Quote from the Land Queue
One of my favorite quotes from Living with the Land mural–words to live by!

It’s amazing to think that just four years ago, I was writing my first entries into the blog hoping that someone else would find the information useful. And now after fours years of blogging, here we are. Just like Spaceship Earth, the GF/DF at WDW Blog is truly a global community networked online, poised to shape this our spaceship earth 🙂 

Of course, as the blog continues to grow, I hope that each of you will help shape its future one step at a time. So let’s have some fun, shall we? I hope to continue to bring you the latest special diets Disney dining news, reviews, tips and tricks. And I hope that I can continue to provide new and interesting features, like the podcast! And let me know what you’d like to see. Today, we possess the ability to connect with one another instantly, anywhere on the planet! Share your tips, tricks, and reviews on the blog’s Facebook page. Send me tweets of your GF/DF & Special Diets finds! Join our Pinterest Special Diets board & contribute your own pictures!

If this is your first visit to the blog, I hope you enjoy it, as much as I enjoy writing it! Many people ask me why I started the blog. I started writing it around the time I first went to Disney World with dietary restrictions in August 2009. I had been visiting the theme parks for many years with my family and knew I loved the food there but felt totally blindsided when I went to Disney with special diets the first time. I found lots of great information on blogs and websites about gluten free diets at Disney but not as many for folks with multiple dietary needs. I really wanted to share my experiences to other people out there just like me and especially to families traveling to Disney World. 

That first trip in 2009 was a whirlwind. I had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in April of that year. The first 3 months of my diagnosis were jarring to say the least. Besides hospitalization and severe pain (and nearly having to have surgery), I spent most of that time on a liquid to soft food diet. I lost over 30 pounds in those few months. I was not well at all. But it was then that I began to discover that there were foods that my body simply could not tolerate. After several elimination diets, I went gluten free and then dairy free by July 2009. I was beginning to feel better and like my body could actually get well. When I went on that trip with my mom in August, it was a celebration. A celebration that I was getting healthier and coping with life with an autoimmune disease and also because I could finally eat. And eat, I did! 

One of my first meals at Disney GF/DF – Jiko’s Swahili Curry Shrimp (no longer on the menu)

That trip offered me a taste of what I could get at Disney with a special diet. It taught me how to navigate WDW safely and most importantly, it taught me that Disney magic is something unlike anything I’ve experienced anywhere else. I had a few ups and downs that trip with my Crohn’s, but by and large, it was restorative in so many ways. It was right then and there that I decided I needed to start my blog. I just wanted to share what I had learned with others who might be struggling with multiple dietary needs. And it’s been such an honor to continue doing this over the years. 

When I moved to Florida 2 1/2 years ago, it became my mission to improve the blog and keep things updated & to really communicate with you the readers. I’ve been so thrilled to get to know all of you and to hear your experiences. You’ve given me tons of tips and tricks. I would never have gone to certain restaurants without your recommendations! Each one of you has helped shape this site & made it what it is today. When it comes to special diets dining at Disney, all of us can have a say in the kind of world we want it to be. The choices you have helped me make over the past 4 years have been inventing the blog’s future one day at a time.

Well, I think the future we’ve created looks very promising, don’t you? So here’s to the next four years on the GF/DF at WDW Blog. While no one knows for sure what we’ll see or do, I do know it will be quite an adventure. An adventure we’ll take and make–together. See you in the future!

And in honor of this momentous occasion, I’ll be running a month and 1/2 worth of giveaways. Together with some amazing Disney sites, we’ll have tons of fun surprises to offer through the beginning of September. Each week will feature new giveaways for you to win. Here are some of the amazing Disney sites contributing to this giveaway bonanza!