Family surprised with trip to Disney after creating Disney experience in their home during pandemic

ATLANTA — This Disney trip was a very special trip for the McElliot family, which includes their daughter who has special needs.

Not only did the family get to go on their long awaited trip, they also got to celebrate two graduations.

Kate McElliot, mom and musical teacher, is used to thinking outside of the box, so her husband and family members created Disney at home. This was a creative way for the family to get away while being in the house during the pandemic.

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It included a golf cart, Mickey-eared monorail, a Pirates of the Caribbean experience, and a virtual movie screen rollercoaster.

“We did Splash Mountain. We squirted water on them,” said McElliot.

McElliot said creating good memories is important because they understand life is fragile.

Her daughter, Fiona, has Trisomy 17 and she was not expected to survive, but she has defied all odds.

The family said this trip to the real Disney was a dream come true. The trip was also a celebration.


Fiona and her brother Luke both graduated from high school this year. Fiona was accepted to the University of North Georgia as a music major and Luke is heading to Columbus State to major in theater.

“They were singing happy graduation in the Disney restaurant,” said Fiona.

McElliot said this was a special time for their family.

“We were secluded for about a year and a half because our kids have some high risks, so it was all the more special to spend some time together and go out there,” said McElliot.

McElliot said she loves to share what Fiona is doing because she hopes it will encourage other families who have children with special needs.

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