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Old 01-23-2013, 08:15 AM   #1
Swirly girls
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Newly diagnosed daughter with type 1 Diabetes, Carb counting at Disney, HELP!,

We've been to Disney, we are planning another vacation next fall. But, my daughter was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes --- I've read that disney does not have nutritional info ( grams/carbs) on menus. I'm assuming then, you have to figure food item out on your own? We have a guide book as well as a couple apps on our smart phones...( I've found go meals app is a bit outdated though).
I'd like some ideas and advice from parents that have been carb counting at Disney.
Are restaurants accommodating to type 1 or not so much?
Thank you

Last edited by Swirly girls; 01-23-2013 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:01 AM   #2
ttintagel
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Adult T1DM here, but I hear you! I've made a couple of wrong estimates at restaurants in my time!

I've heard that they give nutrition information on the ordering touch screens for the new Be Our Guest lunch, so that's a plus if you're able to get in there one day.

I've heard good things about the Calorie King app, but I haven't tried it myself. I've also heard of people tucking a small food scale into their bag, but that's another thing I haven't tried.

The best advice I can give is to test a lot more often than you do at home. At WDW I test probably twice as much; I basically test every time I get a chance. Symptoms of low or high BG are easy to miss when you're hot, tired, and distracted.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:08 AM   #3
tlkgt76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirly girls View Post
We've been to Disney, we are planning another vacation next fall. But, my daughter was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes --- I've read that disney does not have nutritional info ( grams/carbs) on menus. I'm assuming then, you have to figure food item out on your own? We have a guide book as well as a couple apps on our smart phones...( I've found go meals app is a bit outdated though).
I'd like some ideas and advice from parents that have been carb counting at Disney.
Are restaurants accommodating to type 1 or not so much?
Thank you

I'm a T1 diabetic as well and learned the hard way after our second trip to WDW to pay attention to my blood sugar. For some reason the heat made my levels drop really quickly. If your daughter seems to get cranky all of a sudden, have her test to see what her BS is. Make sure you have some sort of candy on you. Also, they sell an insulated insulin baggie called a Frio that you soak in water and can keep cool for hours. The medical station can keep it cool in the fridge too, but that requires rushing there to retrieve it in an emergency.

With advanced dining reservations, you can note that your daughter is diabetic and most restaurants are very helpful.

Good luck!!
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:10 AM   #4
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By next fall, you will be an old pro at estimating carb counts, I promise! I'm also hoping that, given the full nutritional info now available at BOG, Disney will begin rolling this out at other restaurants. By the time you go back to Disney, things may be much, much easier.

Sometimes, whether at Disney or elsewhere, you're just going to have to guess. And sometimes you'll guess wrong. (I had two super lows during my quick weekend trip a couple of weeks ago.) So make sure you always, always have a quick carb source with you.

For now, try measuring just about everything your daughter eats at home. Over time, you'll memorize amounts and carb counts, and you'll be much better at eyeballing what a 15 gram serving of potatoes looks like. It seems overwhelming right now, but I promise it gets easier quickly. I wouldn't worry about planning for Disney at the moment. Worry about getting a handle on things at home. Once you've done that, the Disney guesstimating will start to fall into place.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:10 AM   #5
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We are a family with 2 type 1 diabetics. My hubby and our daughter who was 7 last time we went to Disney. My biggest advice is take lots of extra testing supplies. We found that most meals were not much different than those we would find on our local kids meal menus. So we used a lot of those numbers in figuring shots. But with that said-- we found that we actually had to lower her normal dosage do to all the activity of walking so much. And we alway kept snacks with us because u really don't want to leave that line you have been waiting in to go get a snack. We are lucky because both of them can feel when they are dropping before it gets to low most of the time. Good luck and have a wonderful trip!!
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:20 AM   #6
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As for restaurants, yes, in my experience they are generally very accommodating. I'm an adult T1. I do most of my blood sugar control with diet by maintaining a very low-carb lifestyle, only using insulin when absolutely necessary. I've found that WDW restaurants are almost always happy to swap out starchy sides for low-glycemic veggies, etc. The only place I've had trouble was BOG, oddly enough, although others have reported different experiences (I'm hoping I just caught a flustered CM on a bad day). Be sure to let the CMs know exactly what your needs are. Most non-diabetics think all you need is a "sugar-free" dessert and you should be good to go! In reality, sugar-free items can be higher in carbs than their sugary counterparts and, depending on the sweetener used, can cause intestinal distress for some people. Plus, as you already know, there are carbs lurking everywhere, not just in the dessert. Most CMs will be happy to help but won't know your individual needs unless you let them know specifically what you're looking for.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:14 AM   #7
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I have Type 2 so maybe a wrong guess is not so devastating for me. I just want to put this out there. What I've found is that while people will be very accommodating if you can tell them exactly what you need, many people think they know what you need and they may be wrong. For example, they may give you a sugarfree option thinking that is better for a diabetic person, when often the sugarfree option is nutritionally worse and higher in carbs and fat than other choices. If it includes sugar alcohols, it will likely act as a laxative, so approach with caution! You and your child need to learn for yourselves what is best and then ask for that.

You've got lots of time to test and see how your child reacts to different foods and portions of foods. You'll be a pro by your vacation time.

