What do you do when your kid has a life threatening peanut allergy?!Trick or Treat at Disney!

traceyg

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Cast of Characters:

ME! Tracey!
I grew up in California and fell in love with Disney as a kid. Now I live in Texas, but don't hold it against me, I try to get to a Disney park at least twice a year.


This is me and dude last spring break
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Our trip back to WDW last year
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DH! Not a lover of Disney but he loves me and dude immensely therefor he bought into DVC not once but twice. He's a keeper!

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And Finally.....the Dude with all the allergies!

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Last Year I was finally able to travel again after having fought and won a horrible Leukemia diagnosis. Things were a little touch and go for a few months but I won the long hard battle. To those of you who give blood....THANK YOU! To those of you who are signed up for BE THE MATCH....YOU are my HERO!
An anonymous person donated bone marrow that saved my life. I am forever in awe over this gentleman's selfless act.

How do you celebrate winning a battle over Leukemia? By going to Disney of coarse!

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I had on a shirt that said "I Fight Like a Princess". Mickey saw it and was amazing. I think he must have someone in his family that has had Leukemia at some time because he was so sentimental about it. He had the best bear hugs too. I know my boys were crying as much as I was during the exchange.


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The Gilligan's Island Cast
Unfortunately Gilligan (my oldest son) is not joining us this trip as he is stationed in Italy with the Air Force.

We have a small farm here in Texas. We have two donkeys, 12 cats, 2 dogs, 24 chickens and 4 Guinea Fowls. When we're not working or going to school we live the farm life.

This is a picture of my DH and Dude in our front pasture over-looking our front yard.

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traceyg

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
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I am a speech language pathologist. My DH is a track inspector for the largest railroad in the U.S. And Dude goes to school.
We are taking 3 and a half days off to make this trip happen, there's a weekend in between, so our itinerary lasts for 6 days.

We're trying out two new (to us) resorts and a host of new restaurants. We will also be dueling each other in a friendly game of Mini Golf. Dude has never done mini golf before so this will be interesting.


Oct 18: fly to Orlando with Spirit. (yikes) Spend our first time ever at Boulder Ridge. I've always looked over the lake fondly at the green roofs of The Wilderness Lodge, but we've never gotten to stay there. Our home resort is AKV-Kidani. I know it was the same architect so I'm excited to try something new and yet a little familiar.

Oct 19: Hollywood Studios with Fast Passes to Tower of Terror, Rockin' Roller Coaster and Slinky Dog Dash. We had to visit it at least once. We did AK last year and rode Flight of Passage and Na'vi River Journey so it seems right that we do the new Toy Story area this time. Depending on how quickly we finish up with HS we may add on park hoppers and hop over to AK. Boulder Ridge

Oct 20: Whispering Canyon (new to us!) and Hoop De Doo. Dude has never done this so we hope he enjoys it as much as we do. Boulder Ridge

Oct 21: Breakfast at Kona at 10:50 (new to us, can't wait to try the Toast!), then Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party Boardwalk Villas

Oct 22: Fantasia Mini Golf, Beaches and Cream Soda Shop (Kitchen Sink!!!) Boardwalk Villas

Oct 23: Tragical Express back to airport and home

Instead of going to parks everyday we decided to try some things that we don't get to do, like mini golf, the Kitchen Sink and Hoop De Do.
We've stayed at quite a few resorts on property. Animal Kingdom Lodge is our favorite, followed by The Grand Floridian as a short second. We are always looking for a new favorite though. Each resort has a unique feel and we love trying them out. List of resorts in order of visits:


The Grosvenor (who remembers this place?)
The Disneyland Hotel
Old Key West
Animal Kingdom Lodge- Jambo
Pop Century
All Star Movies
Animal Kingdom Lodge Kidani
Caribbean Beach
Coronado
Saratoga Springs
Vero Beach
The Polynesian
The Grand Floridian
The Grand Californian
and this trip we'll cross off Boulder Ridge and Boardwalk Villas.

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I'm still working on our costumes for MNSSHP.

What are YOUR favorite things about Boulder Ridge and Boardwalk Villas?
 
