Disabled Joy at Disney World
One of my very favorite hashtags to ever be created is #DisabledJoy. Andrew / @menajew created it to show the world that happy disabled people exist, despite the narrative that abled society spins so often.
There’s a common misconception that you can’t be Disabled and happy. That you can’t express joy, and if you do, you must not be hurting or Disabled anymore.
I propose a new hashtag to empower us and show people otherwise: #DisabledJoy.
— Andrew (@menajew) March 25, 2018
I think sometimes people see us and only see the most difficult parts of our lives: bad news at doctors appointments, getting turned away from inaccessible venues, discrimination – and they assume that those pieces are everything. Our entire being is summed up by one portion of who we are or what we face. A lot of times it’s based on nothing but assumptions and snap judgments, too.
Do I love every symptom of my Muscular Dystrophy? No. Do I get frustrated when I’m in pain and struggling? Duh. But I have plenty of happy days, too. My life isn’t devoid of joy just because I’m disabled. This hashtag is such a perfect way to spread positivity in the disability community and fight against ableism.
If you saw my last post, then you know that last week was pretty rough, but it ended on a high note when I was able to have a day full of disabled joy in my happy place: Magic Kingdom!
I was anxious that I’d get sick, but luckily my stubborn stomach held out and the day was exactly what I’ve been needing. It was nice and warm with an amazing breeze. There was also basically no wait for bag check or for scanning our passes, and that’s always a good sign at Disney!
The best part of the day is that my friend Lexi was able to take a half day at work so we could FINALLY adventure around the park together! My pass is only good on weekdays, so it’s definitely been way too long. Our first stop was super important – the new and improved purple wall.
We wandered through Tomorrowland and saw that Stitch was having a meet and greet, so I had no choice but to go hug him immediately. Lilo and Stitch is easily in my top five Disney movies, and I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to get a picture with Stitch! I will say, though, it seems like a massive waste of space to have him all by himself in the building that used to be Stitches Great Escape when it could be a whole new attraction. When are we getting something new?! *cough* wreck it ralph *cough*
For Christmas, Lexi got me this super cute Donald bag from Tokyo Disney. I’m absolutely obsessed with it, and I knew I had to go show it to my dude Donald! Clearly, he was just as excited as I was. He was jumping up and down and kissing me tons. I don’t meet him often, but man, I love that lil duck.
We had fastpasses to meet the princesses because is it really a Disney day without meeting your favorite princess? Tiana is so easy to talk to every time I visit her, but I do always worry about running over her dress. It’s huge and beautiful, so I’m extra careful when we take our photos.
We headed over to Philharmagic (it’s one of my brothers’ favorites) before grabbing some dinner. We ate at Pinocchio Village Haus because it’s quick, easy, and has plenty of seating with the perfect tables for our wheelchairs. I don’t know why their chicken is so good, but I guess it’s hard to mess up chicken tenders.
The only ride we did that day was It’s a Small World, but that was fine by me. Wait times were about an hour for everything else and we didn’t have a ton of time. I was glad we opted for Small World, though, because I finally got to see this happen! I’ve been waiting but have always been off by just a few minutes. It’s the little things, guys.
I decided not to stick around for fireworks because it’s such a bummer to get excited only to get stuck in a crowd and miss everything because I can’t see over everyone standing in front of me. We wandered through some shops and I finally committed to buying something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Friends, I finally own a spirit jersey! It’s millennial pink because I’m basic, and I’m very pleased with my purchase.
We caught some of the fireworks while on the ferry leaving, and it was honestly a perfect day. No pressure, no stress, just sunshine and magic. I’m always so grateful for days like these!