Saturday, January 19, 2013

Diabetes and Disney - Final Thoughts On Carbs, Fun and Suprises

I hope you have enjoyed the Disney and Diabetes series as much as I did.  It actually made me feel a little bit like being on vacation, even though, I am only sitting at my home in the frozen north.  While spring is still months away, I wanted to leave you with a few more fun Disney World tidbits that I have compiled from many various websites and vacation experiences


Walt Disney World Tidbits
Magic Kingdom
  • When arriving, ask to have a wake-up call.  Make sure your children “answer” the phone.  Surprise on who will be talking on the other endJ

  • Fireworks at Night:  Take the Ferry over to Polynesian and watch the fireworks on the beach.  Even better if you remember to park there in the a.m. when heading into the parks.  Your car will be waiting for youJ  If you have your swimsuits, swim in the pool at night and then watch the Electrical Parade in the lake (light up boats).  Very fun!  While the times can vary, this was the schedule at print:  Polynesian -- 9:00p.m., Grand Floridian -- 9:15 p.m., Wilderness Lodge -- 9:35 p.m., Ft. Wilderness -- 9:45 p.m., Contemporary -- 10:05 p.m

  • Fort Wilderness Campground – Chip and Dale perform in a nightly smores campfires and play outdoor movies.  Free!  While the times can vary, this was the schedule at print:  Campfire lit -6:30. Singalong -7:00, Movies-7:40  Carb Counts would make each smore an average of 24 grams for 1 marshmallow, 2 pieces of Hershey chocolate bar and one full slice of graham cracker (on average - double check with your server to confirm preparation).

  • The Disney World Value Resorts offer lifeguard supervised games around the pool.  Games might include a hula-hoop contest, diving race or relay race.  Candy is given to the winners.  Typical candy includes a small tootsie roll or a dum-dum lollipop.  The bag of candy is located at the life guard stand and you can just ask for a peek if your child wins.

  • At check-in or at any park Guest Services, stop by and pick up a free button for whatever you are celebrating, birthday, anniversary, etc..  You will undoubtedly receive lots of attention from the cast members and maybe even a surprise such as a fast pass.

  • Remember how I mentioned that packing a lunch is a great choice for saving money?  Well it can also be more fun, especially if you eat lunch next to Space Mountain so that you have a front row seat to see Push the Talking Trash Can.

  • If getting autographs from the big mouse or any of those beautiful princesses is your thing, as soon as you enter Magic Kingdom, make a right to retrieve fast passes.  If you have some time before entering the area, make a left, to the barber shop for a haircut with a surprise!  The barber will put pixie dust on the girls and washable coloring on the boys.  A special bonus for babies is that first hair cuts also receive free mouse ears!  After you are done, go back and get autographs using those fast passes you got ahead of time.

  • Riding the train around Magic Kingdom?  Well, if you do, the conductor will often let a child stand in the back and be a  guest conductor, helping push the horn or saying "all aboard" over the microphone.

  • Fireman for the Day - the firehouse, there is an honorary fireman of the day. The fireman will receive special hats and get to ring the bell.

  • Maybe you have heard of those famed turkey legs?  Here is a great reason to get one... zero carbs.  Or, if you feel a sweet tooth, the famous Dole Whip is 17g of carbohydrates.  Another helpful thought is that all of the parks have frozen pre-packaged icecream treats that usually have the carbohydrates printed on the label.  This is very different from the restaurant food that does not offer any nutrition information.  For that reason, if we are waiting for a parade, I will let my kids choose a special treat as I know I can acurately dose for it, with little worry of miscalculating. 

  • Pirates of the Caribbean – Pirates stand outside and try to recruit new children to join in.  Pirate statues inside to “fool” kids when they come off the ride.  Nod hello to the parrot at the entrance and he may talk back to you.  Two entrances to ride.  Left is shorter.

  • Spitting Camel – The big gold camel is at Aladdin’s Magic Carpet ride, so watch out that you do not actually get wet when walking through the town. Well, unless you want a cool down!

  • If you are the first person in the park, head over to the shooting arcade where all of the rifles are pre-loaded with credits on the park opening. 

  • Please note:  this has been suspended for 2013 or until Big Thunder Mountain Railroad re-opens, but save this for a future idea; Tom Sawyer Island- Find one of the paintbrushes that Tom and Huck left behind and receive a special prize from the cast member.

