Disney Value Resorts are well, a great value. Not only are there great meals that the whole family would love, but Chef's are easily accessible too to ask questions about food allergies. For example, I ordered a pot roast, mashed potatoes and mushroom risotto at Pop Century a few days ago, my husband went for a giant sandwich, our oldest for Mickey Waffles, and the youngest cheese pizza. Before we ordered the pizza though, I needed to know if it was safe for our son's allergies.
Finding a chef to ask the necessary questions is quite easy, just let someone at the station you wish to order at know you have a food allergy question, and they will get a chef right away.
A note on this. We ate multiple times at Pop Century, and even though it's just a short walk over the bridge of Art of Animation, I like Pop's food court better than AoA. We didn't have a good interaction with the chef at Art of Animation, for something as simple as pizza, and the food court there was much more chaotic, so we actually left, and went back to Pop.
If you have never ordered with a food allergy at a Value Resort, let me assure you, our experience was fantastic. The chef took a lot of time to answer my questions about particular foods. Never once did I feel rushed, or that it was a bother. He even pulled out his cell phone, which was filled with pictures of ingredients, and scrolled through to help me find the information I was looking for. He was knowledgeable, patient, and made sure he asked if I had any more questions, before we parted ways. He offered that a chef could make my son's pizza, but said it would be the same as everyone else could order regularly, so we opted to just order from the counter, and not wait.
There were multiple others I saw over our trip at Pop with food allergies, in fact one evening, while waiting to find out if the ingredients for a particular food had been found out yet, a young woman struck up a conversation saying she only vacations at Disney, because they take her Celiac's seriously, and she knows they will always take good care of her.
While most meals can be easily adapted, or perhaps are already safe for you or your child, you probably already know that desserts are a little different. Our chef pointed out the few allergy friendly options they had, (not many) and let me know the ice cream, and dole whips, and churros would be safe, but anything in the glass bakery cases would be subject to cross contamination. To be honest, I guess in an effort to be more eco friendly, or perhaps just to save money, very few treats now, including the cupcakes are packaged individually. I saw more children than I would care to see touching, touching, touching until they finally decided which one they wanted.
While I was disapointed in the snack offerings allergen wise in the gift shops, they did have prepackaged jumbo Hostess muffins and other treats, that, after a quick phone call to Hostess confirmed they would be safe for my son's allergies. It's worth a look in your own gift shop for a treat too.
For our first visit to Disney with food allergies, I felt like we were able to make confident choices, and ended our trip reaction free, and feeling normal, and isn't that the best thing anyone can hope for?
Stay turned (once I'm unpacked, and the photos unloaded from memory card to computer) there will be some reviews of the places we ate at, including their allergy menus. In the meantime, we are already planning next time...what's your favorite resort to grab a bite at?
Disney sure hit everyone with a LOT of new, immediate fees, and increases on things like the annual pass, the reusable shopping bags (just about doubled!) parking and more.
The new parking fees are as follows:
Value Resorts are now $15 a night to park
Moderate Resorts $20 a night to park
Deluxe Resorts $25 a night to park
At this time, you will still get complimentary parking at theme parks, if you choose to take your own vehicle.
For those who can only visit Disney in the summer (like we do) it seems like the deck is stacked against you. The prices are higher, the crowds are bigger, and the heat is worse! How is any of that fair?!
Up til now, we've had loads of ideas to pay less, and ways to navigate those crowds and hardly stand in line.
Today, it's all about beating the heat! Disney can be HOT in the summer. Hot, muggy and miserable! But it can also be really fun, and if that's the only time you can go, make the most of it!
Have the Right Mindset
The first thing you have to do is accept it's going to be hot, and then tell yourself, and everyone with you, you shouldn't be miserable in Disney, and it might be hot, but you are going to have an awesome time!
Dress for Success
Denim is a mistake, let me tell you. Even capris and not full length pants don't do well. It just doesn't breathe! Go for light weight fabrics, and even better, moisture wicking ones!
