Disney’s Gary Jones outlined their food allergy processes

Posted on : 30-05-2017 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Events, News

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Disney Culinary Dietary Specialist Gary JonesDisney’s Culinary Dietary Specialist for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Chef Gary Jones spoke at the FARE National Conference in San Antonio. He gave a great overview of just how many meals they serve including 750,000 food allergy meals.

He also discussed the basic process for making reservations 180 days in advance and to note your food allergy on each reservation. You can indicate that you have the top 8, plus corn. They added corn based on feedback from the Special Diets team who receive a lot of requests for corn allergies. If you have other allergies, a complex set of allergies or PKU needs, it is suggested that you call and speak to Special Diets, 14 days prior to your trip.

He stressed that you should discuss your food allergies when you arrive at each restaurant. He wasn’t specific about which Cast Member, but we recommend you tell everyone, starting with the host or hostess, the server and anyone who may handle drinks. He also recommended speaking with the chef if you have any questions, and also stressed that the chefs love to do it. He explained the logistics of the chefs coming out to meet with visitors and that, on some days, they were spending more time on the floor than in the kitchen, especially during peak times. Since this prevents the chef from actually cooking, they instigated the food allergy friendly menus and asked Cast Members to suggest their use. However, he again stressed that the Chef will always come out if you ask, and suggests that you ask if you have any questions or concerns. In fact, the chefs insisted that this be recommended at the top of the food allergy friendly menus.

Additionally, we suggest that you review the online versions before you go. Sometimes the food allergy friendly versions are on the Disney site, but you can also find them here, at the Disney Food Allergy group on Facebook or via Google. While they may change a little by the time you arrive, you will still have a good idea what to expect when you arrive and it can help you with your conversation with the chef.

Chef Gary also discussed the process when you travel on Disney Cruise Line. Essentially, your food allergy requests should be sent to the DCL Special Diets team 14 days before you sail, so they can have everything on the ship. He didn’t mention it, but there is also a Dining Session on embarkation day. See more of our Disney Cruise Line food allergy tips.

Disney World, Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line each have their own Special Diets team and their email addresses are:

Disney World: specialdiets@disneyworld.com

Disneyland: Special.Diets@disneyland.com 

Disney Cruise Line: SpecialServices@disneycruise.com

Chef Gary also discussed a few disclaimers. This included a discussion of the kitchen and that each one as a special prep area for food allergy meals. They do not have separate kitchens. They do have fryers that are peanut and gluten free, but there are no separate kitchens. In the area designated for food allergy prep, they do have dedicated utensils, and other items used just for food allergy meals. But sometimes the dedicated area has to be cleaned and prepped when you arrive, since it may be used for other purposes.

One of the attendees asked about requesting specific brands of foods. Chef Gary said that they have certain specific brands, but those can change. However, specific food brands cannot be requested except in very rare circumstances. Additionally, the chef always knows which brands he has available. Chef Gary didn’t mention it, but we’ve actually reviewed an ingredient list, cut from the box by a chef when we requested it. They can also discuss and “may contain” labeling the food products on hand may have.

Next, he discussed bringing your own food. You can bring it, but Disney cannot store it, keep it cool and prepare your meals with it.

Chef Gary Jones at FARE 2017

He also had a quick discussion about fryers. While they don’t use peanut oil, the oil they used is a mix that includes soy. So, the french fries do contain soy. He also said they are constantly looking to change that, including possibly using highly refined oil, which is supposed have the allergens removed. However, since the science is not yet clear on highly refined oil, Disney does not use it.

Next, he discussed a new process that is coming soon for buffets. Currently, a chef may offer to walk you through the buffet to explain what is safe or can be modified for you. Then, the chef gives you the option to pull from the buffet or he or she can prepare it fresh for you. For cross-contamination concerns, we recommend the chef prepare it.

