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-   -   Food choices for diabetics @ WDW? (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3026473)

Dean1972 11-27-2012 03:25 PM

Food choices for diabetics @ WDW?
 
I am planning a trip to WDW in December 2013. As I am in the process of looking into which WDW resort to stay at ( difficult task in itself ) I am also considering the dining plan for my wife & I.
That leaves the question as to book the dining plan or not. As a diabetic i am concerned of food choices available that are low in sugar and not overloading on carbs. I hear that serving portions in the states ( from Australia here ) are very generous compared to home? I also have heard that exchanging food items ( ie desserts in particular) on the dining plan is not always allowed? I'm thinking that It may be better to pay out of pocket which will give greater flexibility in choice. Any suggestions?

GenevieveRaqs 11-28-2012 11:19 AM

I can share my experience, although every diabetic's needs are different, of course.

I'm T1, therefore insulin dependent, but I do a HUGE amount of my blood sugar control with diet. In fact, I often only take my overnight, long-acting insulin because I eat few enough carbs to not need the fast-acting, mealtime insulin. But I can and do adjust insulin levels for special occasions like a vacation.

I've done Disney with the dining plan twice--once for a long weekend trip and most recently for a five day trip this October. I was able to manage very well on the DDP, and I never even adjusted my insulin over what I would consider my "normal" dose. I would almost always rather give up the bread, rice, potatoes, etc. in order to have a great dessert/treat, so that's my usual tactic at a TS restaurant. I've never had a problem switching around starchy sides for non-starchy and have never had trouble finding something on a TS menu I could eat. The CMs have always been very accommodating. Just check out menus ahead of time on allears.net.

CS meals are more challenging but not impossible--again, it's best to check out the offerings in advance of your trip to decide what will work best for you. I avoid all of the burger and pizza places! In MK, Columbia Harbor House has some great selections (the broccoli chicken salad and the shrimp platter with broccoli and cole slaw are my faves) and the chicken platter at Cosmic Ray's (extra veggies, nix the potatoes) is also quite good. I've even had some CS places that were willing to swap my dessert for a non-starchy side dish. Tangerine Cafe in Epcot is also great (I get the shwarma platter and leave off the bread).

Just about every restaurant has a "sugar free" dessert option, but, as you know, sugar free does not mean carb free. These items can impact your blood sugar as much as--or more than--their sugary counterparts. I tend to avoid these and just save my daily carbs for something I really enjoy. (Although I do really like the SF mango gelato at Cosmic Ray's).

Another thing to consider is the massive amount of walking you do at Disney! I tend to actually NEED some of my snack/dessert credits to counter low blood sugars just due to the many miles I walk in the parks. We've found that bringing some type of storage containers--Ziplock bags or small Tupperware boxes--and taking some of our desserts/snacks back to the room can be very helpful. Then if you hit a nighttime low, you have something on hand.

In the past, Disney has not been forthcoming with carb counts--you just have to make your best judgement. But that is changing. The new Be Our Guest restaurant offers full nutritional information on every item served at lunch (you view this on the ordering kiosk).

The DDP is absolutely more food than anyone in my family can possibly eat in a day! We always end up taking snacks (and sometimes desserts, depending on what they are and how we travel) back home with us. But I feel that we get a good value for the money, and we like having everything taken care of before we get to Disney.

You CAN do the DDP as a diabetic. It just takes some research, knowing your own body and a little bit of self-control--so, basically your average day as a diabetic. ;)

Sadie22 11-28-2012 12:48 PM

As a Type 2 diabetic I would not do the dining plan. My husband is a big eater, yet we were able to share one table service meal between the two of us on our last trip and both had plenty to eat. We would get one appetizer and one entree and that would be plenty of food. The dining plan offers entrees and desserts, not appetizers or salads, and it's just too much food.

PatsMom 12-01-2012 12:07 PM

I am type 2 and we wouldn't ever consider the dining plan. Not so much because of my diabetes but because it is just way too much food for us! You can't trade desserts for appetizers.

I find I do much better just familiarizing myself with the menus and doing some rough carb estimates ahead of time. Sometimes I"ll share a dessert or appetizer, or if my daughter is with me, we'll even split an entree. My husband is a big eater so he doesn't like to share entrees!

Everyone's needs are different and I"m sure you'll have a great trip whatever you decide.

ttintagel 12-05-2012 10:05 AM

Kind of hard to give advice without knowing if you're T1 or T2 (man, I wish one or the other would just get a different name, to avoid confusion!). but as a T1 I did OK on the Quick Service plan. I did have some highs and lows this past week, but I had been in the middle of adjusting to a new basal rate when I left, so I can't blame it all on Disney food!

Schmeck 12-05-2012 04:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dean1972 (Post 46800728)
I am planning a trip to WDW in December 2013. As I am in the process of looking into which WDW resort to stay at ( difficult task in itself ) I am also considering the dining plan for my wife & I.
That leaves the question as to book the dining plan or not. As a diabetic i am concerned of food choices available that are low in sugar and not overloading on carbs. I hear that serving portions in the states ( from Australia here ) are very generous compared to home? I also have heard that exchanging food items ( ie desserts in particular) on the dining plan is not always allowed? I'm thinking that It may be better to pay out of pocket which will give greater flexibility in choice. Any suggestions?

