August 17, 2016

Why We Don’t Do Universal

Hello everyone! I thought this week I would talk a little about our family vacations, and why we do Disney so much. I’ve mentioned before about how I like to stay on site, and why I think it’s worth it, but I thought I would expand a little today. We go to Orlando fairly frequently, but we mainly visit Walt Disney World. So why don’t we do Universal?

Why We Don't Do Universal

I’ve mentioned previously that my sister Alexandra is in a wheelchair, but not really in depth. She has Cerebral Palsy, and understands everything you say to her. She requires full time care, and has a custom wheelchair. She can’t use her arms to push herself, or feed herself. She can’t hold her head up or use her hands to grab onto something for a long period of time. Why is this important to talk about? It’s Universal’s policy for people with disabilities. Did we know this before we went in 2012? Nope. My family is full of Harry Potter fans, and on our 10 day trip to Orlando in May 2012 we tried to see a lot. We visited Sea World, Kennedy Space Center, Islands of Adventure at Universal Orlando, and Walt Disney World. The day at Universal Studios was the absolute worst of the trip.

Our day at Islands of Adventure was one that I wanted to forget. We headed straight to Hogsmeade at the back of the park and Ethan and I rode Dueling Dragons. From there we headed to Hogwarts to ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. As we approached the entrance, the staff there asked if Alex could hold her head up or hold onto the handrail, to which we answered “no”. She couldn’t ride. We ended up using rider swap so my parents and Ethan and I could ride. While one pair waited with Alex in the loading area, the other pair rode, then we switched.

I won’t go into detail of every ride we went up to, but this happened at every single ride. By lunch time, I was so upset. I didn’t want to do anything that Alex couldn’t, and because she is non-verbal I felt like I needed to express my anger and frustration for her. I was in tears, which upset her even more. We had just ridden the Spider Man ride when a manager saw how upset we were. I was ready to leave. She expressed her apologies for how we had spent our day and gave us a few options. We could be refunded for our tickets, or get admission to Universal Orlando where the Shrek 4-D show was, which was the only thing Alex could do because she could stay in her chair. We decided to go to the other park. Before we left, Alex got a treat. We got to go into Ollivander’s just the 5 of us, and a wand chose Alex! It was the highlight of her day.

I did really appreciate how that manager did her best to turn our day around, but our experience still was upsetting. We spent a few hours at Universal Orlando before calling it a day. I think the whole experience was exhausting. I decided to film a video about our experience to help spread awareness about Universal’s policies. I explain a little more about our day in the video below:

 

I decided to write this post not to bash Universal, but to raise awareness of their policies. I think that if we had know that Alex wasn’t going to be able to do anything, we most likely wouldn’t have visited. We are spoiled from spending so much time at Disney where everything is so accommodating, so it definitely opened our eyes to what else is out there, and why Disney is so great. I think that I would visit Universal Orlando again, just not with my family. After some searching I did find some information on Universal’s policy for people with disabilities. To see their policies, click here. It wasn’t where I thought it should be, and definitely not obvious!

I asked Alex to write a sentence or two for me explaining how she felt that day. She uses a communication device to speak, and because it can be so time consuming to build sentences, they aren’t always grammatically correct.  Here is what she said:

“I was feeling very sad why I could not went on the rides”

I know this post has been a bit of a downer, but I always want to be honest about my experiences, whether they are good or bad. We learned a lot by visiting Universal Orlando that day, and I hope people can learn about their policies and think about that before visiting. I think part of it was our fault for not reading up about it before, but part of it is on Universal. It just doesn’t sit right with me that people can pay for tickets and go into the park with someone who can’t do anything. Having worked at a camp full of individuals like Alex, I couldn’t imagine those kids going through the same thing. Please help me by spreading the word!

 

As always, thank you for reading!

Kelsey
January 6, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I thought I would change it up a little this week and do a personal post. I wanted to share some of the awesome things I got for Christmas (which of course some are Disney related) and share my new years resolutions. (Maybe putting it on the internet will help me stick to it? I guess we will find out!) Let’s start with the Christmas goodies!

This was given to me from a co-worker, and was created by another co-worker. I absolutely love it!

This was given to me from a co-worker, and was created by another co-worker. I absolutely love it!

I got a few gift cards, can't wait to use them!

I got a few gift cards, can’t wait to use them!

I saw this at a shop in November and LOVED it. I was so happy to get it from Ethan's parents.

I saw this at a shop in November and LOVED it. I was so happy to get it from Ethan’s parents.

Ethan got this for me, and it is just the one I wanted! I can't get over the colour on the face! I love the rose gold as well :)

Ethan got this for me, and it is just the one I wanted! I can’t get over the colour on the face! I love the rose gold as well 🙂

Ethan also got me some prints of Disney attractions, and I love the retro feel of them!

Peter Pan's Flight

Haunted Mansion Print

Peoplemover Print

I also wanted to share one of the gifts I gave, 1- because I was proud of keeping it a secret, and 2- because I am in love with it! I gave this to Ethan for Christmas (along with a camera strap for his DSLR). He took the photo in February, and it’s just so beautiful!

