Friday, July 27, 2012

Combating Food Allergies at Disney

I am a Disney Gal-Jewish Mother. I take my role seriously. I think feeding everyone fresh, healthy food is in my job description.

Granted, it’s within the realm of possibility that your eating habits have caused you to question dining outside your comfort level. You dream about a dinner uninterrupted by telemarketers, or the texting thumbs of your teenager. Maybe you dream of dining with characters from the most beloved Disney stories.  

The thought of eating food prepared by others conjures up images in my mind of trips to the restroom from being lactose intolerant or a ride to a nearby hospital due to anaphylactic shock.

Does this situation sound familiar? If your fear of cupcakes stems from an allergy to red food-dye rather than how far around EPCOT’s World Showcase you need to jog to burn off those calories, you are in luck at Disney. 

Disney Dining puts my mind at ease as I welcome each chef to our table to discuss my options.

For me, eating out is more like an epic drama. I clot my mind with the ingredients of a recipe knowing that an unassuming salad dressing should have skull and crossbones on the side.

Food handling policies at Disney are impressive.  I have severe fish and shellfish allergies. Fish are friends not food! I was even relaxed when going to Coral Reef, which is known for its fish selections. The chef prepared my food personally. I was able to enjoy a steak with my family.
I would shutter at the idea of eating at a buffet until I went to Walt Disney World. I have had the chef bring me my food instead of grabbing it from the table where serving utensils could become mixed and have cross contamination.

Food allergy awareness is something Disney takes great pride in. And because of this, I can finally eat a relaxed meal out without having to worry about serious consequences.  

The food is top notch at Disney and the chefs and waiters do a fantastic job accommodating and preparing for guests like my family who have food allergies. In addition to the in-park dining, we love going to the Resorts for amazing options.

If you have food allergies or intolerances: we invite you to relax, let us pull up a chair as the dining room proudly presents - your dinner! And no trips to the hospital afterward!

Read more below about Food Allergies at Disney

(1)          Plan ahead of time

I think it is advantageous to look at the web page for WDW special dietary requests:

I think it is helpful to familiarize yourself with the menu before you get there to eliminate frustration. Our friends at ALL-Ears have a wonderful resource for menus

(2)         Contact Disney before arrival
Why risk forgetting to tell your waiter or the chef when Disney can be ready before your arrival?

At Disneyworld, when making that all-important ADR (Advanced Dining Reservation), check off top allergies (such as shellfish, peanuts, and gluten) as well as your own. For online reservations, visit
Additionally, you can contact Walt Disney World dining reservations at (407) WDW-DINE (939-3463)

In California, I recommend contacting Disney Dining at the Disneyland Resorts: (714) 781-DINE (3463), or email your reservation request to and include your food allergy information.

(3)         Enjoy!
Finally, you can sit down with your family and friends and actually enjoy a meal by knowing that with Disney, you are in safe hands with the Mouse.


  1. Thanks for this, Lori. My daughter, who is vegan, is looking to go to Disney in October. I will forward this link to her.

    1. October is the perfect time. This years food and wine festival has an entire pavilion devoted to vegan food.

  2. Lori, great info as our daughter-in-law has food allergies we always mark our ADR's with that info and have never had any issue when eatting at WDW. They are all very accomadating and never make you feel like you are a bother.

  3. Great post Lori; I'm tweeting it for Special Mouse! If you'd like to do an "allergy trip report" for the podcast, let me know!!

    1. I would love to. Just let me know when.

  4. Judy R. (mom) I was going to say that! As a person with TONS of food allergies, though none life threatening, I have been VERY impressed by the attentiveness of the chefs and servers regarding my food allergies. They have made what is typically one of the more difficult aspects of being on vacation (eating out) a joyful and safe experience.

  5. Great job Lori, very informative =)

  6. There is also a great bakery in Downtown Disney called Babycakes NYC, and they have dairy-free/egg-free/gluten-free/soy-free baked goods. Best cupcakes I've ever had. :)

  7. I, too, have had wonderful experiences with Disney dining despite allergies to fish and shellfish. The chef always comes out to my table to discuss my menu options and will even modify things so I can have more options. It is so wonderful to have one less thing to worry about! Thanks, Lori, for sharing this.

  8. Thank you for this great article Lori! In our not-so-small family of 6, my little Princess Ella is the first to be diagnosed with a food allergy. I am still in the 'learning how to properly eat out' stage. I had no idea that I could note my dining reservations in advance about her allergy.. nor had I thought about cross-contamination at a buffet! I honestly can't thank you enough!!!