A woman viewed from below is holding out a pass in her hand, her other hand is on a fanny pack on her hips, behind her are palm trees

Using an Attraction Assistance Pass for IBS at Universal Studios

In January, I took a trip to Orlando, Florida, to go to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventures. Originally, I was supposed to head there in December, but I began to flare unexpectedly and had to postpone the trip. Thankfully to postpone, there were no penalty fees, so changing dates was no issue.

The road trip to Universal Studios

I live in Miami, Florida, so the drive to Orlando is quick, only about three and a half hours. I have to say; this was the first road trip where I didn’t feel the need to pack a portable toilet in the car. I was so thrilled because that means I have come a long way in improvement with my IBS symptoms. Before, I would have to pack a trash can with multiple trash bags in case I had to pull over due to urgency. This time around, there was no need. I felt great.

We ended up stopping once to have a bathroom break, but that was it. A tip I would like to share with you to help find rest stops during road trips is to download the app: iExit. It is absolutely wonderful. It shows you where all the restrooms are along the highway and which exit to stop to use them.

Attraction Assitance Pass at theme parks

As far as my experience at the parks go, I had the best time mostly because I decided to ask for an AAP card. It was the best thing I could have ever done. AAP, short for Attraction Assistance Pass, is offered to anyone with a disability or who needs any type of assistance seeing the attractions. Ask for this when you arrive to the park. When I got to the ticket counter I simply said that I have a medical condition that prevents me from standing in line for long periods of time due to the fact that I need to be near a bathroom. No questions asked, they offered me the pass.

Having the AAP card was the only way I was able to enjoy the park the way I did. Sometimes for attractions lines are more than an hour wait and I’m not sure, even me feeling as good as I do, that I would be able to wait those wait times without being anxious about using the restroom.

With this pass, I enjoyed being a kid and riding all the rides without any anxiety about dealing with urgency. I made sure to use the restroom whenever I needed to, and sometimes if we happened to walk by a washroom, I would use it to be safe.

Prepared for IBS flares

I carried a small fanny pack with me that had extra underwear, pads, peppermint oil, and wipes as my emergency stash. This was extremely important for me and gave me peace of mind. It was also so convenient because most rides allow you to bring your fanny pack without having to put it away in a locker. I highly suggest bringing one.

Overall, my time in Orlando was swell. It is a testament to how far I have come. My boyfriend gifted me these tickets in 2015 as a Christmas gift, and my symptoms were so bad that I have been unable to make the trip until now. I was so proud with how much I was able to enjoy and be carefree on this trip. So don’t lose hope. There is always the possibility of improvement!

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