Joanne

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Green Card- Disneyland Paris

Disabled Green Card at Disneyland Paris

(Read my Disneyland Paris top tips HERE)

This little green card was an absolute godsend!

When we entered the park we were advised to go to City hall which is located on Main street. I didn’t have to wait long at all and was greeted by a lovely lady who asked for a few details on Leo. I brought our blue badge with us and his DLA entitlement letter.

They asked if he could walk at all and get in and out of his wheelchair, He can get in and out of his wheelchair and he can walk short distances so she ticked the picture which best described his ability and then asked how many of us all together, which was 5 of us. She explained how the green card worked and we were on our way.

I advise you to get to your meet and greet early to book your slot as they only have a certain number of slots for a green card in the morning and new slots from 2 pm in the afternoon once they’re booked that’s it. My littlest is obsessed with Moana so we got to the studios early and made sure we got her booked first to make sure she got to meet her.

The first thing we used it on was Minnie mouse meet and greet, you take the green card to the cast member at the front and she/he has a clipboard with times on, you choose a time to come back in and they write the green card holders name in the slot. When you come back and it’s your time you literally are next to go and meet and greet, not just the card holder but everyone who is numbered on the card. This was brilliant we managed to do so many of them and use our photo pass. The only thing I was gutted about was our photos from Minnie mouse never loaded onto the photo pass and we forgot to go back and look for them, we asked a cast member and she handed me a little card of where to go and look up the photos and luckily one of the places was the gift shop in the hotel. unfortunately, we still forgot.

Regarding the rides, you go to the exit and the cast member will greet you, they will take your card and say the child’s name so the child answers ( think its just to make sure yours using it correctly) and give it back and take you to a special area allocated for green card holders. We managed to do most the rides queuing for less that 5 minutes for each ride. the only 2 rides we had to wait a little bit for I’d say a maximum of 15 minutes was thunder mountain and crush’s coaster which by the way was BRILLIANT.

There is also a wheelchair area to watch the parade which we never got to use as, to be honest, we forgot so didn’t check that one out but they do tell you where it’s at in the city hall.

If you or someone in your party is a wheelchair user and want to go and watch Dreams don’t bother trying to get close its ram jam and I had a panic attack, my little Leo was freaking out as we were literally gridlocked by the crowds he couldn’t see anything at all so we told him he would need to stand up on his wheelchair and hold our shoulders which he hated as his very unsteady but he managed to watch it all. so stick to the back you can still see it all.

My partner suffers from back problems and unfortunately hurt his back before we left so we had to hire a wheelchair, there was a 50 Euro deposit (don’t accept a hotel credit card btw so take cash) and then 20 Euro fee and the Pushchairs are just 20 Euro fee for the day. So we had me pushing Leo in his wheelchair with Lydia sitting on his lap then David self propelling himself In the hired wheelchair with Milly on his lap… HARD WORK then when David’s back felt better we hired a pushchair for Milly.  A lot of people have said that they have hired pushchairs and when they have come off a ride its been taken so maybe take a lock? however, you do have a big sign on the back with your surname in. We didn’t have a problem but we wedged it behind Leos wheelchair when we went on a ride.

I hope this helps 🙂

Green 2Green 1

 

Sequoia Lodge Golden Forest-Disneyland Paris

Our stay and experience at Sequoia Lode Disney Hotel 11th-15th July 2017

After driving all the way to Disneyland we arrived at our hotel and to be honest I was really worried about terrorism because of recent events.

We arrived up to the barrier and was greeted by a security guard who asked to check our booking details before he would let us in, we presented these to him and he let us through, instantly this made me feel better.

As our son is disabled and cannot walk far we asked if we could use the disabled carpark which was outside the hotel doors to the left and also had a barrier so people couldn’t misuse it.

Me , my partner and 3 kids then made our way to the entrance where there was a baggage x-ray machine and 2 security guards as well as another security guard with a wand scanning with guest who didn’t have luggage, this was done every time you entered or left the hotel from the front entrance and also at the entrance of Disney village  as well as dogs and horses . I never once felt scared and believe me I had sleepless nights worrying about this for months before we left.

when we got through security there is the reception which I queued in for 20 minutes to be told I needed to go to the Golden forest suite to my left which I was seen straight away haha.

