Disneyland with multiple food allergies

Posted on : 23-06-2015 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Review

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Our good friend, and frequent contributor, Jennifer shares her experiences at Disneyland on her latest trip in February 2015. She and her Mum have multiple food allergies and severe intolerances.

Dietary Restrictions:
Jennifer – anaphylaxis to tree nuts and peanuts; severe dairy intolerance; vegan preference
Pat (my Mum) – anaphylaxis to sesame, peanuts, and peaches
Kyle: vegetarian/vegan preference

The bad news: Unfortunately, the ice cream shops and coffee shop are now contracted out to private companies and no longer offer allergy-friendly options. We were unable to find dairy-free ice cream for Kyle or safe cookies for me. :(

Tip: Order safe treats delivered to your hotel (the day or two before you arrive) and bring some with you into the parks each day. They sell fresh fruit at many carts throughout both parks – a safe snack. Or, there’s a Walmart close to the park that you can stop at for snacks to bring into the parks with you – we had bananas and apples, mostly because I am unfamiliar with what other snack items would be safe in America.

The good news: We had a reaction-free holiday at Disney! (Except one runny nose incident due to my own error – I didn’t realize a salad came with cheese on top, and didn’t mention the intolerance, so I picked around the cheese and still ended up with a horrible runny nose. We still don’t know if it’s an allergy or not but I avoid it either way.)

Food Allergy Reviews

WestJet (airline) – The travel agent marked my allergies on my ticket when booking our flights. Before boarding, I was paged to the gate to confirm my allergens and they made sure I had my auto injectors on my person. On the plane, the flight attendants asked me again to confirm my allergens, that I had my autoinjectors, and then asked whether I wanted a buffer zone or full plane announcement made. (On the flight home I was only given the option of a full plane announcement.) Announcements were made and all was good.

The Pizza Press (a restaurant just outside Disneyland in the Carousel Inn and Suites, on South Harbor Boulevard) – $10 for a pizza with unlimited toppings. All of their ingredients are fresh and prepared on site. The crusts do not have dairy. The pesto does not have nuts. They do not use any nuts, peanuts, or sesame on site. They change (latex) gloves between each order and will use both fresh toppings and supplies if you mention dairy intolerance. The staff were extremely allergy aware and fantastic! The pizza was pretty good too. (Those with anaphylaxis to dairy should use their own judgement as cross contact in a pizza shop is pretty high.)

Plaza Inn (character breakfast, Disneyland) – The chef came out to take orders for those with allergies. The selection was fairly limited but the chef brought out plates heaped with safe foods: Mickey waffles (contain dairy), bacon, sausage, fruit, potatoes, tomatoes. (Alas, their regular waffles contain dairy and their gluten-free waffles are made with a mix that may contain tree nuts and sesame.) Characters were abundant: Minnie, Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Max, Fairy Godmother, Hook, Rafiki. We had reservations for as soon as the restaurant opened for Early Magic Hour. Our 4-day park hopper included an early magic hour morning but we did not have to use it for this morning as those with breakfast reservations have a special entrance to the park. This let us use our early morning another day. Be sure to use the breakfast entrance if you have reservations! This is a very good option if you wish to visit characters without waiting in queues, as the characters come to you, interact with you, and you can have your photos taken (with your own camera).

PhotoPass+ – Absolutely recommend this!! We had 400+ photos in only 4 days. Order this online ahead of you trip (minimum 14 days before) to receive all of your character meal photos, ride photos, photographer photos, and stock photos on CD for $65 (I think). Best deal ever! If you wait until you get to the park, this same package is $100. Still worth it, but pre-ordering offers HUGE savings. (The character breakfast photos alone were $35, or free when included with the photo package.) We had our character breakfast on the first morning we were in the parks, when the photo shop was closed. The photographer at the restaurant was able to activate our PhotoPass+ package and give us our card to use for our stay. You can also merge PhotoPass cards together onto your PhotoPass+ account, so if your group separates you can still have all your photos together. DEFINITELY get this package, and do so 14+ days ahead of your trip!!

Allergy ingredient binders: Just like WDW, all food locations have binders with ingredients. Quick service locations can call a chef to answer any questions you may have (if one is not already on site.)

