Cast Member Appreciation Discuss Another batch of MJ's Amazing Magical Monets.... in the Cast Members forums; Well, after such an awful week with MJ's neurological diagnoses and all, we desperately needed a trip to our happy place. For as awful as this week was, this weekend ...
Another batch of MJ's Amazing Magical Monets....
Well, after such an awful week with MJ's neurological diagnoses and all, we desperately needed a trip to our happy place. For as awful as this week was, this weekend was amazing!
Sat July 16, 2005
We started on Saturday, we were off to AK to see our favorite show Tarzan Rocks! We were going with a very special person Slade. Slade learned about MJ on a message board and having a few similarities to her and me to his mother, he decided that he wanted to meet her. So he drove three hours from his hom, bought a park hopper pass during his blackout period and met us at AK. While we waited to be let into Tarzan Rocks! Slade pulled out a very special gift for MJ a pin to add to her pin board, one of the Limeted Edition Stained Glass Cinderella Castle Pins that was done for the Celebration. It now has taken up residence in the center of her pin board and is just BEAUTIFUL.....MJ strokes it over and over saying "Pinciss, Pinciss"
Slade had never seen Tarzan Rocks! before. Most of you know our story about Tarzan Rocks! (if you don't, PM me and I'll point you in the right direction) As adoptive parents for us the show is very special and very magical, we've gotten to know the cast well and see the show every week at least. MJ's adoption song is "You'll Be In My Heart" and I always cry during it. MJ leaned her head over to me to snuggle and that made the tears even worse. At one point I looked over at Slade and saw that even he had gotten "something" in his eye. We both held MJ through the song and Thanked G-d for adoption. It was amazing. After the show we had arranged a little surprise for Slade and was able to take him back stage to meet some of the cast. It was awesome and I think we will be doing that a lot more together when his Seasonal Passes kick out of blackout periods!
We then headed over to Camp Minnie Mickey for FotLK (which he had also never seen) we got to introduce him to a lot of our favorite CM's and even ran into an off duty one who came along with us for more fun that day (Hi Joannna!) So we saw FotLK, it was great as ususal. We chatted with a few more CM's and headed out to the busses to go to MGM.
We had a great bus driver (Eliza) she was sooooo funny! We got into MGM, got to see our favorite security guard (Cheryl) who we had been missing, turns out she went on vacation without telling us (Bad Cheryl! LOL) We broke the news to Slade that Playhouse Disney was in his immediate future! We were joined at PHD by another off duty CM (Hi Dania! We are like the pied piper for CM's! LOL) MJ sat in Slade's lap for PHD, except when she was up dancing. We met a great CM there (Dana) who stayed to see the rest of the show with MJ even though she had been bumped for her break, she was awesome! I think that Slade enjoyed watching MJ during the show even though he was surrounded by toddlers! We then went off to find another CM (seeing a pattern in our days yet!?!?! LOL) Maddie who we had been trying to connect with for a while. We found her and she had an olypmic lanyard and a Pin Trading Journal for MJ. It was so sweet! Thanks Maddie! (As an aside, Maddie and two of her daughters work at Disney and we have met all three of them, they are the first family in our CM autograph book) After that we went to ride the GMR (one of MJ's faves even tho parts of it seem to scare her she keeps asking to go back on it, one of the dichotomies of autism I suppose) She sat next to Slade who did a great job of protecting her! After we got off GMR we ran into another CM (Hi Chris) who had more gifts for MJ! A mickey Trivia Game (Slade liked it so much that he got himself one!) and an antenna ball for her new wheelcahir when we get it! Thanks Chris!
After GMR we went for some time on RnR and ToT, it was great! It was Slade's 400th ride on ToT so I spilled that to the bellhops Slade and I went on twice 400 and 401, for ride 401 they let Slade and I ride in an elevator all by oursleves, it was SO COOL! After we got done they presented him with a magical moments certificate for the occasion. AWESOME! Then he and Andrew went on for ride 402. One bizarre thing about our rides was that the window in the ride shaft seemed to be stuck open so we could see everything as we went in instead of it being dark. It was neat to see, but kinda took away from the effect of the ride.