  • Liberty Square Christmas Shop if you look closely, it's actually three separate shops with the walls opened between them. They are supposed to be owned by three different colonial families- a German family, a woodcarver's family, and a musician's family. Also find the hidden park in the back of the Christmas Shop.

  • Liberty Square Tree - The 13 lanterns hanging in the Liberty Square Tree representing the original 13 U.S. colonies. Its the big tree to the left when facing the Paddle Wheel Boat.

  • Presidential Step - In Liberty Square, there is a gate around a door -- it guards a marble slab that used to be threshold or a step at Monticello. President Jefferson actually walked on it long ago.

  • Spectromagic parade- Watch at Town Hall. When the end of the parade passed us, race to Adventure land . We were able to go on the Jungle Cruise and Aladdin’s Magic Carpets without waiting in line, because most of the people are still watching the parade. Apply the same principle and watch the earlier parade near Frontier Land .

  • Disney Cartoon Shows - Although the Main St. Cinema is gone, old Disney cartoons are still shown, in a small theater, with seats, in Exposition Hall.

  • Mutascopes - Thought they were just for display, but when you put a penny in, they actually work! There are 4 or 5 of them, and some of the light bulbs were burned out so they didn't work, but I know at least two of them did, and it only costs a penny to find out. You put in a penny, start turning a crank and a short silent movie plays for you.

  • Cinderella Castle - Sit on the stone ledge on the right side of the castle, you may hear Stitch giggle and tell you to be quiet because he's hiding.  Try asking the suit of armor for an autograph. What happens??

  • Wake up Tinkerbelle - in her shop called Tinkerbelle’s Treasures, you will find an adorable surprise.  Ring the bell on the counter and Tink flies around the shop and then appears on a flat screen behind the counter. The kids can get pixie dust in their hair too.  Also, do not miss the changing color of Aurora's Ball Gown by the arguing Fairy Godmothers.  My girls are still enchanted by this and they are 9 and 11!

  • Sword and the Stone - near Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel - which might have been moved with the new expansion of Fantasyland in 2013. Guests can attempt to pull out the sword. Used to be part of the "The Sword in the Stone Ceremony" that is no longer performed. It is rumored that every so often someone is still allowed to pull out the sword.  My husband loves this spot as he can remember trying the same thing as a little boy!

  • Willie the Giant When you go to Sir Mickey's Shop in Fantasyland, look at where the roof meets the walls. You will see Willie the Giant from Mickey and the Beanstalk peeking into the shop.

  • Our favorite family ride is Buzz Light-year’s Space Ranger Spin. In the first room, aim for the left arm of the left robot for 100,000 points, and when you are on Planet Z and you see Zurg, hit the bottom target of his space scooter for 100,000 points.  Turn your seat around (the car) and aim at the ORANGE robots arm or the back of the buzz saw.

  • Lilo and Stitch Restrooms – in Cosmic Rays, hear Stitch in the Women’s Restroom talking or looking for Lilo, and hear Lilo in the Men’s Restroom looking for Stitch.

  • Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor – Prepare a kid friendly joke while you are waiting in line for the show.  Then text in before showtime (TV screens will direct you to the phone number).  Sit in third row in the middle and you will be called on as part of the act.


  • At Epcot, do not pack a big lunch for this day!!!  Sample food from around the world.  Crepes in France are really yummy.  England has great fish and chips.

  • Buy a Passport – Get a stamp for each country. The passports are available at gift shops.  Great souvenir.

  • Innoventions Plaza fountain - is a little know place called Club Cool. They serve unlimited free popular drinks from different countries. This is great for low blood sugar moments as there is never a wait and the doors are open all day long!   

  • While Disney will not confirm carbohydrate counts on any of their foods, we did use this list and found it to be very accurate.  Your child or loved one who is living with type 1 diabetes may be different, so use this list as a guide - only. 

Product / Carb amount (per 100ml 3.4 oz)

Beverly / 15g

Kinley Lemon / 13g

Krest Ginger Ale / 9g

Fanta Kolita / 14g

Lychee Mello / 15g

Lift Apple / 11g

Mezzo Mix / 11g

Smart Watermelon / 13g

Vegitabeta / 10g

  • Innoventions Plaza also has a talking drinking fountain.  Look for it next to MouseGear.

  • Japan- In the lower level pavilion, there is a great store selling candy, chopsticks, etc.  The last time we were in the store, there was a stand where you could choose an oyster with a pearl in it $15.00 and the cast member would clean it for you and put it in a cute box.  Also, woman making candy often gives free samples.

