A neighbor of mine mentioned the other day that Disney World is very accomodating for people who suffer from food allergies. A few days later, a blog on that very topic came on my radar.
I’ve talked before about how much I’m anticipating taking to Virginia Beach this summer just for Ava’s dietary needs. But Disney really seems to have its act together, which in turn, would eliminate the hassle of carting a bunch of stuff to Florida.
The author of the Kids Food Allergy blog has taken her daughter on this trip numerous times and shares her expertise. Here’s what they had to say:
Before you go
- You call Disney Dining ahead of time to make reservations and let them know that someone has food allergies and all food needs to be flagged.
- All the information you provide will be sent to each restaurant you eat at.
When you arrive
- When you arrive at each restaurant during your vacation the cast member (Disney employee) who checks you in should verbally confirm that you have a food allergic person in your party and let you know that the chef will be coming to your table to speak with you prior to any food being served (if they don’t, speak up!).
- This will be the head chef in the kitchen, so if it takes a few minutes try to be understanding – it’s worth the wait to talk to the person who is absolutely in charge.
- Depending on the style of meal, the chef will either go through the menu and let you know which items have the allergens and which don’t or they will walk with you through the entire buffet line and detail which items are safe and which aren’t.
- Every Disney chef we have ever encountered has an extraordinary understanding of the threat of cross-contamination, particularly in the buffet. Often, they will prepare the offerings you select separately in the kitchen and bring it out to your table to eliminate any risk of cross-contamination.
- Many times they can and will offer safe alternatives to what’s being offered, too.
- For example, every single breakfast that we had on Disney property was supplemented with Van’s Waffles.
- This is the main reason it is so critical to fill out your forms and return them to the Special Diets Team – the chefs can and will order specialty replacement items to be on hand for your arrival, but only if they know you are coming!
Food thoughout the park
- The Cast Members who work in Special Dietary Needs can also provide you with an impressively thorough list of foods available at different “counter service” locations that are free of common allergens.
- Everything from where you can find egg free chicken nuggets on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom to where you can find dairy free ice cream at the Animal Kingdom.
- These lists change frequently, so be sure to verify and re-verify before you leave and always ask to speak with the manager on duty at a counter-service location before ordering.
It sounds like Disney is really in tune with the needs of its customers. Has anyone ever been to Disney or had a similar experience elsewhere?