Thursday, February 11, 2010

Walt Disney World Rocks!

We just returned from our week long trip to Orlando, Florida a few days ago. The entire trip was wonderful and I wish we could go back to stay! I’ve always heard that Walt Disney World is the place to go with a food allergic child. And after experiencing it ourselves…I couldn’t agree more! Several months before our trip I had contacted Special Dietary Guest Services at to request information about how food allergies are handled in the parks. I quickly received a wealth of information in the form of several documents including a Guest Dietary Letter, a Guest Allergy Dietary Request Form, a Food Allergy Dietary Reference Sheet, and Allergy Menus for Epcot. Along with this, the contact person (Lee Brady) also gave me a list of quick service locations that would be able to accommodate our special dietary requests. He also gave me a “heads up” about a potential concern in Animal Kingdom. Apparently the animal keepers roam the park throughout the day and at any given time could have nuts in their pocket to use for demonstration and educational purposes while handling birds and that birds are located in just about every area of that park. In his words…”Be mindful that these keepers would have nut oil on their hands and remnants in their clothing”. Very good to know! Luckily this wasn’t an issue for us though since we weren’t planning on going to Animal Kingdom anyway. We decided it would be a lot like going to a huge zoo, and since the boys have a hard time seeing the animals at zoos because of their vision impairment, it didn’t seem like something we wanted to pay a large chunk of money to do. So instead we spent 1 day at Hollywood Studios, 2 days at Magic Kingdom, and 1 day at Epcot.

Although we only ate at 3 restaurants (2 quick service and 1 table service) during our visit (we brought in our own sandwiches and snacks to help keep the cost down), below I will list some of the very helpful information Lee Brady sent to me…

Prepackaged Snacks
Divvies Chocolate Chip Cookies, Caramel Popcorn, and Jelly Beans are made without milk, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts and can be found in the following locations:

Magic Kingdom – Main Street Bakery
Epcot – Liberty Inn & Electric Umbrella
Animal Kingdom – Kusafari Bakery & Tusker House Restaurant
Hollywood Studios – Starring Rolls Bakery

Quick Service Restaurants
Ask to speak to a manager upon arrival and they will be happy to go over an ingredient list with you. The following locations have menu items or products that may meet most dietary requests:
Magic Kingdom
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café (located in Tomorrowland)
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café (located in Fronteirland)
Main Street Bakery
Toontown Farmer’s Market and Liberty Square Market
Pinocchio’s Village House (Fantasy Land)

Liberty Inn (located at The American Adventure in World Showcase)
Sunshine Seasons (located in the Land Pavilion)
Electric Umbrella

Animal Kingdom
Restaurantosaurus (located in DinoLand USA)
Flame Tree Barbecue (located between Asia and DinoLand USA)
Harambe Fruit Market

Hollywood Studios
Rosie’s All American Café at Sunset Ranch Market
Backlot Express
Studio Catering Company
ABC Commissary
Toy Story Pizza Planet

Additional Information
The following is a list of specific products and where they are located:

Many of the above mentioned quick service locations offer:
Allergy Free Chicken Tenderloins (top 8 free)
Fresh Fruit Cups
Hamburger on Tapioca Roll (Ener-G)
Hot Dog on Tapioca Roll (Ener-G)

I found Frozen Coca-Cola and Silk Soy Milk at The Launching Pad in Magic Kingdom.

Also available at several locations within the parks are Gluten-Free Brownie (contains egg), Rice Milk, Tofutti Frozen Dessert, Rice Dream Frozen Dessert.

Table Service
It is best to make reservations for a table service restaurant several months in advance so they can be fully prepared for your visit. However, even though I had made reservations for Chef Mickey’s at The Contemporary Resort, when we arrived to check in I was told that there were no reservations under our name. I have no idea how this happened, but the hostess reassured us that there would be absolutely no problem with the chef accommodating Brody’s allergies. In fact when Chef Matt came to our table, he told us that he handles 40-50 food allergy families every single day! Chef Matt walked Brody and I through the buffet and explained what was in every single item and what would be safe for Brody’s allergy set. Once Brody decided what he wanted to eat, the chef went back into the kitchen and made up Brody’s plate himself so there would be no chance of cross contamination. Brody enjoyed chicken strips, ribs, rice and steamed broccoli. And for dessert Chef Matt brought out a large bowl of Tofutti “ice cream” and a safe cupcake loaded with sprinkles! Brody was thrilled with his first experience eating at a table service restaurant and I honestly think this might have been the highlight of our entire trip for him!



cover_it said...

You are right! Disney is great for those of us with food allegies. We have also had an incredible experience.

Anonymous said...

Just found this.....and since we're going to Disney in 16 days (count 'em)...and I have a 9 year old with peanut and treenut allergies - your page is soooo helpful to me! I have emailed Disney.. hope it's not to late to get a little info! Thanks. Susan

Jeff @ said...

This is a great post about doing Disney with food allergies! I'm so glad to see you had a great time. We have a site dedicated to Disney fans with food allergies called Allergy Free Mouse at We have lots of tips, planning advice and food allergy restaurant reviews. We currently have a guest blogging contest and would love for you to share your Disney food allergy dining experiences with our readers. The prize is a $100 Disney Gift Card. The full details are on our site.

Party of 5 said...

Thank you for posting this! I am about to go on a trip with my peanut allergic daughter and I have been so worried but you have eased my fears!