They say dreams come true at Disney and that’s especially true for food allergy families visiting Disney World!
Honestly, as a mom of two boys, I never thought Disney would be that “magical” for my family. After all, my boys aren’t really into princesses and castles and all that stuff.
But after taking our first trip in 2016, we are now completely sold on Disney.
Because my anaphylactic milk and nut allergy son of 10 years who never ever eats at restaurants was able to eat out for the first time!
And he ate many safe meals and snacks for a full week thanks to the food allergy training that Disney chefs and food managers receive.
Reservation restaurants, quick service, and bakery treats.
Not cooking for an entire week.
It was refreshingly magical and quite the adventure for this food allergy family!
Here’s what our very first trip looked like.
DISNEY WORLD WITH FOOD ALLERGIES
We did one day at each of these parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom.
Booking a reservation meal at each park, we tried to give my son (who has never eaten in a restaurant) a good variety of experiences and foods. The plan was to stick with reservation places and official chefs who would carefully make my son’s food safe for him. But as I will tell you about in upcoming posts, we deterred a bit once we got comfortable!
When we made reservations online for meals, we noted our allergens. Then when we arrived at the restaurant, the staff knew of our allergies per their computer system and put a special ticket on our table. At that point they would tell us a little about the allergy menu, and we would ask to meet with the chef personally. They always obliged, and the chefs accommodated us well.
Incredibly, food staff and chefs weren’t even phased by our “simple” list of 2-3 allergens. Once they knew our situation after speaking to us personally, they were ready roll. To us it was a huge deal being in restaurants for the first time and knowing our son’s response is life-threatening at even trace amounts of his allergens. So it took a little adjusting to have such knowledgeable and careful people serving of us. The experience ended up being a huge blessing.
Liberty Tree ~ Magic Kingdom ~ Reservations
At Magic Kingdom, we reserved Liberty Tree for 2:00 late lunch to avoid crowds. It was very quiet and calm there as we had hoped. Chef Brian, from our home state, ended up being our son’s favorite meal chef.
Miles devoured a huge hamburger with a side of fries made specially by Chef Brian. His first restaurant meal ever. Then chef surprised Miles with Enjoy Life cookies and a chocolate soy milk shake for dessert using Tofutti ice cream and Silk soy milk. I cried.
Plaza Restaurant ~ Magic Kingdom ~ Walk-In
To end our first day of Disney, we met with Chef Ken at the walk-in Plaza Restaurant for dessert. Chef Ken enthusiastically made our whole family soy chocolate milk shakes with Tofutti ice cream and Enjoy Life cookies mixed in. So much milk shake that we left with literally all our stomachs bursting. No dinner needed that night! Chef Ken is a complete gem.
Garden Grill ~ Epcot ~ Reservations
At Epcot, we reserved Garden Grill for 2:00 pm. This was a little more chaotic because it was a character meal with Mickey, Pluto, Chip, & Dale. We didn’t book it for the characters, but wanted to experience the family style meal with our son. It’s also a revolving restaurant. Cool! The food was amazing, but Miles said later it was his least favorite place because he wanted to order his own dish. I don’t blame him!
Together, we all enjoyed a big salad with oil and vinegar dressing, roast beef, turkey, sweet potato fries, green beans, sauteed onions and peppers, and gluten-free rolls. Chef Tom came out once to take our order, but the staff took good care of us the rest of the time. For dessert, Chef sent out Enjoy Life soft and crunchy cookies arranged to look like Mickey.
Tusker House ~ Animal Kingdom ~ Reservations
I really wanted Miles to experience a restaurant breakfast so we ate at Tusker House for their extensive breakfast buffet. As with all the restaurants, we met with the chef, and she personally made Miles his own two plates fresh in the kitchen. Not from the buffet. This again was a character meal, and Mickey, Donald, Goofey, and Daisy paraded into our dining room for photos and autographs. Staying mindful of characters and allergen contamination from all the kids, Miles sort of kept his distance and wet wipes were used liberally.
Chef Renee made Miles two plates full of Kinnickkinnick donuts, Udi’s muffins, probably a pound of bacon, loads of eggs, delicious fruit, and the infamous mickey waffles made dairy-free.
Terra Treats ~ Animal Kingdom ~ Allergy-Friendly Kiosk
Animal Kingdom also had this allergy-friendly kiosk that we knew to keep our eyes out for. It’s been updated since 2015 and isn’t as bright and colorful as I have seen in pictures on Pinterest so I was a little confused at first. We honestly didn’t even order anything because we always had snacks in our bag. I can’t wait to go back and order up now!
Disney & Food Allergy Resources
Thankfully, even with only 30 days to plan, there were a ton of helpful sites to research doing Disney with food allergies. I can’t possibly cover all there is to tell, but online resources like the Disney Food Allergy Group and Allergy Free Mouse will have you well on your way to a safe trip to Disney with food allergies.
If you’d like to have free allergy-friendly Disney planning help from a fellow milk allergy mom, be sure to check out Pixie Lizzie’s travel services.
And now we are hosting Milk Allergy Mom Meet-Up’s at Disney inside our Milk Allergy Mom Private Support Group!!! We’d love to have your family at the next one so be sure to click the link to learn more about our one-of-a-kind group.
If you’ve been on the fence about going to Disney with food allergies, I hope this post encourages you to give it a try! It may just change your life like it did ours.
More Disney Articles