We was greeted by a man with the biggest friendliest smile and asked to take a seat and help myself to chocolate coins.

He explained how everything worked and what time breakfast was in the mornings, he handed us the fast passes and the meal vouchers and explained how it all worked which I knew anyway by this point,.

He also explained to me how the Hotel credit card worked so I didn’t need to take my bank card into the park, They ask you for the last 4 digits of the card security and expiration date I think it was and said you just use this as you would your bank card and when I reached  a limit of 400 Euros it would automatically be taken from my card and you can carry on using it until you reached the limit again. Make sure you take cash into the park thought if you do this as you cant use the card in McDonalds which was annoying and another one of the restaurants in Discovery land called café Hyperion or the little food stalls.

We got to our rooms as I had upgraded to 2 rooms with a interconnecting door so we slept in one room and the kids in the other.

The hotel had ;

  • 2 double beds
  • television with lots of kids channels  which also had a guide on and was linked to your booking.
  • Kettle, a mix of tea bags everyday ,mugs, sugar, coffee , coffee machine
  • hairdryer
  • little mickey shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, moisturiser and soap every day
  • fresh towels
  • we also had a fridge we didn’t find till the last day
  • safe

In the Kids room there was

  • A big washroom and shower with mickey shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, soap, moisturiser
  • selection of tea bags, milk, coffee, sugar
  • kettle
  • coffee machine
  • tv
  • fridge
  • hairdryer
  • safe
  • single bed
  • bunk beds

(PLEASE EXCUSE OUR MESS -we had ben there a few days already and I only took these pics to show my mumma bear )

The beds were made fresh every day and clean towels every day.

Breakfast in the hotel was in the golden forest room behind the Disney shop I was such a pig and I really miss all the yummy food.

  • hot continental breakfast
  • croissants and Danish whirls
  • variety of different bread, ham, cheeses
  • variety of fruit
  • mmmmm pancakes with syrup and toppings
  • yoghurts an probiotic drinks
  • fruit salads
  • cereals
  • dried fruit
  • Tea, coffee apple juice and orange juice

Also between the hours of 2-4pm if your in the hotel at that time you can go and have unlimited treats and hot drink and soft drinks.

There is a character in the hall every morning between 8am and 11am. we saw Goofy, and Mickey there.

It was about a 25minute walk for us if my son wanted to walk it and push his wheelchair otherwise it would of been a 10-15 minute walk and its a beautiful walk. All the staff were polite, friendly and helpful.  They also had a little play area for kids to play in whilst you have a drink filled with balloons, colouring pencils and paper and games.

What we also did was we brought lots of snacks for the parks so if the kids got hungry whilst they waited we could give them a bag a day. What we included was the following;

  • Crisps
  • Raisons
  • biscuits
  • sweets
  • apples
  • food bags

The kids loved counting them out into 3 bags every morning.

we purchased a photo pass which was well worth it.  It was 59 Euros and you download the app on your phone. when you have a photo taken they scan your pass and it automatically goes on your app to see and download.

We didn’t use the swimming pool as we was so tired when we got back we couldn’t be bothered plus we could go swimming anytime, you cant just go Disneyland anytime.

Upon departure you will to get the code for the disabled car park from reception to get out of the car park.

Hopefully I haven’t missed anything out and if I remember anything else I will add it in. or if you have any other questions about the Hotel please don’t hesitate to email me jo@theknighttribe.co.uk and ill try my best to answer it.

Many thanks,

Jo

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Baking with Milly

 Milly LOVES baking

And here is the finished product

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Driving to Disneyland Paris.

 

We chose to drive to Disneyland Paris July 2017 and go on the Eurotunnel as we could make as many stops as we needed to for wee breaks.

I drive a Motability car and I’m so glad I found a Facebook page called Disneyland Paris for Brits or I would not of known I would need to get a certificate to take the car out of the country, also If you have a car on finance you need this certificate to.

