Physical vs. emotional challenges
Written by Daniel Etcheberry
Theme parks can be a challenge for someone who is very disabled (like me) from a physical perspective, but also it can be challenging from an emotional perspective as well. Let me explain; I always have equated theme parks (especially Disney) with family. I went to Magic Kingdom when I was 9 years old with my parents and my sister. For me that represented the theme park experience; a family enjoying together inside an ideal themed place. When I became an adult, I thought how wonderful would be to get married, have kids and go with my own family to a theme park. All that got shattered when a medical condition started to weaken my muscles.Tweet
When I went for the first time to a theme park in a wheelchair, the emotional sadness was worse than the physical limitations. It was heartbreaking to see a dad with his kid over his shoulders because it was something that I wanted to experience, and I knew that was over for me. It was devastating to see dads enjoying a theme park with their own family and knowing that I would never get the chance to have that experience. My sadness didn’t let me enjoy the theme parks to the fullest until one day I got inside the American Adventure at Epcot where something that I saw would change my perspective forever.
A young girl in her early twenties entered the theater in a wheelchair. She got to her spot, and after a few minutes she started to cry; I could see myself as if she were a mirror. I got freaked out, and I knew I couldn’t continue to be sad and not enjoy life. From that day, I decided to enjoy theme parks (and life) with what I have left. I just hope that girl came to the same conclusion.
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