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traceyg

Mouseketeer
Joined
Sep 14, 2011
Costume and Plans Update

I bought some clothing vinyl that came in yesterday. I bought felt for hats, t-shirts for everyone and some yellow pants for myself. I will probably be putting it all together the night before we leave, because I procrastinate like that. Here is a picture of the unfinished project:

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I called yesterday and bought our Hoop Dee Doo tickets. I had three tickets for 8:30 in Section 1 in my online cart but when I tried to purchase them it wouldn't let me use a Disney Gift Card. Probably something I was doing wrong, but I couldn't figure it out so I called my favorite 800 number, gave them my member number and asked for help. By the time we got to the reservation page the Category 1 tickets were gone so we ended up in Category 2. I'll try a few days before to upgrade and if that fails then we'll try to upgrade when we get there. Worst case scenario? I'll be at Disney World at the Hoop Dee Doo Musical Revue in Section 2. lol The food will taste just as good!

So here's how we do Disney....
Plan A: Every other year we do a huge family trip where like 11-14 of us go. I wake up at 6am in the middle of my summer break and call my favorite 800 number and make resort reservations. Then I plan like crazy for 11 months.

Plan B: Sometime at the end of summer....like Augustish, my husband and I discuss "Oh hey, are we going to do MNSSHP this year? You know dude gets to trick or treat like a normal kid there, right?" To which point my husband grumbles something about how many vacation days he has left for the year and how do we want to divide them between Disney, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Reluctantly he offers up so many vacation days and I start looking at my school calendar, airline prices and then DVC availability.
I make DVC reservations for three days because that is what he says he can give up.
Two weeks later I buy airline tickets and decide it's $300 cheaper to fly out on Thursday and fly back on Tuesday instead of Sunday. So I tack on two more nights last minute. (yes, I realize we are going to eat more than $300 in the extra days but we have to eat SOMEWHERE, so it might as well be WDW! Just don't tell DH that.)
Then I start perusing MDE for dining reservations and where to fit MNSSHP into the itinerary. Two weeks later I purchase MNSSHP tickets.
Two weeks later: "Do we want to do Toy Story Land, Avatar Land or both?" My husband "Let's try Slinky" So I buy 3 tickets for Hollywood Studios and then make FP+ reservations for SDD, RRC and HToT.
Two weeks later I buy tickets to Hoop Dee Doo.
So now we are a little over a month out and I will buy $250 worth of gift cards in two weeks and another $250 in two weeks. I already have $500 in gift cards put aside from various Walmart and Target trips throughout the year already.
By the time we get there everything is paid for or (mostly) allotted for in terms of gift cards. My husband is a happy camper because he has no clue how much anything really costs (and he is happy about it, just ask him, he'll tell you!), I have no credit card balance to pay off and I never touch savings or even put much of a dent in our discretionary income.

How do you all budget for Disney? Do you have a Disney savings account? Use credit cards or just bite the bullet and buy it all at once?

I'll post pictures of our costumes soon ( I hope! )
 
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  • traceyg

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2011
    SCORE! I got Category 1 for HDDMR by stalking the website via an alias name. I figured out that if you use your real log in it will ask you if you want to cancel the reservation. I had an old account that I never use anymore so I logged on to it and could actually see if anything had opened up without the craziness of not canceling and rebooking every single time, or having to call my favorite 800 number. I'm not sure if there's a better way to bypass this so I just used the old email.

    I finished the shirts Monday night but I still need to sew the hats. I am impatiently waiting on the red head band that I bought from Claire's online like two weeks ago. I hope it gets here today! I even paid extra for express shipping so it would be here in plenty of time. (you see how that worked for me!?! sigh)

    My husband has been charging my scooter in case I need it. I am hoping to park it and not need it. He charged it and then finagled it so that it ran until the battery died. It's been a while since I've used it so he wanted to make sure that the battery was going to charge correctly. While it was running he'd go and check on it and give me updates like "Entering Epcot NOW!" or "You just passed Peter Pan!". I am back to work and I go and do things but I know my stamina isn't back to par from the 70 rounds of chemo I endured. I still tire more easily and I tend to get sick more often. When I do get sick it takes a little longer to get over things too. I'm alive and all these things will get better in time. It's nice to have the scooter in case I do end up hitting the "wall" but I hope that I don't need it.

