Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I register for the conference?
Registration forms are now online. There is a link called Registration at the bottom of the conference home page. Click on that link, and it will take you to the registration forms. Early registration (least expensive) will extend until January 31, 2007. Regular registration will be February 1 - June 30, 2007. Beginning July 1, you will need to register on site at the conference.
- How do I register for childcare at the conference? What do the kids do in childcare? How will the staff take care of my child's diabetes?
To register for childcare, download, print, and send in the Childcare Registration Form. Childcare is limited to the first 100 children who apply because of space limitations, so register as early as possible. Childcare is for full days only and for children under age 6. Childcare is run by Disney's childcare partner, Kids Nite Out. They have provided childcare for four other Friends for Life conferences and are very familiar with CWD. Animas will provide certified diabetes educators for diabetes management in childcare, and you will indicate on a form (available in early June) specifically what you'd like the CDEs to do. In childcare, the children's activities are based upon age and interest. What keeps a 1 year old interested is quite different from a 5 year old. That's why we have Kids Nite Out running childcare - they have great activities! Some active time, some quiet time, arts-n-crafts… and some 1:1 time meeting some of our CWD celebrities like Nicole Johnson!
- Can my child participate in childcare for partial days?
No. Childcare is for full days only. We need to do this for staffing reasons. Childcare will open at 8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday. Parents need to pick up their child at noon for lunch (90 minute lunch break). Childcare will close at 4:30 Thursday and Friday.
- What do I do about snacks in childcare?
You may leave a snack at childcare, in a container marked with your child's name on it. Or, you may bring a snack from the snack break area over to your child in childcare. It is fine for a parent to come into childcare at any time to check a blood sugar, visit, or bring a snack - we simply ask that you not bring your child in and out of the area, as that makes it difficult to keep track of so many children. Snacks for everyone in the conference will be offered from 10:00-10:45 a.m. and from 2:30-3:15 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. There will be lemonade with sugar in the childcare area in case of low blood sugar. There will also be a supply of glucose tablets.
- Can you accommodate special dietary needs, such as celiac or peanut allergies?
Yes. As with past Friends for Life conferences, we take great care in trying to accommodate the special dietary needs of our conference participants. Please note that all food served at our conference will have portion size and carb counts listed in tent cards on the buffet tables. If you need special dietary accommodations (food allergies, kosher, gluten-free, etc.), there is a place on the registration form for you to note that. CWD's dietitian, Mike Schurig, will contact you closer to the conference dates to discuss your needs.
- I want to volunteer. How do I sign up to help?
Laura Billetdeaux is in charge of the volunteer schedule. We have over a hundred volunteers of all ages each summer. We couldn't put on a conference without the help of these folks! Some jobs are quite big (coordinators of different areas, such as AV or moderators), others require less time (help out at the pool, chaperone a teen party, help with the fun run). This year, we'll need parent volunteers to come along as chaperones to Disney-MGM Studios with the teens on Friday, and we'll need evening volunteers to chaperone the Tweener and Teen events on Thursday and Friday. Lots of work to be done! Laura posts a Call for Volunteers on the conference email list around mid-May, and potential volunteers should email their interest back to her. Please note that Tuesday evening, we will have a social gathering for all volunteers and their families. This is where you'll get your volunteer t-shirt and assignment.
- I read about the Tweener program for this year. My son is 13. Will he be a Tweener or a Teen?
Because of insurance reasons, we must be very strict about kids staying within their particular age groups. Tweeners are ages 10-12, elementary kids are ages 6-9, and teens are ages 13-18. If an 18 year old is already in college and would feel uncomfortable with the teen group, they may opt to simply attend the conference as an adult.
- Can you tell us a little bit more about Sports Central?
Sports Central will be equipped with basketball courts, volleyball courts, a mat area for martial arts and aerobics, and an area to play games. Gym time will be assigned by age group on Thursday and Friday. Please refer to the Youth Schedule. Staff (and volunteers) will take the kids to Sports Central throughout the day, and they'll have a choice of activities. So, please make sure that your child is dressed appropriately to participate in games and sports. We will have water, lemonade, and glucose tabs on hand. Your child will need to bring a blood glucose meter and will need to check before and after exercise! Please include this in your planning. The overall schedule for Sports Central is online, along with the athletes featured.
- I see that the teens are scheduled to go to Disney-MGM Studios on Friday. Will other age groups be doing this as well?
Nope, this is a special event just for the teens, and is sponsored by Abbott Diabetes Care. As part of the sponsorship, the entrance ticket to the park is provided, as well as lunch and snacks. The teens will bus over to MGM on Friday morning on chartered buses. They must meet to board the buses by 8:45; information about this will be given to teens on Thursday. Note that teens must participate in all four sessions on Thursday in order to go to MGM on Friday.
- Can children come into the adult sessions?
They may, although we encourage kids to be in their age-appropriate sessions. The material presented in adult sessions is on an adult level. Often, some of these same topics are discussed with the children within the context of some of their other learning activities - and the material is at an age-appropriate level for their group.
- Can you share any tips for traveling with diabetes?
See our page about Traveling with Diabetes and Flying with Diabetes for advice.
- Does my family have to stay at the Coronado?
You can stay wherever you please. About 95% of the families attending the conference stay right on site. It does foster a sense of community when everyone is in one place. Feedback from people who stay off-site general indicate that they wish they had decided to be with the group. That said, it is entirely up to you.
- I'm confused about where all the meals and sessions are. Can you please explain?
All of the sessions and all of the meals are held right on site at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. It is a large hotel with a big convention center attached to the main registration building. We have a floor plan of the convention center. You can look at the schedule for adults and the schedule for youth and see which room each activity is in.