After that we went to pick up some more CM friends who had just gotten off at MGM then we were all off to LMA to pick up more CM's! (Hi Y'all, you know who you are!) So we get them all together, they call over to Fantasmic to warn them that they are about to be invaded! So we head off to Fantasmic where Pat, Jimmy and Christian take awesome care of us! It was hoot seeing Fantasmic with all of them! Before Fantasmic started, Eric (from Custodial or Show Keepers as I learned it is called!) spent some time with MJ, signed her CM autograph book and gave her some pins for her collection including her first
Terk pin! During the show Christian brought her a special present a Pin Trading Journal with 5 pins in it that her really took a lot of thought in picking out just for MJ, all her favorites were in there! He also gave her her 100th pin!
After Fantasmic we were off to ride ToT one more time. Some of the CM's and Slade and I went while Adam and Andrew took MJ to wait for us at the exit. We walked out of the park slowly, stopped at a pin cart wehre Slade bought MJ another pin (really cute denim tinkerbell) and Adam and Athlene bought her locking backs and a Stitch on the beach pin (adorable)
Everyone was so awesome to MJ all day, they all lnew that we had seen the neuro this week and everyone asked about it, it was hard to expplain it so many times, but everyone was so caring and loving I was overwhelmed. MJ ended up with 21 pins Saturday, some expensive, some not, but I know that into every pin is a prayer and love beyond measure. Everytime I look at her pin board I see the faces of all of you who love MJ so much. I have been so overwhelemed this week with her new diagnoses and all. Thank you all for being there for her and us, I don't know what we would do without you all. (Man it is hard to type when you are crying)
We left MGM and got on the busses to get our cars at AK. Slade saw MJ having some seizures, it can be scary to watch and his concern for her and us was just overwhelming. We love you Slade and can't wait to spend MANY, MANY more days with you. It was a tearful but happy "so long" but not goodbye.
Sunday July 17, 2005
After Saturday, we thought things would be mellow and hard to top today....boy were we wrong. We met up with our friend Adam (OmegaKnight) from Epcot at the MK. for the 50th birthday of DL. It was awesome to be in the MK for this occasion. Adam brought MJ a Happy Brithday DL pin and two CD's with some of her favorite Disney music on it (she loves them BTW Adam!) We went into the park, came upon the Trolley singers (love them!) then MJ started saying "how, how" and pointing towards Adventureland. She meant the tree house which she loves, so Adam and Andrew took her up there before it got too hot (it was roasting that day) I got to stay and talk to an awesome CM named Jenny, she was such a neat person!
After that we were on our way to the Jungle Cruise and this is where the real Magic began for that day. MJ has been scared of the characters and really hasn't wanted anything to do with them, but we came upon Meeko on our way to the JC, so we kind of wandered near hom and tried to get MJ to wave. Michelle (the handler) realized that MJ was special needs and let her take her time and go real slow, finally MJ let Meeko get hear her and even hug and kiss her, they played for a good few minutes, it was sooooooo awesome to see her do this. (Oh crud, tears again) Meeko needed to go get a drink from the river and Michelle told us to hang on that Pocahontas was coming out and she wanted MJ to meet her. So Meeko and Pocahontas came out and MJ had another great interaction with both of them. They talked and played with her, I think Meeko might have sighned her book, but mostly it was all about seeing MJ interact with them, nothing will ever beat that feeling.
