The Trip Where I Completely Give Up on My Hair--A July Trip Report

Trip reports are my favorite part of the TP forum, so I’m finally writing one up to contribute to the fun. Before I begin, here are the basics:

The Trip: July 7-13
The Hotel: Boardwalk Villas, standard studio (we rented points through David’s Vacation Club)
The Fam: Me (41), DH (49), and DD (16)
The Food Allergies (mine): wheat, dairy, soy, egg, pineapple, cranberry, and sesame
History: This is our second WDW trip as a family. We also visited last July.

Day One: Arrival and Magic Kingdom

My hatred of mornings conflicted with my desire to get to the parks as soon as possible, so we compromised with a late morning flight. I still had to get up earlier than I wanted to, but not so early that my DH and DD risked any bodily injury on the ride to the airport due to my crankiness. As luck would have it on a day I successfully got out of bed on time, I got a text right before we left that our flight was delayed an hour and a half. I was quite proud of myself for not panicking and assuming the worst: Oh my gosh, we will never get there and our trip will be ruined! I managed to keep myself calm and focused on happy thoughts. We decided to slow down a bit and left for the airport about 20 minutes later than planned, hoping that we would not be sitting at the airport too long due to the delay.

By the time we arrived at the airport, the flight had been moved up a bit; it was now only on a one-hour delay. That wasn’t going to mess with any of our FP plans or our ADR. Yay! I had recently gotten a Southwest Visa card that came with four free upgraded boardings, so DD and I got upgraded to A9 and A10. I left DH in his B spot, and just hoped that he would make it on board before someone took the seat in between me and DD. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if we didn’t get to sit together, but we were very happy when we ended up with three seats together near the front of the plane.

We took a Lyft to the Boardwalk Inn. It began to rain on the ride to BWV, and my Dark Sky app was predicting rain for most of the rest of the evening. It wasn’t how I had envisioned the start of the trip, but I kept calm and told myself, “You’re a liner. You’ve got this. A little thunderstorm can’t keep you from having a great time.”

Our room wasn’t ready when we arrived but I decided to visit the front desk even though we’d already done online check-in, just in case doing so might get us a room sooner. It was wet and gross outside, and it would have been nice to have been able to change clothes in the comfort of our own room rather than rooting through our suitcases in the lobby and changing in public bathroom stalls. (I am freezing cold in airports and on planes, so I needed to change out of my Artic gear.) I had also read a TP report of someone activating their AP at a hotel front desk, and I was hoping that might work for me so I wouldn’t have to stop at guest services on the way into MK. No luck on the room or the AP activation, but Kelly the CM was a delight to talk to. I noticed from her nametag that she was a student at a rival school (DH and I are professors), and so we chatted about football, mascots, and her dissertation research.

After a quick bathroom change, I rounded up the family and got them out the door to the bus stop. At this point it was raining pretty hard, and DH was a bit hesitant to leave the resort lobby, but my gosh we had paid a lot of money and anxiously waited months to be there so there was no choice but to “poncho up and carry on!” Florida thunderstorms are short and quick, right? Unfortunately this was not the typical FL pop-up shower. We arrived at MK around 4 PM to hard rain and strong winds. I wish I had a video of us trying to walk toward the gate because it was hilarious. Ponchos blowing every which direction, wading through ankle-deep puddles, and my DH repeating, “Wow, we’re really doing this?” while I just laughed hysterically at the ridiculousness of it all. Unfortunately I still needed to activate my AP, so I had to stop at Guest Services before I could enter. The good news was that no one was in line, because no one wanted to brave the weather to do so. Along with the AP activation, I had a secondary ticket situation to straighten out, and I also needed to purchase the Tables in Wonderland card, so it wasn’t a quick stop. But the CM was very helpful and patient, and soon I was making my way through the tapstiles for the first time as an Annual Passholder! (Cue the dramatic music.)

After a quick stop to buy a baseball cap to keep my poncho hood up, we headed for some rides. There were lots of closed rides due to the weather, so our first FP (Splash Mountain) had converted to an anytime FP. DD decided we should use it for Buzz, so we battled Zurg before heading to the People Mover and then on to Space Mountain for our second FP. At that point it was nearly time for our Skipper Canteen ADR, so we took a few castle pictures in ponchos and rainjackets on our way to Adventureland.

