Disney--places to stay

Posted on: Fri, 07/26/2002 - 10:20pm
BostonMary's picture
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Joined: 06/02/2002 - 09:00

pI just found out that we are going to Orlando in November. While I am excited my nervousness about my dd with the full legume allergies is starting. Can anyone give me suggestions of what hotel to stay in? We would like to stay in the park. A guest suite kind of place w/ a small kitchenette would be ideal? Or a place with buffet kind of breakfast with labelled cereal, yogurts, etc. All suggestions welcomed! Thanks/p

Posted on: Sat, 07/27/2002 - 1:58am
DRobbins's picture
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Joined: 07/19/2001 - 09:00

BostonMary, we went to Disney World in April with my peanut/treenut/soy/strawberry allergic son, and found that we had the best luck in finding people knowledgeable about food allergies by eating at the type of restaurant where reservations ("Priority Seating" in Disney-speak) were required. When you make a reservation for a meal, you can tell the person on the phone about your restrictions, and when you get to the restaurant, the chef will come to your table and discuss the ingredients in each menu/buffet item with you.
We had the best luck in a restaurant called "Boma" at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. The food is African-influenced, so I expected a lot of peanuts in it, and several dishes did in fact contain nuts. However, the food meant for kids is typical kid fare: mac & cheese, chicken fingers, pasta, etc. I should warn you that my son is not airborne sensitive, but if your child is, you may not want to try this restaurant, delicious as it was. (I didn't smell any peanut aroma, fwiw). The pastry chef was very cautious and steered us away from any desserts containing chocolate at all (probably not strictly necessary if the source of the chocolate was cocoa or baking chocolate) or even coconut (although I explained that coconut isn't really a treenut, I appreciated the extra caution).
We also had good luck at two character meals: one at Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Hotel, the other at The Garden Grill at The Land pavillion at Epcot. The only problem we did have was that the chef at Chef Mickey's was *too* cautious, and was afraid to let my son have the plain vanilla cupcakes because they were made with all-purpose flour, and he was concerned that the factory that made the flour could perhaps have been cross-contaminated at the source (he had no reason to believe it was contaminated, though -- and this would be an issue even for home-baked products).
At fast food style restaurants in the parks, we asked to speak to the manager at each restaurant, and the manager was able to look up the ingredients of any menu items we were considering.
Several Disney employees told us that they have a policy of not using peanut oil for their cooking due to allergy concerns. However, this is not necessarily true for outside vendors that operate on Disney properties. For example, there was a booth selling fried dough (they called it "Beaver Tails") at the Canada section of Epcot, and they cooked the dough in peanut oil.
If you are really determined to find a room with a kitchenette to stay in, I think you might have luck staying at one of the cabins at Fort Wilderness. The problem with this is that the cabins might not be available, and also it's a bit harder to get around from there than it is if you stay at a hotel on the monorail system. OTOH, the monorail hotels are very pricey.
Enjoy your trip,
Debbie

Posted on: Sat, 07/27/2002 - 5:39am
BostonMary's picture
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Joined: 06/02/2002 - 09:00

Debbie;
Thank you so much for your response. Can you let me know where you stayed? And could you have breakfast in the hotel that you stayed in? Thanks. Mary

Posted on: Sat, 07/27/2002 - 10:12am
DRobbins's picture
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Joined: 07/19/2001 - 09:00

We stayed in two hotels our last stay: first, the Animal Kingdom Lodge (hence our meal at Boma), which was not on the monorail but the bus service was efficient and the animals right outside our terrace were so cool, and then at the Contemporary Hotel (and so our meal at Chef Mickey's), which is on the monorail.
For breakfast, we brought our own box of cereal to the hotel along with Parmalat single-serving milk boxes. We usually ate at the parks for lunch and at the other restaurants I described for dinner. We were able to buy fresh fruit at the parks for snacks, and I was comfortable with the popcorn.
The only restaurant where we had trouble finding safe food for my son was the food court type place at the Coronado Springs hotel (where my family was staying). We probably would have had much less trouble if not for the fact that my PA son is a somewhat picky eater [img]http://uumor.pair.com/nutalle2/peanutallergy/rolleyes.gif[/img] Another real problem was that the food court was very spread out with different areas for different types of food, and it was hard to find anyone in charge to assist us, and the servers had more of the burger-flipper attitude (with apologies to those helpful, friendly, informed burger flippers out there!) than most Disney food service workers.
Overall, it was my experience that desserts are the only challenge at Disney, so if I were you, I'd always carry some safe ones with me if your PA child is as into desserts as mine is. The only desserts I let my son eat at the parks were soft serve ice cream and popsicles (which may be outside some people's comfort zone). Other types of food were usually easy to find and easy to verify the safety of.