Coming soon are food allergy guides for buffets. He explained some testing they did, using signs on the buffets. But said they ultimately decided it was too problematic. So, they developed the guides that explain all of the items and the allergies for which they are safe. Then, you have the option to visit the buffet or speak to the chef to have it prepared fresh. Chef Gary stressed that they are just guides and do not replace the interaction with the chef.

There was also a discussion about kiosks. There is one in Animal Kingdom that has pre-packaged food allergy friendly snacks. Update: Unfortunately, this location no longer has food allergy snacks. He also discussed the logistics of food kiosks, like those in Epcot at the Food and Wine Festival. The food in these kiosks is prepared in a kitchen far away and transported to the kiosks, where many opportunities exist for cross-contamination. And while there are managers in the various kiosk zones that can answer questions and even possibly have food allergy safe alternatives prepared, it does come with some risk. However, they have made some gluten-free options available at some kiosk locations.

Afterward, Chef Gary stopped by our table. We discussed some of our favorite chefs and that they are almost like aunts and uncles to our daughter and more important the Mickey Mouse to us. He confirmed that they are all very passionate and love the interactions with guests and getting to know them over the years.

Dole Whip! Dairy-free and available in many places

Posted on : 12-03-2017 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Fun, News

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Dole Whip - Not dairy-free One of the most popular treats at Disney World is the Dole Whip soft serve. A few years ago, we posted about the change in formula, making it dairy-free, but with a cross-contamination risk. However, a couple of years ago, Disney World made the pineapple soft serve the exclusive offering at Aloha Isle, then made the Dole Whip available in several other locations. So, we thought it was time for an update, since our previous posts are still top pages on our website.

While the Dole Whip is now free of most of the top 8 food allergens, it does contain coconut oil and carries a warning for tree nuts. Check ingredients at the Precision Foods website and also, verify with the Cast Member and ask to see the ingredients in their Food Allergy Book.

Where to find Dole Whip at Disney World

Dole Whip at Magic Kingdom

In Magic Kingdom at Aloha Isle. However, Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree Terrace swapped places, due to the demand of the Dole Whip. Aloha Isle is now located near the Magic Carpets of Aladdin and the Tiki Room. Update 12/2017: Aloha Isle re-introduced the vanilla flavor, which contains casein, in machines with pineapple, for swirling. However, they still have a single machine dedicated to pineapple. If there is any confusion, or to verify since they could change at any time, speak to a manager.

Dole Whip at Animal Kingdom

In Animal Kingdom, in Africa at Tamu Tamu Refreshments. Here, you’ll find the classic Dole Whip and two varieties with rum.
Check out the Tamu Tamu menu

Dole Whip at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

At Disney’s Polynesian Resort, at the Pineapple Lanai on the way to the pool. Keep in mind, the Dole Whip served here includes the vanilla flavor, which opens up the possibility for cross-contamination. However, make the Cast Member aware of your allergy and they will take extra caution to avoid cross-contamination. If the Cast Member is unsure, ask for a manager. We found out that some Cast Members haven’t taken the training for food allergies. Those that have, are able to serve it safely, reducing the chances of cross-contamination.

Pineapple Lanai menu

Dole Whips at Captain Cooks are self-serveYou can also find a Dole Whip dispenser in Captain Cooks, the quick service restaurant. It’s a self service dispenser, so there could be a cross-contamination risk from other patrons.

Also, around the corner at the outdoor Trader Sam’s Tiki Bar, you can find Dole Whips with rum, again.

NEW! Dole Whip at Pop Century

Yes, you can find Dole Whip at Disney’s Pop Century Resort. They’ve made many improvements at Everything Pop and the addition of Dole Whip is one of them. Update 5/4/2018: This is a swirled configuration! For machines that swirl with vanilla, there is a possibility of cross-contamination. We’re going to contact the manager and ask about getting a dedicated machine. Until then, proceed with caution if you’re allergic to dairy or soy, as the vanilla soft serve has both, according to the website.

