After freezing temperatures, freezing rain, and general freezing of everything my partner Steve and I decided to hell with this weather we need a vacation. Being that we only had a week due to school and limited budget as well our options were rather limited. And being ever obsessed with Walt Disney World and everything they offer I decided to look into how much a vacation there would cost, guess what it is totally affordable for us! So after a few short days of planning, and arranging we booked a trip! The easy part was done, but not came the hard part of finding places to eat. The hotel we decided to stay at offered a cafeteria style dining option, so I contacted the hotel and asked them what protocols they had in place for food allergies. The manager at the hotel assured me they can offer safe meals, as long as I tell them at the cafeteria. They even offered to give me a booklet containing information on the menu options and allergen information.
Since the hotel we were staying at doesn't include food preparation stations (stove microwave etc) in the rooms, most of our meals will be had in the four parks or surrounding Disney Areas. I set out to make a few reservations. Luckily Disney has everything down to a science and booking restaurant reservations was simple. But the best part was being able to inform them of all my food allergies and their severity ahead of time. Now, when I arrive a note will be on my file, alerting them of my food allergy before I even enter the restaurant.
Since we will be surrounded by confectionary items I decided to look into their candy/chocolate options to see if they are safe. I had little to no luck finding out if their prepackaged chocolates or candies were safe. But I find out their oil is canola and the Mickey Bars are 100% safe for my peanut and nut allergies. An excellent resource for me to find out the safety and accommodations was Allergy Eats an amazing resource that helps identify safe places to eat and offers user feedback and comments to help people find useful information
After all the food booking was done, I set out to make sure that I will be as prepared as I possibly can. I ordered two new Allerjects in accompany with my old one. One for me to carry, one for my partner and one to leave at the hotel at all times just in case. I personally always like to have two auto injectors with me at all times just in case. Remember when you're traveling to always make sure you keep your auto injector with you at all times, never put it in your suitcase you are checking because it can be damaged it is will be out of reach.
Next I made you to make a reminder to call my airline three days ahead of my flight to assure that where I will be sitting will be a nut and peanut free zone. This is a simple task. Simple call the airline with your flight number and seat and tell them your allergies. In this section of the plane food containing your allergen will not be offered to other passengers. It's also a good idea to bring your own food if it's going to be a long flight and you aren't sure about the options on your airline.
Last, well not last but lastly before your trip is to remind the people you're traveling with of the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction and what to do in an emergency. Make sure they know where your auto injector is, and how to use it. Always travel with hand sanitizer and remember to wash your hands before you eat or put them near your face. With millions of people in the parks each week, and thousands of people touching stuff, who knows what is floating around on safety bar, hand rails ect.
Booking a vacation is fun and exciting. Your food allergies should never deter you from living a normal life, or experiences things like everyone else does. Your food allergies should never be a reason not to do something, they should only be a reason to achieve your dreams. Just remember to always be caution, and conscious of what is around you. Be careful, be alert, be safe, but most importantly have fun.