I've been talking for awhile about setting up a Disneyworld vacation for Alex in the fall but this weekend I took the first irrevocable step: I made our reservations.
At first, I thought we would need a full kitchen, which meant we'd have to go with a villa or cabin (which is hugely expensive) but with Alex doing much better with "typical" food, I think we can get away with just a fridge and a microwave, which our helpful Disney representative says are available in all the hotel rooms. That means we can do a longer stay.
I've booked us to arrive on the Sunday and depart on Friday (flights haven't yet been dealt with). That means we're at the park during the week during an off-season time, so it should be relatively quiet. With Alex, we've always found that he (and we) do better with fewer people.
I chose the All-Star Music Resort since Alex is definitely musical. All the resorts seem to have similar amenities: transportation to the parks, room service, dining options, a free movie in the evening, a pool and laundry services. We've reserved a simple room with two double beds.
I got a meal package which included character dining experiences. Alex likes the classic Disney characters: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Goofy and Pluto. But he also likes the Disney princesses. We can reserve our places in advance. And the Dining Coordinator was kind enough to let me know that the chefs will bring in special food for him. We can't bring our own food, but they'll make sure they have stuff he likes to eat on hand. That's a real bonus.
I paid a little extra to get Park Hopper tickets. Knowing Alex, I suspect we'll hit the park for a few hours in the morning but have to come back for a breather after lunch. This gives us the flexibility to go to a different park in the afternoon. Maybe we'll need it, maybe we won't, but I like having the option.
I'm also contacting the staff at Universal Studios to get in touch with Family Feud. They tape at Universal Studios (which I know isn't a part of Disney) but Alex loves Steve Harvey (he wanted to be Steve Harvey for Halloween) and the show. I don't think he'd do well with being part of the audience but if we could arrange a tour of the set, he would love that. Since we're in Orlando anyway, it seems a shame to not try for the opportunity.
The staff at Disney has been as helpful and friendly as rumoured (although I had a brief second take when the third person wished me a "magical day" in under ten minutes). I'm optimistic about this being a great trip and a good experience.