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Old 04-27-2013, 11:45 AM   #1
of2dbeach
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Lightbulb Autism/ Epilepsy and Gluten Free at DW

Ok here is te challenge I have put before myself We are a family of 5 been to DW too many times to count. Oldest son has Autism /Epilepsy and is 20 yrs old. We are all also Gluten Free .He cant be in the heat so we wont go till november when it is cooler and hopefully decorated for Christmas whch will kill 2 birds with 1 stone if they are doing the Macys parade he will totally flip so another plus but well we will see how that one goes. Here is the questions /ideas in my head. We want to at least do MK because he likes alot of the rides there and DD10 wants to see the new princess area although she knows all of it wont be done yet. DS20 also likes stuff in Epcot. I do not do rollercoaters so I will sit it out with DD20 and maybe, MAYBE try to do Splash Mountain ? yeah that will be me screaming on the way down. ok anyways hotels? Hubby is thinking of doing a hotel on the monorail line in case DS need to take a nap because he gets worn out if we do too much. I think its a good idea but costly. We have never stayed on site so no clue on all ofthat stuff. We also have a Blk Lab tossed into the mix that we have to board somewhere? So how do I accomplish this and any suggestions on being GF at the parks. I did read Disney was very good about it but only being GF for a month it scares me . So any ideas suggestions at this point wuld be wonderful. I am thinking we will get discounts at the hotels because we are residents. I already know about the GAC so we wont need to worry about that. Forgot one other thing, his meds are in glass bottles because it is liquid. I cant really store them in a locker because they cant get too hot. Can we store them at First Aid and come and get them later? He wont ned them till after dinner anyways and I sure dont want them to break if bumped into. We do it this way at the local Fair and it works out well for us but not sure how DW is on that sorta thig. Thaks for all the help I am sorry this is so long just trying to give as much info as I can !
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Old 04-27-2013, 12:28 PM   #2
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GF is easy at Disney. Just be aware that if you order GF at counter service, it will take longer to get your food (its specially made at a special station). You will, of course, have limited choices, but everywhere will have something GF. If you are making table service reservations, state right on the reservation that you are a GF party and remind the hostess and the waiter.

Can't help with the other stuff.
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:20 PM   #3
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Yes you can store the medication at first aid.

GF at WDW really is very easy. Just make sure that your ADRs have gluten free checked off and a chef will come talk to you. At CS locations ask to see the allergy book due to allergies and you'll be handed a binder to look through so you can see what items have gluten and what specialty non-menu items are available. This will also prompt a manager to be called so that he/she can prepare the GF food in a way that ensures no cross contamination.

Is the dog a service dog or a pet? That'll make a huge difference to the answers you get. If he's a pet then you should probably board him at home so he's not subjected to travel. If he's a service dog then there are plenty of threads on this board about bringing a service dog to WDW including recommendations for when you want to give the dog a day off while you go to the park.

I believe that the Disney Christmas parade is usually filmed the first week of December but I could be wrong about that. Frankly, I'd NEVER bring somebody with autism to MK on parade taping days. It's wall to wall jam packed on Main Street for hours on end. No way could either my autistic daughter or I (also autistic) handle that. Keep in mind that it's not the continuous parade like you see on TV. They stop and stage various acts so it turns out nice on TV.

If price isn't a factor, I really like the Polynesian for people who spend most of their park time at MK and Epcot. For MK you have both the monorail and the boat and for Epcot you can walk to the TTC to catch the monorail. It's the resort with easiest access to these two parks (if you're considering both; CR is easier to MK and the Crescent Lake resorts are easier to Epcot but Poly is easiest if you're considering both).
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January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:26 AM   #4
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POP Century is NOT on the monorail, but could be a great resort for your family. It is bus service, but a couple of reasons I suggest it are:

The BEST food court on property and the chef's are AMAZING with gluten allergy. (Last trip I went back to the resort many times, JUST to eat - yep, they are that good) Another reason I suggest it is both of your kids would like it and it's on property. It really doesn't take that long to get back for mid day breaks. 3rd reason I suggest it is that is is MUCH cheaper than the monorail resorts and again - it's fun.

I hope you have a great trip.

I just thought about something - you may need to take a good look at ANY resort you are considering. Make sure it is not too much for your oldest. Some autistic kids do very well with the themeing and others may not - You know you child so check out picture threads and such so that you can get a good feel for the resorts you are considering.