Dole Whip at Disney Springs

Update! You can now get Dole Whip at Marketplace Snacks. Be aware, the dispenser also has the vanilla soft serve. So, there is a cross-contamination possibility. We spoke to the Cast Member who informed us that they do not follow the same process as the Pinapple Lenai, and sometimes switch the mixers containing the pineapple and vanilla mixes.  Maybe this will change in the future.

Dole Whip in Disney Springs

Dole Whip at Epcot

Occasionally, you can find Dole Whip at Epcot during festivals, like the Food and Wine Festival, at a kiosk near Canada.

If you spot a Dole Whip at some other location, please let us know!

 

 
Dole Whip on Disney Cruise Line

Dole Whip on Disney Cruise Line!

Yes, Dole Whip is now available on the Disney Wonder. It may be available on other Disney Cruise ships. In this case, it’s available individually, swirled or with rum. Always ask about cross-contamination and check the ingredients.

 

Just a quick summary of Dole Whip food allergens (but always ask when you arrive!):

  • Pineapple Dole Whip is free of the Top 8 food allergens.
  • Vanilla Soft Serve contains dairy (casein) and soy.

Latest podcast featuring Erin McKenna’s Bakery in Disney Springs

Posted on : 23-11-2016 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Interviews, News, Podcast

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Erin McKenna's Bakery in Disney WorldIn the latest episode of Food Allergy FastPass, we speak with Nessa from Erin McKenna’s Bakery in Orlando.

We had a great conversation and learned more about the bakery, including:

  • Food allergy policies and the move to “allergen friendly” in addition to vegan and gluten-free.
  • Why Babycakes NYC became Erin McKenna’s Bakery.
  • New products, like milkshakes, and special items for the Holiday Season.
  • New services, like Disney-owned restaurants and wedding cake delivery!
  • Locations in the Disney Parks, including a new location in the Magic Kingdom, in addition to the Animal Kingdom location.
  • Locations in the Disney Resorts.
  • Future possible plans, like Disneyland and Disney Cruise Lines.

And many more tidbits. Check out the Food Allergy FastPass podcast!

erin-mckennas-bakery-delivery

Food allergy options at Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney World

Posted on : 10-09-2016 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Events, News

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Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party is always a blast that starts on select nights in September and continues through the big night — Halloween.

Food allergy friendly treats are available in a few locations around the Magic Kingdom.

mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party-food-allergy

If you would like to see the 2016 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party map, click the images below:

mickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party_map-frontmickeys-not-so-scary-halloween-party_map

Mylan TV Spot, ‘FaceYourRisk.com: Peanut Allergy’

Posted on : 02-05-2016 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : News

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Mylan, is the maker of EpiPen and provides EpiPens at all Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line Ships.

Maybe people will finally get it after they watch this.

Support our GoFundMe for a little boy removed from a plane due to an allergy

Posted on : 26-02-2016 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Events, Misc, News

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disney-cruise-palsWe were contacted by many of our readers about a little boy that was asked to leave a flight because he was allergic to dogs, and one happened to be on the flight. The plane returned from the runway to the terminal and, sadly, the other passengers applauded as he and his family exited the plan.

Here is the full story as reported by KTVB News in Washington.

As mentioned in the news story, Giovanni and his family traveled to Bellingham, Washington, because his father, George Alvarado, wanted to visit as part of his “bucket list” — he has terminal throat cancer. The reaction by Allegiant Airlines and the other passengers soured what was supposed to be a trip of fond memories.

We want to send this boy and his family on a Disney Cruise and we’re turning to our food allergy community to help, since we all know what it’s like to be excluded from activities, including flying on certain other airlines, due to allergies. We feel a cruise, also on George’s bucket list,  would help make up for the mental anguish caused by Allegiant and some of their customers. Plus, Giovanni can meet Pluto on a Disney Cruise, a dog he isn’t allergic to!

