I had planned to write something about the wrap up of Angel’s grade 2 year, but things got away from me. She’s now about a month into third grade.
We had a busy summer and Angel got to do some fun things like going to a week of day camp (respite care that was provided to us). We spent some time up at the trailer, camping out for a few nights at a time. Angel went swimming, played outside, tried to ride her bike without training wheels. The list goes on. One of her most favourite activities this summer was Canada’s Wonderland, so I thought I’d write a post about it.
I’ve been to Canada’s Wonderland many, many times. One of the benefits of growing up in the GTA is going to Wonderland as a school trip every year. And if you were lucky enough to be in band, you got to perform at Wonderland, then hit the rides in the afternoon while all the other kids were in school. Big Kid got to do that this year too.
I was searching online for deals for Wonderland and found that someone had posted on a site about the great accommodations available for people with autism or other special needs at Wonderland. In the past, I had never thought about checking to see if there were accommodations available. I had been dreading our trip to the park because I didn’t know how Angel would do with all the sites and sounds. I went to their site, and found all the information. You can find it on their Guests With Disabilities page. The process was super easy.
After entering the park, we went to Guest Services. They had a window open for Rider Accommodations. I had to tell them what Angel had a problem with so that they could decide what accommodations she needed. Being able to let them know that she can’t tolerate loud noises and would have trouble waiting in line was such a relief. Angel got a pass that allowed the 4 of us in our party to avoid the line ups. We would go in the exit, hand over her pass, they would check how long the wait would be, then give us a time to return to board. When it was time, we went back up the exit and were able to board. We still had to wait the same amount of time, but we didn’t have to stand in the crowd with all the extra noise. They also gave Angel a whole bunch of ear plugs (no headphones allowed on rides).
So, Big Kid and my niece convinced Angel that we should go on a ride called Guardian. I should have checked the listings first. It’s a new ride, and it’s a thrill ride. It was fun, but not what I expected. The photo at the end of the ride showed me holding my hand over my heart because I had been so terrified. We’ll just leave it at that. After that experience, we stuck to the tamer rides. Angel wanted to try a couple of other coasters, but found that they were loud. She didn’t have ear plugs in, but once she made up her mind, that was it.
Inthe end, we only used Angel’s pass twice that day. After that, it started to rain. The park cleared out, and we were able to get on rides with no waiting. Angel even got to go on some rides two or three times in a row because there was no one waiting. Big Kid and her cousin did some of the bigger rides while Angel and I stayed in the kids’ area. They weren’t able to use Angel’s pass unless she was in the group, but with the rain, they didn’t have to wait long anyway.
Angel even agreed to have her picture taken with Snoopy and some of his friends. She met 2 different Snoopy’s, Sally, Franklin, and Linus. In the past, she would not have gone near them, so I was impressed that she was willing to do it this time.
What I thought was going to be a stressful day ended up being fairly calm and relaxing. Not having to worry about waiting in lines made my anxiety go down a lot and Angel only got anxious herself when there was a thunderstorm. Ear plugs just don’t cut it when you are outside under a shelter and the rain is pelting down and it’s thundering too. She did really well though! I was glad that we were able to have this “normal” family experience.
Any time we go to another attraction like this, I’m going to be sure to check out their accommodations. Wonderland really knows what they are doing. Their disabilities page even has a link to an autism site with more information about planning trips to theme parks. This has given me hope that we can go to other attractions and have a fun day for the whole family. I’m not sure what we are going to try next!
PS…this is not a sponsored post. This is our real experience at Wonderland. Highly recommend it!