A family from North Carolina got a one of a kind experience during a recent visit to Walt Disney World that started years ago after they got a serious medical diagnosis with for their son.
Amanda Coley says her son, Jackson, started going to the theme park near Orlando four years ago but did not open up much – as the visit was just weeks before he was diagnosed with autism.
“We brought him on that trip. He was scared of all the characters, just wasn't sure,” she told NBC affiliate WESH-TV from their home. “Some of them he wasn't really scared of, just didn't have any interest in, so he'd walk away."
Coley documented the bond her son created over the years with one of the characters at the park who plays Snow White – moments showing Jackson opening up with all the Disney princesses.
"They all do it with a smile on their face, and they hug him, and they spend the time with him," Coley said. "When you see those moments and the pictures and the video, you have no idea that he's had any meltdowns or that he's had any difficulties because he lights right up with them. It's worth every meltdown we may have to deal with.”
Coley said the family already is planning their next visit to Disney World in 2020.