Buckle your seatbelts, kids, it’s going to be a bumpy ride!
Somehow, for us, taking The Boyz to an amusement park turns into an Act of Congress.
It began with the 2 1/2 hours it takes to just get breakfast in them and then clothes, socks and shoes, glasses, hats, & sunscreen on them. Followed by the holy ritual of “the packing of the cooler”. This trip required two coolers because one was coming in the park with us (and that required day ahead phone calls and special medical clearance) and one that would be used for lunch.
The decision was also made to take two cars. We carefully weighed the chances of one of the four (some with greater statistical probability than others) having some sort of medical or emotional crisis. Think I’m overreacting? You haven’t travelled with us. I knew it was costing us gas and I am glad that I did not factor in the extra $20 in parking because it would have clouded my judgement.
The Boyz and I earned tickets through Great Adventure’s Read to Succeed Program. Without this deal, entrance to the park would have cost us $296.33.
Entering the park was like running an obstacle course. First we had to stop at “Guest Services #1” to have our tickets verified due to the fact that I could not produce teacher I.D., then off to “Security” to get clearance for our cooler, then “Guest Services #2” to find out if the park had any policies allowing Guests with Disabilities to gain faster access to rides (they did), and then to the “Height Station” to get measured, wristbanded and find out their policies regarding lost children (you’re not going to ask why are you?)
After a brief meeting with these caped crusaders, any hassle was forgotten. We commenced the business of thrill seeking.
|Happy to say all six of us rode this together, proud to say I was able to peel my hands from the safety bars at the end.|
Everyone was brave and rollercoasters were conquered by everyone! We took in a dolphin show and and Looney Tunes Dance Contest. We were super-glad for our cooler when an unplanned trip to the concession stand produced a bill of $25 for a slice of pizza and a refillable soda.
We noticed Ethan seemed to most stressed out by going from ride to ride and we guessed that maybe it was genuine fatigue. I often forget, because he looks like such a strapping young man, that Down syndrome comes with excpetionally low muscle tone and everything is twice as hard for him. We rented a wheelchair not knowing if it was the answer. Bingo! He was actually glad to sit in it and made the afternoon much more “fuss free”.
The hours ticked away and we added ride after ride to our ‘done’ list. We practically closed the park. Although the the day (and the beginning of this post) started off pretty tedious, the day ended with happy, tired boys who can add things like El Torro and Bizarro to their amusement park resumes. Some people would say it was just too much work, but Dennis and I share a deep desire to raise our kids in a way that they are able to experience, see and do as many things as we can possibly provide – and share an inordinate amount of energy!
Are you tired yet?
The Read to succeed was such a great savings. We even got half off the Safari which I was considering not doing b/c of the outrageous price.
I guess when we went we got an “easy” security guard. He just slapped a sticker on our cooler and never asked for any ID.
I agree with giving them every experience we can. I love thinking about all the wonderful things they see and do. Great post about your Great Adventure.