Aulani ‘Ama’Ama food allergy review

Posted on : 12-12-2017 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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Aulani 'Ama'Ama breakfast Mickey waffles

This is a more formal table service restaurant, with a dress code.  We ate here several times throughout our trip and experienced excellent allergy service from the chefs.  My allergies were noted on every reservation, they put a bright red ‘ALLERGY’ stamp on our reservation ticket when we arrived, and the chefs took my orders on their little yellow special diets notepads and pink allergy tickets.

This quick review was provided by Jennifer, who is allergic to tree nuts, peanuts, potato, wheat, and sorghum, is dairy intolerant and has a vegan preference.

My meals usually had allergy flags in it when it came out and the server would then recite what the dish was and my allergy list (or most of it) before placing the food in front of me.  One server even had a son with multiple food allergies, including potato, and we chatted for a bit about food allergies.  Everyone was very quick to check ingredients if I had any questions (like the thinly shaved radish that looked like cheese on my salad one day.)

Breakfast: They have a dedicated Mickey waffle maker here, just like at Makahiki, with the same waffle mix.  Since that’s my favourite breakfast at Disney, why try anything else?  (Nothing else looked safe or interesting, anyway.)  After the chef brought out photos of the waffle mix ingredients for me to check, and confirmed everything, I had a large plate of waffles, warmed maple syrup, and a side plate of fruit for breakfast.Food allergy friend lunch at Disney Aulani  Yum!  The chef at Makahiki had a better presentation for breakfast, but that is likely due to that particular chef being more creative than the one I had at ‘AMA’AMA that morning.
Lunch: We had two lunches here.  They have both an allergy menu and a vegetarian menu you can have on request.  Upon speaking with the chef, we were able to make options on the vegetarian menu safe for my allergies.  Both days I opted for a salad and a pan-fried tofu dish, though different variations each day.  They don’t have beans in either kitchen… so tofu it was.  No safe desserts except fruit, which we skipped in favour if shave ice later in the afternoon.

Aulani 'Ama'Ama pan fried tofu lunch

Dinner: We actually canceled another lunch reservation to eat a second dinner here.  This is a beautiful location to watch the sunset over the beach whilst you dine.  The dress code and atmosphere are a little more refined at dinner time, which we appreciated.  After all, we never eat out at home (due to allergies) and don’t get to dress up often outside of vacation.  They have both a vegetarian and allergy menu at dinner as well.  The chefs again were able to make something from the vegetarian menu safe for me.  One night it was a stir-fried vegetable dish and the other was a quinoa salad.  I loved their salads and papaya seed vinaigrette – which was good on salad, vegetables, and tofu.  The only safe dessert option was fruit, and we usually skipped it for a treat in our room instead.Disney Aulani 'Ama'Ama quinoa salad

Disney Aulani food allergy friendly dinner options

Aulani Makahiki food allergy review

Posted on : 12-12-2017 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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Mickey waffles at Aulani Makahiki

This is the buffet-style restaurant, often used for character meals. We dined here for one character breakfast and one character dinner. We enjoyed the story and theming of dinner, even without kids. Uncle told the story of the Menehune, mythical creatures that build things at night and also create mischief. The breakfast seemed really random and loud for us, but Aunty was engaging the younger kids often, so it may have been more fun for kids than adults alone. Each meal had one character greeting at the entrance and three or four characters wandering around to meet guests.
This quick review was provided by Jennifer, who is allergic to tree nuts, peanuts, potato, wheat, and sorghum, is dairy intolerant and has a vegan preference.
Our two most memorable meals were at this restaurant, actually. Whether that was because the kitchen had more resources or we just lucked out with exceptional chefs, I don’t know; likely a little of both.
Per usual, we spoke with the chefs on arrival.  Never was I told to look at the buffet, though one chef mentioned they didn’t use any peanuts or tree nuts at the breakfast buffet.  (I didn’t ask about traces since it didn’t apply to me.  And I would never recommend anyone with food allergies eat from a buffet, regardless.)  My allergies were noted on every reservation, they put a bright red ‘ALLERGY’ stamp on our reservation ticket when we arrived, and the chefs took my orders on their little yellow special diets notepads and pink allergy tickets.  My meals usually came out with allergy toothpicks in it.

