Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Epcot with Mast Cell Disease and Service Dog

Day 2 was spent at Epcot! I had been here years ago, and had very vague recollections of it, so I was excited to what (if anything) I remembered. The answer: almost nothing. =P Other than the iconic giant golf ball, everything about Epcot seemed brand new.

Ready for Day 2 at Disney!
The first thing we did when we got there was Test Track. Or at least half of Test Track...we missed the first part. When we get to a ride, we always ask the cast member if it is safe for service dogs. The answer here was no. We were directed to the exit where we were met by another cast member who took us to the crate where we could leave Leni during the ride. Then we went back through the exit to get on.

This attraction is 2 parts. The first part you virtually design a car to however you like and get a card with your car's details on it. The second part of the ride you scan your card (that has your car on it) and get in one of the cars that "tests" the specifications of each car (up to 12ish per ride car). As we would go through each testing station, we would see the rankings of which designs did the best. Since we had entered through the exit, we missed the part where you actually got to design the cars. That wasn't a big deal for me and my mom, and I'm sure if we had asked, they would have let us go back to the start, but it's something to be aware of if you're taking a service dog with you to this ride.

After Test Track, we had gotten our FastPass+ for Soarin' which was supposed to be one of the top attractions at Epcot. It was BY FAR!!! It was even worth the almost mast cell reaction... =P This was another ride where Leni had to wait in a crate. I was also a bit unsure how Herman would be accommodated since you end up 35-50 feet in the air...thankfully, there is a small basket underneath each seat and goes in the air, too, so all was good.

Like I said, we LOVED this ride! It was basically a flight simulator that took you all around the world to see some of the iconic parts of each continent. I almost wanted to go on again it was so good, except for one minor issue...to make if feel more real, there were scents associated with each destination on the screen. The elephants in Africa were fine, but when we got to the incense at the Taj Mahal and fragrances at the Eiffel Tower...things got a bit dicey. Thankfully, I had my service mom with me since Leni was in the crate. =P My sense of smell is not great so I didn't even notice the scents, but my mom did. Plus, as soon as we picked Leni up, she alerted me...so we took a quick break for some emergency medications and rest.

Thankfully, we were able to keep things under control with my meds and by staying in the air conditioning for a bit. We rode Living with the Land and Nemo, both of which Leni could ride. She just lay on the bottom of the boats and chilled. I think she was just glad that we weren't leaving her behind again. She especially liked Living with the Land because we were at the front of the boat, so she got to look out and watch, too.

Leni enjoyed being in the first boat on Living with the Land!
Next up we headed out to the World Showcase to walk around and see the different countries. We decided to ride Frozen Ever After (no laughing!!!!) since my mom is a travel agent and this is one of the most popular new attractions at Epcot. The wait when we got there was 60 minutes, so we had the chance to use the disability access pass. We went up to the cast member at the line entrance and asked for a return time. She scanned my magic band and told us when we could come back to get on. During that time, we went a few doors down to China (so close to Norway, who knew??) and watched a 360-degree film about the history of China. You're technically not supposed to sit on the floor in these theaters, but I was so worn out that I did. Thankfully, no one said anything, but we later found out they always have wheelchairs available at these theaters if you need to sit, so make sure to ask!

We went back to Frozen for our return time and were able to go through the FastPass+ line to get on pretty quickly. Leni was allowed on this ride, which we were very thankful for about 5 minutes after we got on the boats....because the ride broke down...yep, we got stuck on Frozen! They tried to get it up and running again, but after about 15 minutes announced that the ride would be closing due to technical difficulties (thank you, Captain Obvious =P). They said cast members would be coming around to evacuate the boats, and another 20-30 minutes later, we were finally out of the boats and on our way out! It was a bit challenging because Leni was not able to easily jump or climb out of the boat. We were able to pick her up and just carry her off, but a larger dog could have been a bit more challenging. It was also thankfully air conditioned, so it ended up actually being a good chance for me to rest for a bit.

Waiting to be evacuated off Frozen...thrilling as you can tell...
After our brief rest while waiting to be rescued, we kept walking around the World Showcase. Our last stop was in Canada to watch another 360-degree film about our neighbor to the north (where we learned about the nice wheelchair availability). When we finished the movie, we headed to see the Disney and Pixar Short Films. We saw 3 different short films which were in 4D (3D glasses plus seats moving/water spraying/etc.), so creative and fun to watch! Unfortunately we got stuck in a rainstorm on the way, so we were soaked and freezing while watching...On that note, I highly recommend bringing a rain coat. It totally slipped my mind when packing, but it would have helped me keep from freezing (which I was already doing in the air conditioning) when I had wet clothes.

Soggy Leni Bean!
Bus ride back to the resort, and we were done for the day! Had to strategically exit the park to avoid smokers (and I still needed some of my meds), but we made it back for day 2 at Disney with no EpiPen needed! This night, we only made it to about 5pm before I was already crashing and ready for bed (#oldladystatus #proudofit). Stay tuned for our final day at Disney!

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