If you or your children have food allergies, traveling can be a little scary. Luckily, traveling to Disney World with food allergies (and all the Disney properties) is a little easier thanks to the care Disney takes for their guests. Kim Tate from Stuffed Suitcase and the Vacations Mavens podcast joined us to chat about how she handles food allergies at Disney – and how you can deal with food at Disney World in general!
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Flying with Food Allergies
Traveling with kids is naturally stressful. Adding food allergies into the mix makes travel even more stressful. Kim from Stuffed Suitcase dropped by the podcast and talked about some of her best recommendations for flying with a child who has food allergies.
Her first suggestion starts before your flight even begins. If you inform the ground staff your child has an allergy, you usually can board the plane early to wipe down all of your seats. This helps to eliminate any potential allergens that might have been left behind by other passengers. You should also inform the flight attendants as they often make announcements to the entire aircraft once it fully loads.
You also should prepare your own food and of course have your epipens and any medications necessary. Be extra cautious and teach your child to be her own advocate as she grows older.
Eating at Disney Buffets and Table Service with Food Allergies
If your child has a severe allergy, inform your server as soon as (or before) you sit down. Usually a chef will come out and talk to you and your child about food preferences and then go into the back and make a separate plate to order for you. We don’t recommend getting food from the buffet as you never know when there might be cross contamination.
If you go to the buffet knowing this in advance, you can properly set expectations for yourself and your child.
At table service restaurants, where everyone orders there own meal, you will have a similar experience. A chef will come out and you will have a special plate made to order, but you’ll be ordering from the menu (unless all of the entrees are problematic).
For both experiences, budget in an extra 5-10 minutes, but Disney is used to dealing with allergies and handle them well.
Eating at Disney Quick Service Restaurants and Snack Carts with Food Allergies
Disney counter service restaurants are a bit more iffy. Sometimes the servers will be great and know exactly what ingredients are in a certain dish, at other times they might have to call a manager or you won’t be able to get the information. Disney will do their best but definitely be a little bit more cautious. Remember, recipes change so be sure to check every single time.
With snack carts, you usually can get an ingredient list. Your experience with the cast members again will vary from cast member to cast member.
Food Allergies on Disney Cruise Line
If you plan to sail on Disney Cruise Line, know that they do an excellent job with food allergies. Due to the nature of their dining program, you will have the same wait staff every single night if you choose to dine in the main restaurants. That means you can talk to them about your food allergy needs on the first night and they’ll know from that point forward.
Our server told us that Disney Cruise Line has an entire protocol for checking whether foods will be suitable for people with food allergies. So just remember to advocate for yourself and you should have a great experience! Again, do allow for some extra time. You can cut down on this time by pre-ordering with your server the night before.
Have you traveled to Disney with food allergies? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments! And give the podcast a listen and let us know your thoughts on that as well.
Traveling with food allergies, especially kids’ food allergies, can be stressful. But it doesn’t have to be! Kim Tate from the Vacations Mavens podcast drops by to discuss her experiences with Disney and her daughter’s food allergies and shares tips for protecting your children while still having a magical time. She also shares some practical tips for traveling with food allergies in general and Disney dining in general.
Do you have experience traveling to Disney or elsewhere with food allergies?We’d love to hear your experiences, please share them by e-mailing us at disneydeciphered AT gmail DOT com.
If you like what you hear, please share the podcast with others you think might enjoy it. Also, we’d appreciate if you subscribed on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, TuneIn, PlayerFM, iHeartRadio, or Google Play (please leave a positive review if you’re enjoying the show), liked our Facebook page, or followed us on Twitter!
Connect with Leslie @TripswithTykes on social media and Joe @asthejoeflies.
0:00 – Introducing Kim from Vacation Mavens
3:25 – General travel and flying tips with food allergies
7:22 – Traveling to Disney with food allergies
9:16 – Does Disney handle food allergies well?
11:35 – Disney snack stands and quick service when dealing with food allergies
13:30 – Do food allergies slow down your touring plan?
15:55 – Mobile ordering
17:15 – Disney Dos and Don’ts