucy and I went to Disneyland, we went with our friends Emily and Millie. You might recognize Millie as the little cherub on the cover of Baby Signing Time.

I was already in California. Emily, Millie and Lucy flew in together and met me there. Lucy and Millie held hands throughout the entire flight!

Holding Hands on The Plane

Holding Hands on The Plane

They arrived and we immediately went to the poolside restaurant.

California Girls

California Girls

Lucy ordered jumbo shrimp cocktail, her favorite.

Who You Calling Shrimp?

Who You Calling Shrimp?

I was performing the following day, so they came along to watch.

Orange shoes? Check! Colored Fingers? Check!

Orange shoes? Check! Colored Fingers? Check!

Emily spotted Scott Baio, she said that she had always wished he could baby sit her… (“Charles in Charge” reference folks) Lucy, in the background, was unimpressed.

Emily and Scott

Emily and Scott

The booth located right behind our Signing Time spot was a company called Cade Christian. Here’s the funny thing. Each year that I have presented at the Baby Celebration Los Angeles, I have drawn a good sized crowd of Signing Time Families. This crowd (Yeah, you guys) stays after and creates a substantial line for over an hour, waiting to take a photo, get an autograph and buy products. And each year some of the neighboring vendors have complained about the big, long line of parents and children standing beside their booths. (I’m not kidding.)

So, this year. I gave the Cade Christian folks a heads-up of what was to come and they said, “Oh we heard about that, so we requested to be right near your booth. They thanked me for bringing so many families to the event. And then they hooked the little girlies up with hats and sent one for Leah as well. Then Em and I bought some for ourselves.

Hat to Hat

Hat to Hat

Next stop, In-N-Out, on our way to Anaheim.



We arrived at Disneyland and checked in at City Hall to get our “perma-handi-fastpass” <---- not what it's really called, just what it does. Now, if you have just a regular kid in a wheelchair, maybe a broken bone or something, you don’t get much priority. If you have a child in a wheelchair who might have a difficult time waiting in long lines you get a little upgrade. They gave us the Super-Duper-Upgrade <---- not what it's called, just what it does- when they realized that Emily and I not only had Lucy and her wheels, but that little Millie is deaf. And we were off! We let Lucy lead the way. It was one of the few times I felt uninvested. If she wanted to ride "Dumbo" 35 times in the next 48 hours, so be it. This was about her. And by the way I stopped counting after we rode "Dumbo" 8 times. [caption id="attachment_1872" align="alignnone" width="640" caption="Dumbo at Night"]Dumbo at Night[/caption]

So Much Fun She Can't Even Open Her Eyes

So Much Fun She Can't Even Open Her Eyes

Can We Ride This One Again?

Can We Ride This One Again?

So, here are some things I didn’t know before this Disney trip.

“It’s A Small World” has been updated, and I don’t just mean the inside. The boats are all new and they have a special, wheelchair ready boat! Lucy was the queen of the world. I also stopped counting once we had ridden “Small World” 8 times.

A Small Accessible World

A Small Accessible World

After All!

After All!

If you have a child with special needs and you need a place to handle toileting, go to the First Aid Station (behind the hand-dipped corndog cart and past the Carnation Baby Care Center) They have cots, where you can lie your child down to change them in a private room with a sink and a toilet. They also have cold drinking water for free. They are cold water pushers. You almost can’t escape without cold water coming with you. This was Mecca! You have no idea how much time I spend scouting inconspicuous locations to do a quick-change for my 9 year old.

In the very accessible California Adventure, the newest ride “Toy Story Midway Mania” has wide lanes, so we got to wait with everyone else, BUT they have one car that will accommodate a wheelchair. We didn’t use it the first time, because they asked if we could transfer. I said, “Yes,” because we can transfer, but seriously that was the worst experience ever! The cars make hard lefts and hard rights with no warning. You are supposed to be shooting, but it doesn’t go so well when you are hanging on to your child who cannot sit independently. It was physically exhausting and our score was terrible! 😉 When we unloaded I let the guys running the thing know that “Can you transfer?” was not an adequate pre-requisite. I suggested they ask, “Can your child sit unassisted?” I am sure they were enthralled to hear my quick explanation of trunk control and head control and how Lucy may have just sustained whiplash and how I may have thrown out my back trying to keep her from getting her bell rung on the side of the car.

