FASTPASS for dining – New automation with options for food allergies

Posted on : 07-01-2013 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Misc, News

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Disney FASTPASS dining with food allergy options

Disney is testing a new FASTPASS type system for dining reservations. In a way, this almost turns a dine-in restaurant into a quick service restaurant. It allows you to pick a time, order your food and, when you arrive, you are allowed right into the dining room and your food is delivered to your table. They tested this briefly at Be Our Guest and said it was a big success.

This is not the big news, though.

Back in February of 2012, Disney tested interactive menus at the Hollywood Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios. And, if you specified a food allergy, the menu eliminated those foods that contained your allergen. This was very limiting for some diners. In the end, if you had a food allergy, you would speak to chef as normal, which was much more reassuring anyway. The interactive menu simply presented some options to make you aware of the options the chef might offer.

So, the new system may be a combination of the “FASTPASS dining” and the interactive menu, with one key difference; instead of removing the menu items that contain your food allergen, it can keep those items with ingredient substitutions. This is much better than the Brown Derby test since it gives you even more options. However, like the Brown Derby scenario, you will still speak to a chef, which is the protocol for all dine-in restaurants.

According to the food service manager we spoke to, this is still very preliminary and is about to begin testing, along with many new automation options, like FASTPASS+, testing now. We can’t wait to give it a try! Let us know if you get to participate.

UPDATE: After a Facebook comment, I thought I should clarify one point. In the BOG test, you had the option to order your food ahead of time if you knew exactly what you wanted. It wasn’t a requirement of the service. The reservation priority is a big seller since, especially at BOG, there has been quite a wait, even with a reservation time.

Chefs de France food allergy review

Posted on : 08-01-2012 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Review

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Meet Chef Laurent at Chefs de FranceChefs de France is a wonderful French restaurant located in Epcot. It can be very difficult to get reservations, and there may be a slight wait, but it’s worth the effort. As a non-Disney owned restaurant, or “operating partner”, we were a bit skeptical about dining with a food allergy. However, the Chef and staff were fantastic.

Chef Laurent came to our table and asked about our daughter’s allergy, and gave us our options. We were shock that there were so many for her that were dairy free.

First of all, she enjoyed her first French baguette in a restaurant. He reassured us that it was made on site without dairy. She would have been thrilled with that alone! But, she ordered a romaine hearts salad with a dressing, that I made at the table, of olive oil, pepper, salt, garlic , mustard and vinegar. They were very accommodating and brought ingredients we requested to make our own dressing.

She had the demi poulet fermier roti, pommes rissolées et tomate grillée, or a roasted chicken, herb-roasted potatoes, and a grilled tomato. This was the best chicken we’ve eaten in Epcot, hands down! There is no photo, because she dug in immediately.

Then, just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, the Chef brought out raspberry and kiwi sorbet, again made on site  in their kitchen. He assured us, again, that it was safe and completely free of dairy, and gave her a scope of each. She was thrilled and I don’t know how to express the joy it gave us to see her able to enjoy a meal in a French restaurant for the first time. This is why we love Disney!

My husband and I both had the filet au Poivre, a delicious peppered steak in a peppercorn cream sauce. They were fabulously prepared and delicious, though not dairy free. Of course, we took precautions to keep everything separate on the table. We had to order our own French baguette, anyway, since our daughter had already claimed the first one as her own! She loved that so much.

Chefs de France dinner menu

Chefs de France dessert menu

Yachtsman Steakhouse dining review

Posted on : 05-06-2011 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Review

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The Yachtsman Steakhouse signLocated in Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, this outstanding steakhouse serves high-grade steaks, seafood, lamb and free-range chicken. The aged beef is hand-cut in a butcher room, located in the open concept kitchen. The steakhouse offers an award-winning wine list to match their carefully constructed entrée list.

For ourselves, we ordered the Garden salad and the Caesar salad. The Garden salad is anything but a typical garden salad. Beautiful baby greens, prosciutto, tangy Gruyère cheese served with a homemade buttermilk dressing. Yum! The Caesar was delicious and served with a ciabatta crouton. Our entries included Pan Roasted Free-range Chicken with Duck Confit, Rosti Potatoes and Quail Egg. We also tried the prime New York Strip Steak with Peppercorn Brandy Sauce. This steak was nothing short of fabulous! Fantastic Filet at the Yachtsman SteakhouseWhat’s not to love about peppercorn sauce over a tender aged steak?! The side dishes were fabulous, as well. We really enjoyed the Truffle Mac and Cheese, Creamed Spinach and Roasted Cauliflower with Grapes and Toasted Hazelnut Polonaise.

Our daughter loved this steakhouse, too! The chef came to our table and assured us that her meal would be carefully handled and prepared. She had a mixed greens salad with a dairy free dressing.  For her entrée, she had grilled free-range chicken with a side of beautiful, seasoned vegetables. Her chicken came with mashed potatoes, but we changed this to pasta with marinara sauce. The chef was willing to prepare anything she would be able to eat with her allergies. He wasn’t just looking at the kid’s menu, but everything they had in the kitchen! What a great guy. Our daughter was very happy with her meal, and we were thrilled with ours. Thanks Chef Jon O’Brien!

Lunch: $15 – 39.99
Dinner: $15 – 59

Menus: Dinner | Kids | Dessert | Wine | Additional Offerings

If you’ve dined at the Yachtsman Steakhouse with a food allergy, please share your experience with us, or simply comment below.

