Every human life has value.

nullOK, so obviously it really takes me a while to get back into the swing of things after going on vacation. I did return safely Sunday afternoon from a very fun, but exhausting trip to Disney World. The Magic Kingdom was just as wonderful as I remembered. I managed to make it onto just about every ride – even Space Mountain (pictured here). And that one was way more intense than I remember. I know it’s not quite as fast and loopy as some of the bigger roller coasters at parks like Six Flags, but there’s nothing quite like being surrounded by darkness and not being able to anticipate which way you’re going to move next. It also didn’t help that I have absolutely no torso control so I was holding on for dear life to the seat in front of me – but I loved it! I have not been to any theme park since my accident so the roller coaster thing was a first for me. In case you’re wondering how I got into all these rides, here is a pic of my aunt and my cousin transferring me into the Splash Mountain log boat – it pretty much worked this way for every ride:

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We did Animal Kingdom the next day, but were so exhausted after MK the day before we decided against park hopping to Epcot as well.

nullWhile I was in waiting in line for Thunder Mountain (the ride I’m on here with my aunt) I was chatting with one of the ride’s “cast members” when the conversation inevitably turned to the wheelchair. I got the usual questions, what happened…how long have you been it it…will you ever walk again, etc… My answer of “no” to the last question that day prompted another typical response: after a slight look of pity comes the shocked “wow…well you seem pretty positive despite that.” Though I get that response often and I’m used to it, I couldn’t help laughing to myself a little bit this time and thinking, “of course I’m positive! Look at me; I may be in a wheelchair, but I’m a Disney World for crying out loud! Do you think I’m going to let a little thing like paralysis get in the way of my happiness and my ability to have fun? I’m about to go on a roller coaster right now and continue spending the day with my family visiting all of the rides and attractions that I grew up on (plus or minus a few) and I’ll enjoy every minute of it just as much, if not more than I did then when I could walk!” Sure, as in my daily life, I had to do things a little differently and there were a few things I could not participate in. But that’s nothing that should ever get in the way of my happiness or lower my sense of self worth.

People With Disabilities Can Live “Normal” Lives:

Shooting bad guys on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (a first for me)
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Car racing at the Tomorrowland Speedway
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3-D Fun (L to R: Mickey’s Philharmagic at MK, It’s Tough to Be a Bug at AK)
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Obligatory pics in front of the castle with my mom and my sister
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My cousin Abigail fascinated by Small World
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The whole gang at Animal Kingdom
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If you’re at all interested, you can view more pics at the Hornburg/Jones/Zimmerman Disney 2008 flickr photo album. A book worth checking out: Walt Disney World With Disabilities.

EXCITING NEWS: In 2010 Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure will be opening The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, a theme park within a theme park. Can you guess where I will be heading to next?!?!

August 6th, 2008 at 9:50 pm
5 Responses to “I Enjoyed Every Minute of It!”
  1. 1
    bmmg39 Says:

    I’m glad you had a good time and got to go on rides. I like some of the lesser-known amusement parks around where I live than Disney so much, but just about any theme park is cool.

    I see in one picture you have your legs crossed. You have some degree of mobility there, I take it?

  2. 2
    Chelsea Says:

    Thanks! I did have a great time!

    No mobility below my chest. I frequently will pick up my legs with my hands and arms and cross them that way.

    I grew up going to Orlando and the Disney parks, Magic Kingdom especially, so that’s why I love it so much. My aunt and my cousin still go every year. When she went last week my aunt found out that it was the 67th time she had been to the MK in the last 20 years… We’re also Universal Studios fans.

    Peace,
    CZ

  3. 3
    Brandon Says:

    I’m glad to see you had a good trip and are back to blogging. I enjoy WDW a lot as well. Unfortunately I haven’t been back for a few years.

  4. 4

    At Disney they always look after you and make sure you have a good time whether you are in a wheelchair or not. It certainly is a magical place and keeps people returning year after year! Glad you had such a great time, certainly looks like you did!

  5. 5

    [...] that, there are the hard-to-ignore sympathetic looks and pats on the back from passers-by and the surprised reaction I frequently get from people who can’t believe that I could have such a positive attitude about [...]