  • Japan - on our next trip, I also have learned that there is a man in the back of the store that will personalize Japanese fans for a nominal price.  We haven't tried it ourselves (remember how WDW is always changing?) but I intend to look for him when we go back.

  • Mexico – Take tour with the 3 Calebreos and be delighted by their antics. 

  • Haiti – New for 2012; Kids can color a Bus or a "taptap"  while in Haiti.

  • Morocco – New for 2012; Backyard Fun Bunch.  Get ideas for backyard fun and kids can make a pledge to play, eat and have fun.

  • Norway - Take a boat ride on the Maelstrom, get in the front of the line after getting off the boat. Then when they let you in the theatre you can follow the last group of movie viewers out of the theatre. This saves you the incredibly boring video!  

  • United Kingdom (Britain) - (by Rose & Crown) at EPCOT.  Don't miss the imported crackers & cookies, and candy!  You'll also find fun tea accessories (like cutting boards and aprons), and some really nice (reasonable) jewelry... nice souvenirs that don't scream WDW.  Beatles type music.  Can get autographs from Beatles look-alikes too.

  • America - One show to sit up front on is The American Adventure.  Everyone will push for the middle.  But the best seat is front and center.  You will see every movement and expression made by the characters.

  • An Easter Brunch is usually held each year at the Epcot World ShowPlace located between Canada and the United Kingdom pavilions. Regular Epcot admission is required. You can reserve holiday meals up to 180 days in advance by calling (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463).

  • There are also several Easter egg hunts at Epcot.  This is a quietly publicized event and many cast members are not even aware of it until Easter morning.

Animal Kingdom

  • As you are on your way to Harambe Village keep your eye out for the last path to the right after the Tree of Life and before the bridge to Harambe Village. This is the “SECRET PATH”. The front of path is filled with a lot of vegetation so you might have to look hard. Yes it is open to the public. Follow the path for a close look at the Tree of Life and for some great photo spots. Not many people know about this path so you will have a lot of time to yourself and will not be interruptions when you are taking photos. You know those people who ignore the fact that you are taking a picture and walk right in front of you.

  • Lion King Show – Sit on row on floor.  Kids invited to participate.

  • Recycling Game - after getting off KRR and having an ice cream before going into Maharajah Jungle Trek we saw some CMs off to the (left)side. They approached my DD8 and asked if she wanted to play a recycling game. She did. They tried to get other guests to play but no one else would. So my DS and I played too. Basically we threw empty plastic bottle into a basket. The one with the most in won. But then we were all given special Disney recycling pins and a certificate. They called it Recycle Basketbottle and the certificate was presented by the DAK Custodial Team.

  • Get fast passes to the safari ride early as they often run out AND because the animals are more “awake” early in the day.

  • Divine Look for a cast member who is walking in camouflage on stilts at Tree of Life.

  • Behind the Jeep in the boneyard are fossils on the wall.  Touch them.  They are musical!

Hollywood Studios

  • Umbrella - Check out the "Singing in the Rain" umbrella that is attached to one of the streetlights near the old Hunchback theater. Grab the umbrella and step on the black square embedded in the cement underneath it for a nice surprise!

  • Go to Magic of Animation and watch a very fun show!

  • Fantasmic - in our family's opinion, this is one of the best shows at Walt Disney World.  Go early and get a good seat.  It will be worth the wait.

  • In the shop next to Pizza Planet in DHS you’ll see several large wooden packing crates. Try lifting the lids of a few of them.

  • Tower of Terror - when you enter the first staging room (the library), immediately go to the far corner (furthest away from the door you enter the room in).  After the TV presentation, the wall opens up there to the rest of the ride.  At that point, choose the left line - it's quicker.

  • Backlot Studios Tour - if you don't want to get wet, sit on the right when you load the trams. 

  • Voyage of the Little Mermaid - don't sit too close to the stage because it takes away from the show.

  • Star Tours - the further back in the spacecraft you are, the rougher the ride.

  • Buy personalized "Guest of Honor" pins at one of the stores on Hollywood Boulevard that sells customized hats, mugs, etc. Cast Members are already friendly and personable, but if you want EXTRA attention and interaction, WEAR ONE OF THESE PINS!

    Hope you have a wonderful Walt Disney World Experience and let us know at Naturally Sweet Sisters if you have a trip coming up or have any questions about spending some time at the most magical place on earth!  Remember, Kids First and Diabetes Second!!!!!




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