Help us make this happen. As you can imagine, time is of the essence. Please visit our GoFundMe page and make a donation. We can show Giovanni and his family that the allergy community is very supportive, when others may not be.

NEW! Podcast – check out the Food Allergy FastPass

Posted on : 05-12-2015 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : News, Podcast

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Food Allergy FastPass podcast for Disney fansWe teamed up with the Larry and Amy, who host the Disney Food Allergy Group on Facebook, to create a new Disney Food Allergy podcast. In the first episode, you learn more about Larry and Amy, plus Lizzie and Jeff (us) while we share some of our favorite Disney food allergy quick service and table service dining experiences, along with some tips for dining at Disney World with food allergies.

Find the Food Allergy FastPass podcast here!

 

Mylan EpiPen on Location at Disney Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Posted on : 02-06-2015 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Events, Fun, News

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Walt Disney World
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

EpiPen® On Location is coming to Walt Disney World’s Epcot International Food and Wine Festival this fall, including live chef demonstrations on October 2 – 4.  This will be an exciting addition to the festival for those of us with food allergies in our families.  We don’t usually attend, since it’s a lot of food sampling that our daughter cannot have. But this year, we are beyond excited about the food allergy chef demonstrations.

The EpiPen® On Location program is a national call-to-action for those living with potentially life-threatening (severe) allergies and their caregivers to understand the importance of avoiding allergic triggers and having access to two epinephrine auto-injectors, such as EpiPen® (epinephrine injection) Auto-Injectors, at all times — whether at home, school, work or on vacation.

Ambassadors Nina Garcia, Chef Amanda Freitag and Auggie Maturo

Ambassadors Nina Garcia, Chef Amanda Freitag and Auggie Maturo

EpiPen® On Location Program Ambassadors Chef Amanda Freitag and “Girl Meets World” actor Auggie Maturo will be at the festival sharing their stories and tips for food allergies.

More about the event can be found at the EpiPen On Location website.

Mylan recently announced a multi-year strategic alliance agreement with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to help enhance access to EpiPen® Auto-Injectors and increase awareness of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening (severe) allergic reaction. EpiPens are now available at all Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Lines ships.

Please note, you will need admission to Epcot to attend the International Food and Wine Festival. Contact PixieLizzie.com for tickets and accommodations and to learn more about how to visit Disney with your food allergy.

Find Enjoy Life Foods at Disney World

Posted on : 24-11-2014 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : News

Find Enjoy Life at Disney World

Click for larger view

It’s always great to find Enjoy Life products at Disney World, either on sale or as a go-to dessert at a restaurant.

Enjoy Life Foods shared this with us this weekend. If you don’t see them, or they aren’t offered, just ask your server, chef or Cast Member.

Epi-Pens now available in Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Ships

Posted on : 08-11-2014 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : News

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Epi-Pen locations at Disney World

Epi-Pen location for Hollywood Studios – Click for a larger view

Really exciting news for those with food allergies, and other life-threatening allergies. Mylan, the maker of Epi-Pen, contacted us today to share this information with our readers. They hope to have them available by the end of November at Disney Parks and by the end of the year on Disney Cruise Lines.

We’re excited to announce that Mylan Inc. has entered into a multi-year strategic alliance agreement with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to help enhance access to EpiPen® (epinephrine) and EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors and increase awareness of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening (severe) allergic reaction.

Each year, millions of guests visit Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in the U.S. — many of whom are living with and/or managing severe allergies — so for us, this alliance was the perfect fit.

As you know, food allergies are on the rise and continue to be a serious health issue in America. To date, 46 states have passed policies that allow/require schools to maintain undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors for those who may experience anaphylaxis. Our hope is that the positive trend we have seen in the school setting will expand to other public settings.

The corporate alliance between Mylan and Disney will:

• Provide updated maps in Disney’s domestic theme parks and cruise ships, as well as updated signage in parks, highlighting locations of EpiPen and EpiPen Jr Auto-Injectors.

