Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Keeping the Magical Kingdom Magical even with ADHD

At Downtown Disney
We recently took a 3 day vacation to Anaheim. School was out for my kids and my Husband (or at least one more week left for him for his current classes) and we decided to join some family who decided to visit Disneyland as well. 

But taking a road trip with ADHD family members is not too easy a task. We made sure to have a good set of supplies, like drinks and snacks for the trip, but also we made sure to schedule our gas stops along with our bathroom breaks. We also decided to leave at 4:00am to have less heat and traffic, and that worked out well for us.

We got there mid day, and even though we wanted to go to both parks (California Adventure and Disneyland) we knew we could do it in one day. We went to Anaheim about 2 years ago and learned this very quickly. My ADHDers need specific rides to have fun, so we skipped what they didn't like. So this time around we took the remainder of our driving day walking around Downtown Disney and then heading back to the hotel pool.

Just floating around

We bought our park-hoppers that night and were ready to roll first thing the next morning. We also needed to make sure we would be comfortable at the park, so comfy shoes were a must.

My Princess wearing her Nike Free Run shoes

My daughter is 8 and my son is 6, so they didn't always agree on what rides they wanted to get on. When this happens, Divide and Conquer! Hubby went to one ride with one kid, while I went with the other kid to their choice of ride. Togetherness is not always the best way to go in an amusement park. We were in such a hurry to get in line that one time we forgot to hand off belongings, and my boy got chilly and had to use my sweatshirt. Did I mention it is always good to carry some layers? I learned this living in the Bay Area.

In line and wearing Mom's sweatshirt.
While in line, we were also prepared. We brought our iTouches...but that lasted only so long. We also took non-stop pictures, which my kids love (camera hogs).

When all else failed, some good old fashioned conversation did the trick. Making them talk about what ride they had liked best so far, or what ride they would try again, or even what they thought they wanted to have for lunch.

Speaking of lunch, we also took time-out to go eat when the kids started to get restless. There is nothing worse than a kid forced to eat when they would rather be in line to a ride, so we let them tell us when they were hungry.

Argh Matey!!

And back to the rides. And since parents get bored waiting in line too, I entertained myself braiding hair while my husband would play games on his iPhone.

The last trick up my sleeve?? Ignoring once in a while the ride attendant's instructions to keep off the rails. My feet were aching after waiting in line for so many rides, and after walking around not one but two parks, so heck yeah I'm gonna lean or sit on the rails, and so I let my kids do so once in a while too. We were frequent offenders, so sorry Lady in the weird skipper outfit at the Ariel ride...or whatever the ride's name was.

So, was walking around all day, and waiting in line half the time, was it worth it??? Some say no, but we say HECK YEAH!! Where else could you scream so much, and laugh so much at the same time? 

And even though my kids are a bit older now, they still get a kick out of spotting Mickey walking around the park.

Around dinner time, Hubby and I needed a few Margaritas, and since Disneyland is alcohol free we strolled ourselves over to Downtown Disney once more to wait for our last Fast-Pass time of the day. But once the kids took a few bites of their dinner, our plans had to change.

Job well done MAGICAL KINGDOM! Job well done!

Are the long lines at Disneyland worth it for you?

Rossana G-A

FTC Disclaimer: I am not compensated to write this post.

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