But… then they offered their fancy-schmancy-wheelchair ready car and that was a blast! Lucy sat in her wheelchair in the car and they strapped her wheels down. To make up for the first ride, they let us go two more times without waiting. But I think that was because it was easier to just let us keep riding than to maneuver that fancy-schmancy thing on and off the track. Lucy could shoot her own gun by bopping a button on top or yanking on a cord. I totally crushed her score though.

In Her Very Own Wheelchair

In Her Very Own Wheelchair

The parades were great. Lucy is not of fan of anything in costume, especially bigger than life costumes. She even hates Hopkins at our Signing Time shows… Hopkins!
Talking Cars are Non-threatening

Talking Cars are Non-threatening

Don't Stand, Don't Stand So

Don't Stand, Don't Stand So

Sully is Just Too Big

Sully is Just Too Big

And of course we got to relive memories of the infamous submarine experience in Mexico, but this time with the promise of Nemo below. And this time I wasn’t worried.

Don't worry. I've got this!

Don't worry. I've got this!

There Are Clown Fish in The Water

There Are Clown Fish in The Water

For those who cannot maneuver through the tight spiral staircase, there is another option. There’s a room that shows a movie of what you see under water. We tried both and we all agreed that being in the sub was much more fun.

Lucy really wanted to see Ariel, so we stopped by the restaurant Ariel’s Grotto on the first day. We asked about reservations for dinner the following day and were told by the hostess that reservations were not necessary. But, when we arrived for dinner the following day, all of the seatings were filled! Lucy was bummed. I explained what we were told the day before and today’s hostess said, “Reservations are not necessary, but they are recommended.” If your kiddo is an Ariel fan, don’t make this same mistake. Make a reservation.

The moral of the story is 1 in 1000 kids are born with spina bifida- if you are lucky enough to get one, then you are also lucky enough to park in the front row at Costco, even during the holidays. You also get to ride Dumbo and Small World countless times without waiting!

If ever you get stuck going to Disneyland on a busy holiday weekend, Lucy and I are available for rent.

This entry was posted in Crazy Little Thing Called Life, Strong Enough and tagged , , , , , , , by Rachel Coleman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Rachel Coleman

The opinions and late night musings published on this blog are Rachel de Azevedo Coleman's alone, and are not ever intended to represent the opinions and sentiments of any organization or product that Rachel is, was, or will be associated with. Rachel Coleman is the creator and Emmy-nominated host of Signing Time!, the children's American Sign Language vocabulary building series. She is also the creator and host of Baby Signing Time, Rachel & the TreeSchoolers, and Rachel & Me. Rachel now serves as the Executive Director of the American Society for Deaf Children, a 501c3 nonprofit established in 1967 by parents of deaf children. ASDC is the American Sign Language organization for families who are raising deaf children. Motivated by her child, Leah's deafness, Rachel has spent the last 18 years creating ASL products to help bridge the communication barrier between hearing and signing communities. In 2006 Rachel founded the Signing Time Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to putting communication in the hands of all children of all abilities. In 2014, the Signing Time Foundation launched a 50-Lesson online ASL curriculum called "Sign It: ASL Made Easy" that is available free-of-charge to families with deaf or hard of hearing children ages 36 months and under. Apply at For those who do not qualify to receive Sign It ASL for free, they can find it for purchase at very reasonable rates on Rachel and her husband, Aaron, live in Salt Lake City Utah. They are parents to Leah who was born profoundly deaf, and is now a senior in college at NTID/RIT in Rochester, NY. They are also parents to Lucy who has spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and recently graduated high school. In 2010 the Colemans were joyfully reunited with Rachel's daughter Laura. Rachel is proud to be Laura's birth mom. Laura was placed for adoption as an infant in 1992 when Rachel was 17 years-old.

52 thoughts on “California Girl Takes Utah Girl to Disneyland

  1. I think you are amazing and you continue to inspire me. Thank you for reminding all of us that where there is a will, there is a way.

  2. Oh. My. Heck….. A no-tissue needed post!!!!! I was smiling from ear to ear as I read this, seeing the smile on your faces, and just feeling Lucy’s joy! What fun!

