Happy 35th Anniversary, Epcot!

ALS,Caregiving,Epcot,Walt Disney World

July 2014

Learning about this anniversary brought a big smile to my face, as I remembered how much Ben enjoyed Epcot, and how much fun we had there together. I consider it a gift that, in the face of difficult memories of ALS, our experiences at Epcot were so positive and full of joy.

After Ben’s diagnosis, we splurged and stayed at the Boardwalk Inn, because it was the hotel that always impressed us when we strolled the Boardwalk, and we never know which visit would be our last. As it turned out, the Boardwalk was a perfect location, because Ben could easily scoot to the back entrance of Epcot by the World Pavilions, which he absolutely loved. The World Pavilions have less attractions requiring transfers, so he had the freedom to ride around in his electric wheelchair. As I’ve written in my post about our visits to Walt Disney World, another highlight of Epcot was that during the Food and Wine Festival, we could try a variety of foods from the kiosks and then find a discreet place to sit where I could feed him and we could take as long as needed.

We met Mickey and many of his friends, laughed with Crush, and Ben played the air guitar along with the bands he loved to listen to.

I will always be grateful for the good memories of our time at Epcot, and for the kindness and graciousness with which the Disney cast members accommodated and welcomed Ben.

Thank you, Epcot, and may your anniversaries continue to infinity and beyond!

Here are some favorite memories from visits to Epcot. They range from our carefree, pre-ALS days to our last visit in 2014. You can see some of the physical effects of ALS on Ben, but his attitude was always great!

I took this in “Mexico” during our first visit together to Walt Disney World, in 2001, when there were no thoughts of ALS or physical limitations.

ALS,Caregiving,Epcot,Walt Disney World

Fun times pre-ALS, 2006

2006

2006

This was Ben’s first excursion in the scooter, May 2010

Epcot shopping in the rain in our matching Mickey and Minnie rain ponchos! May 2010

October 2011

Ben needed a cane but he walked to Mickey! 2012

July 2014. Things were harder to do, but Ben was still smiling! Below: air guitar at the England Pavilion. He always looked forward to hearing the live bands, and was especially thrilled when they played The Beatles!