I took the following in the car with us;

  • Passports
  • car insurance certificate
  • certificate to take our Motability car out of the country
  • AA European kit which includes a Contains: Hazard Warning Triangle, GB sticker, Universal Bulb Kit, Reflective Emergency Jacket, First Aid Kit, Headlamp Beam Converters, AA European Driver’s Handbook, Canvas Carry Bag, PLUS AA glove box Atlas Europe, £10 off AA European Breakdown Cover.
  • Lease of the Motability car
  • A print out of our booking details
  • Blue badge

I had packed the car the night before to save time in the morning as it was a big secret surprise for the kids  and we wanted to enjoy their excitement when we told them we was going right now!

Also take a lot of snacks with you when driving with kids. we prepared a bag each with sweets, colouring books, crayons and colouring pencils, magazines, we also charged their Kindles and brought them headphones.

We took the following snack;

  • Crisps
  • biscuits (not chocolate as they would melt)
  • sweets
  • bottled fruit shoot water
  • bananas, grapes , strawberries, apples
  • raisons
  • cereal bars

We left at 4am and I was driving to Folkestone which took us about 4 hours to get to the tunnel as we had stopped for a maccyd breakfast on the way and a pee stop.

We was late as per usual and luckily just got on the next train which meant we missed the shopping, Never mind. As we went through we was given a Letter on a card that we had to hang on our mirror and was easily directed where to go, They checked our passports and scanned the car with a wand to make sure there was no explosive hidden on it.

When we got there we was directed to the disabled users line and was first on the tunnel which meant  first to the clean toilets as we was all bursting.

The tunnel took about 30 minutes to get to Calais and it went so quick it was hot in there and they do ask you to open your windows and switch your engine off and put your gear into 1st ( with your hand break on and the car in gear it will stall which is a extra safety measure) As we drove off the train into Calais I got confused with time as my phone had automatically changed to a hour ahead. (France is 1 hour ahead)

There is a petrol station as your driving away from the Eurotunnel so you can fill up. We used our phones sat nav to direct us straight to the hotel. David drove in France as I was to scared to and at first I thought we was going to die, not because of David but because of the other drivers , They’re Looneys! they indicate but then literally just pull out , they don’t even give you chance to see them indicating, so be careful.

We went on a toll road which was lovely and it was just a straight ride through and the roads were smooth with no traffic. Luckily we had cash on us as we wasn’t expecting a toll we didn’t plan that far ahead haha. we went through the first set of machines which gave you a card which was all in French so had no idea what it said so I tried to translate it on google. It said to keep hold of the ticket until we get to the next gate where we need to pay which was 21.70Euros if I remember correctly and its the same on the way back. Worth paying to drive straight through as its a lot quicker and a lot easier than all the back routes and bumpy roads.

We started to see signs for Disneyland Paris and it was so much fun listening to the kids yell with excitement every time they saw a mickey mouse sign. It wasn’t long before we saw  Disney hotel signposts and we stopped twice from Calais to our hotel, I’d say the second part took us about 4 hours.

As we got to the Disney hotel roads it got busier but only because we saw a lot more cars  and not because of traffic, we found our hotel really easy and as we approached the barrier a security guard came out and asked to see our booking documents, we presented them and he let us through.

We saw a Disabled/VIP carpark and presented the attendant with it and he let us in to park close to the hotel.

If you have any questions about my post please send me a email and I will try my best to answer it Jo@theknighttribe.co.uk

Thank you.

 

Leos Diagnosis of cerebral palsy- Part 1

Leo’s Story Part 1

I was 17 when I found out I was pregnant, and 18 when Leo was born. I didn’t know what gender he was until he was born so it was even more exciting.

Labour was 6 hours long and towards the end my mum said that his heart rate dipped and mine went through the roof, I opened my eyes after a quick blink and there was a room full of doctors and nurses who told me I had 10 minutes to push or I was going to theatre to be assisted. I gave birth to my gorgeous boy 2.36am on 29th December 2005 weighing 6lb 14oz.