Posted on: Thu, 09/26/2002 - 5:55am
Gadget's picture
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Joined: 10/01/2001 - 09:00

Hi, I just got back from a trip to Disney, and we stayed at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and the Polynesian. We ate at Boma and my son had no problems with the kids' foods. He didn't try any adult selections. The chef told me that ALL of the cookies contained peanuts, and also pointed out some of the other desserts my son could not have. We had the best server EVER--Maureen S. She actually somehow came up with bowls of ice cream for my kids since they could not eat most of the desserts. My Dh and I LOVED the coconut tiramisu--I ate a TON of that, but did not feel it was safe for my son. One word of caution--if you go to Animal Kingdom Park, be careful at Tusker House (they have a peanut-encrusted entree) and Flame-Tree Barbecue (they serve PBJ--but it is the uncrustables that are prepackaged). At the Polynesian Resort, we ate every meal at the Kona Cafe. My Ds had pancakes for breakfast (I was thrilled to notice that they made the Mickey "eyes" out of Skittles instead of M&Ms), pasta for dinner, and lunch on our last day he had a hot dog. No problems any time. In the theme parks he had hot dogs, macaroni and cheese and chicken fingers, and also had several Mickey ice cream sandwiches. Please make sure to check everything, though, as I have a pretty wide comfort zone. I think Disney is one of the more allergy-friendly destinations out there. Have fun!!

Posted on: Thu, 09/26/2002 - 6:52am
Joanne's picture
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Joined: 02/22/1999 - 09:00

We stayed at Fort Wilderness when we went 2 years ago. We prepared most of our own meals. We ate at the Crystal Palace (character lunch) and the Hoop de Doo Review at Fort Wildnerness--the chefs there were great. We ate at the fast food restaurant at Animal Kingdom as well. Ask to talk to the chef when you make your reservation.

Posted on: Fri, 09/27/2002 - 12:44am
AJSMAMA's picture
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Joined: 06/12/2002 - 09:00

Here is a reply I got from Disney about allergy awareness. Also we stayed at the Boardwalk Villas. It was great and had a full kitchen in it (dishwasher and all). We bought groceries at a store by Downtown Disney and made most all of our meals!
Dear Jaime,
Thank you for contacting WALT DISNEY WORLD!
We appreciate your interest in learning what arrangements might be possible in
our theme park and resort restaurants for guests with specific dietary
restrictions. First, please know that the chefs and managers in our
full-service restaurants are always happy to provide information regarding not
only the ingredients of menu selections, but also how items are prepared. In
many instances, food may be specially prepared to accommodate particular dietary
restrictions.
It is also sometimes possible for our restaurants to prepare food items using
special ingredients (gluten-free flour, for example). For this reason, we
encourage you to make your particular restriction known when booking priority
seating arrangements for our full-service restaurants, so that the appropriate
notation may be made. Priority seating may be arranged up to 120 days in
advance for selected restaurants by calling 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463).
You may also be interested to know that with very few exceptions, our
restaurants use only canola oil in the preparation of our food. According to
our Epcot Executive Chef, canola oil contains the lowest percentage of saturated
fat of all the commonly used cooking oils. Peanut oil, however, is used in our
restaurants featuring oriental cuisine, because of its higher smoke point. This
is an important consideration for items being stir-fried, for example, as other
oils tend to burn when used at such high temperatures.
If you have specific inquiries or would like recommendations regarding the food
served at the park restaurants, you are welcome to call the executive chefs or
Food and Beverage managers for our theme parks, at the telephone numbers listed
below. If no one is immediately available when you call, please be sure to
leave a message and a telephone number where you may be reached.
Magic Kingdom Park: 407-824-5967
Epcot: 407-560-7942
Disney-MGM Studios: 407-560-1347
Disney's Animal Kingdom: 407-939-7536 (Please note Walt Disney World Co operates
no full-service restaurants in this park.)
We would also like to mention that as an exception to our standard policy,
guests who have specific food allergies are welcome to bring their own small
snack items with them into the theme parks. However, picnic baskets, ice
chests, and coolers are not permitted.
We hope this information is helpful, and we look forward to future opportunities
to entertain you.
If you have questions or need further assistance, feel free to contact us.
Please include your full name, E-Mail address, and reservation number if
applicable on all correspondence.
Thank you!
Sincerely,
Gail Williams
Online Guest Service
WALT DISNEY WORLD
P.O. Box 10100
Lake Buena Vista FL 32830-0100

Posted on: Fri, 09/27/2002 - 2:32am
lsmom's picture
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Joined: 07/05/2002 - 09:00

Several years ago we stayed at the Disney Institute which is on the Disney property with bus service to the parks. We had a two room suite with kitchenette (fridge, microwave, sink and coffee pot) and could even order groceries from room service. The Institute is not unfriendly to children but is not quite as kid oriented as the rest of Disney.

Posted on: Fri, 09/27/2002 - 3:35am
Klutzi's picture
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Joined: 03/10/2002 - 09:00

Hi,
Just thought I'd add a link for a website that has all the info about WDW that you would want, plus a page on food allergies at WDW. This link is to the food allergy page, [url="http://wdwig.com/guestfood.htm"]http://wdwig.com/guestfood.htm[/url] .
This website will also tell you what is open & what is not plus they have a list of all restaurants & their menus.
Lea (mom to Jamie- 2 1/2 - PA & TNA)

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