A Spoonie Does Disney: Part 3

This is part 3 of a long post I’ve broken up, detailing my experience at Disney World resorts and parks as a spoonie. Here are parts 1 and 2.

Swedish massage
With the exception of the massages I received in the hospital after my girls were born, I’d never had a real full body massage. Mike suggested that I get one, and I’m not one to argue when encouraged to pamper myself. I opted for the Swedish massage, as it seemed to be the less intense of the two types that were offered.
On the afternoon of my appointment, I walked into the bright lobby of the Ship Shape Health Club & Spa and was led by the receptionist to their massage waiting area. Once we walked through the door to the massage area, I was instantly transported. It was as if I had stepped through a wormhole into tranquility. The light was a soft turquoise and dim, the room gently lit by candles and a beachy chandelier. In the waiting room were several high-backed chairs that I could have easily snoozed in. I was encouraged to partake of the fresh fruit and orange-infused water on a counter in the room.

If you ever go and decide to book a massage at the Ship Shape Health Club & Spa, ask for Mary. She was my fabulous masseuse. I told her that I have fibromyalgia, and she knew exactly what I lived with and needed because, as it turns out, her mother also lives with fibro. Over the next 50 minutes, she was able to help me relax and work out a good deal of the pain I’d been dealing with lately. She was able to unlock my hip, doing so without further aggravating the pain in my back that was causing it. (She told me she could tell my hip was bothering me by how I was laying on the table.) And, can I just say, warm, wet towels wrapped on the feet….heaven! By the end I had to keep reminding myself where I was so I wouldn’t think out loud, because of how relaxed I felt. I was also proud of myself for not having farted, drooled, or snored.

During my time there, I never felt rushed. In fact, I was encouraged to take my time and relax. Once my massage was over, Mary gave me more water and led me back to the massage waiting area. She made sure that I felt as though I could stay there and rest as long as I needed. I definitely felt as though I was the only customer who mattered, and that my individual needs were met while at the spa that day. I’m pretty sure that I need to get my rheumatologist to write me a prescription for massages so I can try to get insurance to pay for them. I’m thinking a dosage of 1-2 per day should do the trick.
I left the spa feeling loose and light and almost daydreamy. The people who walked past me and squealed at the pool were just fuzzy background noise. My mind was quiet; I wasn’t having to think about any pain that was plaguing me. I felt ready to take on the convention event at Universal Studios that night and the Disney parks in the coming weekend. I mean, I was fixed! She cured me, especially of that pesky hip!

Naturally that meant I had to go and break it again.

To be continued…

A Spoonie Does Disney: Part 2

This is part 2 from a really long post about my experience at the Disney World resorts and parks as a spoonie. You can read part 1 here.

Speaking of food, plenty of it was available during my stay. There were several restaurants within the hotel itself, (which is attached to the Beach Club Resort.) Just make sure you have reservations well in advance if you don’t want to risk having to wait to get a table. Several mornings I popped down to the Captain’s Grille to get breakfast. While they had a well-stocked buffet, I opted for ordering from the menu all but one time. My hip, legs, and feet had been killing me, so I had no desire to get up and go get my breakfast. The food was pretty good and, considering it’s Disney, wasn’t horribly overpriced.
Citrus-scented challah french toast with fresh strawberry compote, white chocolate drizzle, and lavendar-infused syrup anyone?

A boat ride away were Boardwalk-style cart vendors with hot dogs, corn dogs, margaritas, pizza, and funnel cake and more sit down restaurants. I was disappointed that Cat Cora’s restaurant was closed for renovations.
And if you can’t leave your room because you can barely walk, there’s always room service. Yes, it’s a bit overpriced, but the prices aren’t bad considering that it’s Disney room service. And the food you receive is actually good.
Oh, nothing. Just pan-seared chicken with butternut squash pureé, pomegranate reduction, pumpkin seed pesto, sautéed squash, and fergola.

A Spoonie Does Disney: Part 1


Last week I got what I’ve needed for a very long time: a vacation. Mike had a conference for work down in Orlando, so I tagged along. The plan was that Mike would do his conference thing, I would do my sleep in as late as I wanted, order room service, get a massage, and adopt an almost monk-like vow of silence thing, and then we’d hit the Disney parks on Friday and Saturday. As I prepared for the trip, I wasn’t quite sure how I would handle Disney as a spoonie and what sort of accommodations Disney would provide, should I need them. Now that I know, I thought I would share them with the rest of my fellow spoonies.

On Tuesday afternoon we left our loud, needy, and whiny quiet, well-behaved, lovely children in the capable hands of Mike’s dad and my mother and flew down. The Disney Yacht Club Resort was one of the hotels that the company who put on the conference contracted with, so we decided to stay on property there. Because we stayed on property, we were able to ride on the Disney Magical Express from the airport to our hotel and Disney took care of picking up our luggage and delivering it to our hotel room. As a spoonie who had just had a really uncomfortable flight and wanted nothing to do with lugging heavy bags around, this was a fabulous free service. It did take longer for us to get to our room and for our bags to arrive than we had hoped. Fortunately, we were prepared and had packed a change of clothes in our carry ons so we were dressed appropriately for our dinner reservation at The Yachtsman steakhouse.

Once we stepped into our room, (and I flopped on our bed) I knew I was going to be really comfortable in the coming week. The bed was soft, but firm, and I had access to several pillows, as we ended up having two queen beds in our room. My only real complaint was that there wasn’t really an accessible outlet to plug my heating pad into while laying in bed. Our room overlooked a lawn and small gazebo that was used for weddings. Across the lawn was the lake and dock where boats ferried visitors across the way to the Boardwalk and to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
It’s impossible to wake to a sunrise like this and not feel peaceful.

Serenity Now
With the exception of some busy times in the lobby, I never felt overwhelmed by people or noise. Even their expansive pool never felt crowded, nor filled with too many sounds of screeching children. If part of your exercise routine, as someone with chronic pain, is swimming, you’ll definitely be able to do that here. Actually, there are two pools: the large Stormalong Bay and the smaller and more secluded Admiral’s Pool. Dotted around the pools were one of my favorite features, the hot spas. For me, the hot water and water jets were perfect for relaxing my muscles. (Especially after Mike talked me into swimming in the pool one night when it was only in the 60s. I may have waddled quickly to my towel mumbling, Coldcoldcoldcoldcoldcold, a la Anna after tumbling into the stream in Frozen.)
Located at the pool was quick service food and a fully stocked bar, so I didn’t have to go far to have a yummy lunch and scrumptious adult frozen drink. Any spoonie knows that, the less energy you expend, the better. It was nice to not have to leave the pool, go to my room and get dressed, and then find some lunch that was worth eating.
My view as I ate my lunch.

Other peaceful places…and a Mai Tai.

The post was getting too long, so I’ve broken it up into 5 parts. More A Spoonie Does Disney to follow, including my thoughts on food, services, and accessibility and mobility to follow.