View Full Version : Food Allergy moms -- anyone been to WDW or DL?
12-11-2008, 11:03 AM
Can anyone tell me about how easy/hard it is to avoid allergens at the resorts? Our specific allergens are finned fish, peanuts, egg, almonds, cashews and pistachios. Fish is the biggie, DD#2 has already had a rapid anaphylaxis to salmon and the docs aren't sure that EpiPens will work fast enough on any subsequent exposure.
Anyone have any experience??? We would want to go the 1st week of February (but haven't booked -- is it too late??).
DH and I have been to DL a couple of times before kids. We've never been to either park with children. He's not enthusiastic, but the alternative is Hawaii in a condo/suite with kitchen and me cooking for a week, which does NOT sound like a holiday AT ALL.
12-11-2008, 12:39 PM
Not an allergy mom, but I have heard that Disney takes allergies very seriously, and that they are great about it. You may want to check over at disboards on the special needs forum. I know there is a lot of discussion of allergy related stuff there.
You can check availability at the resorts online. I'd guess you could find something. If not, there is always off-property. I know you said you don't want to have to cook, but if you do end up going that way, Ft. Wilderness has cabins with kitchens, or there are condo type set ups at Saratoga Springs. Another option is renting points from a vacation club member.
12-11-2008, 01:05 PM
Fish is available at most WDW sitdown restaurants, but much less common at counter service locations. Some do have fish sticks/fingers on their menus though and there are a couple of fish intensive restaurants. Epcot has several "fishy" places: fish&chips place, Rose&Crown pub, Coral reef). There is also The Flying Fish restaurant on the Boardwalk.
At the resorts with counter service restaurants, they are typically set up with "stations", where one station will have burgers, another sandwiches, another pizza, etc. and some might have fish as one of the options at a station.
I would definitely ask at disboards.com and you want to go to the "disAbilities" subforum. There are lots of parents with food allergic children who hang out on that board who will know, or will know how you can get the info you need. They were very helpful to me in trying to find out the availability of soymilk for Amy before our last trip.
WDW takes food allergies very seriously though and generally works very, very hard to accommodate their guests. People report getting calls from the chefs before their dining reservations as the chef wanted to get more specific information about how to best address their concerns. Of all "family destination vacations" I think that you'll find WDW to be one of the best.
12-11-2008, 01:11 PM
Thanks ladies! I figured they would take it seriously, but you never know. Olive Garden does not, for example.
Fish is somewhat hard -- DD#2 loves fries, but if the restaurant serves fried fish, they usually use the same oil for the fish as for the fries, and she has had reactions due to that. Sigh.
I wonder if I called Disney's 1-800 number if they would know more specifics of menus and cross-contamination checks??
12-11-2008, 01:46 PM
I was told that you really need to call the restaurants directly.
12-11-2008, 03:48 PM
Yeah, I would definitely not rely on that 800 # for something that important. I've gotten wrong answers on much more trivial things from those guys.
I'm surprised about Olive Garden. Waaaaay back when, I worked for a sister chain (Bahama Breeze) and they were huge on customer service. I don't know if it's worth your time or not, or maybe you've even tried it already, but I'd drop their corporate office an email. I'd be surprised if you didn't get a quick response.
12-11-2008, 03:58 PM
Yeah, the OG kinda sucks on allergies. The waitstaff are rather clueless. But, I did em corporate asking for allergen information and they blew me off, saying if you have food allergies, don't eat at our restaurant. Um, OK. Fine with me. I'm not sure if OG in Canada is better, we've not eaten at a Canadian location since DD#2's diagnosis. Our bad experience was with a WA state location and US corporate.
This contrasts starkly with Red Robin and McDonalds. Obviously, not find dining establishments, but they TRIP over themselves trying to help people with food allergies. We love our local RR for that reason alone. Very accommodating. Our experiences at US RRs and McD's have also been very good.
12-11-2008, 04:10 PM
That's terrible! Bunch of rottens! :32: Good to hear about the others though. I managed at Rainforest Cafe back in college, and I remember a customer with a child w/a dairy allergy asking about chicken nuggets. There were so many chemical-y ingedients, I was worried I'd miss something dairy, so I wheeled out this giant case that had the ingedients list on it. She was so appreciative, I couldn't believe it. I was shocked and saddened to find out most places wouldn't do something like that. (And just in case anyone is curious, yes, there was some form of dairy in them, waaaaay down on the list).
Hopefully, people are starting to be a little more aware these days, and things will get a litle bit easier.
12-12-2008, 12:06 AM
My mom works at Disney and often with the chefs and food service. They are extremely serious about helping folks with food allergies. When you make reservations for a sit down dinner, tell them about the concerns and they will go out of their way to make things fun and safe. At counter service, ask for the manager and explain concerns. They will do the same.
We are fortunate not to have to worry about this, but we did the parks with friends who have similar concerns and I was really impressed how well they knew their product and preparation and handled it in a way that was kind to the child.
If you stay on property you might also ask the GM for information on food in the parks. If he or she can't tell you, they will find someone who can.
12-12-2008, 12:10 AM
Thank you soooo much! :) Its such a worry, KWIM? That is really great that they are helpful and knowledgeable.... Thanks again!
01-08-2009, 05:28 PM
Hi - I know I'm late on this reply, but figured I'd reply for others that might be wondering. Disney World is phenomenal when it comes to food allergies. They take food allergies very seriously and take all precautions to prevent cross-contamination, including using separate cookware. We will be there in a couple of weeks and it will be the first time my DD eats restaurant food. I've read so many reviews on allergy boards and have heard from so many people whose children have never eaten out before going to Disney. They really get it. My DH called the concierge a few days ago to book some reservations and she asked DH if anyone in our party had food allergies (so it's obviously a standard question.) She then gave him the numbers to each restaurant so we could call the chef if we had any questions. Also, WDW has streamlined their process. I e-mailed Brenda Bennett who works with special dietary requests, and she sent me their allergy e-mail with several attachments. She sent a guest allergy form to fill out, and I am to list DD's allergies, foods that can be eaten, etc. and then list the dining reservations that we have. The completed form will be sent to the chefs at the restaurants so they are prepared when we come. She also included information about packaged items available at the quick service locations, like Divvies. With table service restaurants, I am to ask to speak to the chef when we arrive, and from what I've read, they will be extremely accomodating. I'm very excited!
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