Walt Disney World is a place that holds lots of memories for me. My first visit with my parents and grandparents, the trip we took for my high school graduation, and the first time I visited with Drew. But my favorite memory happened just a few years ago and it changed how I look at the parks.
Our visit in April in 2010 was a long awaited trip. I hadn’t been to Walt Disney World in almost 10 years and I could not wait to get back. But I was also really nervous. That visit was the first time I was going to be completely reliant on my wheelchair and I was afraid that it just wasn’t going to be the same.
On the first day of our vacation we visited the Magic Kingdom. Words can not express how excited I was to be back “home”. But there was still this underlying fear that I just couldn’t seem to shake, mostly because I was worried about riding some attractions. We visited some easy ones at first, the Hall of Presidents and the Carousel of Progress, and then worked our way up to the Jungle Cruise and it’s a small world. Of course now I talk about how easy it is to ride those attractions but it was a pretty big step then.
That afternoon we got FASTPASSES for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It has always been one of my favorites and we had done some research about the transfer access vehicle on the ride. I was nervous all evening, wondering if we would actually be able to ride and mentally preparing myself if we couldn’t.
When we went to get in line we let the Cast Member know that we needed the transfer access vehicle and waited to see if it would actually work. Once the train arrived the Cast Member lead us to the vehicle. What makes it special is that the side can be folded down, which makes it easier to get in and out. I was so excited when everything worked perfectly and Drew was able to help me get transferred easily.
As the train went up the hill and we took that first turn, I could not stop laughing. The entire ride, I couldn’t stop. Even as we exited and headed off into Frontierland I was still laughing. Drew said he hadn’t heard me laugh like that in years and I probably hadn’t. It had been a rough few years but all of that melted away on that one ride. All of the fears and the worries, gone in just a few minutes thanks to the magic of the wildest ride in the wilderness.