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Has Anyone Stayed Outside The Parks At Wdw

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We're going to Disney in March. Just booked the Wilderness Lodge with the dining plan, but am still wondering if staying outside would be better. It's not too late to change it. It's soo expensive & the rooms are small, but you get all the "Disney Extras". In the past, we've rented a townhouse near the parks & cooked meals & eaten at restaurants, but that was before ds was diagnosed. I've read all the wonderful things people say about the food in the parks/resorts. However, you do pay a premium for that & you also give up all the extra space a rental provides. I'm a little concerned about where to buy gluten-free foods & restaurants are always a problem. I suppose I could ship some food down to meet us on arrival, but that's a hassle. I should mention ds is also a picky eater. Ordering a piece of grilled chicken & veggies is not an option at restaurants. Any suggestions or experiences would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. :)

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I have seen many members rave reviews on here which is great, especially for families with celiac children.

If it were me and I was a little strapped for cash, renting a townhouse/condo outside the park and making meals would be my answer...but I am not sure of the costs and such. Just an idea.

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We stayed at Dsiney & used the dining pass which we think is the best way to go. We did book all of our eating ahead of time so we had to plan each day where we were going to be. But the disney booking site helped us to choose which day to be at what park. As some days are busy for one park & others maybe less busy.

We bookes everything by ourselves with the help of the booking staff at disney. That way we had no extra charges for a booking agency.

If you call disney they will give you a number to speak to someone in speciality dining who will send you alist of places gluten-free to dine. With the pass you gat a lunch, snack & a full course supper tip included. It is well worth the price as some buffets are about $30.00 a person just for supper.

We ate turkey legs, pizza, hamburgers ice cream, character breakfast, & hugh dinner buffets for no additional charge. There were four of us gluten-free & two reg eaters.

A couple of hints is when going to have a lunch at a order counter have the reg eaters get in line to order but the gluten-free need to go directly to a side counter where they can get someones attention & ask for the manager. The manager actually prepares the gluten-free food in a down stairs kitchen. This way all of the food was ready at the same time because if you wait in the reg line, the gluten-free food will be about 15 in or so later & then you waste time.

One of the best places to have supper is at the Boma in animal kingdom. Ask for chef TJ. He is the very best. We had a gluten-free fare that other tables were asking how & where to get our food menu!!! There was so much food! And delicious to boot.

At many of the stands are ok brownies that are sooo good.

If you don't use all of your snack passes or lunch passes while there you can use them all up on the last day.... We couldn't use all of ours & they told us to get gluten-free brownies & turkey legs to take home with us so that is what we did. We didn't waste any of the dining pass. If you don't use up the dining pass then you will have wasted money.

I froze turkey legs & enjoyed them months later as well as the brownies......

I'd go back just to be able to eat freely ............................love disney

Have fun


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We went last June and stayed at Hawthorn Suites in Orlando. This is not a fancy place, but we were happy with it. The rooms are all 2-room suites, so my husband could stay up late and watch TV when the kids were already in bed. Includes a large breakfast every day, with scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, fresh fruit, juice, milk, coffee, and some gluteny things like cereal, bagels, pancakes, etc. We brought our own waffles for my son to go with the gluten-free selections. In the evenings they had free drinks and a small snack, usually chips and nacho cheese sauce.

Every room has a kitchenette with refrigerator, microwave, stove (but no oven) and dishes, so we bought groceries and cooked some things.

They also have a free shuttle to Disney, Sea World, and Universal. If you stay outside the park and take your own vehicle there is a daily parking charge - something like $10 - $12.

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