Grand Floridian Cafe dinner dairy, peanut and tree nut free

Posted on : 31-12-2017 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Review

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Grand Floridian Chef Ben food allergy chefWe chose to make the Grand Floridian Cafe our first stop for dinner on this trip. We always have a great experience here and this time was one of the best. It was dinner time, and we usually visit the Grand Floridian Cafe for lunch. Since it was dinner, there were a lot of great looking choices, but our daughter knew exactly what she wanted, which was not on either menu, the standard menu or the food allergy menu. She wanted a grilled chicken sandwich, with bacon and guacamole, and a side of fries. The chef this evening was Chef Ben, the same chef who prepared this very same meal the last time we were at the Grand Floridian Cafe. In fact, after reviewing all the choices, Lizzie asked Chef Ben if he could make her a BLT, and he agreed.

He delivered both meals, while our server, Nicolas, delivered my choice, the Cafe Sandwich. Our daughter’s chicken sandwich was perfect, of course, free of dairy, peanuts and tree nuts. She loved it. But, the night wasn’t over. Chef Ben prepared a special melted Enjoy Life Chocolate fondue, with roasted marshmallows, sliced bananas, and strawberries and Enjoy Life Cookies. And, to top it off, he prepared it for the three of us to share. It, too, was fantastic.

Biergarten Restaurant dining without nuts

Posted on : 29-12-2017 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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Food allergies at Biergarten Restaurant

This quick review was provided by Sherill, whose daughter is allergic to all nuts.

We have eaten here several times, and the nut allergic family member loved that all of it was safe. She particularly enjoys being able to eat dessert. We came here on Christmas Eve 2017 and were given a food allergy guide grid which confirmed that everything was safe. We went straight to the desert part of the buffet and loaded up a plate with desserts. When we got to the table, the chef had come to discuss the food allergies. He told us that two of the desserts were not, in fact, safe. They had added two desserts that week that were not safe for nut allergy. If he had not shown up at that time, I think my daughter would have eaten a bit of the almond flour desserts already. He brought her desserts from the kitchen that had not mingled with the buffet desserts. It was a close call.

Recommend Biergarten for nut free?: Yes

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

The Polite Pig allergy menu – Disney Springs

Posted on : 17-07-2017 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Quick Review, Review

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The Polite Pig is a quick service BBQ restaurant in Disney Springs. Along with a great section of BBQ, sauces and beer, they have a food allergy menu.

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Nima gluten-free testing in Disney Springs

Posted on : 01-07-2017 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Review

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If you live gluten-free, you’ve probably heard of Nima, the portable food sensor for gluten. They recently visited Disney Springs and tested food items for gluten. They sent us a link to their review. Here are the highlights, but be sure to see the entire gluten-free review here.


Jiko Wanyama Safari with tree nuts

Posted on : 01-07-2017 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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This quick review was provided by Jack, whose daughter is allergic to cashews.

My wife, daughter and I had signed up for the afternoon Wanyama Safari. I specifically registered with Disney and at every restaurant, my daughter’s cashew allergy. Every place was awesome with one absolute MAJOR exception. This was Jiko. Before our trip I called and registered the fact that my daughter had a cashew allergy. I called the morning of our Safari and reminded them of my daughter’s allergy. I was assured that there would be no problem. Because of our other positive experiences with Disney being very good about allergies, I was lulled into a sense of security. As it happened, there was only one other couple that had signed up for the safari. I again, reminded the young lady who greeted us about my daughter’s cashew allergy.

Before the safari they set up a buffet of various finger foods. As is protocol for our family, I went in to the room where the food was presented to check it out. Sure enough there was a bowl of cashews set out. I was shocked by this. I am not exaggerating the redundancy of my checking in with Disney staff about my daughter’s allergy. We had a very near disaster on our hands. We brought this up to the staff and they did nothing. They did not even remove the cashews.

What really surprised me is the fact that I did not receive a response from Disney when I wrote to them about this issue. I do not expect Disney to change everything to suit a person with a cashew allergy. What I have a problem with is assuring me that I would
not have to worry when I did have to worry.

Recommend Jiko for tree nut free?: No

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

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:


Disney Cruise Line:

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. We do not yet have confirmation of whether it’s a dedicated pineapple machine or a machine with vanilla and pineapple swirled. For machines that swirl with vanilla, there is a possibility of cross-contamination. We know they have swirl on the menu. But like Aloha Isle, they may have a dedicated machine. Let us know if you visit Everything Pop and send us photos!

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.

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.