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.

Disney World, Disneyland and more Disney with food allergies – Guest Post

Posted on : 15-09-2011 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Review

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Diana shares her many experiences with food allergies at multiple Disney properties in this fabulous guest post.

We all want to see the world, right?  And have experiences and memories, right?  But when you sit in that room and your doctor says your kid (or you!) have a food allergy; the thought of travelling seems unattainable.  At least that is how I felt when my son was diagnosed with a life-threatening peanut and tree nut allergy 5 years ago.  I have found that Disney is the answer to how to safely travel and have the confidence to leave the house again.

Cinderella's Castle at Disney WorldWalt Disney World is an amazing place to visit.  The rides, the shows, the sights and the sounds are life-long memories for everyone.  And then there’s the food, and yes, the food is an amazing part of any Disney vacation—yes, even those with food allergies.

Walt Disney World is almost legendary in their service, including their service to those of us with dietary restrictions.  I know that many great ideas for managing your food allergies at Walt Disney World are on this valuable resource, Allergy Free Mouse, so I will not get into too much, just briefly run thought the main things to do.

  1. Make your dining reservations in advance, if you can.
  2. Mention your allergy when you make the reservation. They will give you a phone number to the restaurant to call the day before your reservation, you will also get a special needs form to fill out and they will send it to all the restaurants that you will be going to.
  3. When you arrive, remind them of your food allergy.

Once you are seated the chef will come out to talk with you.  We have had many chefs at different restaurants, come to our table and walk us through the buffets.  They will also make certain items back in the kitchen and bring them directly to you to avoid cross contamination.  That’s the only way my son gets a Mickey waffle, and he loves them.

Eating with food allergies at DisneyAt quick-service restaurants, they have binders with allergen information in them, just ask for it.  And don’t be afraid to ask for the manager or chef, they are more than happy to come up to talk with you.  There are lots of different options for safe snacks, as well.  Many are labeled, some are not, but if you are in doubt, just ask.  They are very kind about it.

Ok, so maybe you have Disney World down and you are ready to go someplace different?  Let’s look at Disneyland in California first.  Disneyland is very accommodating.  There is not as much information online, like there is for Disney World but you can call Disneyland and ask them everything you want to ask.  They are very helpful.  And again, mention your allergy when making a reservation and be sure to return the special needs form.  When you arrive, if you want to keep asking questions, great!  Just stop in at City Hall and they can give you a list of restaurants that can easily accommodate food allergies.  And just like Disney World, the chefs are more than happy to come out and speak with you.  My family has been to Disneyland twice with nothing but great experiences with my peanut-allergic son.

Disney’s Aulani Resort in Hawaii has the same policies…..and wouldn’t you know it, so does Disneyland Paris and Disneyland Tokyo.  Mention your food allergy or dietary restriction when you make your dining reservations, fill out the special needs form and send it back, then speak to them at the restaurant and you will be good.

Dining with food allergies at DisenyFeeling like a cruise?  Disney Cruise Line is definitely ready and willing to accommodate your needs.  Just mention it when you make your reservation, mention it again when you board, and remind your wait staff at your first meal. You will have the same wait staff for the duration of your cruise, so you won’t have to keep mentioning it to people, which is always nice.  However, you will need to mention it if you eat some places other than the main dining area but, again, they are pleased as punch to help you out.  You can also bring food onboard, if that makes you feel a little better, as well.

Adventures By Disney is an amazing vacation experience.  Travelling the world with Disney’s adventure guides will give you a vacation that you could never have if you went on your own.  However, they are a little different, since you are not staying within a Disney Resort with all the food controlled by Disney.  However, I have spoken with them a couple times and they are more than happy, cheerful even, to work with their vendors to make sure that the food is safe for you or your family members.

Disney travel with food allergiesSeeing the world is back on my to-do list, food allergies and all, and I hope it is back on yours.  We can travel and have amazing experiences around the world.  Does it take a little more work and a few extra steps, yes, but that is ok to ensure a fabulous, safe vacation.