The Disney Dream!

What a GREAT trip! Thank you, everyone — staff, donors, family and friends — for supporting our Disney Dream!

Here’s a recap of the trip, courtesy of Susan Onan-Swartz. We’ve also got a newsletter about the trip! Download it here.

Getting to Disney (May 5-6):

We left Traverse City at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, May 5.  We arrived at the hotel near the Detroit airport about 10 p.m., got into our rooms and settled.

We were up early repacking the suitcases and checking the bags prior to going through security.  The hotel bus delivered us right to the check point, We gathered our belongings with staff carrying extra items for struggling clients. We used the kiosk to print boarding passes and with our bright orange BrickWays shirts we went on through security!

We had arranged assistance in getting to the gate but were advised that the internal transit would take us to our gate. That worked great until our flight was moved from gate 63 to gate 18. We made the trek and learned how to navigate on and off moving sidewalks. Staffed groups used bathroom facilities and helped participants get food, snacks or whatever once we were at the final gate. The flight was delayed as the first officer had called in sick so they had to bring in another staff person from Las Vegas.

The Delta crew boarded our group first and gave us time to get them safely settled before boarding the rest of the plane. We were all together and we monitored those who had not flown before checking in with them frequently, providing distractions and reassurance. Easy peasy!

Special thanks to Nel Vickers who drove to Detroit and sat in the airport parking lot to assist in the event that someone was not able to manage the flight!  We watched movies until landing. It was a bit of a trek to the Disney transport but we knew that and took our time. We made it without major incident to the hotel, checked in to our rooms, got some FOOD and then went swimming, which was amazing as we were really tired.

Day 1 at Disney (Tuesday, May 7)
Group 1: Hollywood Studios high adventure group on Terror Tower and Aerosmiths Rock n Roller coaster  (Amanda Morey and Jerry Morse).

Group 2/3/4  Epcot: Group 2 started at the Test Track and Mission Space. Group 3 started at Finding Nemo and the ride FROZEN in "Norway.” Group 4 began the day with a character dining event.

We met later and mixed things up.

Boy, was it hot and we were just getting used to it.  We bought cold water bottles with sprayers and fans and also cooling towels. Once we even poured cold water on our heads. When it got too bad we took refuge in shops. No sunburns or dehydration ever. We monitored water intake and used multiple kinds of sunscreen. Sometimes we did get a little flushed in the photos but it was just temporary as it was 93 out.

The Hollywood studios group went right on until closing at 8 p.m. The other groups returned to dinner/pool between 5 and 7.  We really enjoyed the pool! After the Hollywood group returned we had time so a fairly large group of us headed into Disney Springs (formerly downtown Disney) for power shopping.  I think the place is bigger than Epcot!  WE SHOPPED! We got back to the hotel about 10:30 p.m. and took a quick swim before bed.

Day 2 at Disney (Wednesday, May 8)

Susan, Amanda and Michele went to Animal Kingdom with their groups. Kathy hit Toy Story at HollyWood Studios with her group and Jerry went to Epcot with "the boys." Wednesday night was also laundry night.  Never offer to throw a couple things into your wash load.  We had 7 loads!

Day 3 at Disney (Thursday, May 9)

Susan with just Abe and Chris at Animal Kingdom.  Everyone else decided to go to the Magic Kingdom. More details there later. There was a Florida thunderstorm and downpour, a scary ride at the kingdom and some banshee riding before a final shopping trip that closed down the shops after 11:30 p.m.! No early bedtime for our last night!

Susan Onan