  3. As a Utah turned SoCal family with multiple special needs. WE LOVE DISNEY! They are always fabulous when we bring the crew. I have nothing but praise for the entire place. When the big kids go without the little ones, they always come home saying, “we should have brought Dalin or Ty so we could move through the lines faster.”

  4. Rachael,
    As a fellow parent to a special needs child, I understand the comments you are making regarding handicapped parking and special access to rides and such. We live an already extremely difficult life dealing with all of the issues that come with a special needs child. Everything we do, everywhere we go with our child is an event. It’s not a simple jump in the car and go. Without sounding too arrogant, we are entitled to our parking spots and special access. We need them just to get out of the car or just to get to where we are going.

    I never feel bad for using them and I am unbelievably proud of my little man.

  5. Rachel and Lucy,

    You both continue to inspire me! This was, like all the others, a wonderful post.
    My 4.5month old daughter Adelaide was just diagnosed with hemihypertrophy. This is a 1 in 86000 kids disease. I’m not sure what it will mean to us in the future as far as places with a lot of walking. But what I do know is that this post made me think about the possibilities and know that MY family can face them too! Thanks for showing us a glimpse into your life.

  6. What A great Mom and Inspiration you are Rachel! We went to Disneyland in June and so wish we had known about the handi-pass! Will know for next time tho! It was a chore with my special needs guy – Thanks for all the little tips – the toileting was tricky – and so glad to know there is a better way!We still had a blast – but always wish there were easier ways!!

  7. Well, ya know Rachel, there IS a Half Marathon at Disney on Labor Day weekend. Doesn’t that sound just PERFECT for you? I bet Lucy would want to come join us!

  8. HAHAHAHA!!! That was the best post! I am a native Californian, transplanted to NC, so everyone here goes to Disneyworld, but same thing. It is so great the changes that have been made to accomodate people with SN. It looks like you all had a great time! Makes me kinda jealous and homesick- especially the In ‘n Out part!!! =)

  9. Hooray for you guys!! Sounds like you had a blast! The pictures are awesome!!

    We lived in California while my dad went to law school (when I was little), so I, too, have been to Disneyland countless times. We would always go at random times during the week or when it was a “gray day”. Loved it. I can totally relate.

    I’m so glad for Lucy that she had such an uninhibited trip! And hopefully, the ride operator will use your line of questioning in the future to keep everyone safe (you should write a letter to Disney and see if you can get that wording/questioning as policy… in your FREE time, that is!!!).

  10. Hey-we should take Cole and Lucy together! We would get double the treatment and he loves beautiful girls! 😉

    I too will offer up our services if anyone wants to rent me and Cole! LOL

  11. We had the same wonderful experience at Disney World. I felt a little guilty, because our troubles with waiting in line, low heat tolerance, etc. were the same that any parent of a 3-year-old would face. But, I quickly got over it, and settled for gratitude that there really was a Magic Kingdom that worked to make things easier for us.

    Do be careful of Sea World, however. The accessible seating is in Shamu’s splash zone, at least in Florida.

  12. Hooray for Lucy and Millie and you and Emily at Disneyland! Glad to know it is still the Magic Kingdom, and getting more accessible through the decades. Rachel, your writing is simply amazing, I feel like I’ve been there with you! You make your escapades come alive! I love all the photos, thanks for including them so we feel included in your trip! Hope the convention is a success for ST! Love to you all, especially that little granddaughter, Lucy! Love, Mom

  13. Rachel, You were in my neighborhood! I take my 20 month old daughter, Layla, to Disneyland a lot. I too can not imagine going on a weekend or a holiday. We are lucky enough to be able to go for just a few hours a couple of times a month. I wish I could have seen you at Disneyland. My daughter would have enjoyed it! She loves you more than she loves me. I made the mistake and asked her that once and she said “Yeah!”. (One of the few words she does speak, she signs a lot, thanks to you.)
    We hope to see you at a show sometime soon.
    Melissa and Layla

  14. Oh, how fun!!

    We live close to three theme parks here in Australia, and just the other day got a special pass that allows you to go to all three as many times as you like for a year! So you are a great one to ask- will they get bored of theme parks because they’re being so spoiled or will they still find the rides exciting after their 208th time?!

