Tuesday, October 06, 2009

My Letter to the Disney Peopleguys

In case you're interested, here is a copy of the note I sent to Walt Disney World about our experience trick-or-treating at the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. I wanted to come across as polite, intelligent, knowledgeable of their business practices, and of course I played the We Love Disney World and Go There All the Time card. :o)

We visited WDW last week (from 9/27 - 10/2). The occasion was my parents' 40th wedding anniversary, and in addition to my parents, my sister, her husband, my brother, and my family (my husband and me, plus our three children, ages 7, 4, and 1) all attended. All in all, we had a wonderful trip. Disney World is one of our favorite vacation destinations. My husband and I honeymooned at WDW and so did my sister and her husband.

We attended the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party on Tuesday, September 29, which brings me to the reason for writing. My oldest son has a life-threatening peanut allergy and we avoid major allergens for our youngest as well, on advice of our pediatrician and allergist.

I was more than a little disappointed that there were no non-candy treats available at the trick-or-treating stations. We knew that participation in the trick-or-treating would require more vigilance for our family, but I was also anticipating that there would be stickers, temporary tattoos, and other small non-candy prizes, too. (Upon looking at the website when I got home, I noticed that it does indicate "candy"--my parents bought us the tickets and I did not read the website before we went.)

My kids were pretty sad about not being able to trick-or-treat very much. We allowed them to visit a station or two, with the promise that my husband and I would inspect the candy for allergens when we returned to our resort. We ended up giving away about 4/5 of the candy they collected.

I know that there are many other food allergy families who love Disney World--and we are among them! We love feeling so well-understood when we visit WDW, and are always impressed with how well-trained and knowledgeable your staff is about food allergies. It's one of the reasons we head down every couple of years.

I'm writing to ask you to consider including non-candy items in the future, so that my kids--and other kids with food allergies--can enjoy the trick-or-treating experience without the fear of a deadly (in my son's case) allergen. That is something to really be scared about!

I'd be happy to discuss this with you further if you'd care to contact me via email or phone. I even have some ideas about how this might be implemented! I understand that it can be difficult to accommodate many different issues and/or disabilities, but my previous experiences with Walt Disney World have shown me that you always go the extra mile to ensure that every guest, no matter what issues they may face, can have a wonderful time at your parks.

Thank you for considering our concern, and I hope to hear back from you very soon.

I received the automatic email stating they received my note and I should hear back from them in about ten days. I'll let you know what they say!


Wendy Hawksley said...

I'm looking forward to hearing about their response. How disappointing that the children were not fully able to participate in the trick-or-treating. Hopefully Disney will take your suggestions to heart.

jacsuza said...

Even parents who don't have to deal with severe food allergies would appreciate having non-food alternatives during trick-or-treating. Although we have a child who was recently diagnosed with a bunch of grass allergies which transfer over to moderate food allergies, even prior to that we would limit the amount of junk, oops, candy that they get. Hope that your letter helps!

Crimson Wife said...

I'm surprised that given the prevalence of diabetes these days among kids that WDW wouldn't have some non-candy treats on hand.