It was awesome, then we went on to the JC and on to out favorite Skipper, Crystal! We've missed her the last couple of weeks so it was great to see her, she got lotsa big hugs from MJ. Michelle came and found us and wanted our contact info, she is cooking something up, not sure what, but I am sure we'll find out sometime. We'll try to meet up with her again soon. We did CBJ, Tiki, and then wandered back towards Adventureland to try and find Michelle, but no luck. On our way to find her we ran into another handler who recognized us (can't remember his name, crud!) and asked if MJ would like to meet Jasmine, she didn't resist, so he took us up front in to the shade and as soon as MJ saw her she let out the biggest "oooooohhhhhhh" Jasmine finished with the kids she was with and came over to MJ, the photopass guy got some great pics of her (If anyone wants to see pics PM me and I will direct you rather than posting here) MJ asked for kisses on her cheek (she has discovered the lipstick print kiss and so anyone who has lipstick is subject to requests for kisses from MJ on hands, cheeks, arms, she loves to look at them and talk about them! In fact of late she has been making me put lipstick on diring the week and kissing her! LOL it is a crack up!)
So then off to Fantasyland, MJ isn't really feeling up to doing many rides and really wants to interact with CM's and go to Minnie and Mickey's houses. We went to Minnie's House, and then to County Bounty where we just adore the CM's! We got to talk to lots of them, Laura gave MJ some Cotton Candy (which she doesn't eat but instead uses like play dough (go figure) and two people made balloon animals for her out of rubber gloves, our friend Ken met us there. We had the best time just playing with the CM's there!
Then it was off to Mickey's House. (our chairs were seperated since we had someone to help us push MJ so I got to go with her in the houses finally (ususally Andrew has to carry her in because our wheelchairs won't fit and I wait outside, a few weeks ago Andrew took her to see Mickey, but she was a little intimidated by him, this time she was in her wheelchair for all of the interactions this time which I think made her feel safer. Anyway, we get into the Judges Tent, wait in line, explain about her autism and previous fear of characters to the CM, so she lets MJ in by herself to meet Mickey (and also tells us that in the future to show our GAC to the CM outside as there is a diffferent entrance for Special needs kids for this particular meet and greet). He was so incredible with her, took it slow, played with her, pretty soon she was hugging him and kissing his nose, I of course, was a puddle. It was just amazing (man, I need a thesaurus, I use that word a lot) No words can describe the feelings of each small step she takes, something that is no big deal for typical kids is such a struggle for her and to watch her overcome her fears just makes me feel like my heart is going to burst.
Afterwards, Adam offered to buy lunch for us, so we went to Cosmic Rays to see Dania at work and met several incredible people, Loren and several others stopped by to visit and I am sure will be bugging Dania about MJ! Dania brought MJ a goody bag with 4 pins (including her very first Jane pins, MJ is obsessed with Jane right now), stickers, a tarzan postcard. MJ loved it! We did have one incident, MJ wanted some of the gloves that Dania was wearing, so Dania had to get them before MJ would consent to leave. We set up meeting Dania after she got off for a few minutes and then took MJ to Minnie's house (the repetitive stuff really makes much more sense now) then she wanted to play on the little playground. After that Dania met us, MJ wanted to go to Mickey's again, but I had to tinkle, so Dania took me and the guys took MJ and did as told, showed her GAC, the attendant (Nina) was awesome to them (so I hear) took them through the house and to the special entrance. Again, great interactions with Mickey, between Ken and the Photpass guy I am sure we have over 40 pics of her Mickey Experience.
As we were leaving we got a call from our friend Kelly from Fantasyland who was going on her break, MJ had fun playing with her and she said she'd meet up with us after she got off work to see Sepctromagic. We went on a few rides in FL....Our ride on Pooh was exciting, they put the belt on MJ in her wheelchair and becuase her current wheelchair is at a permanent 30 degree tilt when the wheel blcoks came in the sealt belt kept causing her to tip, so I had to call a stop to the ride (I am the biggest Disney Geek ever, how cool is it that I got to call and E-stop on a ride! The operator thought it was hysterical that I knew what an E-stop was!) so they could fix it. She ended up going unbelted, which is ok since she is belted into her chair. Her new chair won't have that problem as it can be at a right angle for sitting. After that it was off to the carrousel, which she hasn't wanted to go on in months, Dumbo, which she also hasn't wanted to go on in months, we had a great helper there, (Elizabeth) thank you! Then off to Snow White, the ride stopped like 6 times while we were in there, it was bizarre, oh well at least the Wtich was working correctly this time. After that, we went to Peter Pan and ran into another friend from a message board (he recognized MJ fron Ryland's pictures of her!) Hi GoldenFantasmic!