  15. Our family is in an uproar that you were at Disneyland the same time we were…. and we didn’t see you!
    I was struck by how Disney cares for all children. I noticed that Flik’s area in CA Adventure was shadier (and wetter!) than other areas in the park; and that the amusements targeting younger children were well air-conditioned.
    We had a wonderful time and we’re so glad that you and Lucy did, as well!
    The Chevalier Family

  16. Health pass are a must at Disneyland! We dont have a wheelchair bound kiddo but her muscle tone isnt so great (she really does wear out faster than normal 4 yr olds), has sensory issues (to sound of all things and well it was so LOUD at Disneyland; I’ve never dislike sound so much in my life!) and Cystic Fibrosis. So we get one that allows her stroller to be like a wheelchair.
    For any speical needs kiddos the health pass helps so much and just adds to the silver lining about having kids like we do.
    I did not know that those rides had a wheelchair boat or ride. I was with a friend with a health pass for Fib. and we went on space mountain- they let us ride it FOUR times cause then they didnt have to swtich the cars. Nice but 4 times on any ride in a row is too much!
    Glad you guys had fun! We really liked Ariel’s Grotto- well worth the money!

  17. If you and the family are ever out here in California again, please, please, please contact us for a free “thank you” family portrait session. You and your family have done wonders for our son and so many others through Signing Time and I am always inspired by your positive attitude and uplifting blogs. It’s the least we could do to show our appreciation!

  18. So cute…and educational. What were we thinking when we just arbitrarily “voted” for kids? Did we have any idea about Disneyland details and learning to love life?

    BTW isn’t the white Small World room amazingly creepy? I thought it was my subliminal marketing nightmare:)

  19. I recently found your blog and I appreciate and admire your strength (both physical and emotional). I have identical triplets – one (Anna) of the three was born with spina bifida. My girls are two years old and Anna is able to walk on her own although she lacks some muscle strength. One of our challenges is in treating her the same as her sisters although she has different needs.

    Thank you for your inspiring posts.

  20. Amy from the Ville: you are right! There is a way and it’s not always the way we expect.

    Elizabeth: I do my best. But believe me it is not always happy, smiley, Disney-love. We are also very normal.

    Kei: Ha! I thought about that.. finally no tissue!

    Sandi: What’s not to love? I think it is getting busier each year though, and I SWEAR there are more and more wheelchairs.

    Steve aka Dadgineer: True. We have a lot to juggle and I know I can use an extra wide space to juggle it in:) Don’t you think we should be able to ticket cars using our kid’s spots without tags? I think it’s brilliant!

    Suzanne: Wow, some odds. Technically, Lucy can “walk” as in taking steps, but it will never be her main mode of transportation, it just takes too much. It would take all of her energy. When people use the phrase “bound to a wheelchair” I giggle, SO dramatic! A wheelchair equals freedom. You want to see “bound?” Watch my child without the wheels.

    Patti: I’m always looking for tips. So I figured I’d share mine. We just got back from Yellowstone. I’ve got some tips about that coming up.

    Angela: It was a blast

    Cathy: Yeah, I heard that… a few times, from YOU! not gonna happen, but I love ya! (mwah)

    Kristen: You don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone. If we ever moved back, I’d have a Season Pass.

    JenML: I DO need something to fill up all this free time! Whatever will I do next?

    Leanna: If we took both kids, we’d be killing folks with cuteness. But, if you do plan a trip, give me a heads up.

    Diane: Oh, I never feel guilty about using these “privileges” – I don’t think other people feel guilty that their kids can walk and run- and I wouldn’t want them to feel guilty.

    Linda Jan: You’ve been there plenty of times, I know. Thanks for that.

    Melissa: Oops! Don’t ask that! 🙂 It’s easy to love someone who just smiles and is nice and doesn’t discipline.

    Jackile: I think it depends on the theme park. What do you have Wallaby World? 🙂 We’ve been missing you on chat, by the way.

    Patricia: How could you miss us? LOL I wasn’t wearing my Signing Time Orange, so I do look like every other mom pushing a wheelchair. It’s understandable.

    Kristen: Lucy has issues with sounds as well. If we are going somewhere too loud we bring her ipod and big headphones, so she can choose what she hears and what she doesn’t.

    Winnie: Thanks for the offer! i will let you know.

    Jessica: They updated Small World and now there are Disney characters incorporated in each area… makes me wonder which came first, when it comes to their animated films? Hmmm, we need a character in the Hawaii part of Small World, thus “Lilo and Stitch” came about? I don’t know.

