We left on Monday. The flight wasn't until after 6pm but Duncan was awake shortly after 4am in his excitement. Not excitement that we were going on holiday mind, but that a book I'd ordered for him from Amazon a few days previously was most likely to be delivered that day. Now I'd partied hard (for me) at the weekend and Mummies need their sleep, especially before setting off on adventures. Thankfully I managed to get him back to bed for a while, but he was still up early and waiting by the window for postie. Glory be to the Royal Mail for they hath delivered unto us a saviour, in the form of a 2nd hand copy of Ladybird's "Percy Runs Away" a book we already have in few other formats and one he and I could both recite from memory.
The flight went well. I brought his buggy which proved to be so useful in Florida and just a couple of small backpacks that I could manage alone. I'd organised a taxi shuttle from the airport and we were met by the driver as soon as we exited French passport control. Only 40 minutes after we'd landed, we were in the hotel and checking in. Fantastic. On booking the hotel I'd requested a room close to the reception and breakfast restaurant if possible. They had delivered. We were staying in what had been the cheapest Disney hotel on site but our room was perfect, with a large double and sturdy bunk beds in the block nearest reception. Duncan loved our cowboy room and claimed the top bunk at once. We settled in then went to buy some drinks (I'd packed a lot of snacks) and he pounced on a stuffed Donald Duck toy. I bought it, he's been on a Donald phase for a while now and I know from before that these toys are useful and important to him. Donald was from then on his companion and protector and a most excellent duck.
The only slot left for breakfast was 7.30 but we managed to drag ourselves awake and to the crowded breakfast hall. I'd asked for and received permission to scarper back to the room with our selection of rolls and croissants. We did the same both mornings and had a much more relaxed time that we'd have managed in the bustling and loud refectory.
Some time after 9 we took the bus to the parks. It was a bit of a bind getting the buggy on board but I'm pushy enough and we managed. After picking up Duncan's Easy Access Pass (green card to enable shorter queuing times and use of wheelchair accessible entrances) we were off on our first ride, Buzz Lightyear's Laser Quest. In a short time we followed up with the Small World, Pinocchio and Pirates of the Caribbean rides. Then Duncan wanted to go "home". It was only 11.30. So we went towards the exit but on passing the Disney Rail Road station, he agreed to my suggestion of a ride and we did a circuit of the park.
On the train, photo taken by a nice German man with whom I'd griped about the lack of a ramp onto the disabled customers' carriage.
Afterwards he asked to visit the Studio park. We queued for a few minutes for a hug and photo with Sully, then went to watch Crush's Coaster. He asked to go on the bus, meaning the Backlot Tour. This was I think, the highlight of the day. Having seen it before he knew what to expect but was still exhilarated by the fire and thundering water. Very cool.
I was surprised that he asked to go see Stitch Live next as that had been one of the most difficult parts last time. But I complied and it worked out great. He laughed his head off with everyone else.
We went out again at 6 though the parks closed at 7. I'd hoped to buy him food in the place where they show cartoons but it was shut. Duncan wasn't so happy. It was busy and hot. "Too much" he called as he buried his head under Donald. I pushed him out to McDonalds and we queued for ages to buy him food and ice-cream. He ate as we walked home. It was much calmer on that particular path. After another relaxing time in our room (more bath time for the boy) we headed back to the hotel shop for water and he picked out a tiny ceramic bell to buy. It was just his sort of thing. Soon enough he climbed into his bunk and slept.
Next morning we hung around in the room a while later as we wouldn't be able to return once we'd checked out. We still left too early and it was hard at times throughout the day, just keeping going in the heat. The only ride Duncan wanted to go on by then was Phantom Manor so off we went, but it hadn't opened so we watched his beloved Big Thunder Mountain instead. Unfortunately, he still didn't feel even close to being ready to actually ride it. Shame, for I love it!
We wandered though Fantasy Land which was very crowded and in which there were speakers blasting out princess music at every turn. Duncan was fed up! He did agree to go on the Snow White ride and enjoyed it, but vetoed everything else.
He wanted to watch a show in the Studio but it was too late when we got there. We headed to the Rock'n'Roller coaster exit instead to watch for a while. I made the mistake of saying "let's go" when I was ready to leave and he panicked for a while thinking that I wanted him to go on the ride. Oops! Reassured, we left and went to the next show, a Playhouse Disney thing in French. It was nice and he liked it well enough but apart from Mickey and co. the characters were unfamiliar and it was all a bit too babyish.
We returned to ride Phantom Manor and he loved the spookiness. After another go on the Small World boat and a circuit of the park on the train, we settled in the Videopolis for a few cartoons in the cool. By then I was just trying to pass time. Duncan wanted to go back to the hotel and was disappointed that we couldn't get into the room again. But he consented to watch the parade with me so for the first time ever, we went to one of the dedicated viewing spots for disabled customers, showed our green card and waited in the roped off area. It was much better there. Duncan worried a bit about the potential for loud noises and bangs but was assured there would be loud music but no bangs. When the parade passed, we had an excellent view, right by the curb. He enjoyed it and several of the characters approached him and the others in our area to touch hands and ruffle hair. He loved that, otherwise I'd have pulled him back!
So finally all Disney-ed out I pushed him back slowly to the hotel, got our bags and awaited the taxi. It was early and we arrived at the airport 3 hours before the flight was leaving. Those were not such pleasant hours, especially since on passing passport control there is nowhere to sit but a cafe. It's a horrible place to wait.
To kill time, I took Duncan to the loo and he had great enjoyment washing his hands using touch sensitive taps. We had been the only travellers in the vicinity so I didn't try to attenuate his loud appreciative calls of excitement. There was a loud knock on the door. Thinking someone else needed to use the disabled person's toilet, I called back that we'd be out soon. The person knocking informed me that he was "the police" and that I was to open the door asap. Thankfully I had not commenced my own business. I opened to find 2 large uniformed men looking around. I explained in my finest Franglais that my son is disabled and was excited by the taps. They left us alone.
A while later as I pushed him up and down the bleak hall I had a laugh about it, but not too much in case they decided I wasn't in a fit state to travel. We couldn't get into the seating area for another 30 minutes and the police had just about banged the toilet door down when I needed to use it. I did a far bit of internal filthy mouthed swearing at the lot of them. Apart from that the journey home was sweet. Sweet enough. A baby started screaming 15 minutes before we landed and Duncan screamed a couple of times in sympathy, but thankfully no more than that. He had to visit the toilet twice but there was no-one sitting beside us. He worried when we'd landed and the plane was pulling in beside the terminal building that a crash was imminent, "Pull back! Apply the brakes!" he recommended.
I asked and was allowed to fast track through passport control, we picked up the car and weary, we headed on the last leg of our journey home.