These days more and more people suffer from food allergies, and if you or your children suffer from peanut or dairy allergies you might be worried about what you will eat when you go to Disney World.
The good news is that there is no need to worry. Visiting Disney World with food allergies does not need to be stressful; a little advance preparation will make sure your allergy sufferer is given the red carpet treatment with not a tummy ache in sight!
1. Flag the allergy when you make your dining reservation
The first thing you need to do is let the Cast Member taking your dining reservations know that one of your party has a food allergy.
Advanced Dining Reservations can be made 180 days ahead of your vacation by calling (407)WDW-DINE or by visiting the Disney website.
Provide the Cast Member with as much information as you can about the allergy including what they can and can’t eat. This information will be logged with your reservation and sent over to the restaurant.
They will then give you the phone number of the Special Dietary Needs department at each of the theme parks and Resorts that you plan to eat at.
When you call you will be sent a form to fill out and return. You don’t need to return these forms until three to four weeks ahead of your vacation, but you must make sure that they include your reservation number.
2. What to expect at the restaurant
When you arrive at the restaurant the Cast Member who checks you in will confirm which member of your party has a food allergy and then arrange for the chef to visit your table. It tends to be the Head Chef so you might have a little wait, but it’s worth it to speak to the person in charge of the food you will be eating.
If you are having a dish chosen from the menu, or a meal served family style then the Head Chef will talk to you about the menu. If you are having your meal buffet style then he will take you to the buffet and explain which foods are safe for you to eat.
They are very careful about cross-contamination and will often make your selection fresh in the kitchen so you don’t have to worry about what the foods you can eat might have come into contact with on the buffet.
Most restaurants also offer “safe” alternatives of the mainstream options. For example the breakfast menu always has Van’s Waffles available.
Of course it is important to tell the restaurants about your allergy in advance so that they can make these arrangements for you. If you choose to just “walk up” on the day then you might have a different experience.
3. Allergy free snacks are available too
The Special Dietary Needs team will also provide you with a list of foods that are available at the Quick Service restaurants in the theme parks. For example you can buy dairy free ice cream from locations in the Animal Kingdom as well as the Ice Cream Parlour in the Magic Kingdom, and dairy and nut free cookies are available in the Main Street Bakery at the Magic Kingdom.
If you’re celebrating a birthday or special occasion then remind the wait staff of your allergy so that they can provide a safe alternative to the standard cupcake that is unusually offered as part of the celebration.
Walt Disney World is probably one of the few vacation destinations where you will be well looked after if you have food allergies. So take the time to let them know and then you can forget about tummy aches and have a wonderful vacation!
The Must Read Book Before You Head to Disney World!
Researching your Disney vacation online is a brilliant thing to do, and we are so glad you are here reading our secrets.
But nothing beats a guidebook that you can read over and over before your trip and then throw in your suitcase so you have all of the information you need at your fingertips while you are on vacation.
This is the best paper guidebook whether it's your first trip or your hundredth trip, because it is regularly updated throughout the year so it has the most up to date information in it.
Read the Rest of Our Disney Planning Secrets Series
We have a whole series of posts where we share our Best Disney World Tips - click on the links below to read them all. And don't forget to pin them for later.
- How to Save up to $4,500 to Pay for Your Disney Vacation in Just One Year
- How to Get Ridiculously Cheap Flights to Get You to Disney World
- Are Disney World Hotels Really Worth the Money, Or Just an Unnecessary Expense?
- How to Save Money on Your Disney World Tickets - Without Listening to BORING Timeshare Presentations!
- How to Save up to $200 on Your Disney World Hotel Room
- How to Plan Your Disney World Vacation Like a Pro - Part 1
- How to Plan Your Disney World Vacation Like a Pro - Part 2
- We Reveal How to Eat for Less on Your Disney World Vacation
- We Reveal the Secret to Making Dining Reservations at Disney World
- 3 Ways to Enjoy Disney World’s Fabulous Menus, Even if You Have Food Allergies
- Disney's Least Kept Secret: the Not So Secret Way to Avoid the Lines at Disney World
- Your Complete Guide to Securing the Best Seat for Disney World Fireworks and Attractions
- Revealed: The Secret to Getting Extra Interaction from Mickey Mouse and His Pals
- Revealed: The Secret Entrances to Disney World Parks That Will Give You A Head Start On the Crowds
- What to Do in Disney World When it Rains
~Clare – currently pinning to All Things Disney!.