|NOT gluten free, but Mickey Waffles are the cutest!|
Having food sensitivities can quickly take the fun out of vacation, especially if you can’t find anything yummy and safe to eat. While I do not have severe food allergies, I do have food sensitivities and so I stay away from certain foods. Specifically, I don’t eat wheat or sugar and limit dairy. Caffeine gives me nasty headaches, so I avoid that, too. So, what am I left with at Disney World? A lot, actually.
Quick Service Meals
I was most concerned about finding things at quick service places for lunch. Most of these places are burgers, pizzas, and sandwiches. Not eating wheat pretty much rules these out. Except, it doesn’t! If you let your cashier know what your food restrictions are, they will send the manager out to discuss your options with you. Each manager has been trained to know ALL of the ingredients in everything they offer as well as how to specially prepare food for those with allergies and restrictions. Need a gluten free meal? No problem! They have gluten free buns and even gluten free brownies. The manager will prepare your meal separately on a special tray to avoid cross contamination. Sugar free? Easy! They have lots of sugar free options. No dairy? No problem. Nut free? No shellfish? Can’t eat eggs? No soy? Other restrictions? They will go through all the ingredients in everything in your meal with you to be sure you are not exposed to anything that will make you sick. Vegan? Same deal. FYI, the famous Dole Whip is vegan and gluten free, so enjoy! :)
Table Service Meals
If you mention to your host or server that you have dietary restrictions (or better yet, mention it when you make the dining reservation), the chef will personally come to your table and either go through the menu items with you or walk you through the buffet line to point out items that are safe for you to eat. At one of our meals, I ended up with 1 item on the entire buffet that I could eat, so the chef asked if he could make something special just for me. I was delighted! He asked if there were any foods that I really didn’t like and then disappeared into the kitchen. About ten minutes later, he personally delivered my meal to me and explained what was in it. He made me a gorgeous salad and the best salmon I have ever eaten. Not only did I have a wonderful meal, I pretty much felt like royalty.
Snacks vary greatly, but most are centered around sugar. You can ask the cast member about ingredients and they will happily help you select a snack you can eat. The best place to find allergy free snacks is at Animal Kingdom at Garden Kiosk near Adventurer’s Outpost. They sell nothing but various allergy free snacks and are experts at helping you select restaurants that will suit your dietary needs! I hope the other parks will soon open similar snack spots.
More information on enjoying Disney Dining with food restrictions can be found at http://www.allergyfreemouse.com.
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