Allears.net has all the restaurant menus - that might give you a better idea of what is offered at the different parks, and at the resorts as well.

mom3girls2000 12-05-2012 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dean1972 (Post 46800728)
I am planning a trip to WDW in December 2013. As I am in the process of looking into which WDW resort to stay at ( difficult task in itself ) I am also considering the dining plan for my wife & I.
That leaves the question as to book the dining plan or not. As a diabetic i am concerned of food choices available that are low in sugar and not overloading on carbs. I hear that serving portions in the states ( from Australia here ) are very generous compared to home? I also have heard that exchanging food items ( ie desserts in particular) on the dining plan is not always allowed? I'm thinking that It may be better to pay out of pocket which will give greater flexibility in choice. Any suggestions?

Here's my 2 cents (that's American for "my thoughts that may not be worth much" lol).

I am diabetic, my diabetes is controlled by diet and metformin. We have been on the dining plan and also times when we stay off-site that we're not on it. I will tell you, it is a lot of food. There was only one time that I was granted my constant request to switch my dessert for an appetizer. That said, at every restaurant there are no-sugar-added and/or sugar-free dessert options (if you consider fruit sugar-free, which we all know it's not and it certainly isn't carb-free). THAT said, you don't HAVE to eat the dessert, but I know that is not easy when your vacay buddy is having sweets in front of you ...

You can ask to have the dessert boxed up and take it back to your hotel with you (it should be fine if out of refrigeration for less than 4 hours) - even the value hotels have started placing refrigerators in every room.

Serving portions can be large, it's true. I've been on Weight Watchers for a few years and I learned a trick. When you order your meal, just have half. Sometimes I'll ask the server if the kitchen can split it for me and box half up only serving me half, other times I'll simply ask them to bring me the box when they bring my meal, and I will just do it at the table.

Another thing you can do is to not eat lunch. That is, have a small snack when you wake up in the morning, then have a regular meal late in the morning, say be 10:30 or 11, like a brunch. It could be a regular breakfast, or just an early lunch. Then in the afternoon have another snack, and then a few hours after, a bigger meal for dinner. That sometimes helps me spread out my food and also to stay within the Weight Watchers guidelines.

And yes, you will do a LOT of walking!

I agree with the other poster here, check online for the menus ahead of time. After all, you're going to have to make your ADRs by June anyway (unless you don't want a table-service meal), do the research.

Lots of luck, I hope this helps.

Dean1972 12-05-2012 10:15 PM

Thanks to all for your advice & comments
Tis greatly appreciated :)
I'm thinking that we will not book the dining plan & check ahead at menus when making ADR
Cheers

canwegosoon 12-08-2012 07:04 PM

Dean- Thanks for posting- I am newly diagnosed, but frequent visitor. My next trip is in March/April and May. I am planning on subbing out carbs where ever I can at TS. I am confidant that wdw will work with us any way they can. I think skipping the DPP is probably for the best

SueM in MN 12-08-2012 08:51 PM

In post 3 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread, there is a link to the WDW menus from allearsnet and also from the DISboards' parent site, wdwinfo.com

I would suggest looking at both - both are good, but sometimes one or the other will be more up to date on some restaurants.

winnie1274 12-15-2012 06:55 PM

no sugar
 
Disney is all about helping people. That said my husband & I are careful about sugar & carbs & have never had a problem finding good choices on any menu. All menus have a no sugar added dessert choice as well, which is delicious. The portions at the resorts/parks are not as large as off property restaurants. If you have any special dietary needs just let your servers know & they will do everything they can to take care of you.

mom3girls2000 12-15-2012 09:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by winnie1274 (Post 46932052)
Disney is all about helping people. That said my husband & I are careful about sugar & carbs & have never had a problem finding good choices on any menu. All menus have a no sugar added dessert choice as well, which is delicious. The portions at the resorts/parks are not as large as off property restaurants. If you have any special dietary needs just let your servers know & they will do everything they can to take care of you.

Winnie, you are right on several counts. Disney is all about helping people, and they have stellar customer service; in fact, I hold them as my personal paragon of customer service (which kind of makes me dissatisfied everywhere else, but that's a whole other story lol). And you are right that all menus have a no-sugar-added option which is delicious.

But - my husband and I are Disney <3ers, and we also like the Disney Dining Plan when we stay on-site. The no-sugar-added desserts are not very exciting. How many NSA strawberry cheesecakes can one person be expected to enjoy, 3 or more days in a row? Not to mention 2 or more visits in a row. I would be fine if I never ate another DW NSA cheesecake in my life.

The regular desserts are spectacular. How much of an effort would it really be for their pastry chefs to come up with some different, adventurous NSA options? My husband is a former pastry chef who worked for an organic bakery for an internship (10+ years ago), and he can bake me NSA Danish and muffins that are really delicious.

C'mon, Disney pastry chefs, use some imagination here.


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