Our family is planning a trip to Disney World early in 2000. We are driving down, so flying is not a concern. However, we are concerned about the food issue in Disneyworld, since my son is severely PA. Does anyone have any experience with Disney? Where are safe places to eat/stay? Are there hidden dangers (i.e., peanut traces in theme parks, etc?) Any insight and suggestions will be sincerely appreciated. I haven't been there since I was a child, so feel free to offer "basic information". Thanks!!
On Dec 5, 1999
We went to Disney Florida in May, and had really good experiences in the parks, including Universal Studios. Its a good thing you are driving, because our flight experience was not good. I will warn you that we stayed at Dixie Landings inside the parks, and the food court there had lots of peanut products. We ended up eating in the full service restaurant there because it was peanut free. The downside to that was that it was much more expensive than the food court. We also had good luck with the restaurants right outside of Disney (Red Lobster, Chili's, etc.) who said that they were asked all of the time about peanut products served because of peanut allergy, and assured us they were peanut free. All in all, we had a great trip, but watch out for the food courts in your hotel. Have fun.
On Dec 6, 1999
We also went to Disney this past May and had GREAT experiences. Peanuts/peanut oil were not any issue anywhere for us--we had more problems with the egg allergy. I called Disney ahead of time and let them know where I planned to eat and they went through ingredients with me. I found that none of the basic foods for kids were cooked in or with peanut products. Some of the counter service restaurants to offer PB&J sandwiches so if you go to one of those just let the server know so that your child's food can be prepared away from the PB&J area. Disney does a great job with food allergies and you can really feel safe there. Christine
On Dec 6, 1999
Disney was rated # 1 by Food Allergy Network for the great way they handle food allergies.
On Jan 9, 2000
My family were there last February. We found that Disney serves PB&J at the fast food counters; therefore the eating areas around these counters were off limits; which meant we had to eat in the more expensive full-service restaurants on-site.
One cautionary note, there was one restaurant where they served potato chips onto the plates, but the chips came from a bulk container which did not have the ingredients listed - so peanut oil could not be ruled out. We mentioned that that could be a problem for us, and the staff was very sympathetic and gave us individual bags of chips instead.
On Jan 12, 2000
have you done a search yet on the boards for more information - we talked extensively about disney just a few months back - I remember telephone numbers to disney were posted
On Jan 13, 2000
Hi, We had a wonderful expierance at Disney, and you can call them ahead of time to ask questions. If you give them the dates that you are traveling and where you think you will be eating the chef will even be waiting for you :-) What a great place. We were treated very well, the staff was very careful and conciderate and did not rush us or make us feel as though we were taking up to much of their time. We also lost our sons medical bag with epi and nebulizer, he also has asthma, they were so fast in locating it for us, (hubby thought I had it I thought he had it). Hope you have a great expierace too. Have a great time and Stay Safe :-)
On Feb 8, 2000
A word of caution about Disney FL that is outdated. We visited in Nov 1997 with our peanut-allergic son. He is extremely sensitive to the smell. The special luau dinner at the Polynesian was frightening. Although it is not "indoors," it is served under a roof of sorts, open on all sides. When we arrived, the tables were all set with the first course: salad with a peanut sauce. The peanut smell was overwhelming. Unfortunately, this was a month before his allergy tests and getting his first Epi. We rushed him out and gave him Benedryl, and he was fine. Sorry if this issue has been posted before, but I just found this board today.
On Feb 10, 2000
I tried to post this under "Travel - where to stay in Disney" but had problems so I'm adding to this topic already started.
We're going to Disney in October and want to stay somewhere in Disney. My older son Ben has dairy allergy and Kevin (almost 2) has peanut, egg, and dairy. I've read alot of the posts about Disney and heard egg allergy may be a bit of a challenge. I'm wondering if we should get a place with a kitchen. My son's normally eat cheerios, kix or oatmeal with soymilk in the morning? Is soy milk sold in the grocery stores or served at the restaurants? What did kids with multiple allergies eat for lunch? Did you check whether breads and buns contained milk? I have phone numbers of all the chefs that were posted and will call for more detail later but am just trying to figure out whether I need a kitchen right now. I apologize if this involes discussion of milk and egg allergy as well but I'm not sure where else to ask.
