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Old 02-25-2014, 07:34 PM   #1
lorli
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serious allergies and health problems

A friend has a child has many allergies - nut free, dairy free, egg free, gluten free. She also has many mobility and sensory issues. They really want to bring their family to Disney but have many questions, cautions, and concerns. The DD eats much of the same things every day for all meals. They have purchased prepackaged meals that are free of all her allergies, that they use daily. The problem they are running into is needing a microwave in the room for breakfast, as she can't wait to eat. Another challenge they have is, if they bring meals with them to restaurants and counter services will they microwave it for them? For medical needs, does Disney ever provide a microwave? Is the old GAC program help me at all in the food needs? They have no problem waiting Their turn but are hoping the pass can help them with the saving their spot in line. Any help that can be provide will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:05 PM   #2
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No restaurant can microwave food that the patrons have brought in for them. This is not unique to Disney; it is common practice to refuse these requests for a variety of reasons in the food industry.

The GAC has been replaced with the DAS. See the sticky thread at the top of the forum for more information on the changes.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:36 PM   #3
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Disney is extremely accommodating for allergies especially if it's any of the top 8 allergens (which all of hers are).

I'm allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, egg, dairy, soy, wheat, shellfish, coconut, oats, sesame, sunflower, cherries, banana, broccoli, ginger, and thyme. I also can't have raw fruits or raw vegetables. We've gone twice since these allergens and I've never left a meal hungry. I do bring my own desserts but they do carry enjoy life products (cookies and chocolate bars) Which are free of all the top 8 allergens.

They can even make Mickey waffles top 8 allergen free at most of the QS places for breakfast.

We ate at:
Contempo Cafe
1900 park fare
Crystal palace
The plaza
Columbia harbor house
Cosmic rays
Liberty tree tavern
The wave
Citricos
Pop century food court
Artists palette
The turf club
50s prime time cafe
Sci Fi dine in
Studio catering company
Sunshine seasons
Electric umbrella
Yachtsman steakhouse
POFQ food court
POR food court
All Star Sports food court

All of these places were able to accommodate my list of food allergies. No restaurant will heat up any food brought from outside the restaurant. There are baby are centers in each park but I'm not sure if you can heat up food at those. And it's very inconvenient for meals. there are also microwaves in every food court.

What do you mean by she eats the same thing each meal? Is it only a certain brand or certain food? At a lot of QS places they will be able to get allergy free chicken tenders and fries if she likes those types of things. Some places have GF/DF pizza. Some places have rice pasta. What types of food does she usually eat ?

If they really only want to eat what they provide they should look into renting a villa because than they will have a full kitchen in a 1 bedroom or bigger.

The new DAS does not help with food allergies at all (the old GAC didn't either). It's something that's noted on ADRs when made and dealt with at each individual restaurant by talking to the chef (at TS meals) and to a chef/manager (at QS places).

They can also email special diets and find out what specific allergy foods they have available and where those foods are available.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorli View Post
A friend has a child has many allergies - nut free, dairy free, egg free, gluten free. She also has many mobility and sensory issues. They really want to bring their family to Disney but have many questions, cautions, and concerns. The DD eats much of the same things every day for all meals. They have purchased prepackaged meals that are free of all her allergies, that they use daily. The problem they are running into is needing a microwave in the room for breakfast, as she can't wait to eat. Another challenge they have is, if they bring meals with them to restaurants and counter services will they microwave it for them? For medical needs, does Disney ever provide a microwave? Is the old GAC program help me at all in the food needs? They have no problem waiting Their turn but are hoping the pass can help them with the saving their spot in line. Any help that can be provide will be greatly appreciated.
Why does she need a DAS to get in the fastpass lane or to help her wait in line because of a food allergy?

My DD has anaphylaxis to several foods, is FINE, and I see no reason why she would need a DAS to "wait in line" for rides in her. They don't provide food on the rides.

Last edited by sookie; 02-25-2014 at 08:58 PM.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sookie

Why does she need a DAS to get in the fastpass lane or to help her wait in line because of a food allergy?
I'm guessing the thought is that eating takes so long you end up at a significant disadvantage. It can be a very valid concern. My other kids have eaten and been ready to go a full hour before DS has gotten his food, during a slow week. It is crappy and unfair but there is not a clear solution.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sookie View Post
Why does she need a DAS to get in the fastpass lane or to help her wait in line because of a food allergy?

My DD has anaphylaxis to several foods, is FINE, and I see no reason why she would need a DAS to "wait in line" for rides in her. They don't provide food on the rides.
OP stated this child has mobility issues too.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:25 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Shelly F - Ohio View Post
OP stated this child has mobility issues too.
Mobility issues - if the kid is small enough, you can use a stroller as a wheelchair or you can have a medical stroller (the bigger ones) and use it as a wheelchair. You can get a wheelchair as a rental or use her wheelchair if she has one. If she can use an EVC, they will probably suggest that over a DAS at guest services. Mobility issues alone do not usually get you a DAC.

For food - I do not think that would get you a DAC either. You can contact special diets in advance so they can give you advice on dining, and they can note the allergies on your account. We did table service and counter service and have had no issues - our daughter's food did not come out after our food at Disney. Disney restaurants have to deal with complex dietary needs every single day and are very good about it. A chef will come out to your table at every. single. meal. And they deal with it in a timely manner. We have been to WDW twice in the past year and have had every meal on property for both of those visits. No issues at all.

