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.

La Cantina de San Angel food allergy review

Posted on : 18-02-2017 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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This quick review was provided by Laura, whose daughter is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts and sesame.

cantina-san-angelThis is our go-to quick service place at Epcot. The food is exceptional and we have had countless meals here. We mention the girls allergies–peanuts, tree nuts and sesame every time and have been assured there are none of these allergens present.

My daughter is a guacamole addict and she loves to chow down on that with some of their homemade corn chips.

We also love the Chicken Cascabel –a tasty naked bowl of sorts with rice, beans and tasty tender chicken and SAUCE!! It’s always a winner.

A trip doesn’t go by without the Barbacoa Tacos. Can you say WOW? They are the best tacos on property in my opinion and you get a side of rice and beans with a trio of them. Quick, easy and super affordable. A favorite of everyone in our family.

We tend to avoid Mexican restaurants due to the presence of Mole (which is made with peanut butter) but there is no mole here–which makes it an excellent choice.La Cantina de San Angel with peanut, tree nut and sesame food allergies

We have also eaten the cheese empanadas and while they are good they don’t hold a candle to the Cascabel or the tacos. Same for Nachos–good and great to share among a group for a snack but I wouldn’t pass over the two mentioned above for them.

The best part: HOMEMADE CHURROS!! As all allergy parents know, finding safe dessert options are HARD. These are not your standard Disney churros –you get a basket of 6 (I think?) circular churros and a bowl of hot caramel sauce to dip . My girls favorite part of the meal!

We can’t recommend this place enough–it’s our favorite!

Recommend La Cantina de San Angel for peanuts, tree nuts and sesame food allergies?: Yes

If you would like to review La Cantina de San Angel or any Disney restaurant, submit a food allergy dining Quick Review.

Be Our Guest dining with a peanut and tree nut allergy

Posted on : 10-09-2016 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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This quick review was provided by Katie, is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.

Be Our Guest restaurantI had an awesome experience here! I went for the quick service lunch, and ordered the carved turkey sandwich. I ensured that the cast member was aware of my allergies, as you should as well, should you dine here, as the food may come out before you meet the server, which is what happened to me.

I also had ordered a masters cupcake. A leader and the server brought out my food, and the only difference in the food from the non allergy food was the cupcake didn’t have the pearl type decorations on top, and the sandwich wasn’t served on the baguette. Instead of the baguette I got two sandwiches on a different bread.

Very good experience!

Recommend Be Our Guest for a peanut or tree nut allergy?: Yes

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

Be Our Guest restaurant multiple food allergy review

Posted on : 12-07-2016 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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This quick review was provided by Taylor, who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, dairy, and soy.

Be Our Guest dining with food allergiesI was very excited to dine at Be Our Guest, as this restaurant wasn’t open yet when I was last in Disney. Unfortunately, due to my allergies, I was too scared about eating at a QS restaurant so I opted to dine here for dinner early one evening.

The chef came out, per my request, and went over my options. For appetizer, I decided on the onion soup without cheese or croutons (Chef seemed somewhat unsure, so I just opted out). It was very delicious! It reminded me of the onion soup I used to eat back in the day, pre-allergy. For dinner, I opted for the skirt steak with roasted fingerling potatoes. It was very delicious and flavorful!

Unfortunately, my dessert options were limited to sorbet, enjoy life cookies (just the boring chocolate chip ones), and rice dream. I wasn’t too fond of any of the options, so I took the cookies for the go.

Overall, it was a very delicious meal and I most certainly will be back!

Recommend Be Our Guest for peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, dairy, and soy food allergies?: Yes

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

Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue with multiple food allergies

Posted on : 08-07-2016 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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This quick review was provided by Taylor, who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, dairy, and soy.

Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue with multiple food allergiesAlthough I am usually very apprehensive with pre-fixe menus given my allergies, I decided to give Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue a try since it got great reviews. When my waiter got to the table, I immediately informed him of my food allergies and he called over Chef TJ. Chef TJ made me a modified version of the what was served to everyone else (fried chicken, ribs (no sauce), corn, and baked potato). For dessert, chef TJ made me one of his special concoctions. I was literally stuffed from dinner so I didn’t eat much of the dessert. Overall, this was an amazing experience. Disney is truly a magic place, especially for those with food allergies!

Recommend Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue for peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, dairy, and soy.?: Yes

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

Food allergy-free breakfast and lunch at Everything Pop

Posted on : 15-03-2016 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Review

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We stayed at the Pop Century during our trip in February. On the morning we were planning to visit Hollywood Studios, we grabbed a quick breakfast at Everything Pop, the quick service restaurant. We asked for a chef over by the grill area and, a few minutes later, we met Chef Jesus. Charlotte told him about her dairy, peanut and tree nut allergies, and requested bacon, scrambled eggs, and pancakes. Chef Jesus said it was no problem, then gave us a pager and a payment slip. This gave me time to get something for myself, then make our way over to the cashier and find a table. As we sat down, our pager went off and we met Chef Jesus back at the kitchen. Charlotte loved the breakfast, eating most of it. Then we took off to Hollywood Studios in time for the gate opening and flew over to sign up for the Jedi training.

On our final day at Disney World, we decided to stop into Everything Pop for one more safe meal before hitting the road. Following the same steps to request a chef, we met Chef Heather. This time, after explain her food allergies, she requested grilled chicken and fries. And Chef Heather delivered! Charlotte said it was one of the best meals she had on this trip. Afterwards, she had a few small cupcakes from Erin McKenna’s Bakery, which is also available at Everything Pop!

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.

Crystal Palace with peanuts and tree nuts – Quick Review

Posted on : 13-03-2015 | By : Allergy Free Mouse | In : Guest, Quick Review, Review

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The Crystal Palace with peanut and tree nut allergies

This quick review was provided by Janelle, who is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts.

We had a wonderful experience at the Crystal Palace for breakfast with my two year old. By far his favorite meal of the trip, we like to arrive early before the park opens and enjoy breakfast without feeling rushed.

The chef arrived and took me straight to the buffet – Nearly everything was safe for my son. However, he was very clear to point out the items that were not and to tell me why. For instance, most of the baked goods were not and he made a point of telling me about the one that had almond flour – he was very clear and reassuring. He also told me if we needed anything special to let him know. He spent a lot of time making himself available in the dining room and I was very impressed by the service and care.

After eating at Chef Mickey’s the evening before, I had low expectations. Crystal Palace will remain on our dining list for every Disney vacation.

Recommend Crystal Palace for tree nuts and peanuts?: Yes

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