London, Autism and Aladdin Part 1

Autism / Disney / General / London


This week we have been having an adventure in London.

Every year since Ben and I became a couple I have spent a good chunk of my year traveling to England. Now we always try to fit at least one trip to England a year in with our kids. This year due to family and work commitments, instead of staying with family we squeezed in a flying visit to London. And for the first time for the kids we stayed in central London.

To prepare Elijah before we went Ben had prepared a booklet outlining all we would be doing including our travel plans and maps of how we got from the airport to our hotel etc.


We where super excited to travel, our main aims where to see Aladdin, visit the natural history museum and war museum and to find as many BFG jars as we could.

We started off on a crazy early flight to London with Ryanair who again, (having flown with them to Disney in May), I couldn’t fault. The staff where friendly and efficient the flights where super cheap (£100 for the 4 of us) and the flight left and arrived on time. Although we had to get up at 4am, I am glad we got the early flight as the timings worked out really well for us. After our flight we headed into London on the Gatwick express, (£50 for all 4 of us). We then got the underground (using our tourist oyster cards which get discount on many stores in London, including 10% in m&m world) and headed to tower hill station where we started our BFG trail as we had some time before we could check into our hotel. We managed to see three dream jars within our first half hour of looking and we also took in the Tower of London, Tower Bridge and the Shard. The kids didn’t even realise how far they where walking as they were so excited to find the jars.  We then where getting sore feet and all getting a little grumpy from the early start so we stopped at pret a manger for bacon baps which did the trick and perked us all up. We then dreaded on to find another two jars at monument, where we had a chat about the fire on London which Megan knew about but Eli didn’t and then we headed towards bank station where we could get the DLR train to our hotel and also find one more Dream Jar at the London exchange.


I think the DLR or Docklands Light Railway, was Elijahs fav part of the trip. He loved being on a train with no driver, he was excited to sit in the front seat and he and Megan would pretend they where driving us. Initally Elijah was quite worried about this and Ben had to explain exactly how it works and how it was safe for us to get on it. Elijah was also unaware of the dangers of the train stations and ould try to dash off if one of us wasn’t holding his hand at all times. This was possibly the most stressful part of the trip for me, I was constantly worried he would fall or go onto the tracks or not get on or off the train. Even though we where holding onto him at all times it still just irrationally made me very nervous. Megan has really grown up this past year and she enjoyed working out what train we would be getting next and how long it would take, and how to follow the correct signs.


This trip, we stayed at Travelodge Docklands, this is about a 5min walk from the East India, DLR station, we weren’t really sure what to expect and its a little further out than we’ve stayed before but I honestly couldn’t fault it. The staff where very helpful and friendly, we checked in at 12 and our room was ready for us, we added on breakfast which was £15 for all 4 of us per day and had a great selection. The rooms where really quiet and the area was quiet and felt very safe. The only negative was that the lift wasn’t working but they did have people in fixing it while we where there. The hotel cost us £100 for the two nights which in august in London is an amazing price. We spent around £15 per day on our oyster card in total travelling and that was for all four of us for the whole day.

After we checked into our hotel we headed back into central London to go to M&M world and the Nickelodeon store as well as finding a few more Dream jars. After our shopping we headed to get some dinner before the theatre. We headed to Pizza Express at charring cross, however it wasn’t the greatest experience, the staff which quite disconnected so they forgot our starters, they had to remake our main meals and then they totally messed up the bill. The food when it arrived did taste amazing.

We then headed to the theatre to catch Aladdin, Megan and Elijah had both asked to dress up as Aladdin and jasmine and they where so excited to see this musical. As you know we are all massive Disney fans and we love the Aladdin movie. Ben and I had seen this in June and we couldn’t wait to see the kids reaction to all the amazing costumes, lights and songs. Our second viewing of Aladdin did not disappoint. Elijah was very overwhelmed by the time we got to the station, London is os noisey and busy that his wee mind was in a complete sensory overload and he had barely spoken the whole day. We have found more and more recently that as Elijah’s anxiety and sensory experiences increase, he withdraws more from us and the world around him. During the first half Elijah was tried and overwhelmed but did sit well and simply didn’t react, which isn’t unusual for Elijah, he usually is very still during a performance and the only time I have seen him react is at slapstick humour in a pantomime. By the time Friend Like me came on Elijah had rallied a little and he sat forward but again we couldn’t gage what he thought, Megan was completely engrossed with a massive smile on her face, The second half Elijah again watched every moment but by the end with no signs of emotion we thought he was exhausted and overwhelmed we picked up our things and prepared to head back to our hotel when he took my hand and asked could we go to the stage door to try to meet Genie.


Its very unusual for Elijah to ask to do something, we usually plan out days and prepare him for what is ahead, he rarely makes decisions or openly expresses what he would like to do. When he asked to go and meet the cast I immediately said yes, much to a sleepy Megan’s protests, (I knew once the cast came out she would be very happy too).  We headed round to the stage door and I was really nervous incase nobody arrived by after around 20mins cast started to come out and they all made such a fuss of Megan and Elijah in their costumes. We met, Sultan who was just beyond kind, Iago who was fun as always, Jasmine who megan just adored and then Trevor who plays Genie arrived and the kids just beamed. Then just as we where walking away, Dean John Wilson who plays Aladdin appears and Eljah spotted him and started pulling me back towards him. A lovely family let us nip in front of them to get some pictures. Dean was so Kind and chatted away to megan and Elijah and then as we started to walk to the train station, my little overwhelmed baby boy, started to sing, and he sang the whole way back to the Hotel!!


Never underestimate the kindness of a stranger. Those actors had performed two shows that day, a high energy intense show. They had to make journeys back across London to their homes at 11pm at night before doing it all again the next day, they have families of they own to see and its a working day for them, they’re not on holidays like we where and yet they made time for my kids. Megan is more determined than ever to be an actress she is so inspired by the hard work and determination and if nothing else watching that show will drive her to keep working on her confidence which has been such an issue for her this year. Elijah was trapped in his overwhelmed sensory world but the kindness and the magic of these artists brought him right out of his shell and made him happy and full of life again. People might say that a WestEnd show is silly or a waste of money. I say its therapy!!!

I will forever be grateful to the cast of Aladdin and as always to Walt Disney x


You can check out my original Aladdin Review here:



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