Then it was off to get seated for Spectro. MJ had a great time playing ball with Tracy, Matt and Richard (and Ken and Adam) lots of CM's stopped by to talk to her. We decided to bag Wishes and beat the crowds out, turns out it is a good thing too because Wishes had some big problems, bummer.....Got to ride the monorail since we had help (normally we have to take the ferry if our chairs are together) Everyone accompanied us out to the parking lot to say goodbye to MJ and that was the end to our VERY magical weekend.
We got a ton of new CM autographs, decided we aren't going to do autographs for characters unless MJ asks for them, the interactions are so much more important to us we want to focus on that for her. She ended up with many new friends, many prayers and much love (and as a byproduct of that a lot of new pins for her board......I love to look at such a tangible reminder of everyone's love for her, I read her CM autograph book often when I need a pick me up [which is a lot]) The weekend was such a mix of good and hard, We had to tell a lot of people about her new diagnoses, which was always followed by such love, her behaviors make a lot more sense now that we know she is autistic, but they are also much more apparent now that we know she is autistic, it is a bizarre contradiction...
Thank you all for being here, we love you all! BTW, I am also still working on so many other stories, I know it takes me a while, thanks for being patient!
Bonny June, Homeschooler, Webmaster and SNK/Adoption Advocate~~Marjorie June Mailani Adopted SNK, Disney Fanatic, Joyous, Cheerful, Incredible Kid~~Andrew, Cast Member, Disney Reservations Center~~Heart Mom to Cody (adoption loss 10-00)
(linkie fixed...heh heh, thanks Val!)
You think it is hard to type when you are crying , try reading that while trying to hold the tears back.
I am so glad y'all have this awesome place to go to that brings such joy to MJ!!!
very "awesome" post Bonny...**laughs-sorry i had to***.....but it is a great post... :thumbsup:
Sounds like you guys had another great weekend Bonny! That's wonderful! MJ met Mickey?!?! WOW! What an accomplishment! I can only imagine the joy you must have felt in your heart.
Glad you enjoyed your weekend after the hard week.
They call me "Nana"
Bonny, That was a wonderful story. It is things like this that make WDW unlike any other place - that extra-special effort that so many CMs make to allow everyone to enjoy the "magic" we all believe in. Isn't that really why we're all here?
Host, Author & Site Owner
AKQJ10 >: 4 8 15 16 23 42
BTW, I am the Ken she is talking about.
It was a fandangotastic time. I am trying to get MJ on as a quarterback at FSU (they need one from what I understand). She can throw an mean football. She tossed it several yards and got better with each throw.
The Mickey meet pics will melt a heart of stone. I wish I could figure out the video side of the camera. MJ was having a great time with Mickey. I still have to download the pics off the camera-I had a crazy day at work yesterday and fell asleep when I got home.
Since the launch has been delayed into next week, I will be at WDW this weekend again. Have to see MJ!
What a great story. Glad you had such a wonderful time. It was very touching to read.
Bonny I'm so glad MJ is starting to get around to meeting the charcters what an awesome accomplishment for her. We still can't wait to meet you.
So let's have some pictures already!
They call me "Nana"
Oh, I agree!!!! :mickey:
Originally Posted by iwannabeminnie
Wow that is great MJ is now reaching out to the characters, it will no doubt add a new layer to her WDW experiences, and yours! I'd love to see some photos!
I am in need of some Disney magic!!