Great chefs at Aulani - food allergy knowledgeable

Character Breakfast: The chef asked me what I wanted to eat for breakfast, and what I normally eat at home.  Originally, I said I eat oatmeal for breakfast at home, and the chef said he could make me some… but then I mentioned how most traditional oatmeal isn’t safe due to traces of wheat.  I was initially uncomfortable with this chef as a result of that confusion, which I partially caused, but the situation quickly turned around when I mentioned Mickey waffles and fruit and he came back with photos of all the ingredients and told me how they are made in a dedicated waffle maker, in a dedicated area of the kitchen to prevent cross-contact.  Even the fruit for my meal was prepared separately and fresh to ensure it was safe.  The waffles came with powdered sugar, small sealed jars of pure maple syrup, and a heaping plate of tropical fruits.  The chef cleared all ingredients with me before placing the order.  The waffles were the best I’ve ever had and the fruit was fresh and flavourful.
At the end of breakfast, when I could barely eat another bite, the chef came out with a beautiful anniversary ‘cake’ made from fruit.  He said that because I couldn’t have the normal anniversary cake that he wanted to do something special, and fruit was the only guaranteed safe option.  The ‘cake’ was like a piece of art… I didn’t want to eat it… but I did.  Well, part of it; I was too full to eat it all.  My husband got the regular anniversary chocolate mousse/lava cake.

Food allergy-free dessert at Aulani Makahiki

Character Dinner: Again, the chef came out to ask what I wanted to eat.  I had spoken with this chef before and he already knew my preferences, but he wanted to make something different.  He asked if coconut was safe for me, which it is (in most cases), and made a light and flavourful tofu and vegetable dish with a coconut-lime-ginger dressing.  I should have asked for the coconut sauce recipe – it was that good.  I also had salad and a tropical fruit bowl for dessert.  Again, the chef mentioned how my meal would be made by him in fresh pans with fresh utensils to make sure it was safe and free from cross contact.  That reassurance and attention to detail is much appreciated.

Aulani review with multiple food allergies

Posted on : 21-11-2017 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Quick Review, Review

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Jennifer and Kyle at Aulani with food allergies

Special diets: allergic to tree nuts, peanuts, potato, wheat, and sorghum; dairy intolerance; vegan preference

This quick review was provided by Jennifer, who is allergic to tree nuts, peanuts, potato, wheat, and sorghum, is dairy intolerent and has a vegan preference.

AULANI, in general: The food at Aulani is simple, based mostly on Hawaiian and Japanese cuisine.  There are only two small table service restaurants.  As such, options here can be somewhat limited, depending on your allergies.  For picky eaters and people with long allergy and special diet lists like mine, there aren’t many options, but the chefs are fantastic at coming up with creative menus and new ideas to provide safe and pleasing meals.  The chefs provide the same high-end allergy service you expect from Disney, though they have fewer ingredients to work with.  We were very satisfied with the food service, overall.

The chefs circulate between both restaurants, so you will begin to see familiar faces in both places if you go back often. We had one particular (and very good) chef three times: once at Makahiki and twice at ‘AMA’AMA.

The main gift shop sells a small selection of ‘Snacks with Character’, which are allergy-friendly treats, but not all top-10-free.  Some were Enjoy Life treats.  Be sure to check the labels on every item, every time!

The chef we spoke with before our visit told us that the only safe places for me to eat would be Makahiki, ‘AMA’AMA, and the shave ice stand.  The quick service locations and luau wouldn’t be able to accommodate my allergy list.

Studio rooms have a kitchenette that is great for preparing simple meals.  You can also request a rice cooker to use in your room.  For the two of us, this combination of microwave, fridge, and rice cooker, with a heavy dose of creativity, kept us well fed outside of our dining reservations. Villas have a full kitchen with range.  Grocery stores are within a five minute drive to Kapolei: Costco, Walmart, Target, and Down to Earth natural food store (with plenty of allergy-friendly brands) are all there – plus more, I’m sure.

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-freeOne 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.

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.

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!