    Sarah: WOW! That is amazing. You may not be able to treat her the same as her sisters. She will do things at her own pace and depending on the reality of her disability, there are things she may not be able to do at all. But love is the commonality. Just love:) And that is something you can give just the same. (Lucy and I just visited your blog, your girls are beautiful!)

    az: are you in cahoots with Cathy?

    Rania: We miss you! No chance you want to come interpret for Leah, who is starting Junior High!! (How is it possible?) Congrats on your new babe.

  21. I hope this doesn’t come out the wrong way, but I never thought I would be jealous of the parent of a special-needs kid until now! We’re going to Disneyland in a few weeks, and unless you two are available for rent, we won’t be getting any sort of special treatment. We will be avoiding weekends, though, so I guess that’s something.

    Seriously, your family is such an inspiration! We love Signing Time and my girls love to hear about the “real” Leah and Lucy 🙂

  22. I love reading your blog, i love the way you talk girl! Loved the pictures and Lucy makes every outing better! Love you guys, and, i love your frank talk! 😉

  23. Rachel, it was so wonderful to meet you and Lucy and Clara at Shamu stadium today! What a sweet and wonderful woman you are, and what gems are your daughter and niece. Thank you for spending time chatting with us and for the pictures. I wish I knew Mike better so I could wrangle a Shamu kiss for Lucy. I emailed his wife (who also works at SW) we’ll see what she says. When I was a trainer there, I loved showing off the animals, after all, it’s why we do the job. I wish I still worked in the zoological field so could introduce Lucy to some wonderful animals. But being a Mom to the kiddos is more important. You are an inspiration in all you do for your children (stadium stairs carrying 40lbs is quite the feat). Thank you for your labor of love! -Vera

  24. Rachel,

    Per your comment–oh my goodness no, I would never want anyone to feel guilty that their children didn’t have special needs! Guilt may not have been the right word choice. We have spent all of our daughter’s life finding ways to prevent her challenges from becoming handicaps. That was how we became a Signing Time family…Got speech delays…no problem, we’ll just find another way for her to communicate so we don’t have language delays on top of it. As an added bonus those “signs” are actually cleverly-disguised OT exercises that are helping her writing skills now. The best part of the series is that it let Erin learn at her own pace, which was WAY faster than mine.

    So, right or wrong, I had to process through feeling like a sell-out…”our daughter’s challenges will not be a handicap, unless, of course, it gets us fast-pass.” Disney was a great place for me to get over myself, because, yes, we could have done without, but what an amazing day we had with just that extra little bit of support. Accepting help and “privileges” is still probably my biggest challenge, but I’m working on it every day.

  25. Rachel, you are just absolutely amazing!! I wish that I could be half the woman and mom that you are! You have given me a standard to aspire to … “ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp … or what’s a heaven for?”

    Thanks for being you!!

  26. From one SoCal Girl to another… aahhh, the many memories of Disneyland. And, I too remember the strange facination of those from other parts of the country that ask how many times have I gone to Disneyland or do I ever see Movie Stars. Glad to see you had a great time. Keep up the good work!


  27. Hi just dropped by and happened to pass off this California Girl title hehe. Thought was something like you know. Girls Girls! haha. Well That’s one sweet family having fun like on a vacation or something. Google eats this title hehe. What’s up?

  28. Just read about your trip to Disney! My family went two years ago to Disney Florida for Make a Wish for my oldest son who has MEC P2 Rhetts syndrome. He also is in a wheelchair and the special treatment he got was so nice that it takes your mind off the everyday living that we have to go through. My husband and I also agree about finding somewhere to change diapers we had our two children in diapers and its never fun finding a private place for a 8 and 7 year olds to lay down and get cleaned up but the first aid building was the best.. Thanks for sharing your story I enjoyed reading about it.
    My son’s have enjoyed your video and my youngest learned a few words from you. Thank you so much for giving me a few months of comunication with him.. He has also been diagnosed with the MEC P2 Rhetts syndrome and has started to regress and is also now in a wheelchair like his big brother. so thank you so much for all you do..