We had never been to Skipper Canteen, and I was taking a bit of a risk choosing it as our first ADR. There was nothing on the allergy menu that met my laundry list of dietary restrictions. In the past, I’ve always chosen restaurants based on what I can eat off the allergy menus, so I’d avoided Skipper Canteen. But I’d recently started following a Disney allergy Facebook and the guy who runs the group always recommends to speak to a chef because they will often make you something different than the allergy menu options. So I decided to give it a whirl. I am so glad I took his advice because this was one of our favorite meals of the trip. The chef was super nice and asked what I was interested in having. I replied that I would love the lamb, we talked through a few options for swapping out the sauce and one of the side items, and that was that! It was an absolutely delicious meal and the melon Fanta was also yummy, despite its radioactive green color. DH raved about the sauce on his pork dish. DD liked her pho but would have preferred fewer veggies in it. :slight_smile: The corny jokes of the hosts and servers were fun, and it was also probably the calmest meal of the trip. We ate at 5:30, but the dining room was maybe only 1/3 filled, making it a nice break from the wet, windy chaos of the park.

After dinner we were able to do five more rides with some FP modifying on the fly: Pirates, Winnie the Pooh, It’s a Small World, Under the Sea, and finally Peter Pan. I couldn’t believe I lucked into a Peter Pan FPP for 3 in the evening! After that, we got some snacks (popcorn for me and churros for DD) and then headed toward the hub for HEA. We probably got to the hub at about 8:55, but still managed to get spots close to the castle. DH and I usually cry during fireworks at Magic Kingdom because we’re softies who tear up at the slightest provocation. DD usually stands a safe distance away from us so people don’t know the criers are her mom and stepdad. But this time I was too distracted by the couple in front of us to get into the emotions of HEA. The two kept insisting that their daughter, who was maybe 3 years old, turn around so that they could get pictures of her with the castle and fireworks in the background. In other words, they kept asking their daughter to turn AWAY from the castle and fireworks so they could snap the perfect Instagram shot. I can maybe understand doing this once or twice during the show. But they did it over and over again. The poor girl was trying to enjoy HEA, but her parents would not allow her to because they wanted 50 pictures with fireworks. I felt so bad for her.

When we arrived back at BWV, we picked up our luggage from bell services, along with our Instacart order that had arrived while we were at MK, and tried to find our room. This was our most frustrating time of the entire trip! We could not, for the life of us, figure out where our room was. And while I am known for being bad with directions, DH is not, so I’m going to chalk it up to BWV being confusing in addition to us being dead tired. We were also each rolling at least one suitcase, carrying a backpack, and lugging part of an Instacart order that included two heavy paper grocery bags and a 24 pack of bottled water. We took many wrong turns down very long hallways. But eventually, we made it and began unpacking. Adding to the frustration of being tired, I then realized that my allergy-friendly coconut coffee creamer had not been refrigerated by bell services and had been sitting for hours at room temperature. I decided it likely wasn’t going to kill me, so I just stuck it in the refrigerator and pretended all was well. (Spoiler: I didn’t get sick or die.) We all fell into bed exhausted. It was a good first day, despite the minor bumps.

Total steps: 16,422
Total rides/attractions visited: 8


Day Two: Epcot and Disney Springs

Soarin’ is one of my favorite rides, so we started Monday morning with a PPO Garden Grill breakfast. We walked out of our hotel room at 7:25, and once again proved to be directionally challenged. Thankfully we encountered a friendly CM who steered us in the right direction since we were heading toward Hollywood Studios rather than Epcot. We stopped for some quick photos on the Boardwalk, then made the short walk to IG. I swear that when I left the room, my hair was super straight, but that Florida humidity is no joke. I had chosen Boardwalk for its close proximity to two parks, and at this point I was very happy with my decision! We arrived about 10 minutes before they let folks with breakfast reservations in. As much as I generally hate mornings, it’s so much fun to be able to walk through an empty park!