A few of my online friends were pregnant at the same time and we used to chat every single day. One lived in Northampton and the other in Oakham.

When we was talking about milestone’s online i soon realised Leo wasn’t doing the same things my friends babies were doing and by 9 months he still wasn’t sitting unaided, I took him to my health visitor and got told he will catch up, give him time, boys are slower then girls. doesn’t really help as both my friends babies are boys!

I took him back at 10 months and 11months and 12 months and he still wasn’t sitting up. My health visitor then referred me to the hospital with him and we received our appointment for April 2006 Leo was 14 months old by then and still not sitting up.

We literally went in to the appointment dumb thinking it would be something as simple as casting his legs as originally we thought it was his hips. A Few reflex tests later and the Consultant asked us if we had a occupational therapist ,physiotherapist and a social worker in place?

I replied quite confused and asked why I would have all them involved? and his reply was ‘well that’s normal procedure for children with cerebral palsy to have the teams in place.’

And that my friends was how my boy got diagnosed with Spastic diplegia cerebral palsy.

I remember asking if he would walk, talk, eat on his own using a knife and fork etc and his reply was I cant answer any of them but please don’t look on the internet, and wait for the referrals to come through.

I rang my health visitor devastated as I knew nothing about CP and she had everything in place within a hour and Leo had his first physiotherapy session at 15 months. This is when we met Jayne who has been with Leo from the start and still is now.

Within 4 weeks at 16months Leo sat up unaided, I will always remember that day.

It wasn’t long before he also got measured up for his first pair of splints to help him get on his feet they were so tiny. At 3.5 years old Leo started to use a walking frame and got his first wheelchair so no more being judged for having a 3.5 year old in a pushchair!

I remember asking Jayne when he was 2 when she thought he would walk and nothing can prepare you for what she said next.

‘It’s really difficult to tell as every child with cp is different, I think if he does walk it would be by the age of 7-9years old and it might just been too hard for him and he may favour his wheelchair more.’

What the actual f@!K was she saying to me? I understood but found it incredibly hard to take in that my son would most probably never walk!

As Leo got older he got heavier and I had a tiny frame so lifting him in and out of the car got increasingly difficult, I used to get filthy looks when using the blue badge with him.

When Leo got to about 4 years old he was really good at high knee crawling and that’s how he got about.

I also remember one particular day, it was a lovely warm day and loads of children were playing in our car park and leo was desperate to join in so I thought sod it .. go on and play but stay just outside the garden gate so I can see you. (car park was a secured locked one with slow opening gate that creaked). Then I heard crying that sounded like my boy so I ran out and he was crawling towards me with tears streaming down his face and muddy hands and cut knees where he had tried to crawl  fast to keep up with everyone but just couldn’t.

I’ll tell you something now, My heart SHATTERED and I just cried for him.

I remembered registering to the Scope website a few months back as they had a forum for parents with cerebral palsy, I remember seeing a lady post about a operation in America that could help children with cp walk. At first I thought it was a load of bollocks, its brain damage so I just browsed past it.  After experiencing what Leo had just gone through I was more desperate now to try anything and I remembered the post. so I messaged the lady and she sent me through all of this information and I forwarded to my mum to read too. My mum called me back but she was speechless and explained it all to me and said its definitely worth a go. So I emailed St Louis Children’s hospital in Missouri and they sent me a form to fill out and send back with a video if leo trying to do certain things like crawling, rolling, standing if he could ( leo couldn’t stand or walk unaided at all )

We did everything they asked us to do and sent the forms. In the mean time I had spoken to Leos consultant who was against the operation as she had never heard of it before and that it was in a different country. well I went against what she said as I wanted to look my son in the eyes when he was older and tell him I did everything I could to help him walk.

I remember the day I received the email from the hospital saying Leo would be a good candidate for the surgery which is called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy. I literally couldn’t of been any happier I finally had some hope for him.

But now the hard part ….we had to fundraise £70,000

Part 2 coming soon…..