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Disney World Through the Eyes of a Naturopath. How to keep well and have fun while visiting
Recently my family and I experienced our first trip to Disney World together and it was awesome!
Or I could say, it was magical. It was definitely some very much needed quality family time.
Escaping from your day to day routine for a little while as a family can do wonders
for your relationships. It is amazing how when those daily stressors are eliminated
for a short time we are able to see more clearly and feel more deeply. Of course any break
from the routine is great once and a while, whether it be close to home or somewhere abroad.
So, if you are planning a trip to Disney for your vacation I have put together a few tips
and how to maintain your optimal health while enjoying all that Disney World has to offer
based on our experience. This is by no means an advertisement for Disney. Just some ideas
of things to do before you go, while you are there, and when you get home.
First off, do some planning before you go. Yes you will be looking into the attractions
and where to stay, etc. and I am suggesting to also do a wellness audit. What part of
your family�s wellness routine do you want to maintain during your vacation? Your eating
habits, sleep routine, nap times? One of the biggest things I was worried about was where
and what we were going to eat. Being gluten free I am always curious about how well restaurants
can accommodate food allergies or intolerances. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with
the resort restaurants. When you book your reservations at the sit down restaurants you
can list your food aversions in the online booking. Most restaurants will accommodate
for the most common food allergies, gluten and wheat, shellfish, soy, lactose or dairy,
peanuts and tree nuts, fish, eggs and corn. So just double check that the restaurants
you want to go to can accommodate you. Call you hotel and see what their restaurants have
too. Most of the time you will be eating breakfast at your hotel so if they don�t have something
for you to eat then bring it or buy it in the supermarket. I brought cereal and bought
soy milk in our hotel to keep in our mini bar. It worked great and we were efficient
in the mornings. If you are a tea drinker, bring your favourite tea bags. The tea selection
isn�t that great, but there is plenty of hot water. Also, bring some of your snacking
staples. Things like granola bars, fruit strips, raisons, whatever dry goods you like to keep
on you in the park. There are snack carts where you can buy fruit slices or real fruit
popsicles, and other snacks of course, but it can be costly in the park.
While you are enjoying the parks at Disney I have some tips as well. First off, be sure
to have your kids protected from the sun. Hats and strollers with shade covers help.
I use sunblocks by Badger Balms or Green Beaver as they don�t contain some of the nasty
chemicals other sunscreens do. Find shade whenever you can and use the cool down zones
or splash pads to beat the heat. Lots of water is a must. We would use our meal plan snack
allotments for bottles of water to keep in the stroller and stock up at lunch as a 500ml
bottle of water counts as a drink. You can also just ask for tap water at the meal counters
for free! For food on site, be sure to ask at the quick serve counters to talk to a manager
if you have any food aversions. They will come out with a binder and show you all the
ingredients of the foods and specially prepare your meal. It takes a little longer to prepare
but worth it. We had nachos, salads, kids hot dogs and chicken fingers. All meals came
with a dessert too, usually a pretty yummy cookie. At the sit down restaurants the chef
will come out and speak to you and make sure your meal is suited for you. I was really
impressed with the meals for me and my kids. There was pasta, specially prepared chicken
and fish and at the buffets the chef will guide you through the options to point out
what you can eat. My favourite were the fish tacos at T-Rex restaurant in Downtown Disney.
There are almost always fruit and veggies as snack options for the kids too. Another
tip I have is to wear proper footwear. I personally found Disney to be an athletic event. We walked
a lot and I couldn�t imagine wearing any shoes but my runners. Walking and pushing
a double stroller for 12 hours a day is a workout for sure, so be prepared to get your
exercise while you�re enjoying the sites! And when you are not running for fast passes
or to catch a show, take some down time. The parks have little play areas or splash pads
where your kids can play and you can sit. Free play is great for the young ones and
you can chill out for a bit. The other place to get down time is in the line ups. Yes,
the lines can be long so embrace them. Do some stretches, a yoga pose, some deep breathing.
It is a good chance to work on your patience. If you kids are having trouble with their
patience, engage them in a game of eye spy or make up a story for them, a great way to
engage your creativity. If the kids need a rest take time to go back to your hotel to
nap or let them have a stroller siesta. Eating well most of the time and taking time to rest
will help your endurance and benefit your immune systems too. Lots of germs are around
in a place crowded with kids so keep your defenses up. Keep up with the hand washing
or sanitizing. Next time I am bringing extra vitamin C for all of us. Most people I talk
to agree that Disney is a test of endurance, physically and mentally! Especially if you
are there for more than a couple days. So overall think about balance during your stay
and be prepared for a great experience.
When your stay at Disney is over I would recommend allowing a day or two of transition back to
reality time. We stayed at the resort for 5 days and then had 2 days relaxing at another
hotel, well away from theme parks. I thought this was great for both kids and parents.
Like I said, it can be a tiring trip so take a day to refresh and revive if you need to.
When you are home and back to your routine, keep a little Disney magic inside you. Recount
the adventures you had with your kids and keep their imaginations thriving. I plan on
framing our iconic Magic Kingdom family photo to remind us of how much fun we have as a
family and how great it is to take time to play and dream together.
So there you have it. My naturopathic Disney experience. A few things to think about before
you head off to meet Mickey. Of course the best part of Disney from a naturopathic perspective
is that it can nourish your spirit, so if you don�t take any of my other advice then
just do this one thing... have fun! Reconnect with the kid inside you and remember how good
it feels to leave the cares behind.
If you have any more tips feel free to share them here on the channel or on my Facebook
page. I will be listing some links to snacks that I have discovered that my kids like too
on my Facebook page as well. Have a great trip and �May the Mouse be with You!�.