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Disney Veterans

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 04:37 PM

Dh and I are tossing around vacation ideas.....we haven't ever had a family vacation. The past few years have been more than rough, and now that things have settled down, and our youngest child will be 3 this summer, I feel like a vacation is in order.

We had originally thought of just renting a beach house, but since we are all (except dh) gluten free, I'll still have to cook each meal, pack a ton of food if we leave the house, etc. That really wouldn't be much of a break for me. I've read such great reviews about Disney here, and the prices seem the be similar to renting a beach house anyway. Being able to eat out as a family, and not spending most of my day in the kitchen would be amazing.

But where to stay? Does anyone have a favorite hotel, or most kid friendly hotel? We really want to make this all about the kids....they are the perfect ages, 3-10. After all they have been through, I feel like we all need some time to just have FUN!

Thanks for any help!
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Tamara, mom to 4 gluten & casein free kiddos!

Age 11 - Psoriasis
Age 8- dx'd Celiac March 2005
Age 6- gluten-free/cf, allergy related seizures
Age 4 - reflux, resolved with gluten-free/cf

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    Ah yes.... Happy New Year to all, Red Bridge style... LOL

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:01 AM

We have stayed at regular hotels off the Disney property. I make sure there's a microwave and fridge in the room for nighttime snacks. We do the Disney parks every other day. Those days that we don't do Disney parks we eat simple foods like gluten free cereal for breakfast, fruit for snacks, hot dogs and steam-in-bag veggies for lunch, gluten free crackers or such for snack, and then we do Downtown Disney (free entrance and parking) for dinner. The Portabello Yacht Club has fabulous gluten free food and if you call ahead they'll make sure they have Tinkyada pasta for you. :) Mmmmmmm.....

There's a Wild Oats or Trader Joe's or Wegmans or something just outside Orlando. I generally try to stick mostly to naturally gluten free foods though, they're easier to find. I bring my gluten free cereal and crackers from home. This is easier to do if you're driving rather than flying.

Disney parks are AMAZING for Celiacs. They actually get it. Just make sure you're careful. If something looks too "real" to be true, it probably is. Always double check and ALWAYS ask for the manager at counter service places.

Enjoy yourself! You will have a blast!
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Gluten free since May 2004


Sailing Girl

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 06:50 AM

DD and I go to Disney *frequently* (my parents live fairly nearby, and we visit Disney and then visit Grandma and Granddad). I agree -- Disney "gets it," and it's pure pleasure to go there.

We've stayed both on property and off-site, and I much prefer to stay on property -- you get a variety of perks that way, including extra hours in the parks, free transportation to the parks (don't have to worry about paying for parking!), and the Disney Dining Plan. The basic dining plan gives you two meals a day (one table service and one counter service), plus a snack, for around $40 per adult per day and $10 per child -- it's a good deal, especially given that every restaurant actually has food we can eat!

*All* the Disney-owned hotels are kid-friendly -- have a look around on their site and see some of the pretty amazing themes. They're also offering some good deals right now (recession pricing). Your kids are just the right ages -- they'll have a blast!

Can you tell I love Disney??? Post any other questions you have, and I'll be happy to point you in the right direction!
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Posted 15 January 2009 - 08:00 AM

Staying off property is somewhat cheaper but if you an afford it, staying on property is MUCH more convenient.

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 10:03 AM

I stayed at Port Orlean's in Disneyworld. They don't have a table service restaurant, but the food court had a head chef who was VERY helpful for me. They can make gluten free pancakes with real maple syrup. They were very knowledgeable about food allergies and about celiac.

In Disneyland, we stayed off property...fortunately I had good luck with that except for one day, but we ate mostly in the park anyway, and that was also a good experience.
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Posted 15 January 2009 - 10:37 AM

We're taking our 4th annual trip to Disneyland January 25-31. We buy the City Pass and will spend 3 days at DL, 1 at Universal, and 1 day at The Wild Animal Park near San Diego.

This year we're staying at the Homewood Suites. All rooms have kitchens so I can cook up breakfast and dinner there.

I LOVE going to Disneyland. The first year there I ate my way through each day. I was 2 years into being gluten-free and it was simply amazing that there were gluten-free options for me. Pizza, burgers, fries, etc. Yummers!

I'm not sure what DWorld area is like, haven't been there in years, but in the years we've been going, the places with the kitchen are comparable to non-kitchen hotels and allow for saving money on eating out as well as a way to eat gluten-free when not at DL.

Have fun!!
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- Cherie
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Posted 17 January 2009 - 01:14 PM

We go to a beach house every year and it is not relaxing at all...too much cooking and fussing!

We have been to WDW a few times in the past years and it is dreamy! They really take care of you there. We have stayed in a few resorts, but the value resorts have been great (from $80 a night, depending on the season, and cheaper when they are running promotions). So, it can be affordable. Even the food courts at the value resorts prepare pancakes, pasta, waffles, homemade chicken tenders etc. for us. We loved POP century, and All Star Music and All Star Sports (value resorts) and we stayed at Saratoga Springs also. It has more adult theming. The All Stars and POP century are decorated very fun and very much in the spirit of Disney! Kids can really appreciate it! (Adults too!) We also like that onsite you don't have to pay for parking ($12 per day) and you don't necessarily need a car onsite because of their transportation system. Have a great trip!
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Posted 09 February 2009 - 08:20 PM

We are huge Disney fans! We are going again over spring break just for the restaurants. We're staying on the property, but we will not be going to the parks this trip (too crowded for our tastes).

Where to stay?? There are so many good options!

The All Star resorts are great if you're on a budget or if you plan to spend most of your time at the parks. The pools are nice, but not as fancy as the more expensive ones. But with little little ones, things like water slides may not be appealing anyway, so the All Star pools would be more than fine.

Saratoga Springs is very nice with great pool. It also has a ferry boat that can take you over to Old Key West or Downtown Disney. When my little guy was a toddler boat rides, busses, and the monorail were his favorites! So much for the expensive park tickets!!

I wouldn't recommend Old Key West. It is a golfers resort and not all that kid oriented. My son has said it's his least favorite.

Want a beach? Carribean Beach Resort is really nice. Nice pool and wonderful sand beaches and playgrounds. You can rent bikes the whole family can fit into (one big bike with bench seats) or paddle boats. There is very nice hammock area next to playground equipment off a tropical trail that is really relaxing and feels very tropical.

We thought we'd need a kitchen, but you really don't. The people at Disney really do understand gluten free. You can eat out every single meal and not worry one bit. You'll have all sorts of selection (chefs come out and ask you what you feel hungry for and they try very hard to accomodate you - we have loads of positive stories about this).

You can eat at fancy sit down restaurants, family sit down restaurants, buffets (I was nervous to try buffets, but you needn't be. The chef walks the buffet with you and tells you what you can have and then you tell them what you want and they get fresh from the kitchen to avoid the possibility of CC.), walk up restaurants in the parks, Main Street Bakery in Magic Kingdom even sells gluten-free cookies, brownies, and rice crispy treats.

Go, go, and have a relaxing, wonderful eating experience...ummm, I mean vacation! B)
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Posted 10 February 2009 - 08:59 AM

I'm so happy to have read this thread. One of my favorite places to go is Disney World and recently with finding out I have Celiac and could not eat all the delicious yummies there made me sad. Now I can go to Star Wars weekends with no worries. :lol:
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