Skip to content

Dealing with Crohn’s Disease at Disney

Guest Author: Monica Francis

When I was asked to write about how I deal with an illness at Disney World, on my favorite blog, I was honored. I have read Amy’s blog for quite some time, and it’s just an honor to be a Guest Author.

I don’t know about you, but for me, nothing will stop me from going to my happy place, Walt Disney World. Not even a horrible illness like Crohn’s disease. I won’t let it control my life, I control my life.

Crohn’s, for those who are unaware of this disease, is a digestive disorder that has affected my digestive system, mainly my small and large intestines. I’ve had many, many surgeries, 2 of those I almost lost my life. I am living off a very small, small section of my small intestines. I was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 21. Most of my 20’s I didn’t have a life because I was stuck inside the hospital. I lost my job with Delta Airlines and had to move in with my mother. Fast forward to 2010, I am living in North Carolina and after attending a healing service at our church, I went for prayer bc I had a scheduled surgery. Surgery day comes, and a 5 hour surgery only took 2 hours and the Surgeon came out and told my mom “Monica is clean free of Crohn’s. There is no trace of it at all”. So, praise the Lord for that miracle!! I am still having no issues today whatsoever with the Crohn’s, but the trauma that I had been through emotionally and mentally I am dealing with now.

But, how do I deal with this at Disney World? Well, I do know where every single bathroom is. I know which ones are nasty, I know where the clean ones are, and quiet ones are too.

As far as eating at Disney World. I can pretty much eat anything I want with no restrictions. But, when I am faced with eating with a bunch people I do get anxiety and wonder, “Oh man what am I gonna eat” if it’s a place I am not familiar with. Usually, in that case, I will ask the waiter/waitress that I have a sensitive stomach and would the chef be willing to just fix me a grilled chicken breast and mashed potatoes, or something like that. In all my years going, dealing with this, not one issue I’ve had. Whew! They’ve always accommodated me with this request. I usually am going to Disney on my own, yes, I love going solo b/c I can do my own thing, and ride Rock n’Roller coaster 10x’s if I want. LOL

For snacks, I do bring my own, just incase I am standing in line and need to munch on things. I do prefer to eat the Disney snacks though….who wouldn’t? J I always have water in my back pack too. I always keep when in doubt stomach medicine on me too. If I am really feeling bad, I have no issues going to the First Aid and explaining my situation to them, and they’ve let me lay down for a while and rest.

I also have a lot of back issues. Since I have had a lot of surgeries done, standing for quite some time has put some much strain on my back. I do have a Guest Assistance Pass when I am there. I don’t always use it, but it does come in handy for those instances I know I just can’t stand in a line longer than 30 minutes. I try to save that for people who need to use it more than I do. Plus, I do like to stand in the queue, depending on what ride it is b/c it’s fun. MONICArsz_monicadsc05280

I don’t know what else more to write about or say. But, I am so thankful to my Lord who has healed me of this and now I have my life back. I am now in my mid 30’s, and I feel as if my life is now just beginning. I am open to anyone friend requesting me on Facebook if you have questions about this disease or need advice yourself on dealing with an illness. It is my God given desire to help and encourage anyone who is sick bc I know how it is. I know I am probably leaving a lot out – but that is basically how I deal with and have dealt with Crohn’s at Disney World.

The Relocated Tourist is sponsored by “Magical Mouse Plans Travel

9 Comments »

  1. Monica, it’s so great to read your story here! Though we’ve only met once, I felt thankful for your presence that day in person and I’ve felt thankful since for your presence in my life through things like Facebook and now here on the TRT blog. It’s always a great thing to see that beautiful smile in your pictures :). Thanks so much for sharing!

    Wendy

  2. Thank you for sharing! I don’t have Crohn’s, but I do have endometriosis and things can sometimes be challenging when I am doubled over in pain from it. I sometimes worry about it flaring up while at Disney, but like you, I won’t let it stop me from enjoying one of my favorite places. It is encouraging to see someone who remains positive in spite of trial!

  3. Monica, I am curious about the guest assistance pass you mention. I also have Crohn’s and had 2 emergency surgeries in August. I currently have an ostomy bag and this is my first travel experience with it. We had to cancel our trip last year because of this so I want this trip to be special and problem free.

  4. Amanda, Friend Request me on Facebook if you are on there. I’d love to message you more. I know just what you are dealing with! I can help hun!! 🙂 🙂

    Thank you to everyone else. My faith in God gets me through life, and everything I’ve gone through! I was just happy to share my experience.

  5. Monica, I enjoyed the article and have been praying for you for some time by your mom’s request. It is great to know how accommodating Disney World is to those who love to visit with health issues. Our son has a syndrome, has no patience and has behavioral issues. When at Disney World we get the pass you referred to and have no problem waiting. It has worked very well for Hunter, our son. You have an awesome testimony and I want to thank the Lord with you for His healing power. Enjoy your life and impact as many as you can with your story. Blessings!

  6. I also have a special diet, I am vegan and gluten-intolerant, so I understand when you say bringing snacks is such a help! Great advice! THanks for sharing!!

  7. Monica, you are such an inspiration. You look absolutely fabulous, healthy. Blessings, Angel Mel

  8. Monica, this is great information to have, even if someone may have a sensitivity to a certain food. With all of the different types of food there, one can never be too careful after a bad experience.