On Feb 10, 2000
Marietta, My son is peanut and egg allergic. You are right in that the egg allergy is more of a challenge. We did not stay at a hotel with a kitchen and we ate every meal out. I always went to a breakfast buffet and there was plenty for my son to eat. When I didn't go to a buffet (such as breakfast at Cinderella's castle) I called ahead and the chef prepared my son some egg-free pancakes which he REALLY appreciated. Prior to going on my trip, I checked with DW to determine where chicken fingers might contain egg ('Ohanas at the Polynesian did) but not all places do. The fried chicken at the Hoop Dee Do Review contained egg, so they prepared baked chicken for him instead. Other than that, these were not much of a problem. Some of the breads and buns do contain egg--you must call ahead. My best advice--become a "Disney Nut", log onto [url="http://www.disneyinfo.com,"]www.disneyinfo.com,[/url] read the resort/restaurant boards, decide where you are going to eat before you go, and then get it all pre-arranged. It sounds like a hassle, but you know, it was such a relief when we got there not to have to think about where to eat. I had a very good itinerary set up on a spreadsheet and I went from there. It worked out quite beautifully! Christine
On Feb 10, 2000
Marietta, I will try this again. About 30 minutes ago, I posted a response and it hasn't shown up. My son is peanut and egg allergic. You were right in that the egg allergy was more challenging. My best advice to you would be to log onto [url="http://www.disneyinfo.com"]www.disneyinfo.com[/url] and research the resorts/restaurants message board. Of all the on-site Disney restaurants, pick where you want to eat and marry those establishments up with the parks you will be visiting on each day. I had *quite* an itinerary before I left. It was a big hassle prior to leaving but it was very nice once we got there because I didn't have to think for a minute about what I was doing or where I was eating. Every Disney restaurant is different. Some have breads with eggs, some don't. Some restaurants' chicken fingers have egg in the batter, some don't. You must call ahead to each restaurant to find out. It sounds hard but fortunately Disney is so darn nice about it that it is almost pleasurable!! I can tell you that the chicken fingers at 'Ohana have egg in the batter. The fried chicken at the Hoop Dee Doo Review has egg in the batter. All the restaurants will either make the same food for you without egg or they will offer up an acceptable, allergy-free substitute. For breakfast, we mostly hit the character breakfast buffets at the hotel. There were plenty of non-egg items for my son. One morning we had breakfast at Cinderella's castle which is not a buffet and you get pre-plated food. I explained my son's allergy to the chef and he went back and made him some egg-free pancakes which my son just LOVED. I never saw where soy milk was available, but this is something you may want to inquire about. I did not see it for sale at any of the hotel refreshment stores either. You could rent a refrigerator in your hotel room and keep some soy milk in there and then carry a smaller portion to the restaurant with you. I have heard that the Boardwalk Villas (if you must stay on-site) offer suites with kitchens. I have heard many people say that the Boardwalk Villas are the best "deal" on Disney property for the money. I don't think they are cheap, but for the space you get, location, and the kitchen factor, they turn out to be well worth the money. Christine
On Feb 13, 2000
Christine, Thanks for going to the trouble of posting twice. I think we're going to try to go kitchen free and rent a refrigerator for the soy milk. I think I will do lots of calling ahead also to restaurants in areas we plan to see. We've planned our trip to coincide with with my son's best friend's family. They are aware and very understanding of my sons' allergies but I want to be able to be flexible with what they want to do. From what you and everyone else says, I'm sure we will be able to have a fun time.
Thanks for all the info, Marietta
On Feb 17, 2000
Hi Marietta, I realize you said you were probably going the kitchen-free route, but wanted to let you know about a great hotel we stay at near Disney. It is a Marriot Residence Inn at Lake Buena Vista. They have one and two bedroom 'apartments'. In both types one room has two queen beds. All living rooms have a pull out sofa as well. We really enjoy staying there and have met up with friends with their families there. Each apartment also has two tvs, one with a vcr so we bring a couple of the kids' favorite videos. They have a great pool, too. It is cheaper than staying on Disney property and very close to a ton of restaurants. Also, there is a grocery store nearby called Goodings that will probably have a good selection of soy milk and products. If you decide you want any more info that I can help you with, let me know.