Make Use of Misting Areas
Stand new a water ride and you'll get wet for sure, and there are fountains that splash a bit too. Not near anything wet? Pop in the restroom and wet your arms and face, it'll make a difference, just please...don't stick your feet in the fountains. That's just yucky!
Consider a Cooling Towel
I've held out against this trend for so long, but our last trip, I saw two girls having such a good time, and looking so cooled and refreshed in the zillion degree line to meet Buzz. I saw them again at our resort, and asked, did those towels REALLY make a difference? Turns out, they really do. We got a few while visiting Texas in the summer, and wow! You do feel a lot cooler. Don't want to look dorky? (My worry!) take it off before a picture, just wear it when hot, or, get a really long, flexible one and learn how to tie it stylishly, and coordinate it with your outfits!
Buy or Bring a Portable Fan
Disney sells the misting fans with a lanyard so you can be hands free, but if you aren't set on having Mickey on everything, you can save a lot, and just get a fan at your local store. They'll have ones that mist, ones that don't, and some also with a lanyard, for a lot less. Just pack a few extra batteries.
Be Strategic With Your Touring Plan
Sleeping in is great, unless it starts your park day at noon, when the sun is high up in the sky, shining it's blessed rays of skin blistering goodness on you. For hours. Time your day to make the most of the morning and evening, when the temps aren't as bad, and find indoor attractions to enjoy during those times.
Don't feel like a wimp if you take a few hours mid day to fall asleep during the Hall of Presidents, or head back to the resort. You'll be rested and ready to shut the park down if that's what you want, while those who went all day are wanting to snooze before the fireworks!
Sunstroke and dehydration are no joke! Drink, drink drink. Bring your own, ask for free water, however you want to do it, just stay hydrated! A large number of visits to the First Aid Centers are from heat exhaustion symptoms.
The biggest tip, is enjoy yourself! Getting too hot? Pop in a store! Visit a theater style attraction, stop off at an indoor Quick Service for a drink or ice cream, or even climb on the ferry for shade and a breeze! You can find a way to cool down, and you'll be good to go again soon!
A hot day doesn't mean a miserable day! Use some of these tips, and you'll be looking like a local, all comfortable and making the most of your day!
We like to tip on vacation to Mousekeeping, and this is the fun way that we do it! That way there is no mistaking "our" money for "Mousekeeping" money.
I've got a FREE printable for you, so you can print these off too (I like to use colored cardstock but any paper works!)
Print, cut and wrap around your tipping money, close with a smidge of tape, and you'll be spreading the magic too!
Just click below on the picture to go that printable, and our others, or the file name to print!
See that battered and smudged looking post it in the picture? That's mine, and that way my very lo-tech way of how I was keeping track of my gift card savings. I totally did forget to add gift cards on there, because life is well, life, but the ones that are on there, you can see my discounted percentages.
According to the post it, I bought $4,240 in gift cards.
$2450 was bought at 13% off
$100 was bought at 12% off
$200 was bought at 10% off
$1190 was bought at 5% off
$50 was bought at 0% off. (I wanted "fun looking" gift cards from Shop Disney!)
That means that my $4240 in gift cards actually cost me $3580. I SAVED $660 on our trip by buying gift cards!
You can use these gift cards to pay for your vacation package, or tickets, resort or food. It's simple, and saves you BIG !
How did I do this? You can read about it right here. It was simple, it didn't take any extra time, because you go to Target fairly often, right? Have a Best Buy nearby? I promise, it was simple, and easy. And I saved enough to pay for the hotels on the way down, the way back, gas and food.
While you might not always be able to get the 12 or 13% off, since promotions change there's nothing stopping you from getting 5% off every day at Target, and quite possibly more if you keep your eyes open. I missed out on a lot of 20% offs, simply because the grocery stores offering those deals weren't near us, and we don't have a Sam's Club near by.
While it might seem like a waste of time, or a drop in the bucket you get the $50 and $100 gift cards every so often with a promotion, it's easy enough, and your savings will more than make up for the few minutes time you spent buying them!