• Introduce educational resources designed to increase awareness of and preparedness for severe allergic reactions. For those living with potentially life-threatening (severe) allergies, it’s critical to have an action plan in place before booking a getaway. Like life, severe allergic reactions are unpredictable:

• Anaphylaxis can progress quickly and without warning.

• Clinical guidelines state that epinephrine is the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis, making access critical.

• Families managing known severe allergies are encouraged to follow their individual anaphylaxis action plan, which includes 1) avoiding known allergens, 2) recognizing the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, 3) having access to two epinephrine auto-injectors at all times, such as EpiPen Auto-Injector, and 4) seeking immediate emergency medical care should anaphylaxis occur.

The product made available at the parks is not intended to replace a person’s individual emergency anaphylaxis treatment.

It looks as if Disney plans to make them available in the First Aid stations located throughout the parks. Here is a list of Disney World first aid locations. However, if you ever feel you are have an allergic reaction and you don’t know where to find nearest first aid location or it is not nearby, contact a Cast Member and they will have medical personnel come to you. They are very fast and can probably find you quicker than you can walk across the park to find first aid.

The press release is pasted below and available on the EpiPen Auto-Injector media room.

Mylan Signs Strategic Alliance Agreement with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to Enhance Access to EpiPen® (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors

EpiPen® Auto-Injector Locations Designated on Updated Guide Maps and Signage

New Multi-year Alliance to Increase Anaphylaxis Awareness through Multiple Educational Initiatives

PITTSBURGH – Nov. 7, 2014 – Mylan Inc. (Nasdaq: MYL) today announced it has signed a multi-year strategic alliance agreement with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts to help increase awareness of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening (severe) allergic reaction. The agreement includes updated maps in Disney’s domestic theme parks and on its cruise ships as well as updated signage in the parks that highlight locations with EpiPen® (epinephrine) and EpiPen Jr® (epinephrine) Auto-Injectors. Over time, the companies also will introduce a variety of educational resources designed to increase awareness of and preparedness for severe allergic reactions.

EpiPen® locations will roll out at Disney parks and on cruise ships beginning in late 2014. In addition to emergency medical services (EMS), nurses trained to administer EpiPen Auto-Injectors are available during First Aid station operating hours to assist guests experiencing a severe allergic reaction. To help guests identify EpiPen locations, Disney’s guide maps will now include an EpiPen Auto-Injector symbol and new signage at First Aid stations.

“Mylan’s mission is to provide the world’s 7 billion people access to high quality medicine and set new standards in health care. In support of this mission, we are committed to enhancing access to EpiPen Auto-Injectors and to increasing awareness of anaphylaxis. Like life, severe allergic reactions are unpredictable, so people need to be prepared,” said Mylan CEO Heather Bresch. “We are very proud to be working with Disney, which already has a strong reputation for meeting the needs of people managing severe allergies, and believe we can further raise awareness of anaphylaxis through this collaboration and our joint commitment to education.”

Anaphylaxis is unpredictable, and can progress quickly and without warning. Clinical guidelines state that epinephrine is the first-line treatment when anaphylaxis occurs, making access critical. For those with a known risk, it is important to be prepared with an anaphylaxis action plan that includes 1) avoiding known allergens, 2) recognizing the signs and symptoms of anaphylaxis, 3) having immediate access to two epinephrine auto-injectors, such as EpiPen Auto-Injector, and 4) seeking immediate emergency medical care should anaphylaxis occur.

“For our guests who live with severe allergies every day, identifying EpiPen locations is an additional tool they’ll have for their anaphylaxis management plan,” said Dr. Pamela Hymel, chief medical officer for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. “This new strategic alliance will help raise awareness of EpiPen locations so that our Guests with severe allergies may have the best possible experience at our parks and on our cruise ships.”

Families managing known severe allergies are encouraged to follow their individual anaphylaxis action plans and carry their epinephrine auto-injectors with them at all times.