Great Disney-Allergy Experience

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Just got back from 4 days at disney and I was so impressed with how we were able to eat at Disney, despite my daughters mutiple allergies (peanuts, soy, beans, peas). We stayed at the Wildnerness lodge and ate a number of times at the restuarant there. The chef came to our table and was very helpful. We also did a character breakfast at Cinderella's castle, MGM, and Animal Kingdom...all without any problems. I didn't think it was going to be possible. I was very pleased. Hard to find snacks within the park, however. We ended up eating a lot of chips since thye were labeled and were "safe".

On Nov 11, 2002

Thanks so much for posting this. Is this anywhere near the Polynesian Village? We're 100% set on where we'll stay, but it's great to know about the safe eating places.

On Nov 12, 2002

I know you didn't ask me but...

The Wilderness Lodge is not near the P. Village. The Village is near the Grand Floridian and the Contemporary.

On Nov 14, 2002

Chicago - thanks for the post - I figure the P.village isn't going to be the safe place to eat (been there before, food excellent but not for p.a. kids that I remember). We loved the P.Village last time (entertainment, etc.) so really want to stay there with Syd this time around).

On Dec 28, 2002

We also had a positive experience at Disney recently. If you call ahead, you can make all of your dinner reservations. That will put the allergy on record with the chef and they will keep the kitchen safe. They will also tell you the resteraunts to avoid (they have several that keep peanuts on the tables). It was recommended not to eat at any of the fast food places. A backpack with frozen drinks kept our sandwiches cold until lunch, not mention saving a pile of money!

On Dec 29, 2002

Which park did they say not to eat at the fast food stands? I called Disney, well, about 2 years ago and they said in the Magic Kingdom the fast food stands did not use peanut oil or any peanut / tree nuts. I thought that was encouraging. I seem to remember that there is a fast food place near space mountain that is large and circular that seemed to not serve any nuts. We have been thinking of going with our kids maybe this spring or summer but haven't been able to do my research yet. I thought it would be easy having the fast food stands to rely on, did they say why you should not eat there? thanks

On Jan 2, 2003

We were there a few years back, and had no trouble with any of the fast food (burger, chicken nuggets) type restaurants. There is a McDonald's at the Animal Kingdom that we got kid's meals at and we ate at others through out the park with no problems. Of course, we did ask about the oil, etc. and took no chances in eating any where they served any nut or nut products.

On Jan 2, 2003

We were planning on MGM, Magic Kingdom, Blizzard park, and Epcot. The person that took our dinner reservations told me that they would not guarentee the fast food type places. I didn't go into any more detail as far as which ones. Honestly, we did go to some for drinks and other things (not for my son) and they were clean and well organized. Being on vacation, I just took the statement as a "may contain" and avoided all of them.

On Jan 15, 2003

We've been to WDW 11 times. They are very allergy aware.

We always eat in sitdown restaurants, and try to make reservations ahead of time so the chef can be prepared. At the buffets (Cape May, Chef Mickeys) we are usually told to avoid the baked goods, because they aren't baked there so they can't guarantee the safety.

The hardest place to eat with PA is Boma in Animal Kingdom Lodge. When the chef toured me through the buffet (the chef will ALWAYs come out and talk to you if you warn the restaurant about your PA), it seemed like half the dishes had some peanut product in them. So the chef sat down with my then-2 1/2 year old, found out what he liked to eat best, and went in the kitchen and made it. It was dinner time, but the chef fired up the waffle iron, made a fresh batch of waffle batter and cooked waffles. When he heard my son liked sausages, he made both links and patties. He was amazing!

I can't rave enough about Disney. They are so aware of the potential for cross contamination.

We didn't eat the snack food from the carts. I didn't think it was worth the risk of possible contamination.

Disney is such a huge place, and feeds so many people, that I am sure there must be some "incidents". But I feel safer eating out there than anywhere else, including at friends' houses.