If the over the top themeing of POP Century or any other value will work, than I say go for it.

Another option would be The Dolphin or Swan - not so themed but deluxe for a fraction of the cost and walking distance to Epcot and HS.
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:43 AM   #5
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Yes the dog is a pet.He is good when we travel but it would be easier without him at rest areas etc. Will have to look more into the hotels too. The last time we took DS on the monorail he could ride upfront.we didn't realize this would terrify him.He likes the monorail though and I know we can't ride up front anymore anyways .I am glad you mentioned about the parade and how it would.be taped and start and stop that would drive him crazy.We don't want to go when its crowded ,but decorated would be.nice that's why i thought early November ?
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Old 04-28-2013, 10:52 AM   #6
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If you want to stay at a WDW resort then the dog can't stay in the room with you. There are no WDW resorts that allow pets. You'll have to put him in the kennel the whole time you're at WDW so either it's a kennel at home or a kennel at WDW, unless you want to rent an RV and stay at the campground.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
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December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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Old 04-29-2013, 06:48 AM   #7
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I talked about the dog thing last night to my DH we might just ask the neighbor to let him out a few times seeing he likes her and she likes to give him dog treats over the fence anyways .we have 3 cats but they just eat dry food so that's easy and I feel more comfortable leaving him here at home with someone he knows and who adores him already. As for.the.hotels I thought of the Disney movie hotel but a friend said it was loud and kinda dirty ? Never been there though we usually stay at Days Inn. We also talked about Ft.Wilderness but the cabins will only allow 4 people and I am not sure how far it is to go back and forth? We saw a hotel online I.think it was a.new Disney hotel it had Lion King theme for one room which is his absolute favorite but it was $$$ .Please keep the ideas coming I am loving the help !
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:47 PM   #8
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Call your vet about boarding. Mine keeps our dog for $15 a day and she actually enjoys being there.
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Old 04-29-2013, 12:53 PM   #9
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The cabins have an occupancy of 6 people. We stayed in one with 5 people when we brought DD12's BFF. The cabins are very quiet and peaceful and you have a full kitchen so you can always cook up some of your own food. We'll never stay in a cabin without renting a golf cart though. It's a very spread out resort and we didn't want to have to worry about waiting on the internal bus after having waited for transportation to the resort. Note that we're the kind of family who will always pay extra to have the shortest walk possible at our resort so not everybody will necessarily feel the same way that we do. FW doesn't really have CS options for GF. We had great experiences at Trail's End for breakfast and dinner and at HDDR. We were able to get food one evening at the Trail's End to go window but it was just very basic stuff. The dining report in my signature from August 2012 has more details if you're interested.

The suites at the Art of Animation resort really are nice. We stayed there the same trip we stayed in a cabin (it was a split stay). That was a better fit for us than the cabins because (1) they have 2 bathrooms (2) it's nowhere near as spread out (3) it feels more Disney to us with value resort style over the top theming (4) it has a lot more CS food options (5) the adults get a queen size bed in the bedroom vs a full size in the living room in the cabin. It didn't seem much different in price than the cabin when we went but we were there using a free dining promotion and when you've got 5 people at adult prices that's quite a chunk of change while at the cabin we got a room discount. I'd pay more the an AoA suite than I would for a cabin just because it's so much better of a fit for us than the cabin. The AoA suite only has a total of 3 beds though while the cabin has 4.

I just noticed you have 7 people. Neither the cabins nor the AoA suites will fit you in one room.

Have you looked into renting points for a stay at a DVC resort?

