Friends for Life 2020 FAQs
Use our Online Registration Form on our website, https://na.eventscloud.com/fflorlando2020, to register for the conference and contact the hotel directly to book your room. You may reserve a room online at https://www.mydisneygroup.com/cwd20. Note that pre-conference registration ends on July 2. After July 2, you can register on site.
To register for KiddieKove, please complete the Kiddie Kove application. KiddieKove is for full days only, for children age 5 and under and is limited to the first 100 children who apply because of space limitations (so register as early as possible). KiddieKove is coordinated by Mary Babin, RN, CDE. Mary has coordinated the FFL childcare for the past two decades! Children will be in age and socially-appropriate rooms.
KiddieKove childcare is for full days only. We need to do this for staffing reasons. KiddieKove will open at 8am on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Parents need to pick up their child right after morning sessions for lunch (90 minute lunch break). KiddieKove will close at 4:45pm on Wednesday and Thursday and at 5:00pm on Friday.
You may leave a snack at KiddieKove (children ages 5 and under), in a container marked with your child's name on it. Otherwise, child-friendly snacks will be available in the refreshment area outside the childcare rooms. When you come to check on your child during the break times, you will need to get them snack (we will not allow them to graze in the snack area without you being there!) and bring it into the childcare room. We will have beverages with and without sugar, as well as water. We'll also have a supply of glucose tabs and juice boxes in each room to treat lows. If you bring a snack, please, NO NUTS of any kind.
We do have youth programming on Wednesday. See the Wednesday schedule from last year's conference for an idea of what to expect. We will update this for 2020 when the schedule is finalized.
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 (including the snack area by childcare). All meals and snacks at FFL are nut-free.
If you need special dietary accommodations, there is a place on the registration form for you to note that. Note that you must alert us to allergies prior to the conference in order for us to ensure meals and snacks that work for you. If you have any specific questions or concerns, please email us at [email protected] and one of our dietitians will get back with you.
Friends for Life® is for your entire family. Kids who don't have diabetes, whether they have a sibling or parent with type 1, participate in their age group sessions. There's much to learn and share for them too.
Orlando in July is hot and humid. Dress comfortably. For most people, this means short pants and a t-shirt or collared golf shirt. Also, it rains almost every day in Orlando in July. Plan accordingly. The youth program includes sessions which can be quite active. Please make sure your kids wear appropriate shoes for these activities.
There are a couple of events where nicer dress is a good idea. We haven't set the theme for Thursday’s Family and Friends Banquet yet, but in past years it has been both casual (beach party) and fancy (formal ball).
The teen dance on Saturday evening, Tween Party on Saturday evening, Family Party on Saturday evening and the Adults with T1 party on Friday all have various themes which will be announced in January 2020.
Laura Billetdeaux is in charge of the volunteer schedule. We have over 200 volunteers 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 room moderators), others require less time (help out at the name badge decorating or first timers hospitality desk). Laura posts a Call for Volunteers on the conference email list around mid-May, and potential volunteers should email their interest back to her. For questions about volunteer applications, please email [email protected].
Children with Diabetes encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Our youth programming staff are primarily college-aged students who have experience with type 1 diabetes. They are not trained to work with children who have disabilities. If you anticipate needing any type of accommodation or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact us via email at [email protected] in advance of your participation or visit to ensure that you or your child will be able participate.
We must be very strict about kids staying within their particular age groups. We will have KiddieKove (ages 0-5), elementary group (ages 6-8), a young tween group (ages 9-10), and older tween group (ages 11-12), a young teen group (ages 13-15) an older teen group (ages 16-17). Those who are 18 are part of the young adult group, not teens.
This is a special event just for the teens. Note that teens must participate in all four sessions on Thursday in order to participate in the off-site event on Friday. The only exception is for teens who have retinal screening or other conference-related event scheduled during a teen session.
To learn more about the youth program at FFL Orlando, please read the welcome letters from our youth program leaders from our Orlando 2019 conference. We will update these letters for 2020 shortly.
Unless otherwise noted, they may, although we strongly 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. Be aware that some adult and parents sessions include topics that are not appropriate for kids and kids will not be permitted in those sessions. Also note that teens must attend their teen sessions to be permitted to join in the Park Day on Friday and attend the Teen Dance on Saturday. Note that some sessions are for adults only and the room captain will not allow children into those sessions.