On Jan 28, 2003

When we went to Six Flags over the summer I had to turn over my pepper spray. They never even looked inside the little "epi kit" that we brought. I was wondering, do you need to inform Disney that you are carrying an epi-pen into the park?

On Jan 28, 2003

Good question whether bag search security will have a problem with the epi-pen. Last June, and again in November, they hardly seemed to notice anything, other than to bum a few snacks off us. I will email Disney and ask...and post any response.

Jean

On Jan 28, 2003

We've been to Disneyland, CA, many times this past year and they have never said anything about the epipens during the bag searches. Half the time all they do is feel the outside of the bag as they peer into it. I do leave the epipens in the box that they come in so that the prescription info is all there. However, they have never questioned me about the meds nor said anything about the food I bring in. I always bring in food as my son has multiple food allergies.

Also, I called the other day to inquire about paramedics and epinephrine availability. I was told by the registed nurse in the Health Services that there are always 2 paramedics on site at all times and that they do keep epinephrine there. She said that their arrival time is 6 minutes or less.

If you go...watch out while in California Adventure. I noticed that in Bug's Land they sell peanut butter & jelly wraps.

On Jan 29, 2003

Hi, we have taken the kids the last 3 years to Disneyworld. We have never ate at the Disney restaurants. We tried to make a reservation before leaving home. I couldn't get through their line. The restaurant we wanted to eat at was The Whispering Canyon or something like that. Anybody been there? What restaurant would be reccommended? My children are 5, 10, 14. Any suggestions would be appreciated. McDonalds and Burger King get a little old after awhile. This last time we were able to go to Ponderosa. The management walked us through what was safe and unsafe. We thought we were in Paradise. My pa child (10) was amazed that someone brought him a drink when his glass got empty. And they took away dirty plates. So, he would really be over the top if we could dine Disney. Thanks,rj

On Jan 29, 2003

Hi, I was going to answer the Epi question. Then I got so excited about dining Disney, I forgot. Sorry, early in the morning here. LOL. We never had any trouble bringing the Epi-pen. They would look at it and pass us through.Thanks,rj.

On Jan 29, 2003

Last year at the College World Series (baseball) they stopped letting people bring in their own food and drinks for security reasons and to cut down on the "crazy college kids" from bringing in alcohol. I had my neighbor ,who is our Ophthomologist, write a note on a prescripton pad stating "Nick is fatally allergic to peanuts. He carries an epi-pen, prednisone and benadryl. He also carries his own food and drink." When Luke (non PA son)and I approched the gate the policeman and woman were eating peanuts. I pointed out which kid was Nick and they put away their peanuts until he went thru the gate. I don't know why tho,everywhere you go at a baseball game there is peanuts. The police had me open his backpack and she looked inside. She didn't want to touch it since she had "peanut residue" on her hands.

We have taken him to several baseball, basketball, hockey and football games using to same note, High School ,College and Professional level. We also took him to Kansas City to Worlds of Fun. Nobody has ever questioned us or not let us take his backpack with us. The food and drink we bring is always unopened until we get inside. We take our own food in the backpack to the movies also. I have the note in there at all times in case someone does question us.

I'll get a new note this year to keep it current less raised eyebrows if it's up to date. Kim

On Jan 29, 2003

We just visited DisneyWorld over the New Year's holiday. We had no problem with the EpiPens during the bag search at the gate. I keep Meggie's Epi's and meds in a 'medicine bag' from FAAN, and her Epi's are in toothbrush holders. Not every time, but some security guards asked to look into the actual medicine bag, others just passed us through. Very friendly guards, always adding some joke or something about what we had in our bags! We even brought in her safe snacks and juice boxes and nobody said anything. They spent more time on the camera case!

On Jan 30, 2003

Got this email today:

Dear Jean,

Thank you for contacting WALT DISNEY WORLD!

You will be able to bring the Epi-pen into our theme parks. For additional details, please inquire upon arrival!