    Tonight I will sew the hats and finish packing. I have a smallish list of things still left to throw into our bags. And then......
     

    traceyg

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2011
    Looking forward to sharing your trip with you
    We hit the ground running as soon as we got home so it is taking me a little bit to get the rest going. I can't wait to share our adventures!
    My oldest daughter is named Kaylee btw!
     

    traceyg

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2011
    We left early to make our way to the airport. It's about a three hour drive to DFW from our home town and there is usually some traffic so we always leave pretty early to prepare for all things. I searched for airport parking discounts on the internet but didn't find any. I then looked up the prices of parking at the airport only to discover that it you prepay for your parking that they give a 50% off discount. We parked, grabbed our luggage, did the Floss in the parking lot (my son's newest obsession), caught a bus and made our way to our terminal.

    I used my phone to display our boarding passes this time. This is such a great thing! We made our way through TSA and got to our gate.

    We made it to the gate and I checked in with the counter folks and let them know about my son's allergies. They let me know that they'd talk to the crew and get it all arranged. A few minutes later we boarded the plane. We always wait to see who is working our section and make eye contact and quietly speak to them about the severity of his allergies. About 50% of the time they usually get it. This was one of those times that they didn't completely understand the gravity but were concerned enough to still take the necessary precautions. The attendant briefed everybody around us that there was a passenger in the immediate area that had a severe peanut and tree nut allergy and asked if they could refrain from eating anything with peanuts or tree nuts during the flight. If they couldn't they could asked to be moved. Everyone agreed thankfully because it was a full flight and I don't know how they would have accommodated anyone's request to sit somewhere else. Once up in the air we pay attention to everyone sitting around us. On a flight a few years ago we had a gentleman open up some peanut M&M's in a row diagonal from us. My daughter alerted the flight attendant and the attendant asked him to wait to eat them until he was off of the plane. He muttered loudly how this was ridiculous but did put them away. Luckily this is the only bad experience we've had.
    On our return flight our attendant was actually pretty rude to a few passengers about their luggage. I was so worried about what type of reaction we were going to get from her once we got to talk with her. It turned out that she was very serious about his allergies and actually made an announcement on the overhead speakers that NOBODY on the plane could buy products with peanuts or tree nuts in them. She banned them from being sold at all. We were so thankful and she ended up being wonderful to us for the entire flight.
    The flight was smooth and we arrived on time. We headed to Magical Express and the bus fairy was in our favor because we were on our way within about 10-15 minutes.
     

    traceyg

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2011
    As we were waiting to leave the plane I started getting texts from our Instacart shopper. The grocery store was out of a few things so he texted to see if I wanted a replacement. We got everything we needed. The food was waiting for us when we arrived at The Wilderness Lodge. I looked through my phone but did not find our reservation update that the room was ready so we checked in via the front desk. We got a handi-dandy map, a few pages of hidden Mickey clues, our room number and then we were off trying to find our way to our home for the next few days.

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    After we dropped off our stuff we made our way to the boat dock to watch the fireworks at Magic Kingdom. Then we watched the Electrical Light Pageant. Afterwards we stopped by Roaring Fork to grab a refillable mug, a cheeseburger and a grilled cheese sandwich. They had just run out of the Halloween mugs so I settled for a regular one. Later, when we transferred to Boardwalk I noticed that they had plenty of them. Funny story: There were two men in front of me in line at the bakery, each with their own mugs and I made a comment how lucky they were to find Halloween ones. Both of the guys looked at me like I'd lost my mind and one guy spoke up to tell me that their wives had sent them over to Boardwalk because they had heard that BWV had Halloween mugs. They informed me that they were staying at the Grand Floridian but their wives insisted that they were going to have Halloween mugs and they promptly got nominated to go get them. (Poor saps had no clue!)

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    Hey! Can someone cut those trees down! We can't see the castle!!!

