An Open Letter to Disney World
You do a great job with many disabilities. Maybe you can make the same effort for families with type 1 diabetes.
The thing we need most is counts of carbohydrates in the foods you sell so we can give our kids the amount of insulin they need. We are not crazy Atkins dieters gone wild. It is a Life Safety Issue Mickey.
I spoke with cast member Mark Jones of Walt Disney World Services for Guests with Disabilities. Mark said that he has not heard from guest that diabetes and carb counts is a concern.
Given my experience trying to surface the issue it is no surprise. It took me two years asking who is responsible for disability issues to get through to him. I expect that most folks give up in that time frame.
Here is a quick sample of comments from March 16, '06 on the American Diabetes Association parents forum:
One parent asked:
1) Has anyone visited WDW with their Type 1 child? Any tips? We are *considering* a visit this summer. But yikes, how to do with a 6 yr old with diabetes?
2) Related to question 1. How do you figure out how many carbs are in restaurant meals that you can't find listed in any of the carb guide books?
Another wrote back:
I went to Disney on February this year, 6 months after T1 diagnosis. I was extremely scared dealing with diabetes. Anyway, Disney was very stressful for me but My son loved it.
A third added:
We went to Disney over New Years. Our son is on the pump. Disney is great and very accommodating, but my biggest, really my only, complaint is that they have no carb counts for their food. You can bring in food of course, but at some point you will probably be buying Disney food.
So, on this one day, the idea of going to Disney with a type 1 child brought out the feelings of, “Yikes, Scared, Stressful, no carb counts.”
Some quick facts over 20 million children and adults have diabetes. Of that somewhere between 1 and 2 million are type 1.
One to Two million people who’s family thinks “Yikes, Scared, Stressful, no carb counts” when they consider vacationing at Disney World.
These kids typically do three to five thousand finger sticks, injections and/or infusions a year. That hurts a kid.
Just give us carb counts. It is the right thing to do and you will make more Mickey. Notice the one parent saying they carry in food so they know the carb count? You are loosing food sales Mickey my pal.
What do you say Mickey how about taking some stress, yikes and scared off these families and help make these families Disney Vacation Magic?