Back to Activities Friends for Life Orlando 2019
  Friends for Life Conference and Expo

July 16 - 21, 2019 • Disney's Coronado Springs Resort • Orlando, Florida


  Register Here  

FFL is about our type 1 families

You'll hear from world-renowned diabetes care experts ...

... and learn about research from pioneers in the field

Don't miss the Grand Opening of the Exhibition Hall

First timer? Don't worry -- you'll meet hundreds of others

Friends for Life is for kids with type 1 and their siblings ...

... and adults with type 1 too.

Grandparents have their own programming at FFL

Food is healthy and carb counted for you and includes a separate gluten free buffet

You're sure to meet a friend for life

Most of all, FFL is life-changing for all families living with type 1 diabetes


Conference Information

Join us for our 20th Anniversary! Yes, this year, Children with Diabetes presents our 20th annual Friends for Life conference! Join our international group of world-renowned clinicians, researchers, physicians, adults, children, and families with diabetes to learn the most current information in diabetes care. Attend educational sessions and get cutting-edge diabetes management ideas. Participate in discussion groups, share your story, and help motivate and support others who walk in similar shoes. Watch toddlers and teens, college students and professionals, young parents and grandparents, new and practiced diabetes clinicians make new and lifelong friendships. This is a conference you won't ever forget!

Who Should Attend Friends for Life®?

  • Families and individuals with type 1 diabetes
  • Young adults, teens, school-age children, and younger children
  • Grandparents
  • Kids with type 1 diabetes and their siblings and their best buddies
  • Their parents
  • Adults with type 1 diabetes and their spouses or partners and children
  • Health care professionals who work with type 1 diabetes (CEUs are not offered)

The Conference Schedule in a Nutshell

  • Monday, July 15:
    Move-in day for Registration and Sports Central. Lots of families will be on site already. Wear a T1 t-shirt and find some FFL families at the pool or park! Retinal screening day for staff with T1.

  • Tuesday, July 16:
    Registration is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., so pick up your name badge, conference t-shirt, and green/orange bracelets nice and early! Retinal screenings begin for attendees with T1. TrialNet and Celiac screenings begin. Pump Trials begin. It's very easy to find other FFLs – look for the bracelets and conference tees! Sports Central opens. Discussion groups and informal social get togethers will be held to help people meet each other. For Youth Program Staff, training is from noon to 5 p.m. Staff dinner and team-building at Splitsville.

  • Wednesday, July 17:
    First Timers Orientation begins at 9 a.m. (this is for adults; children are invited to participate in their age group activities down the hall). Focus groups, discussions, and presentations will be held all day. Drop-In Youth Program activities for elementary age kids (6-8) and tweens (9-12) are offered in Fiesta 5 and Fiesta 6. Childcare for little ones age 5 and under is available by pre-registration only in Monterrey. The Teen program is a full day of activities in Coronado L-T. Sports Central is open. Screenings (Retinal, TrialNet, Celiac) continue. Pump Trials continue. The Exhibit Hall opens at 6:00 p.m., in conjunction with a Grand Opening Reception with lots of food. The Quilt for Life opens in the Exhibit Hall.

  • Thursday, July 18:
    Sessions for adults and children are offered all day. Free full day childcare available for 5 and under, preregistration only. Sports Central, Screenings, and Pump Trials continue. The Exhibit Hall is open all day. The Family and Friends Banquet and Dance from 6:30 - 10:30 p.m. – with DJ Miles – includes everyone – no tickets required if you are registered for the conference! This year is our very special Friends for Life 20th Anniversary Ball. Yes, it’s a fancy ball ... dress up… whatever ‘fancy’ means to you. We will have some very special Disney guests for photos and meet-n-greets once the celebration begins.

  • Friday, July 19:
    Sessions for adults and children all day. Free full day childcare available for 5 and under, preregistration only. Teens are offsite at a theme park (Important note: Teens must attend all four sessions on Thursday in order to participate on Friday); Sports Central and Screenings continue. Pump Trials continue. The Exhibit Hall closes at 4 p.m. There will be a Young Adult Dinner for ages 18-25. Dessert and Posters with the Faculty is back (all ages welcome), as is the T1 Adults Social Event (T1 Adults and their partners) and Family Movie Night (for the younger crowd and their parents).