California Grill review

Posted on : 22-05-2011 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Review

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The beautiful bar at the California Grill at Disney

The beautiful bar

Located atop the Contemporary Resort, the California Grill has been the best Disney dining experience we’ve had. From both a culinary and food allergy standpoint, this restaurant  is the best of the best.

It started with the usual Disney experience for food allergy diners, but  more upscale. Like  most of the Disney restaurants, they had our allergy noted in the reservation system. However, when we saw our “seating receipt” we noticed that, along with the usual note at the bottom of the receipt, it was also stamped at the top with “Allergy” in red.

The California Grill's allergy card

Bright yellow allergy card.

Our waiter, Daniel, further explained their process. Instead of the hostess placing the seating receipt on the table for the server, they must hand the server the receipt if a food allergy is specified. Additionally, the wait staff uses bright yellow allergy cards to accompany the order, again hand delivered, to ensure a high level of communication about the food allergy.

Our daughter had the Ener-G tapioca roll, with olive oil and a simple hearts of romaine salad with balsamic dressing. The chef would have prepared a wide range of delicious items, but she didn’t want anything else. Plus it was 9:30 PM and we were waiting to watch the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom while we dined.

Filet of Beef at the California Grill

Delicious Oak Fired Filet of Beef


We chose to split some of the signature items on the menu. We had a Hearts of Romaine salad with aged parmesan and homemade croutons. Then we had the Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli. It was prepared with fresh pasta, wonderfully mild goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto to make a deliciously light first course. Next, we had the Oak-fired Filet of Beef with Mascarpone Potatoes and Teriyaki Barbecue Sauce. This was the best steak we’ve had in a long time. Splitting these items was not only wise for the cost, but also for the portions. It was plenty of food, all split in the kitchen for us. As Daniel suggested, splitting it in the kitchen kept us from fighting over the last bite!

View the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the California Grill

View "Wishes" while you dine

The restaurant was beautiful and the food was delicious. And the service was fantastic. We cannot say enough about our server , Daniel.


Daniel was the best and  most knowledgable waiter we’ve ever met. He really understood the food allergy complexities, the menu, and the options that the kitchen could handle. He also knew Disney World very well, and was excellent at taking care of his customers. Walt himself would be proud of Daniel and the California Grill.

The menu at the California Grill

The menu, printed nightly (click to enlarge)

The kids menu at the California Grill

The kids menu. Notice the allergy statement at the bottom












If you’ve eaten at the California Grill with a food allergy, please share your experience.

All photos from the California Grill.


Cinderella’s Royal Table review

Posted on : 04-04-2011 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Review

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Dining allergy free at Cinderella's Royal TableCinderella’s Royal Table is found in Cinderella’s Castle, of course, set in a Medieval theme.  While Cinderella doesn’t actually attend the event during the meal, other Disney Princesses do, including Belle, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine. Cinderella is available before the meal for photos, including personal and PhotoPass. Like most Character Dining events, your meal is served and the Princesses make their way from table to table signing autographs and posing for pictures. At some point during the meal, the girls will be given magic wands and the boys will be given swords. All will be given Wishing Stars and be prompted by the Fairy Godmother to grant wishes. Dinner now also includes the Princesses. Previously, the dinner time was more for romantic, adult time.

Price range: $36.00 – 56.99.

When you arrive, inform the hostess of your food allergy to be sure you are identified on the check, which will be passed along to your server. When he or she arrives, remind them of your allergy and ask to speak to the chef. When he or she arrive, they will gladly present you with options for dining free of your food allergy and answer any questions you may have about the food preparations and prevention of cross contamination.

And for the rest of your dining party…

The breakfast meal includes all-you-care-to-eat American favorites including bacon, eggs, French toast, granola, yogurt and pastries. You also have your choice of juice, milk, coffee or tea.

Lunch starts with a surprise specialty appetizer, then continues with a main course including choices ranging from pan-seared salmon to pasta al pomodoro for the adults, and chicken strips or other favorites for the kids. The prix fixe menu includes your choice of beverage, and desserts like a seasonal sorbet and chocolate cream cheese buckle.

The dinner menu includes a choice of appetizer, followed by entrees like chicken, lamb or vegetarian cassoulet. The children’s menu includes favorites like chicken strips and mini hot dogs. And, of course, every meal includes a choice of beverage.

The food was good, but nothing to be really excited about. That was okay, considering the real magic is in the experience of meeting the Princesses. However, keep in mind, that their visits are extremely brief, since the have so many tables to visit. When one comes along, you have to be ready with your video and/or still camera, autograph book, and have your little princess or pirate’s face clean and photo ready. They will only spend about a minute at your table. The kids don’t seem to mind, though, because it is so exciting. For a more relaxing, less hectic Disney Princess meeting, try breakfast at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall at Epcot.


Allergen free cake fit for a Disney PrincessFOOD ALLERGY TIP!! We attend Cinderella’s Royal Table on the first day at the “World” to kick off our trip. We go for lunch and order a dairy-free cake to be delivered. The cake is iced to say “Princess Charlotte” and thrills our daughter every time. Then, we take the cake back to our hotel room and store it in the refrigerator, where she can then eat it any time she chooses. Typically, while we eat cinnamon buns from the Main Street Bakery for breakfast, she dives into her cake! That’s always enough to last her a full week!

UPDATE: BabyCakes NYC in Downtown Disney now delivers allergen free and vegan cakes to most table service restaurants. Call (407) 938-9044 for details. A wide range of flavors and options available. A minimum 7 day notice is requested.

Additional allergen free cake options are available at most table service restaurants, with a 7 day notice. Call (407) 827-2253 for details and to order.