No matter which resort you look at, there will be people who will have had experiences with dirt and/or noise. This is true of every resort around the world. I wouldn't rule out a particular resort because of somebody having a bad experience. Personally, I'd go for Pop Century over one of the All Star resorts because Pop IMO has the absolute best food court for allergies. The down side of the value resorts is that it's all full size beds. For the 7 of you, if you're in 2 rooms then everybody but one person will be sharing a bed. You could do 3 rooms and request that one have a king for you and DH while the kids share the other 2 rooms. None of the resorts have 3 rooms together that all have connecting doors but you could request a king room connecting to a regular room with the other regular room to be beside it. The kicker though is that these kinds of requests are not guaranteed. It would be possible that you wouldn't get the king room and/or the rooms wouldn't be beside each other. For the same price as 3 value rooms you could probably rent points for a 2 bedroom DVC suite.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
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December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
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Old 04-29-2013, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by of2dbeach View Post
I talked about the dog thing last night to my DH we might just ask the neighbor to let him out a few times seeing he likes her and she likes to give him dog treats over the fence anyways .we have 3 cats but they just eat dry food so that's easy and I feel more comfortable leaving him here at home with someone he knows and who adores him already. As for.the.hotels I thought of the Disney movie hotel but a friend said it was loud and kinda dirty ? Never been there though we usually stay at Days Inn. We also talked about Ft.Wilderness but the cabins will only allow 4 people and I am not sure how far it is to go back and forth? We saw a hotel online I.think it was a.new Disney hotel it had Lion King theme for one room which is his absolute favorite but it was $$$ .Please keep the ideas coming I am loving the help !
ASMo can be loud, both the themeing and the people if a large group is at the resort. The rooms there will only sleep 4. You may have been thinking of the suites at All Star Music which can sleep 6.

The Lion King theme is the new AoA suites. That's probably going to be the most expensive option.

FW cabins will sleep up to 6. There's a queen and bunkbeds in the bed room, plus a murphy bed in the living room. Transportation is done by internal bus as the campgrounds are huge so you'll have to transfer unless you drive. The privacy and kitchen may make up for that. Oh, there's also only 1 bathroom, suites have 2.

As for being GF, Disney caters to the GF crowd so you should be able to find all kinds of yummy food. Just mark it on your ADRs and call for a manager at CS places. Don't forget to stop at Babycakes for some amazing treats.
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:34 PM   #11
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2 of our kids are in college so it is myself ,dh,ds20 ,dd16 and dd10. We have the girls sleep together and my son likes sleeping on the roll away beds. Some hotels will let us all stay together which is what we have always done. I am glad that Disney is Gluten friendly as some other parks are not .We need a quieter hotel and were thinking one where we can get DS onto the boat or monorail will be easier then trying to catch a bus or get back to the van.If it is just us without Ds we don't leave the park at all so this will be need to us.The tricky part will be trying to convince him he needs to leave and rest and we will come back later.so the hotel investigations continue. Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated. I am hoping to snag a good rate seeing we are in Fl
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Old 05-01-2013, 11:38 AM   #12
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Disney is VERY strict about their room occupancy.

I think you're going to have to make a decision between cost and transportation options. You can't have monorail and/or boats and not pay for it. You can save some money by renting DVC points. Your family could fit into a 1 bedroom villa at Bay Lake Towers. It's by no means cheap but it's probably not much different than a cabin at FW or a suite at AoA but you'll have the monorail as well as the boat over to FW & WL for extra dining options.

Something else to consider is that you can stay at a cheaper resort if you rent a car to deal with the transportation issue. If DS20 needs to be taken back to the resort then whichever adult would accomany him can drive him and then those who stay at the park can take Disney transportation to get back to the resort. POR will be your cheapest resort option for 5. The murphy bed is really tiny and wouldn't fit a 20yo adult but if DS20 is happy with a roll away bed then you can request one of those. It'll be a tight fit but if you don't mind being squished together then it's an option to consider. Parking at the parks is free for people staying at a WDW resort.
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Multi-Allergy & Autism Dining Reviews: February 2014 * DL & LA July 2013 * February 2013 * August 2012 * February 2012 * August 2011 * August 2010


February 2014 AKL: me, DH, DD15, DD13 * July 2013 DL offsite (Tropicana): me, DH, DD15, DD12, DSD30, DSSil * February 2013 WDW Poly: me, DH, DD14, DD12
August 2012 WDW FW Cabin & AoA Nemo: me, DH, DD14, DD12, DD12's BFF11 * February 2012 WDW Poly CL: me, DH, DD14, DD11 * August 2011 WDW YC: me, DH, DD13, DD11
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December 2009 WDW POFQ: me, DH, DD11, DD9 * February 2009 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD11, DD8 * August 2008 WDW SSR: me, DH, DSD25, DSD24, DD10, DD8
September 2007 WDW Pop: me, DH, DD9, DD7 * April 2002 DLR offsite: me, DH, DSD19, DSD17, DD4, DD1.5 * June 2000 DLR offsite: me(pregnant), DH, DSD17, DSD15, DD2
January 1994 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD11, DSD9 * January 1992 WDW offsite: me, DH, DSD9, DSD7
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