The Green bands are for anyone with diabetes, Orange bands are for the ones without diabetes, and Yellow bands are for anyone with Celiac or eat gluten-free. You can read the entire story behind how the colors originated here: https://childrenwithdiabetes.com/conferences/why-the-green-bracelets/
See our page about Traveling with Diabetes for suggestions.
The confirmation email verifies what you paid for. You should have received the email (subject: Registration Confirmation for FFL Orlando 2020) right after you completed payment in the registration process. When you pick up your registration materials on Tuesday or Wednesday, you can double check that everything is correct. At the registration desk (South Registration), we will hand you name badges, conference t-shirts (the sizes you indicated on the registration form), and the printed program. Nothing is mailed ahead of time.
All of the sessions and all of the meals are held right on site. Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is a large resort with a big convention center attached. The main meals will be held in the Coronado Ballrooms. Snack and beverage breaks will be held in the Foyer in front of Veracruz (Exhibit Hall).
There are usually hundreds of FFL participants 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 diabetes technology on the pool chairs, and pumps and CGMs everywhere! Also, there is a Facebook group – Friends for Life Orlando - for anyone participating in the conference. You may post to that anytime. You might ask, for instance, if other families with a seven year old would like to go to a theme park with you on Monday. Or if anyone with preschoolers would like to meet at the kiddie pool at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. We also have organized Meet Ups in addition to the regular schedule.
Yes, we have three social stories:
Yes, we have a private Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/FFLOrlando. You must ask to be admitted to the group. If your Facebook profile doesn't immediately convey that you are part of the type 1 diabetes community, please email Jeff Hitchcock ([email protected]) and ask him to approve your request to join the group.
T-1 Today offers conference scholarships each year. Applications are due by April 15 each year, and decisions sent out in mid-May. For questions about our Friends for Life scholarship program, please email [email protected].
Focus groups are offered on Wednesday only. These are small group discussions or presentations, hosted by the sponsors of the conference or an academic institution. 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 not need to sign up for focus groups unless specifically requested by the company leading the session.
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.
Sports Central is an opportunity for kids (and parents) to play and get in some fun exercise during FFL. Each day, there are open gym times for kids and families to stop by Veracruz A and play some sports, games, dance, race, create obstacle courses... the list goes on an on. Sports Central is run by athletes (both Green and Orange bands) that loves kids, sports, playing and running around. Come check us out during our open gym times!
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.
CWD receives 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.
You are not required to stay at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort, although most people choose to do so for convenience and the sense of community, which often extends into the evenings and down time, by the pool and in the common areas.
Per Fire Marshal regulations, the rooms at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort accommodate up to 4 people (a few rooms accommodate 5 with a crib). If your family is larger, you may wish to reserve two rooms and request adjacent or connecting. You may also wish to stay at Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside, which can accommodate larger families. CWD has a block of rooms reserved there, and it can be accessed via our room reservations link.
Disney's Magical Express offers free transportation to the resort and back to the Orlando International Airport (MCO). You may book Disney’s Magical Express reservations by visiting www.disneyconventiontickets.com/disneyworld/transportation/ or by calling (407) 827-6777 with your flight information AFTER your hotel reservation has been entered into the system and you have received the Resort Confirmation email.
The staff at FFL is well aware of the positive impact Diabetes Alert Dogs (DADs) have on children and adults who live with type 1 diabetes. While we do not want to disturb these relationships, we want to ensure that the presence of DADs do not interfere with the positive experiences of all our attendees. While DADs are welcome, we discourage conference participants from bringing their DADs to FFL. We have learned from past experience that DADs have a tendency to become overwhelmed and stressed by being in a closed environment for several days with hundreds of individuals who have type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We have seen DADs become overly aggressive and exhibit signs of anxiety because of their situation at FFL. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, we will ask that a DAD be removed from FFL if the DAD exhibits any unacceptable behavior that is disruptive to conference attendees.
- All sessions and session materials for adults and children
- Childcare for children age 5 and under
- Wednesday Grand Opening Reception (6:00 p.m.)
- Thursday breakfast, lunch, and snack breaks
- Thursday Family and Friends Banquet (dinner)
- Friday lunch and snack breaks
- Friday Off-Site Day for teens
- Saturday events
- Sunday Farewell Breakfast
- All of the various receptions/socials (Teen Dance, Tween Social, Dessert with the Faculty)
- One t-shirt per registered attendee
Yes, you can order discounted park tickets online at https://www.mydisneygroup.com/cwd20
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