I do not note on my ADRs that I am diabetic because I don't want some less-educated-on-diabetes person automatically making assumptions about what might be best for me.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swirly girls View Post
We've been to Disney, we are planning another vacation next fall. But, my daughter was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes --- I've read that disney does not have nutritional info ( grams/carbs) on menus. I'm assuming then, you have to figure food item out on your own? We have a guide book as well as a couple apps on our smart phones...( I've found go meals app is a bit outdated though).
I'd like some ideas and advice from parents that have been carb counting at Disney.
Are restaurants accommodating to type 1 or not so much?
Thank you
We don't ever bother to tell the restaurant about type 1. There isn't anything they'll do or could do. The one thing we need is carb count info and they won't do that.

But, having said that, most of the food is going to be pretty standard food. Just use whatever app you have or a calorie king book, and you'll be fine. Early on, our first trip, we did bring a mini travel scale with us as it just was easier to judge the portions, we weren't very good at that at first. Now I can easily eyeball 2 cups of pasta, or a 20g of carb banana. So you might look into that option as well (provided it doesn't embarrass your daughter, I forget how old she is..)
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:19 PM   #9
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My oldest son has T1, and we've found it helpful to have the Calorie King book around. Within a few months, you'll be a pro at eyeballing portion sizes, and have a good idea what foods tend to work well for blood sugars and what foods are awful

We sometimes travel with a collapsable measuring cup for portion sizes for things we were really unsure of carb counts on.
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:56 PM   #10
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Just echoing the other posts. I didn't see your daughter's age posted, but in our experience, BGs are more volatile the younger the child (everywhere, not just at WDW). Our son was 20 months at dx and 7 when we went to WDW. You will be much better at carb counting by the time you visit. Even when we go out to a restaurant that does not have nutritional info, we make an educated guess and usually get pretty close.

• Really test often - heat makes DS go low too and when you combine that with the miles walked, he was often low.

• Carry easy snacks with you, even when you are in line. We like glucose tabs for lower lows and granola bars for not so low lows.

• In our experience, security lines at the parks are easy, although they will ask you to open bags just like anyone else.

I found our trip to WDW and DL MANY times since, much easier than I expected. Have a great trip!
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Last edited by daneenm; 01-23-2013 at 05:32 PM. Reason: just adding a bit more info
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daneenm View Post
Just echoing the other posts. I didn't see your daughter's age posted, but in our experience, BGs are more volatile the younger the child (everywhere, not just at WDW). You will be much better at carb counting by the time you visit. Even when we go out to a restaurant that does not have nutritional info, we make an educated guess and usually get pretty close.

• Really test often - heat makes DS go low too and when you combine that with the miles waled, he was often low.

• Carry easy snacks with you, even when you are in line. We like glucose tabs for lower lows and granola bars for not so low lows.

• In our experience, security lines at the parks are easy, although they will ask you to open bags just like anyone else.

I found our trip to WDW and DL MANY times since, much easier than I expected. Have a great trip!
I'm an insulin dependent type II and I echo all the above and would add this advice. Tell the Dr. you are going to WDW and about the walking, heat and so on and see if the Dr. will adjust the insulin schedule (less aggressive) to try there until you get your bearings.

My Dr. gave me a new schedule to try for a few days etc. By then I was better able to judge my own levels and test, test, test.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:13 PM   #12
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Just reading along and trying to get some advice. Our baby (15 months) was just diagnosed and we were supposed to go to WDW 4 weeks from now (6 weeks post dx) we cancelled as there is too much to manage right now but we love traveling, love WDW and want life to be as "normal" for him as possible.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsneygirl View Post
Just reading along and trying to get some advice. Our baby (15 months) was just diagnosed and we were supposed to go to WDW 4 weeks from now (6 weeks post dx) we cancelled as there is too much to manage right now but we love traveling, love WDW and want life to be as "normal" for him as possible.
oh you shouldn't have cancelled! You could have managed it.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:31 PM   #14
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I don't think it would have been possible his sugars are still all over the map and trying to get that stabilized with the correct dose is a full time job now.

We'll hopefully be back in Sept and we're booked on DCL in Dec.
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Old 03-10-2013, 09:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsneygirl
Just reading along and trying to get some advice. Our baby (15 months) was just diagnosed and we were supposed to go to WDW 4 weeks from now (6 weeks post dx) we cancelled as there is too much to manage right now but we love traveling, love WDW and want life to be as "normal" for him as possible.
Our son was dx at 20 months, so I feel your pain. I don't think we would have been ready 4 weeks post-dx either. Having said that, we tackled DL about a year later and it was MUCH easier than we thought it would be. It will not take you very long to get into a routine and then you will be able to extrapolate to handling T1D while touring WDW. The biggest thing with toddlers and younger children that we found, is their numbers are just more volatile by nature. So you need to test very often and have lots of portable snacks and fast glucose with you so you are ready for any situation.

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions about managing T1D in toddlers.

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DLR : about every 2 years since childhood
- off-site: many, from Jolly Roger (1970s) to Candy Cane Inn (1990s)
- DLH: 1999, 2008 (Concierge)
- GCH: 2004, 2006 (Concierge), 2009, 2011, 2012

WDW:
- YC Concierge: 7/23/07 - 8/2/07

Wish I could visit more....
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