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater lunch with egg and dairy allergies

Posted on : 20-01-2017 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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Sci-Fi Dine-in Theater with a food allergy

This quick review was provided Gillian, whose daughter is allergic to dairy and egg.

This was my daughter’s favourite meal all week. Chef Jason spoke directly to her and asked her what she wanted to eat. He prepared a gourmet safe burger with toppings of her choice- sautéed onions, pickles, lettuce and ketchup all on a safe bun served with fries and a glowing Ariel lemonade.

The waiter was also happy to serve both of the kids apple slices (listed as a dessert) as a starter, and they brought out a safe chocolate ice-cream sundae. She loved her meal here. There was one minor hiccup here…for some reason a busser/different waiter delivered a bowl of pickles and mayo to the table where she was sitting. Not sure if that is a standard delivery or was a mistake meant for another table, but in the dark it could have easily been missed or mistaken and accidentally consumed by my daughter if she was younger or less aware.

The darkness in this venue and the way the cars are set up (kids in front, parents in back) may be uncomfortable for some allergy parents, as it makes it more challenging to see and inspect the food being delivered and eaten.

Recommend Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater for dairy and egg free?: Yes

If you would like to review Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater or any Disney restaurant, submit a food allergy dining Quick Review.

Captain’s Grill lunch with dairy and egg allergies

Posted on : 20-01-2017 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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This quick review was provided Gillian, whose daughter is allergic to dairy and egg.

Our flight landed earlier than expected and we were able to get a last minute unplanned walk-in seating at this restaurant for lunch. My initial impression of this place was very good. I spoke with the host about whether they could accommodate my daughter’s egg and dairy allergy and they showed me an allergy menu that had several options for those restrictions. The seater who walked us to our seat even asked if the restaurant crayons and cutlery were safe for my daughter to use. However, on the walk to the table she commented on how sad it is for kids to have allergies and how much they miss out on. While I know she was trying to be kind it was a very negative way to start our trip as one of the reasons we love Disney, is because we don’t feel we miss out on anything.

The waiter and seater were more than happy to get the chef for us to speak to. The chef came out and we discussed how he could safely prepare the kids shrimp skewer meal and substitute fries for the rice. We agreed on a safe dessert option of Tofutti Ice-cream, Enjoy Life Cookies and Hershey’s Syrup. He said he would check the ingredients on the sprinkles to see if they were safe for her. He explained that they had a dedicated fryer to make the fries and the food would be safely prepared on a separate grill. At that point I was confident that she would be taken care of. That’s when things went unfortunately very wrong.

A busser brought my daughter her meal to the table stacked underneath her sisters open cheese burger, this unfortunately transferred cheese residue all over the bottom of the plate. There was no allergy stick on the food. We waited to speak with the waiter who told us that they remove the allergy sticks before the food is served? Before we could even address the cross contamination issue we noticed that the order was incorrect…she had been sent brown rice instead of fries. The plate was sent back to the kitchen and I was told a new one would be prepared. Minutes later the skewer of shrimp returned with extra shrimp added to it and a pile of green beans and we were told we would have to wait for fries to be prepared. Concerned about the food, we inspected it closely and found penne noodles covered in an oily residue buried within the green beans. We decided to allow her to eat the shrimp only, which unfortunately by this time were cold and terribly over salted, and waited for the fries which were brought out 10 minutes later. I probably should have complained more but we were so tired and hungry we figured she could at least eat the dessert the chef had promised.

Once again when dessert arrived it was not what was ordered. She was sent a bowl of Tofutti on a plate with Hershey’s M&M’s, Sprinkles and Syrup. I immediately noticed the M&M’s and pushed the dessert away. At this point the waiter, began adamantly stating that M&M’s were safe for dairy allergies. I literally had to google an ingredient list to show him that they contained milk and were not safe. He took them back to the kitchen and then came back and apologized, bringing me a bottle of brand new unopened Hershey’s syrup. The cookies never arrived. I asked to speak with the chef but was told he was too busy with the rush to speak to me about what happened. Instead the waiter offered free light out Tinkerbells and was very apologetic.

We were very happy to have avoided what could have been a very serious reaction. However, the series of events that occurred during this meal service showed me that there were multiple places were further allergy training was required with the staff on duty at the time. We were very glad that this was our only disappointing experience of the entire trip.

