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Holiday World & Food Allergies

Considering Holiday World for a fun getaway?

We recently traveled there for the first time, as a food allergy family.

And we took notes for you!

Holiday World & Food Allergies

Fall of 2021 called for loading up three coolio teenagers and checking out all the fun at Holiday World for the first time. 

First time for us…but Holiday World has been around longer than Disney World. 

In fact, it was their 75th anniversary when we were there, which was super cool. 

I love history, and love being a part of it. 

Located in quaint Santa Claus, Indiana…we felt right at home in this little midwestern amusement park. 

Not a lot of hoopla, laid back, and simply enjoyable is how I’d describe Holiday World. 

Perfect for a family wanting to relax and spend time together while having some good old fashioned fun. 

Old fashioned…but including some pretty spectacular roller coasters. 

The teens enjoyed four big roller coasters while I stuck only to the smooth steel one. 

It. Was. Awesome! Um, we rode it four times. 

But I know, you’re probably here to talk about allergy-friendly food. 

So let’s get to that, I took notes!


Holiday World Free Soda

First up, let’s note…

Holiday World offers free parking but also free fountain drinks and sunscreen all around the park. 

Perhaps unlimited soda was a dream-come-true for these teens.

Side note, this trio had me flashing back to Ferris Bueler’s Day Off all day long, and I was in stitches laughing so hard. 

Do you see it, too? HA!

Not gonna lie, with all that free soda, 

I was pushing our favorite tooth-cleaning gum all day long. 

The kids were only a little annoyed. 

If you’re not keen on all the soda, rest assured there were a couple other options at the drink fountains. 

Sweet tea, Sobe water, and Gatorade. Still sugar, but what can I say.

There was free water, too. 


Holiday World First Aid

Off the topic of food but top priority for food allergy parents, 

there is a clean and easily accessible first aid station at the park. 

I always like to find these right away so if we have a food emergency or any emergency, 

we will know where to go or who is coming to us. 

Stopping in to meet the staff and let them know you’re enjoying the park as a family with severe food allergies is always welcome at amusement parks we visit. 

Don’t hesitate to do this. 

Usually, I meet the first aid staff myself, letting the family go off and have fun. 

Then I catch back up with them. 

I don’t want to burden my kiddo with food allergy worries, I just want to be prepared to spring into action if need be. 

It makes me feel better knowing I’m a little more prepared when we are out of our element like this. 

Also be sure to know where the nearest hospital is when visiting amusement parks and being on vacation. 

This isn’t something you want to figure out in the middle of a reaction. 

And knowing this info can help you plan what, where, and when you can have your meals most safely. 


Holiday World Santa's Merry Marketplace

By lunch time, we were starving. 

Usually we like to eat at off times at amusement parks…

as this gives us a better chance to talk to staff, check labels, and be in a calmer state of mind for making important decisions. 

But this time around, our stomachs told us it was time to eat at noon.

Have mercy. 

We were at Holiday World in October, so the water park wasn’t open and neither were all their many food locations. 

After a little online researching, we decided to hit up the biggest restaurant with the most food options. 

It’s probably open year-round and is most equipped with food we could eat. 

Holiday World does have allergy menus on their website,

so we used these to determine where we might be able to find the best food choices for our kiddo with milk and nut allergy. 

This landed us at Santa’s Merry Marketplace in Christmas Plaza. 

PS: Other sections of the park include Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Spashin’ Safari in the summer. 

Santa’s Merry Marketplace reminded me of the food courts in budget-friendly Disney resorts, 

where we had choices from Asian to American to kid-friendly to snacks all in one place. 

Drinks were still free, too!

That helped, because our bill for five people was about $70.  


Holiday World Allergen Manual

After looking at the allergy menu on their website, 

I still wanted to talk to a manager and see if they had allergen binders. 

So I left the fam to check things out on my own before they joined me. 

The place was busy, it was noon lunch. 

But I managed to catch a worker at the checkout and ask. 

He kindly went to the kitchen and came back with this allergy binder.

I sorta kinda organized some of the papers falling out, because I’m a binder guru like that. Nerd alert! 

Hopefully the next allergy mama who uses the binder will appreciate my hard work, lol. 