We were seated immediately upon arrival at Garden Grill. I was a bit disappointed to learn that since my last visit they had changed the gluten-free waffle mix at Garden Grill, and I was not going to be able to have Mickey waffles. :frowning: Unfortunately quite a few WDW restaurants have switched to the gluten-free version of Carbon’s Golden Malted Waffle Mix, abandoning the Bob’s Red Mill or Namaste mixes. This is an issue for those of us with soy allergies, as the Carbon’s contains soy flour. It’s frustrating that WDW restaurants do this without any sort of notice, and that the Special Diets department is of no help figuring out where you will be able to actually eat any particular item in advance. So you just have to prepare for the potential disappointment that something you were looking forward to eating won’t be available, but you won’t find out until you’ve gotten there and already committed to paying the steep price. It’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but one of the major reasons I like going to WDW is because it is one of the few places I can eat things like waffles. Anyway, initial disappointment aside, the chef was very kind to me. With my list of allergies, and minus the now soy-containing Mickey waffles, all I could eat from the standard menu was sausage, bacon, and fruit (minus the pineapple). He felt sorry for me and sent someone downstairs to get me some roasted potatoes from Sunshine Seasons, which was really sweet. I also discovered that GG had started making their own allergy-friendly muffins, which no longer contained eggs like they did the year before, so I had my own thing to munch on while DH and DD were chowing down on the cinnamon roll. The muffin was really, really awful, but sometimes it’s the thought that counts!

The character interactions at Garden Grill are fantastic; there’s not a ton of people in the restaurant in the mornings so they come by your table more than once. At one point Mickey snuck up behind me and put his large head right over my shoulder, trying to see how long it would take for me to notice. Apparently I was too into the sausage (gosh, I love the sausage at WDW), and didn’t notice for a long time, much to the amusement of my family!

We left GG at about 8:45 and DD and I got in line for Soarin’. DH gets motion sickness on simulator type rides (something I didn’t know about until an unfortunate experience last year on Star Tours), so he waited at a nearby table. Getting to ride Soarin’ in B1 before park open is one of the best Disney experiences. I’m sooooo happy on that ride. After Soarin’ we used our first FPP on Living with the Land just to burn the tier two (there was no need for a FPP, given that there was no line). Next we headed to the Character Spot to meet Joy & Sadness, and then Baymax. You can tell from the pictures that at this point my hair had gotten so poufy that I had to contain it via ponytail. Joy & Sadness were super adorable, but Joy kept pointing to my shirt and then doing something with her hand. Awkward as always, I couldn’t figure out that she was wanting to fist-bump me because I was wearing a Baymax tank. LOL. Baymax was next, my favorite character ever. Who doesn’t love hugging a giant marshmallow? 15/10 would recommend. I am absolutely heartbroken that they are going to do away with his meet-and-greet soon.

My touring plan had us going to Frozen Ever After next with a minimal wait (20 minutes). I was apprehensive about trying it mid-morning without a FPP, but TP did not let me down! After FEA, we went to Test Track to use our second FPP. It was DH’s first time riding, and he got really into designing the car. “I wouldn’t mind doing that again,” he announced after the ride, which doesn’t sound like high praise, but for my non-Disney loving husband, was a major endorsement of the ride. After some shopping at Mouse Gears, we used our last prescheduled FPP at Spaceship Earth. After tapping in, I managed to get a fourth FPP for Test Track to use after lunch.

We had lunch at LaCantina. The tacos are good (and we used to live in Dallas, TX, so we’re kind of picky about tacos), but given the amazing food we ate the rest of the time, we all agreed that it was our least favorite meal of the week. They also put cheese on my beans, which is not great given that I’m allergic to dairy, but I wasn’t planning on eating the beans anyway so I didn’t complain. Tip: the soft drinks there are humongous. For any Parks & Rec fans, they are comparable to Paunch Burger’s child-sized sodas. (“How is this a child-size soda?” “Well, it’s roughly the size of a 2 year-old child, if the child were liquified.”) We could have easily gotten one and shared between the three of us. I felt terrible wasting so much soda.


After lunch we used our Test Track FPP, and then DH headed back to the hotel for a break. DD and I rode Gran Fiesta, then Soarin’ again with a fifth FPP. Then it was time for my favorite part of the day: the Grand Marnier slushie near the France pavilion! Oh my gosh, I dream about those things. Happily hydrated, I was ready to head back to BWV for a little break and a much-needed shower.