Spaceship Earth on Canvas

New Years Resolutions

  1. Make time for myself.

It’s all too easy to get caught up with helping others, and while that is good and all, you need to take care of yourself! Even if it’s just an hour a week, I’m going to do something I want. I’ve gotten into the routine on Sundays to plan out my week in my planner (which I will be sharing soon!) and watching YouTube videos. I’ll light a candle, drink some tea, and enjoy. It’s the perfect way to spend an hour in my opinion. I want to make sure I stick with that this year, and hopefully I will

2. Quit Complaining!

This is something I really need to work on. I want to be more positive in general. While it is a little embarrassing to admit, I complain a lot. There’s not a whole lot to say about it, but I want to be better!

3. Be healthier.

I’ve recently discovered a fitness website Tone It Up, and it has changed working out for me. I started an 8 week challenge on Sunday, complete with a workout schedule, and because I am a member- an 8 week meal plan. That means I’m making healthy food for myself every day. I did the “Fit for Fall” Challenge from October-December, and was really proud of how well I did. But now I want to do better. I feel like every year this is a resolution that everyone has, but this time I want to stick to it! Working out used to be intimidating basically because I had no clue what I was doing, but now it’s all laid out for me. If you are looking to make the same resolution, check out their website here. If I went from doing absolutely nothing, to working out every day for 8 weeks (more now because I’m still on a roll!) so can you.

I'm IN!

4. Run a 5K!

This was my new years resolution from last year, and it didn’t happen. I’ve been running as part of the Fall challenge, so hopefully I can sign up for a 5K and run it no problem! That’s the hope, anyways 🙂 I’d like to do a run for cancer research, in honour of my Auntie Lynne who passed away in 2013. I’m mad at myself for not doing it last year, so I’m hoping I can do it this year!

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed a glimpse into my holiday! Let me know if you’d like to see more personal posts, because I don’t mind sharing!

What are your new years resolutions? I’d love to hear some of them in the comments if you care to share!

Thanks for reading, and Happy New Year! I hope 2016 bring all of you the absolute best!

Kelsey
October 14, 2015

Check In: A Little About Me

I thought it would be nice to change it up a little, and tell you about myself. It’s hard to read a blog and not know anything about the person who is doing all the writing. I figured I could do this every once in a while, and share any life updates with all of you. I want this blog to be about my life as well, not just about Disney (although that it a big part of my life). So here’s a little bit about me.

The Lookout

If you don’t already know, I’m Kelsey. I’m in my early twenties and I still live at home, because my family situation is a little different. As I’ve mentioned in some previous posts my sister Alexandra has a disability. She has Cerebral Palsy, and is in a wheelchair. Part of the reason I still live at home is to help my parents with my sister. We also have a dog Mandy (named after Mandy Moore, she’s 12).  You may also know (or seen pictures) of my boyfriend Ethan. He lives with us too! We are in the process of doing some renovations at my house, building a room and bathroom in our basement, eventually for Alex but for now for Ethan and I. So, because our room is being drywalled right now we are living in my old room. Long story short, everything from my old room is currently in the dining room, making it difficult to schedule posts when some things I need are in the mess of the dining room! So I’ve moved some posts around a little and am excited for what it coming up! So there’s a little bit of background on my home life. I’m also working full time and do cakes in my spare time (you can see an example of one of my cakes on my About Me page).

This is from my graduation from Small Business Entrepreneurship

This is from my graduation from Small Business Entrepreneurship

My puppy!

My puppy!

Now having this blog, working and baking does take up a lot of my time, but I still am happy to relax a bit every night.  I’ve recently gotten into watching YouTube, it started before my last trip to Walt Disney World. I would watch people Vlogging from Walt Disney World and started watching their other vlogs. I watch four channels regularly. Gillianathome because she loves Disney, and is from Toronto (yay Canadians!), Kyleandcourt because there family is awesome, and they love Disney, Beingmommywithstyle because she loves Disney, and her youngest daughter Natalie is hilarious, and Seeyareelsoon because Joe and Ashley are entertaining and most of their vlogs happen while they are in Disney. The names of the YouTube channels I watch are listed just as that, in case you want to check them out! 🙂 YouTube really is a community, like blogging, so it’s always fun to see what’s new. I also love to read and watch a few tv shows regularly. Right now I watch Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris because of NPH, Survivor (yes I still watch it, and LOVE it), Grey’s Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, and The Walking Dead. Watching YouTube for me is like watching aTV show so I feel like I have more on the go than I do. Ethan and I are trying to get into the habit of being more active, and taking pictures more often! Some of the above pictures were taken on a recent trip to Huntsville for a wedding, in which we hiked to the Lookout.

I couldn't help but put a Disney picture in here!

I couldn’t help but put a Disney picture in here!

Also, in case anyone would like to be pen pals, I have a PO box for the blog!

A Disney Obsession

PO Box 18203

Steeple Hill Postal Outlet PO

Pickering, Ontario, Canada

L1V 0B8

I hope this post has given you a little insight into my life, and let me know if you like posts like this! I’m also always thinking of blog post ideas so if there is something you would like to see on the blog let me know in the comments!

As always, thank you for reading!

Kelsey