From the binder, I got a decent idea of choices for my kiddo. 

Because of our milk allergy therapy, I felt comfortable giving our son a few options to choose from. 

If it had been our strict avoidance days, we probably would have packed his lunch like we did for a dozen years before now, though. 

So no shame if you go that route! We worked up to this for many year. 

If you do try to eat there, try to dine at off times and see if you can catch a manager.

I bet they would be helpful. 

Holiday World Dairy Free

Surprise, surprise. 

Kiddo ended up with the standard chicken strips and tater tots. Predictable. 

From the pictures I took of the allergen menu, I think he could have also had a hamburger on kaiser bun, white rice, grilled chicken sandwich, french fries, and sweet potato fries…BUT PLEASE DOUBLE-CHECK the website, the binder, and with a manager. Food products can change, and these may not be safe for your allergies. 

Of course, he drank his weight in soda. 

In the refrigerator section in the long food line, we also found vanilla soy milk. 

You have to get in the long food line to grab this so take note. 

But hey, if the kids have had enough soft drinks…you know where to go (if you can do soy, that is). 


Holiday World Allergies

Once our lunch was digested, and we walked a few more miles…

we were looking for snacks.

As you know, most families with food allergies are going to pack plenty of their own safe snacks and get those through the park entrance as a medical necessity. 

But it’s also fun to see if anything’s out there that we’ve had before and feel comfortable trying. 

Icee is one of those snacks. 

In the Halloween area, Holiday World has an extensive Icee bar. 

As you can see, twelve different flavors the kids can mix and match. 

We passed based on all the soda we had already chugged. 

But it’s an option!

Gluten-free friends, there’s also a snack stand at Holiday World with a sign just for gluten-free items. 

We didn’t check it out but you may want to! 

I’m not sure if the items are dairy-free, but it would be worth seeing. 

I know we can all appreciate the effort to accommodate different diets.

Holiday World

Now can we just take a little break from food real fast to see how my awesome teen humors me? 

A friend told us we must ride the Turkey Twirl, ha ha ha.

And when roller coasters are more their jive, I was honored that my kiddo would take a break to twirl with his mom. 

Plus, even snap a picture. Awwwww, I love this kid. 

You can see were were a tad hot for it being October. 

Holiday World Dole Whip

Now check this out, friends!

I’ve saved the best for last. 

You got it, Dole Whip at Holiday World!

I mean, this is Disney caliber right here. 

And we were super pumped to enjoy this dairy-free soft serve before we headed home. 

With Dole Whip stands, you always gotta check what they’re also serving out of the Dole Whip machine…

because sometimes it’s DAIRY VANILLA ICE CREAM. 

So keep you radar peeled for any cross contamination possibilities. 

But on this day, the pineapple Dole Whip was served alongside dairy-free raspberry Dole Whip. 

Total score for us.  

Holiday World Dole Whip

And all three of my teens: Ferris, Cameron, and Sloan enjoyed a swirl. 

I mean, that alone was almost worth the six-hour drive. 

Crazy us, finished up the park at close and drove straight home to Illinois. 

Was it worth cramming these crazies in the back of the car? 

You bet it was. 


Deliriously, we sang songs and talked about our trip all the way home. 

Roller coasters and turkey twirls and carousels…

we were exhausted. 

Thank goodness we didn’t ride the two big water rides, or we would have driven home soaking wet. 

While the free soda and sunscreen and the allergy-friendly food were enticing, 

it’s the fun memories made that make these excursions the best. 

So if you have to pack your meals and snacks to be allergy-safe, still check out Holiday World if you get a chance. 

We are so glad we went and checked it off our bucket list.  

Holiday World Food Allergy

One last important note, make sure you know the time zone when you plan. 

Santa Claus is in one little area of Indiana that’s on central time zone instead of eastern.  

Not knowing this, we pulled up to an empty parking lot much like the Grizwolds. 

Thankfully, we only had to wait an hour for it to open instead of having to turn around and go back home, ha ha. 

If you’ve been to Holiday World before, be sure to comment and let us know your favorite part or what you ate allergy-friendly! 

We’d love to hear. 

For more info, visit the Holiday World website

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