We probably only had 45 minutes to rest and shower by the time we made it back to BWV. DD and I tend to want to go as hard and fast as possible when we’re in the parks, and it’s difficult for us to convince ourselves to slow down and take a rest. But a WDW vacation is not for resting, right?? In order to maximize getting the FPPs we wanted later in the vacation, we had our trip to Disney Springs early in the week. But before heading to DS, we had planned a quick stop at Port Orleans French Quarter so I could get some allergy-friendly beignets. These are amazing, ya’ll, and so worth the extra resort trip if you have food allergies. The gluten-free ones don’t look as good as the regular, Mickey-shaped variety, but they are light and delicious. And the strawberry sauce makes them even better! I’d hate to be a CM at Sassagoula, though. The powdered sugar is everywhere and I imagine you’d go home covered in it. After a recent trip to Lubbock, TX after a dust storm, I can only imagine that Sassagoula Floatworks occasionally is shut down due to a similar phenomenon involving white clouds of powdered sugar.

Our plan was to take the boat from POFQ to DS, but we got to the boat dock to discover that the boats were being shut down due to lightning. They directed us to the bus stop, but when we got there the bus schedule board was still telling folks to take the boat to DS. After waiting a while with no scheduled bus in sight, and watching the bus stop fill up with more and more people trying to get to DS, we decided to get a Lyft and avoid the whole mess.

It started pouring just after we arrived in Disney Springs. I had, of course, switched from my Chacos to my tennis shoes, thinking it would be nice to give my feet a change-up. In spite of having an umbrella and poncho, my socks were quickly soaked and I finally understood how miserable my husband was the night before in the rain. We arrived at The VOID in our soggy shoes nine minutes before our reservation time. The woman checking people in said, “Please come back just before your reservation.” I thought that was a weird request given that we weren’t that much early, so I clarified (probably with more snark than I actually intended), “You mean come back in nine minutes?” Yep. Of course there’s not much you can do in nine minutes, so we just sort of stood awkwardly outside waiting. The Star Wars experience at The VOID is phenomenal, and I highly recommend it if you haven’t done it. DH and I loved it, and I think DD did, too, although it’s hard to tell sometimes with her. Teenagers are an enigma.

We did a little shopping before checking in at Ragland Road for our 7:30 ADR. We were all still wet from the rain, but we somehow got seated in a side room at Raglan Road that was absolutely freezing. I’m often cold when other people around me are comfortable or even hot, but this was cold even by DH’s standards. You could feel the sudden drop in temperature walking from the main part of the restaurant into our section. As much as I love the food and entertainment at RR, I was too cold to really enjoy it, especially with wet clothing. I had the allergy-friendly onion rings (OHMYGOSH they are amazing) and the fish and chips. Last year I thought the food was delicious but I really missed having tartar sauce like I used to have before the allergy diagnosis. So this year my Instacart order included a soy-free vegan mayo and some relish. I made my own quick version of tartar sauce and took it with me to the restaurant in a little container. It felt a bit dorky bringing my own tartar sauce to a restaurant, but it ended up being soooooo good!

After some more shopping, we headed toward the bus stops. Once again, we proved terrible with directions and ended up on the opposite end of DS from the buses. So we ordered a Lyft and made it back to BWV for a decently early bedtime.

Total steps: 25,228
Total rides/attractions: 11


Great report so far. Look forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.

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We did The Void right before Raglan Road too. Great minds…

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Thank you for discussing allergy options with your meals! My wife has celiac and is allergic to bananas, melons, avocado, and eggs, and it’s always so stressful to not know what you’ll be able to eat somewhere.

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Yes, I feel the same way reading your reports! I know the allergy info isn’t relevant to everyone, but I’m hoping it will be helpful to someone else with who is figuring out where they can safely eat.

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thanks for sharing so far! Love the baymax pictures - hes a favorite of ours too! Looking forward to reading more ~


Great trip report, thank you for sharing! What’s the facebook group that you use? We don’t have allergies but I have a friend that does and their AP holders. They rarely go to Disney restaurants but I’d like them to know they could if they wanted too.

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It’s called “Food Allergies Adventurers Club: managing food allergies at Disney.” They recently changed their name from something simple and straightforward to this unwieldy beast. Ha! But it really is a great resource. I also follow “Alexis’s Gluten-Free Adventures” and “Gluten free and dairy free at WDW” but those last two are pretty much just gluten-free sites (the owner of the latter now can eat dairy), so they don’t usually discuss enough allergies to be as helpful to me.