Cotton candy and turkey legs were safe for peanut and sesame allergies. (I was too anxious to try the cotton candy so I didn’t ask if it was safe for tree nuts or dairy, and I was assured the only two ingredients were sugar and food dye, but not sure about cross-contact risk.)

River Belle Terrace (Fantasmic! dinner package, Disneyland) – Per usual, the chef came to our table to discuss the menu options that would be safe for allergies. The food was just okay – similar to quick service food quality. The dining room was VERY noisy due to poor acoustics. It was difficult to enjoy a quiet meal there. The FastPass tickets for Fantastic! were well worth it, as the dining package guests have a reserved area front and centre with an amazing amount of room. We stretched out and had plenty of room to watch the show with clear line of sight. The best way to watch Fantastic!, for sure.

Blue Bayou (inside the Pirates of Caribbean ride, Disneyland) – Again, the chef came out to discuss our options. The food quality was excellent. The marinated mushroom with cous cous was safe for all allergens and special diets in our group. The bread was safe for sesame and peanut allergies – a rare treat for my mother!

Wine Country Trattoria (California Adventure) – We mentioned allergies and were immediately given allergy menus, listing the dishes that are safe for various allergens. Chef Sean came out to talk to us and review menu items, including some that weren’t on the safe list but turned out to be safe if the bread was left off (for instance). He spent a long time at our table and mentioned how he and another chef were in charge of menu development and stressed over the allergy menu, wondering whether it would be helpful and insisting that people with allergies talk to the chef, even after reviewing the menu in case something had changed. The chefs make allergy meals themselves and take extra care to prevent cross-contact with allergens. Chef Sean was amazing and the food we had was incredible!

Rancho Del Zocalo (quick service, Disneyland) – Hurray for Mexican food! Upon mentioning food allergies, the greeter went to get the chef for us to discuss safe options and make our meals. She was careful to review all the ingredients in each dish to make sure we were satisfied with what we ordered. The chef made our meals herself, the portions were very large, and the food was very good. I highly recommend this restaurant for guests with special diets – as well as the Mexican quick service restaurant in California Adventure. (We dined there several times on a previous trip.)

Steakhouse 55 (fine dining, table service, Disneyland Hotel) – Breakfast here is very reasonably priced, the portions are satisfying, and the service was impeccable! Once again, the chef came to our table to discuss the many options available. The chef and server came out several times to confirm every ingredient, verify preferences, and customize our order to meet every need and request. I highly recommend dining here for breakfast. We’ll definitely dine here on our next trip – frequently, if time permits.

Tip (not really a tip, but more of a critical instruction to follow to keep your sanity): GET TO THE PARK EARLY!!!! I know that’s a given with any Disney park, but the entrance area at Disneyland is really crowded from opening time until about two hours later. As in extremely crowded parking lot of people. It’s mad really. Just arrive 15-20 minutes before park opening and you’ll walk right in with little to no queue. (Plan to arrive 30 minutes early to get through bag check.) The entrance area is shared between the two parks, so it’s twice the amount of people in one small area that turns into a zoo of really long queues. No thanks.

Jennifer also recently visited Disney World and reviewed restaurants there, too. You may also want to read Jennifer’s Disney Cruise food allergy tips and her latest Disney Dream food allergy review, too.
  

Great new interview with Disney’s Culinary Dietary Specialist

Posted on : 13-09-2013 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Misc

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Disney Culinary Dietary Specialist Gary JonesOur friends over at PeanutAllergy.com recently inteviewed Gary Jones, Culinary Dietary Specialist of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts. He discusses their approach, training and other dietary initiatives.

Some interesting data from the interview include the 625,000 guests who visited Disney World and Disneyland with one or more food allergies. He also mentions that guests visiting with 3 or more food allergies is not uncommon and does not “stress us out”. And he includes some tips for visiting with special dietary needs. Mainly, it’s all about planning accordingly, especially if you have multiple food allergies, including guests with especially complex food allergy combinations.

Here’s a link to the article: http://www.peanutallergy.com/share/travel/walt-disney-world-the-most-allergy-friendly-place-on-earth

  

Carnation Cafe at Disneyland with Food Allergies

Posted on : 26-03-2013 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Review

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Dining with food allergies at Carnation Cafe in Disneyland

This guest review was provided by Sherry, who blogs at Mission Mama.