You may be able to request a microwave from the resort, but if you can not, you can probably find a rental place for one. They will usually deliver it to bell services so you can pick it up and then drop it off at the same place on your day of departure. You can also call and ask which room categories offer the things you need (microwave, fridge, small cooking area). If you need them, you may consider that you need to just upgrade and pay for them. If your child has mobility issues (and is in a chair, whatever) consider asking for a room for people with disabilities. They are at every resort and are a little bigger. If you want to "cook" her meals for every meal, consider getting a room with the amenities you need on the monorail so you can quickly return to your room, feed her, and get back to the park you want to be at. It might be nice to be on the monorail line because you can also put her down for naps if she gets over stimulated.

On the sensory issues - finding ways to decrease her stimulation in one of the most stimulating places on earth is important. Like I said - take mid-day breaks and go back to your room. Have a plan (monorail access). Disney is going to be stimulating even if you had a GAC. It can be over stimulating for normal kids. Being easily overstimulated is not a good case for a DAS. You make accommodations in your everyday life for this - and your planning a vacation to a very stimulating place. You know this is going to happen. So, with that in mind - think of your kid and what you can do to help. What are her triggers? Does she need a mid-day nap? Do you need to skip the firework shows? Think about triggers and go from there.
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Old 02-25-2014, 09:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistysue View Post
I'm guessing the thought is that eating takes so long you end up at a significant disadvantage. It can be a very valid concern. My other kids have eaten and been ready to go a full hour before DS has gotten his food, during a slow week. It is crappy and unfair but there is not a clear solution.
That is just bad service that may or may not be related to a special order. Certainly not an issue related to needing a DAS. That should not happen to you in every single restaurant on Disney property. It shouldn't happen at all. But anyone could have that issue, anywhere. There is a thread right now on the community board about bad service in the restaurant industry with similar examples.

If I was waiting an hour for a single meal (from the time I arrived at the restaurant), I would have the waitress and manager at my table to actively take care of the issue, especially if everyone else had been eating for a while. And bringing those people in would happen way before we arrived at the "full hour after my other children have eaten and been ready to go" point.

Last edited by sookie; 02-25-2014 at 09:58 PM.
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:06 PM   #9
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DAS (Disability Access Service) is designed for guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities). It allows the guest and their party to wait outside of the traditional queue and is not meant to shorten waits or 'make up' for things like extra time eating.
It does not assist outside of attraction queues, so would not help with restaurants. This thread has DAS FAQs in the first post.

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3178976

All attractions (except Swiss Family Robinson, Tomorrowland Transit Authority and Tom Sawyer's Island) are wheelchair accessible and most guests with mobility needs don't use DAS. (Peter Pan is also listed as 'must be ambulatory).

Someone mentioned ECVs, so I wanted to point out that most companies will not rent an ECV for use by anyone under 18.

Also want to point out that most handicapped accessible rooms are the same size as non-accessible rooms, just gave the space arranged differently to make the bathroom accessible. The space is taken from the bedroom area, making it smaller.

Microwaves
- Restaurants are not allowed to warm food brought from outside. This is according to food service rules and they would not be able to make exceptions.

- each park has a Baby Care Center. They do gave microwaves that you could use, but as was mentioned, the location might not be convenient.

- resorts food courts do have microwaves you can use.

- if you need a microwave in your room, it would be easiest to rent a room with a microwave in it.
Disney Vacation Club resorts have microwaves in the rooms. (Old Key West, Saratoga Springs, Boardwalk Villas, Beach Club Villas, Villas at Wilderness Lodge, Animal Kingdom Villas, Villas at Bay Lake Tower, Villas at Grand Floridian). These are Deluxe Resorts, so are most expensive. You can reserve thru Disney or rent points.

All Star Music, All Star Sports and Art of Animation all have family suites that include a kitchenette, with a microwave.
Fort a Wilderness Cabins also include a kitchen with a microwave.

Some resorts may have microwaves to lend out, no guarantees.

There are some companies that rent equipment. 'Preferred' suppliers are able yo leave items at Bell Services for pick up. All other companies must arrange for direct delivery and pick up with the guest. There is more information in post 2 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread, near the top of this board.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:54 AM   #10
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The OP mentioned sensory issues. I'm guessing that's why there is a question about the need to wait outside of the lines.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorli View Post
A friend has a child has many allergies - nut free, dairy free, egg free, gluten free. She also has many mobility and sensory issues. They really want to bring their family to Disney but have many questions, cautions, and concerns. The DD eats much of the same things every day for all meals. They have purchased prepackaged meals that are free of all her allergies, that they use daily. The problem they are running into is needing a microwave in the room for breakfast, as she can't wait to eat. Another challenge they have is, if they bring meals with them to restaurants and counter services will they microwave it for them? For medical needs, does Disney ever provide a microwave? Is the old GAC program help me at all in the food needs? They have no problem waiting Their turn but are hoping the pass can help them with the saving their spot in line. Any help that can be provide will be greatly appreciated.
If your friend believes that there is a medical or psychological reason that her child cannot wait in the traditional line, have her write down the reason, not the diagnosis, and explain what negatively happens to the child in line and why the child needs a place to wait outside the line. Your friend can read that to the CM at Guest Services and the CM will determine if the child qualifies for a DAS.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:20 AM   #12
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Do the first aid stations in the parks have microwaves? That might help the Op's friend.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:42 AM   #13
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We have also found Disney to be wonderfully accommodating for allergies, going to far as to prepare the food separately. Plus there are some pre packaged options available in the parks, if you know where to look. We have gone again and again without problems (and my allergy to dairy is severe, as is my daughter's to gluten).
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:07 AM   #14
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Do the first aid stations in the parks have microwaves? That might help the Op's friend.
I would suggest Baby Care over First Aid for food.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:14 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by SueM in MN View Post
I would suggest Baby Care over First Aid for food.
Thanks for the clairification!
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