My house has been full of excitement since Kacey's anniversary so I'm sorry for getting the winner up a few hours late!
The winner of the box of love frim VA is Amanda. She has a daughter that is newly diagnosed and I haven't talked with her yet but I'm looking forward to getting to know them :) Amanda, if you could email me your address at my home email ... firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks!
Now, I have to share some VERY cool and exciting news. Since we are pass holders with Busch Gardens and we're there usually 1-2 times a week during the summer, I decided to take a chance and send them an email. Below is what I sent.
We have been BG pass holders for about the last 8 years but we're not new to the park. I've been coming to BG since we moved here in 1978 and we now frequent the park as much as we possibly can. In 2008, my youngest daughter (now 10yrs old) was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. We have visited the park MANY times since her diagnosis but it wasn't until recently that we started to wonder about a pass for her. You see, having Type 1 diabetes and being on an insulin pump has many challenges. We don't like to classify her as disabled but under the circumstances, it's hard not to. It wasn't so bad when she was little because the lines for the kiddie rides are not as long but now that she rides all of the roller coasters, it's MUCH more difficult! When her blood sugar drops low, she has to get out of line, test her sugar, treat her low and then we have to get back into the line we just spent 30-45min waiting in. Also the same if her sugar goes high, we have to get out of line so she can test and then use the restroom. By then, she's hot, she's frustrated and grumpy and it makes the park experience a bit miserable. So I was wondering if you offer anything for guests with these disabilities? The inconvenience of diabetes is enough for her to bear but then when it affects her fun at BG, I feel it's time for me to step up as her mother and find out if there is something we can do to help the fun?
Thank you so much for your help!
And what I got back was this...
Thank you for your interest in Busch Gardens Williamsburg. We offer a RideAdmission Program at the park, which matches the guests' physical and mentalabilities with the ride requirements (manufacturer and company). When you come to the park, stop by the Guest Assistance Center in England where we can enroll your child in our program. Thank you for visiting our website. Should you require additional information, please contact our Customer Service & Information Center at 1-800-343-7946.
Guest Correspondence Team
Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Sooooo...when we got to the park yesterday, I took these emails and went to Guest Assistance. The lady in there was WONDERFUL! She put a band on Kacey (just for the day) and then gave us a sheet of paper to carry with us. This paper entitles Kacey and 3 guests to go straight to the front of the line for ANY ride! If the line is too long and they have a long line for single rider/disabled riders then they sign the paper and tell you what time to come back to get right on the ride. It is good for 30 days and then after 30 days I have to go back and renew it. How amazing is that?!?! Yesterday I saw a smile on her face that couldn't be wiped off! Yep, her blood sugar was in the 300's from the excitement and yep she had to pee more than usual....BUT she didn't have to get out of line to do it :) This just took a HUGE burden off of us and the cool thing is her Daddy and Sissy can ride with her too! (I don't ride the coasters!) I'd like to give a HUGE Thank You to Busch Gardens Williamsburg for having this program to offer. It's hard enough dealing with diabetes on a daily basis and I think Kacey has sure earned this priviledge to have fun! We will continue to be pass holders and look forward to many more fun summers!
Kacey also made the decision to ride Griffon for the first time. This coaster is Busch Gardens newest coaster and the drop is nearly straight down! She's watched from the bottom many times while her Daddy and Sissy rode it but it wasn't until the other day that she decided she was going to ride it. I figured she would chicken out like before but this time was different. She was ready! Daddy said when she got in the seat, she started to cry and she cried all the way up the hill and then when they got to the big drop, I was standing at the bottom and I could hear her screaming. After that, she laughed the entire way! She got off and was shaking while she told me how cool it was and it was her new favorite ride :) Fun! Fun! :)
Now the excitement has switched to leaving for vacation! We leave on Thursday and the girls are READY! It's going to be so much fun just to get out of G-town and I'm looking forward to it!