Traveling with food allergies is at the very least a challenge but at the very most completely dangerous. Most places are not careful enough with cross contamination or diligence in ingredient literacy. I feel a little like I’m playing Russian Roulette. With multiple food allergies, several autoimmune disorders and  IBS, I was very nervous before our trip.

At Disney I had little to be concerned about. The quality of care taken to prevent cross contamination and label misreading is extraordinary. Though I wish they would use more modern dairy and egg substitutions for desserts, there were a few food highlights I would like to mention. If you are vegan and/or gluten free, you must try the Chef’s Vegan Burger with avocado (instead of mayo) on a lettuce “bun” at Carnation Cafe in Disneyland.  Wow!!!!! It was so amazing I asked the chef for the recipe. To my knowledge it is the only bean burger in Disney. But it isn’t just any bean burger, it is incredible! And yes it is fully gluten free. It’s the chief’s own special recipe. It was so delicious that I asked the chief for the recipe, and he really sent it to me! Apparently you can ask for any recipe at Disney and they will actually send it to you.

Sherry outside of Carnation Cafe - dining with food allergiesIf you have an allergy to gluten, eggs and dairy, go ahead and eat the raspberry sorbet once. After that try the kettle corn, the Dole Whip (Disneyland) and BYOC (bring your own chocolate). I wrote a post on my complete vegan/gluten free experience at Disneyland. Click here to check it out.

I want to thank Liz for this website. I like the collection of Disney experiences represented here.

If you would like to review Carnation Cafe or any Disneyland or Disney World restaurant, submit a food allergy dining Quick Review.

  

Disneyland – Wine Country Trattoria food allergy review

Posted on : 26-08-2012 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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This quick review was provided by Mariah, who is allergic to beef, yeast, shellfish, wheat, egg yolk, and pasteurized milk.

Disneyland's Wine Country Trattoria

Chef Frances Vogt is amazing! I always enjoy having her create something new for me to enjoy everytime I’m at the Disneyland Resort. She makes it fun and is able to create new things off menu to work around all my allergies and sensitivities.

Recommend for beef, yeast, shellfish, wheat, egg yolk and/or pasteurized milk: Yes

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

  

Disneyland

Posted on : 16-07-2012 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In :

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Food allergy reviews for Disneyland

Below are food allergy restaurant reviews for Disneyland. If you would like to contribute a Disneyland food allergy-free dining experience, we would love to share it with our readers. Every shared experience helps the next reader.

Carnation Cafe at Disneyland with Food Allergies

This guest review was provided by Sherry, who blogs at Mission Mama. Traveling with food allergies is at the very least a challenge but at the very most completely dangerous. Most places are not careful enough with cross contamination or diligence in ingredient literacy. I feel a little like I’m playing Russian Roulette. With multiple […]

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

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 […]

Disneyland – Wine Country Trattoria food allergy review

This quick review was provided by Mariah, who is allergic to beef, yeast, shellfish, wheat, egg yolk, and pasteurized milk. Chef Frances Vogt is amazing! I always enjoy having her create something new for me to enjoy everytime I’m at the Disneyland Resort. She makes it fun and is able to create new things off […]

Disneyland Rancho del Zocalo review

We are so excited to have Karen provide this guest review of her gluten free dining experiences at Disneyland. The Happiest Place on Earth just got a little happier, because Disneyland serves gluten free food! It’s true! At Rancho del Zocalo, a quaint Spanish-style restaurant near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I spoke with the chef, […]

Disneyland with multiple food allergies

Our good friend, and frequent contributor, Jennifer shares her experiences at Disneyland on her latest trip in February 2015. She and her Mum have multiple food allergies and severe intolerances. Dietary Restrictions: Jennifer – anaphylaxis to tree nuts and peanuts; severe dairy intolerance; vegan preference Pat (my Mum) – anaphylaxis to sesame, peanuts, and peaches […]

Disneyland’s Blue Bayou food allergy guest review

Julie Trone, from Allergy Free Table, submitted this review from their trip to Disneyland last summer. Late in the afternoon last July after a full day on the rides at Disneyland we entered New Orleans Square to dine at the Blue Bayou, a Cajun and Creole style restaurant that is conjoined with the Pirates of […]

  

Disneyland’s Blue Bayou food allergy guest review

Posted on : 23-05-2012 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Review

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Julie Trone, from Allergy Free Table, submitted this review from their trip to Disneyland last summer.