  • Saturday, July 20:
    TBD family day; special activities will be announced. Saturday evening features the Teen Dance and Tween Social. The Family Fun Night (for any age) will also be back this year. Sports Central is open until 3:00 pm

  • Sunday, July 21:
    Farewell Breakfast, tearful goodbyes

What Does Registration Include?

Early Registration will open in November 2018.

Registration includes all sessions for adults and children, session materials, and one t-shirt per person.

Registration includes childcare for pre-registered children ages 0-5. We are not able to accept walk-in childcare. The link to the childcare registration form will be available in January 2019.

Quite a few meals are included in the price of registration. We will detail those in early 2019 once sponsorships are confirmed.

For the teens who participate in the Teen Day at Disney, a park ticket, breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided. Please note that teens must participate in all four sessions on Thursday in order to participate in the Friday Park Day. This is also true of the Saturday Teen Dance.

This year we will have childcare (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). Participants 18 and older are in the adult group. Participants must be in their current age group – ‘skipping’ up or down is not permitted.

Please note that all conference participants under the age of 18 must have a parent or adult guardian registered for the conference and with them in the building during the entire conference (i.e., teens and children may not be dropped off to participate while parents go elsewhere). This is for health and liability reasons, and there will be no exceptions.

The Conference Venue and Hotel Reservations

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort is located near Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. Five swimming pools are on the Hotel grounds, including a huge, feature-pool complex with southwestern theme. A children's playground is on site, as is a large game arcade and fitness center. A jogging trail winds around the 15-acre lake. Complimentary Disney bus transportation, Disney’s Magical Express, is available between the Hotel and all Disney Theme Parks, as well as between the Orlando International Airport and the Hotel.

Sleeping rooms include 2 queen beds or a king bed, refrigerator, complimentary wireless internet, ceiling fan, coffee maker, wall safe, and telephone. Wireless high speed internet is also available in public areas of the hotel, including the lobby, conference center, and swimming pool.

Room rates are $168 + tax. This rate is available from July 9, 2019 to July 27, 2019 for those families who might want to extend their vacation. In support of the Friends for Life conference, $10 per room night will be donated by Disney back to CWD.

CWD rooms will be located throughout the Coronado Springs Resort in the Casitas, Ranchos, and Cabana buildings. We do not have designated rooms in specific buildings. If you have a physical disability which requires close proximity to the Convention Center, please contact Laura Billetdeaux at .

Corporate Suites may be reserved for hospitality events or entertaining, subject to availability. There are different types of suites and they have different prices; please contact the Hotel directly for availability and pricing.

Hotel Reservation Link

You may reserve a room online at

A few things to note in regard to this online room registration process:

  • Disney’s Online booking site is available for booking, modifying and canceling reservations 24/7. Should you need assistance while booking your reservation, please contact Group Reservations by calling 407-939-4686 during business hours – Monday - Friday.

  • The dates offered on the site for room reservations are those dates that CWD has contracted. If you would like to book hotel nights before or after that, you will need to contact the Housing office to inquire about availability.

  • Please put the names and ages for any children in your group under the “other information” section of the guest information landing page.

  • You may book Disney’s Magical Express reservations by visiting 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.

Also, please note that this year’s conference is right after the busy July 4 holiday week. The resort will be quite crowded and will likely sell out early. If you plan to vacation for a few days prior to or after the conference, please make your reservations as soon as possible. While CWD has a block of rooms under contract, once those rooms are spoken for, reservations are subject to additional availability.

For more conference information, including sponsorship and exhibitor information, contact Laura Billetdeaux at 734-353-9294 or .

Bringing Your Service Dog or Diabetes Alert Dog to FFL

The staff at FFL is well aware of the positive impact Diabetes Alert Dogs (DADs) can 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 does 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.


Cancellation policy:
Cancellations prior to June 1, 2019 will be refunded minus a $25 per person processing fee. After June 1, 2019, no refunds are available.


Children with Diabetes offers scholarships to families and young adults. Please visit our Scholarship Application Site.

  Friends for Life® Orlando 2019 Conference  
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