- I received a confirmation form in the mail. Do I need to keep this?
The confirmation form verifies what you paid for, i.e., how many banquet tickets you purchased, if you have extra adults participating with you, if you ordered extra shirts, etc. It is a good idea to bring it with you to the conference. When you pick up your registration packet on Tuesday or Wednesday, you can doublecheck that the tickets in the envelope and the shirts you've ordered are what you received.
- I want to add tickets to the Banquet and Magical Memories meals. I didn't originally sign up for them. How can I add them?
Each of those meals requires a ticket, and both events tend to sell out. To see if there is availability, go to the registration form online. Print out the form and include the tickets you'd like to add. Fax or mail it to Laura Billetdeaux, along with a check or payment information. If the event is sold out, it will say so on the form. Note that you must send payment for the tickets when you order them. CWD cannot hold tickets for you for later payment.
- Our family is planning to arrive a few days early, stay at the hotel, and visit the Disney parks. Is there a way for us to hook up with other CWD families ahead of time?
There are usually 100 or more CWD families at the hotel from Sunday on. CWD families are pretty easy to recognize pool-side; we're the ones with the diabetes t-shirts, the glucose tabs and juice sitting out, the blood glucose meters on the pool chairs, and pump tubing hanging out of swim trunks! Also, there is an email list for all families participating in the conference. If you provide an email address on your registration form, you are automatically added to the list. As a list member, you may send a message to all other participants. You might ask, for instance, if other families with a 7 year old would like to go to Animal Kingdom with you on Monday. Or if anyone with preschoolers would like to meet at the kiddie pool at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. The address to send an email is firstname.lastname@example.org You need to be registered and part of the list in order to send a message.
- I am confused about what type of park tickets to buy for my family. Can you help?
The type of park ticket you purchase is a very individual thing. And there are so many choices that sometimes it is difficult to figure it all out. If you are only going to Magic Kingdom on Saturday along with the rest of the CWD families, your best bet is to purchase a one-day one-park ticket online at Disney.com or right at the hotel. If you are planning to go to multiple parks over multiple days, your best option is a multi-day ticket. Disney has offered CWD a convention discount for these tickets if you purchase them through the online link. You must do this ahead of time; this type of Convention ticket is not available on site. If you plan to visit more than one park in a day (for example, you visit MGM in the morning and then go to Epcot to see the Illuminations laser show in the late evening), you need to purchase the Park Hopper option on your ticket. That is an add-on to the multi-day tickets and costs a few dollars more per day. The whole 'Disney park ticket' subject is confusing. If you have specific questions or need help figuring out what to get, please email Laura Billetdeaux.
- What is a focus group? Do I have to sign up for them?
Focus groups are offered on Wednesday only. These are small group discussions or presentations, hosted by the sponsors of the conference. It is their opportunity to interact with you on a more personal level, to get your ideas and insights, present some of their new concepts, and perhaps get your feedback on new products they are developing. The groups are small - some have only a few people and others have up to 40. But they are not large like the regular conference sessions on Thursday or Friday which may have several hundred people in each. You do need to pre-register for them. Information may be found at this Focus Group link.
- We cannot afford the conference. Are there scholarships available?
The Education for Children with Diabetes Foundation offers conference scholarships each year. Please refer to the ECWDF website for more information. Note that the ECWDF is an entirely separate organization from CWD, so you do need to contact them directly in order to discuss scholarship questions.
- Do I sign up ahead of time for the sessions on Thursday and Friday?
No, you do not sign up for the Thursday and Friday sessions. Just go to them. Please be on time, as the seats do fill up.
- I've heard that Disney offers something called a Guest Assistance Card. What is that?
The Guest Assistance Card is for people who require medical accommodations of some sort while in the Disney parks. In the case of kids with type 1 diabetes, hot temperatures can make insulin (particularly in pump cartridges and tubing) less effective or ineffective, plus the heat can cause highs and lows for kids individually. So, it is important to minimize the time standing in long, hot lines. The Guest Assistance Card is not a carte blanche to the front of the line or the disability entrance. Rather, it addresses the specific need to not wait in the heat. The rule of thumb suggested for CWD families in the park for outdoor attractions, is to use the card if the temperature is over 80 degrees and the line is longer than 30 minutes.
- How do I get a Guest Assistance Card?
Guest Assistance Cards are available at any Guest Relations station in any Disney park. Additionally, on Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. at the conference, a Cast Member from Magic Kingdom will have a table by registration where GACs will be distributed - one per family. They are good for up to 6 people. Note that the parks for which you will most likely need the GAC are Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and MGM. At Epcot, the attractions are mostly indoors.
- I'm coming from outside the US. Can CWD help me get a visa?
CWD is unable to provide any assistance with obtaining a visa. Visitors from outside the US are encouraged to submit a visa application well in advance of their anticipated travel date. Note that you will also need to make your own hotel reservations using a credit card. CWD cannot help with that either.
- I work with a non-profit diabetes organization in my community and was wondering if it's ok for me to hand out information about it at the conference.
CWD receives literally hundreds of requests from organizations such as yours. The only companies and organizations which are allowed to hand out literature and demonstrate their products at CWD conferences are the ones who are in the Exhibit Hall. There are a number of lower-cost exhibitor tables in the exhibit hall that are specifically reserved for smaller organizations.
- Problems with Yahoo Email
Yahoo mail servers do not reliably receive email from Children with Diabetes. We highly recommend that yahoo.com email users find another provider. We cannot guarantee any communications with you, and all conference communication is done via email. (And yes, we have tried many, many times to find a human at Yahoo to help resolve this issue and have not succeeded.)
Last Updated: Sunday November 11, 2007 10:19:26
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