Late in the afternoon last July after a full day on the rides at Disneyland we entered New Orleans Square to dine at the Blue Bayou, a Cajun and Creole style restaurant that is conjoined with the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.   Boats quietly stream through the dining area filled with families on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride as dim lights twinkle, crickets chirp, frogs croak, and the décor evokes a feel of the bayou after nightfall.   It feels cooler in temperature, calmer in spirit, and comfortable for allowing our minds and bodies to recharge after a day of fun-filled high energy excitement in the hot summer sun.

Although not surprising during summer break; that afternoon every table was filled.   Anticipating this, we had made reservations before visiting the park, and our large party of 12 waited about 20 minutes to be seated.  The waiting area was crowded however and some of us explored the shops at New Orleans Square or watched musicians and jugglers stroll by to pass the time.  During the busy season, many families walk in to escape the sun and heat looking for a cooler and unique place to dine so making advance reservations is highly recommended.

Soon after we arrived we informed the host that we had dietary restrictions in the form of food allergies and intolerances.  Once seated at a very long table we talked with our waiter about our son’s food allergies (dairy, tree nuts and peanuts) and my intolerances.  He graciously explained that he would send the chef out to our table to make sure our order was prepared correctly.  (Thank you Joel Schaeffer…who instituted this service…it is fantastic)  The chef was very helpful and took my order and my son’s order personally, while the waiter took orders from the rest of our table.  He crouched down to our eye level, asked what foods we need to avoid and talked about how he would prepare our son’s meal.   The chef’s presence, assuredness, and menu suggestions were a welcomed relief to me as a parent and someone who also has a limited diet.  We were both able to eat the Tesoro Island chicken, a roasted chicken without any of his allergens or my intolerances …gluten and soy.  A side of pasta rounded out our son’s meal.  The bread was off limits since it contained dairy however not uncommon among restaurant breads.  I was able to indulge in roasted potatoes and vegetables …yum.

DIsneyland Blue Bayou food allergy reviewWhen the meals arrived, the allergen free meals had flags in them to identify that they were specially prepared.  The chef again returned and informed us the allergen free meals were prepared by him personally.  Overall our experience was fantastic.  We were very impressed how smoothly things went, especially given how busy it was; we normally dine out only during slow times to minimize risk.  Even though it happened almost a year ago our son is still delighted by his experience at the Blue Bayou.

Enjoy!

Julie

Julie Trone, of Allergy Free Table, has written two books on food allergies, Food Allergies & Schools, Pocket Guide for Educators, and Food Allergies & Children, Pocket Guide for Parents.

To see more tips from Julie, check out this short presentation “Eating out with Food Allergies

  

Disneyland Rancho del Zocalo review

Posted on : 23-03-2012 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Review

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We are so excited to have Karen provide this guest review of her gluten free dining experiences at Disneyland.

The Happiest Place on Earth just got a little happier, because Disneyland serves gluten free food! It’s true! At Rancho del Zocalo, a quaint Spanish-style restaurant near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I spoke with the chef, and she instructed the cooking staff how to prepare my gluten free meal. I enjoyed an enchilada for the first time in a long time! Delicioso!

Gluten free at Rancho del Zocalo in DisneylandMexican food isn’t the only thing that’s gluten free at Disneyland, though. Apparently, they offer gluten free pizza at Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port in Tomorrowland and many other items throughout the park! In fact, I ordered an ice cream at Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street, U.S.A., and the staff turned into the enchanted servants from Beauty and the Beast, washing ice cream scoops and opening new tubs of “non contaminated” ice cream to ensure a gluten free experience!

Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor - gluten freeNow, if only New Orleans Square could come up with a gluten free sourdough bowl with gluten free clam chowder, it really would be the place where dreams come true!=)

For more gluten free tidbits by Karen Pickrell, visit kareninreallife.com!=)

 


Thanks to Karen, for submitting her gluten-free adventures in Disneyland! If you found this helpful, please be sure to give her a thumbs up or share this on Facebook.
  

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.