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Thank you! My one friend is allergic to soy, so it really peaked my interest when you brought up the Mickey waffles. We have a reservation at Chef Mickey’s for brunch and I’d hate for her to have the same disappointment you did. Wonder if Chef Mickey’s is one of the restaurants that changed out the gluten free waffle mix.


Fingers crossed for her that it isn’t! It’s probably worth an ask on that Facebook group. There’s likely someone there who’s had a recent experience at Chef Mickey’s with a soy allergy.

One thing that can be tricky with soy (and actually other allergies) is that something will contain the allergen, but not the PART of the allergen that someone is actually allergic to.

Our son used to be allergic to soy. (He eventually outgrew that, plus several of his other allergies.) But we quickly found that while he was allergic to soy protein, he was not allergic to a lot of things that contains soy such as soybean oil and soy lecithin.

Similarly, despite the fact that eating peanuts will KILL some of our children rather efficiently, they can actually have things made with peanut oil because peanut oil doesn’t contain any of the proteins that cause reactions. (We still avoid such items, however, over an abundance of caution.)

So, when asking about ingredients and allergens, sometimes it is worth knowing the EXACT FORM of the allergen.

(Sadly, “soy flour” DOES contain soy protein.)


Good point. Most of the time when soy is listed as an allergen on a food that is not obviously soy-based, it means it contains soy lecithin or is cooked in soybean oil, which doesn’t cause a reaction for a lot of people. It was honestly shocking to discover that they had switched to a waffle mix that contains actual soy flour.

We had a bad experience not long ago with our DS21. In the past, he was always able to eat pretty much anything by Hostess, including the Hostess Ho-Hos. So, knowing this, my DS19’s girlfriend bought my DS21 a box of Ho-Hos as a token Christmas gift. And, being one who loves sweets, he quickly opened one and took a bite.

Almost immediately, he knew something was wrong. He checked the box. Hostess changed their recipe and the normal chocolate Ho Hos are now made with PEANUT FLOUR!!! So, out came the Epi-Pen, and he and his wife spent 4 hours in the Emergency room as they kept monitoring him and his breathing, etc.

That was shocking to us that they would change a recipe to ADD such a deadly allergy! Fortunately, his quick response and use of the Epi-Pen saved his life.


UGHHHH!!! That’s terrible. It’s so hard to remember to always check the ingredient list, even if you’ve eaten something a million times before, but that’s a great reminder of why it’s important. So glad he’s OK!

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Great trip report so far! I’ve been on the fence about The Void for our upcoming trip, but we have a spare morning and I’ve heard glowing reviews…my mom and I are both pretty uncoordinated humans.

I know this isn’t an allergy thread, but I appreciate all your allergy information. I have a relatively insignificant allergy (it won’t kill me, just make me miserable). Disney is so great about it and the chefs always take the time to spend with you and answer questions. However, you still have to be on alert…the poor folks at The Wave definitely thought they’d done me in when they served me a cocktail with Hendrick’s Gin (my allergy is cucumber…so they didn’t serve me the Gazpacho, but the restaurant manager didn’t know Hendrick’s was made with cucumber)


I was there with my family at the exact same time. I said hello but I don’t think you heard me…:crazy_face: And don’t feel bad about your hair…I gave up on my at age 39 and it got so mad at me it decided not to grow back!


Oh no! It’s amazing how many things you have to pay attention to when you have an allergy. I once had a server at a restaurant come running through the room yelling at me, “STOP!! I was wrong–the sauce has cranberry in it not blackberry!!”

I thought The VOID was lots of fun. Hope you and your mom enjoy it if you try it!


HAHAHAHA! I hope you used my pineapple allergy as an excuse to indulge in an additional Dole Whip or two!

It’s like we have the same kid.

June 2018, after the first skin testing in 12(?) years it looked like he might be over the soy allergy. So we did in office testing with soy milk. One drop and he was getting itchy tongue and runny nose. :woman_facepalming:

He can eat soybean oil and soy lecithin, but not the protein. He can tolerate some items with soy flour if it’s in the “less than 2%” listing, but normally he will skip it unless there are truly very few other options.

We’ve never tried peanut oil prepped products. His nut allergies are off the charts. :frowning:

This will change the landscape of Disney dining for us, for sure. I’m so sad to read this.