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A Vacation DIS-aster: Blood Sugar Chaos


Mishaps and misfortunes can strike at any time while on vacation, but at Walt Disney World, these event do not have to turn into DIS-asters with the help of outstanding Cast Members, intelligent infrastructure and a little bit of pixie dust.  This week on the WDW Radio Blog, read about four such instances from members of our Blog Team.


The last trip my husband and I took to WDW was our first trip with extended family. We went with both of our moms, which, as I mentioned in a previous post had particularly special meaning to my mom and me.

While it was an amazing trip, traveling with older parents proved to have its own set of challenges. One of which happened to be that my mom had found out just a few weeks prior to the trip that she is pre-diabetic. She was still trying to figure out the times that worked best for her to eat, what foods to avoid, and monitoring her sugar levels.

Fast forward to our first night in WDW, we had planned to go to the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, the later showing, to really get the full effect of the fire-dancing and what nighttime is like in WDW. Since my husband and I had been there before, we warned both of our moms to come hungry because we knew the food would be plentiful…and delicious.

Even though my mom had eaten lunch, she did not eat a snack or a small meal between lunch and dinner (which was a seven-hour stretch) because she knew she was going to be eating a lot for dinner. Also, this was her first time ever seeing a show like this, ever eating Polynesian food, and she wanted to make sure she was able to try everything.

Surprisingly, she felt fine, but she made one more bad mistake which started a snowball effect of misery. The first thing she ordered was a Pina Colada. She had never had one before and wanted the cute coconut souvenir mug that came with it. As we know, while tasty, they consist of sugar, juice, fruit, and alcohol…a bad mix when you are pre-diabetic and have not eaten.

Well, soon after that, our dinner came, which also had some carbs, and as we all know, carbs are sugar. The show started and about a quarter of the way through, I look over to my mom. Her happy smiling face now looked as pale as could be, her eyes were droopy, and she looked like she was going to pass out. I asked her if she was ok, and she said she felt really dizzy, faint, and needed help – fast. This sent us into a panic because the way she found out she was pre-diabetic was following an incident where she had felt dizzy and fainted.

My mother-in-law stayed back with her to make sure she did not pass out, and my husband and I quickly ran off in two directions. He went off to find her mobilized scooter so we would have it if we needed to transport her away, and I ran back to the door to the kitchen and flagged down a Cast Member to see if they could call a medic. I explained to the Cast Member what was going on, and they quickly gave me a cup of soda pop. Pop? More sugar? They said it is ironic but explained that it would quickly spike her sugar levels back up and that she should be okay after that, but if not, they would call a medic if needed.  Well, sure enough, she drank the pop and almost immediately felt better! (While this worked in this case, I am not a doctor and in no way suggest this as a health recommendation.)

When the show ended, we stayed back to let the crowd disappear so we could go slow and not hold up anyone. As we were waiting, a person tapped my mom’s shoulder. It was the Supervising Cast Member, General Manager of the restaurant! She came to check on her! She sat down with my mom, rubbed her arm, asked her if she was ok or needed any further assistance and explained to her the “rules” of monitoring blood sugar. She also told her to take her time and that there was no rush for her leave. She really made my mom feel safe and secure.

We were all so impressed not only by the level of concern, but by how prepared the staff was for an issues like this. She said this happens more often that we would expect. On the way back to our hotel, my mom actually started to tear up. She knew going to Walt Disney World was going to be amazing, but she was so impressed by the care, dedication and comfort that Cast Member gave her that it literally bought tears to her eyes. We found out crying would happen a lot for her throughout the whole trip (tears of joy and pure delight), and we tease her to this day about how every little thing would set the water works going.

But, we also learned a very valuable lesson…she MUST eat and have snacks!


(Photo from the author’s personal collection.)


To learn more about Felicia and read her recent posts for WDW Radio, visit her author page by clicking the link on her name at the top of this post.