Look up the word “superhero” in the dictionary and you will learn that it is someone who is “a hero, possessing extraordinary, often magical powers.” Most moms wish we had stretchy arms like Elastigirl from the movie The Incredibles to easily multitask in our crazy lives. I secretly think that one of our newest Walt Disney World Moms Panelists, Kim Dillen, does!
Kim is not only a superhero to the many patients she helps as a Registered Nurse, but also to her husband Rich, 19-year-old son Andrew and 9-year-old daughter Nia. One of Kim’s superpowers is her wealth of knowledge to share with families who have questions about Walt Disney World Resort – in particular, helping plan vacations for families with children with mobility and medical needs.
“As the mom of a special needs child myself, it’s great to be able to share my experience with other parents and talking about what works (and sometimes what doesn’t work) with my own daughter,” Kim says. “I think it’s a great way to get the message out to other parents that you really can do a Walt Disney World vacation. In my opinion, Disney Parks are the most special needs-friendly destinations on the planet, and I’m happy to help other guests discover that.”
Kim’s advice to all parents planning a Walt Disney World vacation is to schedule a lot of downtime when you’re organizing your family’s schedule. Kim’s daughter Nia loves traveling to Disney Parks, and while squeezing in time to meet princesses and seeing all of her favorite shows, Kim says allowing time for both mom and daughter to recharge is a must.
“Nia has some sensory issues so you can imagine that might be difficult for her to navigate in a place with so many bright colors, lights and loud sounds,” Kim says. “But we take things at her pace and make sure she doesn’t get overwhelmed. It’s really important to be able to take a few moments or even an entire day while on vacation [at Walt Disney World] to just relax by the pool at your resort or take breaks if your child seems like they need some rest time.”
As a self-described “Disney fanatic and Type A planner,” Kim is someone who loves making vacation magic happen for her own family and for others. She has planned dozens of trips that each required unique needs; from special diets to traveling with a preschooler and a teenager at the same time, Kim has done it all.
“I love seeing questions directed to me involving guests with disabilities or diet restrictions because I’ve been in their shoes,” she says. “And for them to have a vacation where they don’t have to worry about some details and are treated just like everyone else, that is truly magical.”
Do you have a question for Kim about traveling with children with special needs? Visit DisneyWorldMoms.com.