  29. Pingback: Rachel Coleman » Blog Archive » Finding My Inspiration

  30. Wow, such an inspirational story of gratitude. Walt Disney sure has made his dream come true. You’re story is a testiment that there is still grateful people and exceptional parents out there in a world that needs these little reminders like your story tells. Thank you for your time and effort to share your story with us.

  31. I’m Floridian so, as you can imagine, Disneyworld is my second home. Reading your post about Disneyland almost parallels our experience at the World. My son uses a chair so get the “redcard”(that’s what we call it) but he also gets the “alternate entrance” stamp because of the Autism. The first time we ever got that card, I swore we would never do Disney without it. lol. We didn’t know about them until a friend told us and I tell every SN parent I know. We had a similar experience with Toy Story Mania. They really should put a warning stating “Don’t transfer unless you have awesome upper body and head control.” My son is able to walk and sit unassisted for a little bit so we, first, rode without the wheelchair. That was a horrible mistake. My son’s neck and upper body are really weak so he was flung all over that thing. I spent the entire ride with my arms wrapped around so he wouldn’t fall apart! Every since, he rides in his chair at any ride it’s allowed.
    Sadly, the Haunted Mansion, here, can definitely use some mobility upgrades. We have to leave his Wheelchair outside and carry him through the building and out.

    One thing I do hope DL is better at is the knowledge of the employees. We’ve encountered alot of negative moments with CMs at the parks from swearing our stroller style wheelchair was not a wheelchair (Otto Bock Kimba MPS) to one even accusing us of using passes from Sea World when we had just left GS from getting them *eye roll* We’ve never been to DL but I can’t wait to get out there!

  32. Thank you for writing this. I am planning on taking my sons to Disney World this coming summer, and was unsure how it would go for my youngest (Spina Bifida – L1 lesion). Will definitely make sure that we don’t use the transfer when an accessible car exists. I’m almost afraid to take him on rides because I worry the bumping may injure him….

    • Amy, follow your instincts. Lucy has no fear and would love to go on every ride. She has trunk control issues and many of the rides jerk and have tight turns. When we have been on those rides, it is physically exhausting for me to try holding on to her an minimizing the impact on her little body. Thankfully she also loves the smooth rides like “It’s A Small World” and “Dumbo”. We say “no” to roller coasters especially when they are labelled with warnings that seem to apply to her.

  33. Thank you so much for sharing. I have been looking every where for tips on traveling to Disneyland in a wheelchair but have only come up with info on people who can transfer. Looks like we’re going to Disney soon!

  34. Pingback: Disney with Special Needs ChildrenTrekaroo

  35. Hi Rachel,
    I’m not sure if you’re still going to see this, since your post is pretty old. I just wanted you to know that someone is using the picture of you and your daughter in front of the teacups to run a scam through This person is posing as a deaf mother who recently lost her husband and young child. She is moving to my area with her daughter “Kim” soon. I’m not really sure what all there is to do, but I figured you might want to know.

    • Yes i am aware of it. There is nothing I can do. They took my photo and they make up a story and you should never cash checks for people you don’t know. I highly recommend you alert they may have the contact information.

  36. I recently applied to be a babysitter with Shortly after I got an email from a Rachel S****. After a few emails, She sent a picture with a what was supposed to be her and her daughter “Kim”. After doing an image search it led me to this blog. and what looks to be you and your daughter Lucy. Please email me back so we can sort this out and possibly get the other individual caught if they are using your story to turn a profit….

  37. Hi I haven’t read every comment so I’m sorry if this is a redundant question.. my daughter is 4 with cp. She too has very poor trunk and neck control. She is in a wheel chair aswell. I am wondering if I should take her to disnell and sooner than later for the rides we will need to hold her on. Any thoughts?

  38. Hi I haven’t read every comment so I’m sorry if this is a redundant question.. my daughter is 4 with cp. She too has very poor trunk and neck control. She is in a wheel chair aswell. I am wondering if I should take her to disneyland sooner than later for the rides we will need to hold her on. Any thoughts?

  39. I’m so happy to have found this. I live in California and am a mom to five. My oldest is 9 and uses an electric wheelchair. I have not been brave enough to take on Disneyland with her because I feared that it wouldn’t offer a good time for her being disabled. Maybe I’ll have to plan a special birthday trip for her when she turns 10! We went to Gilroy Gardens family theme park last Summer and it went quite well with her in her manual wheelchair.

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