Recommend Captain’s Grill for dairy and egg free?: No

If you would like to review Captain’s Grill or any Disney restaurant, submit a food allergy dining Quick Review.

Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review with dairy and egg food allergies

Posted on : 08-01-2017 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review with dairy and egg allergies

This quick review was provided Gillian, whose daughter is allergic to dairy and egg.

A favourite dining experience for our whole family. My kids thought the whole show was hysterical. We were so excited to see that the “famous” Chef TJ would be looking after my daughter’s meal here and he did not disappoint.

He made her a tower of safe foods including her first ever fried chicken, ribs, baked potatoes, corn and a bucket of fresh delicious salad with a safe specially made Italian dressing.

Dessert was a huge tower of sugary delights, cookies and ice-cream topped off with cotton candy and syrup. It was a magical evening that won’t soon be forgotten or topped.

Recommend Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review for dairy and egg free?: Yes

If you would like to review Hoop Dee Doo Musical Review or any Disney restaurant, submit a food allergy dining Quick Review.

Skipper Canteen with dairy and egg allergies

Posted on : 03-01-2017 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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Disney's Skipper Canteen with food allergies

This quick review was provided Gillian, whose daughter is allergic to dairy and egg.

Before dining at this restaurant I reviewed the menu and found on-line versions of the allergy menu so that I would have a good idea of what might be safe for my daughter ahead of time. It was a good thing I did, because we were told that there were no allergy menus available on that day.

The waiter brought the chef who asked what she would like. He told us many of the proteins could be prepared safely. WE asked if the Tiki Tiki Fishy Fishy on the regular kids menu would be safe and he said it was and he would make sure she got some trainer chopsticks to eat it with! She was also able to have the feature frozen slushy from the menu and a full plate of Enjoy Life cookies.

Recommend Skipper Canteen for dairy and egg free?: Yes

If you would like to review Skipper Canteen or any Disney restaurant, submit a food allergy dining Quick Review.

Cape May breakfast with dairy and egg allergies

Posted on : 30-12-2016 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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Cape May dairy and egg allergies

This quick review was provided by Gillian, whose daughter is allergic to dairy and egg.

Our favourite character buffet breakfast on property both from a non food allergy and food allergy standpoint. We loved our breakfast experience so much here, we dropped two other breakfast reservations to revisit this place 3 times during our week stay.

The restaurant atmosphere is more spacious and relaxed than some of the other character breakfast locations and the buffet selection is vast and delicious. Chefs Mace and Christian really looked after my daughter here. She had Mickey Waffles, bacon, sausage and smoked salmon, asparagus, sliced tomatoes, fruit loops, Erin McKenna DONUTS, fruits, hot oatmeal, chocolate and regular soy milk. What a treat!

On one of the days I had concerns about the “look” of the allergy waffles. Chef Mace promptly came back to the table and addressed my concerns, taking the time to explain why they looked a bit different and how they had been safely prepared. We felt very safe letting her eat here.

Recommend Cape May for dairy and egg free dining?: Yes

If you would like to review Cape May or any Disney restaurant, submit a food allergy dining Quick Review.

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall with dairy and egg allergies

Posted on : 29-12-2016 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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Akershus Royal Banquet Hall dairy and egg allergies

This quick review was provided by Gillian, whose daughter is allergic to dairy and egg.

We had a great experience here. The waitress offered to bring the chef to discuss safe options for my daughter. We ordered the beef off the children’s allergy menu and requested plain rice instead of mashed potatoes. It was delicious. There was also a number of safe starter options from the buffet and the chef offered to bring her a plate of safe things to sample and make a garden salad with a simple oil and vinegar dressing. I thought it was great that he was willing to prepare several foods for her to try just like everyone else. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall egg and dairy allergiesWe were surprised to find out that she loved the peppered Mackerel! There were also several safe options for dessert, but we had ordered a cake from Erin McKenna’s, so decided to pass on any other options here.

Recommend Akershus Royal Banquet Hall for dairy and egg free dining?: Yes

If you would like to review Akershus Royal Banquet Hall or any Disney restaurant, submit a food allergy dining Quick Review.