Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Cochlear Celebration 2011

WOW!! After going to the Cochlear Celebration at Disney World we are already trying to figure out how we are going to be able to make it to Cochlear Celebration 2013 in San Diego---it was that much fun! Even though we weren't able to attend as many of the sessions as we would have liked, Eric said the ones he went to were exceptional. Landon had a blast being able to meet other kids with "ears" like his. Everywhere we went he would point them out "look, she/he has ears like me". We were able to talk with several families on the buses going to the parks, too, so it wasn't just at the cochlear events. It was so nice to be able to talk with other families going through all the same things as us. The first night there they had a welcome reception/ice cream social down on the beach at the hotel. Several of the Disney characters were there for pictures. They were handing out glow necklaces, bracelets, and flashing Cochlear magnets. All the recipients were wearing the magnets on top of the magnets on their coils. It was so cute on the kids to have the flashing lights/ not to mention how adorable it was on the elderly gentlemen and ladies :) Here is a pic of Landon with his on.

Kaci the Koala was at several of the events and the kids loved meeting him.

On Saturday morning they had an Expo where you could see their products/accessories and they had tables with interactive experiences. One was on therapy for kids and how to incorporate it with toys/playing. They also had a table set up for "decorating your implant". Landon loved that one.

We were also able to meet Jim Patrick, chief scientist for Cochlear. He is the engineer that worked with Graeme Clark to develop the first implant.

That night they had the celebration party at Hollywood Studios. Private Disney buses brought us from the hotel to the back entrance of the park and literally dropped us off on the Streets of America. First was dinner-several buffet stations were set up and the food was great. They had face painting for the kids and the arcade at Pizza Planet was open (and free) for play. Mickey and Minnie were there for more pictures. We were then escorted to the Sorcerer's Hat in the middle of the Studios for a fabulous fireworks display. The area by Hollywood Tower of Terror and Rockin' Rollercoaster was setup for a huge block party with a band playing and the two rides were open for use.

It was a great time and we can't wait to go to more celebrations! Disney was awesome as well :) We extended our time both before and after the conference so we were able to have a nice long vacation there. Of course, I still wasn't ready to leave--but is anyone ready to leave Disney??