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    It turns out that the cheeseburger is just, well, a cheeseburger. Oh the blasphemy! It was good enough but not the BEST ever cheeseburger.
    I had high hopes for the grilled cheese though. It too was kind of disappointing though. It may have been partially my fault though. It comes in this nice box and they close the lid for you. I went searching for a table, then got ketchup and then filled our drinks. By the time I opened my box the heat from the sandwich had made itself pretty soggy. i wasn't crazy about the bread either. I am a texture person and it just tasted weird. I wanted to love it, but I didn't. Oh well. As I often say.... "if that's the worst thing that happens to me today what a glorious day it has been!"

    After finishing our sandwiches and refilling our drink mugs we went back to the room.
     

    traceyg

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2011
    Beautiful Resort!
    We enjoyed the covered walkways from the bus to the building entrance.
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    We loved the Mickeys in the hallways!

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    traceyg

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2011
    Our refrigerator full of delivered food.
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    We never had a problem with anyone coming into our room at WLV. The trash was picked up every afternoon though so that was nice. On day three my son got sick so having an extra trash service worked out well for us. I got to experience the Urgent Care Center and a quick delivery from Amazon Now because of all of this too.

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    We hadn't even unlatched our luggage and he was running the bath water! I brought bubble bath from home and poured some in while the water was running. He then found the jet feature. The bubbles started getting so high that we had to turn off the jets a few times and let them settle down so that we didn't mess up the bathroom ceiling with bubbles. (I think we stopped them from getting any higher three times) Great fun!
     

    traceyg

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Sep 14, 2011
    So back to day three.... spooky music pipes in here..... we had fast passes for Tower of Terror, Rockin' Roller coaster and Slinky. Dude starts coughing a little bit. We don't think much about it because he's had asthma since he was eight weeks old and his environmental allergies come and go. We ride ToT, RR and head towards Toy Story Land. We ride Slinky and notice that his cough is getting worse. Nothing too concerning at this point but we are listening a little closer. We ride Alien then Star Tours. By this time his cough is non stop and we're getting a LITTLE concerned so we decide to call it a day and head back to the resort to give him a breathing treatment. We stop at First Aid to ask if there is a quicker way to get to the buses since it is a long grueling stretch of sidewalk. We go over the scenarios of boating vs. bus and decide that the bus is still the quickest way back to WLV. My husband shleps dude on his shoulders and we take off towards the buses. I have to say that Disney DID NOT plan that trek well. It is long. It is hot. It is miserable. x10 million when you realize your kid has gone from "a little worried, to he needs a treatment as quick.as.we.can". We make it to our room and give him a breathing treatment. He then tells us that his stomach hurts now too. I get him in the bath for a quick rinse, get his pj's on him and tuck him into bed. As I am tucking him in I notice that he feels hot. I go through his medicine backpack and realize that we've managed to leave the Tylenol at home. I decide to order some from Amazon Now along with some kid's cough syrup and since I don't know how long this is going to last; a Lego set. I know we're stuck for at least 24 hours until the fever is gone so I figure the Legos will keep him occupied.
    That night he wakes up a few times and vomits. When this starts I climb in bed with him to keep a closer eye on him. I'll have to say that the couch bed isn't too bad as far as comfort but getting in and out of that thing is horrible. I'm short and fat. Not a good combination for trying to deftly (and quietly) get in and out of a bed with a sick kiddo.
    The next morning I decide that Dude needs some medical intervention. I look up local places and decide on Centra Care. We Uber to it and get in within 10 minutes. The doctor sends a steroid prescription to the Walgreens down the street. My husband walks down to pick it up and dude and I sit in the lobby and wait. Come to find out, Centra Care has shuttle service to and from WDW. We shuttle back to WLV where we spend the rest of the day building Legos.

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    Waiting on the doctor.

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    A picture in the room. We have five children and I also manage a caseload of about 50 kids a year. There are nights that I cannot get my mind to turn off. Usually I read but sometimes I play a game in my head where I go through the alphabet and say the name of something that starts with that letter. I pick different categories. My top ones are fruits, vegetables, Disney characters, Disney rides, Disney restaurants, cities I've visited and relatives. By the time I get to "H" I'm usually a goner. lol This picture reminded me of some characters I can use on my slightly differentiated "counting sheep" quest to fall asleep. lol
     
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