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,

Evelyn Johnson

Online Guest Service WALT DISNEY WORLD P.O. Box 10100 Lake Buena Vista FL 32830-0100

On Mar 13, 2003

We just got back from a vacation at Disneyworld and we couldn't be more pleased with the allergy awareness and treatment there. At every place we ate (all within the Disney parks/resorts), the head chef came out to speak with us. If it was a buffet, the chef walked us through the buffet and pointed out things that we might want to stay away from. The chefs also made a point to tell us that my PA dd's meals would be prepared personally by him/herself just for extra caution. At one restaurant, some of the rolls at the restaurant were made with tree nuts, and the chef brought out piping hot rolls for us that he had made (plain rolls) just for us. It truly is a magical place for a PA person...I only wish we got this treatment in the rest of the world!

On Mar 13, 2003

Yuck2nuts -- So happy to hear about your Disney experience. We will be going for the first time in May. Where did you eat?Did you speak to each chef 24 hrs before your priority reservation? Is there any safe soft-serve ice-cream in the parks?

On Mar 16, 2003

We ate at Mickey's Backyard Barbeque, the Crystal Palace, Tony's Restorante, McDonalds (in Magic Kingdom), Rain Forest Cafe (in Animal Kingdom), and various quick snack places. Having the chef come out seems to be a Disney policy and we got that treatment everywhere we went. Although we did have some priority seating meals, that didn't matter in terms of having the chef come out. All you do is tell your waitress when you first sit down, and they bring the chef out to your table to discuss the menu with you. We did have some soft serve ice cream. I didn't ask any questions because I figured they wouldn't really know its source...but it only came in vanilla and chocolate, so that was within my comfort zone, but it is a personal, comfort zone thing. We stayed at Fort Wilderness and had a full kitchen, so we ate breakfasts in our cabin. Have a great time...it is the best place I've ever been so far for PA (and a lot of fun for everyone too!).

On Mar 18, 2003

My PA son eats the Mickey ear ice cream bars and popsicles with no problem. I just made reservations at an off site resort and got a two bedroom condo with kitchen for $88 per night-- promotion for a new resort. You can also rent Disney points and get Old Key West rooms with kitchenettes for cheaper than full Disney price-- check ebay or disboards.com.

On Mar 18, 2003

We also recently had a safe Disney experience! We celebrated my PA son's bday at Chef Mickey's and he had so many safe food options. They even prepared a nut-free, egg-free chocolate cake for him! I arranged this about 2 weeks ahead of time. It was great!!

On Mar 26, 2003

I've begun calling the food offices at each Disney park to get ready for our upcoming WDW trip.

First I asked about snack food at the Magic Kingdom. I was told: -popcorn is safe (does contain coconut oil) -Mickey bars are NOT safe (Nestle makes them, possible cross contamination) -Itzakadoozies are safe -the icecream shop on Main Street maintains special container of safe ice cream in the back for peanut allergic people. Ask for a manager or chef for access. -Aloha Isle and Sunshine Tree: softserves/whips are safe -all hotdogs and hamburgers and their buns are safe. Tell server about PA. -Casey's is safe. -Cosmic Rays and Plaza Pavilion serve peanut butter. The pizza is safe and kept in separate bag. Tell server. -Turkey legs are safe.

The cart food at all the parks is the same in terms of safety.

Now to call the Animal Kingdom to find out about their counter service, and to start calling the chefs at each restaurant for our 14 PSs. @@

On Mar 26, 2003

Oh, and I forgot to mention that she asked if I carried wipes, because I would need them to wipe down rides and tables, etc. Sounds like Disney is really on top of things.

Jean

On Mar 27, 2003

Ooh, an ice cream cart manager told me the Mickey ears were o.k., but I believe the main Disney food manager. Just hope I can talk my son out of eating them next time since he had about ten last trip.

We got a great rate on a new resort with two bedrooms and a full kitchen just a few miles from Disney property-- $88 per night in October. Each year we make at least one trip to Orlando and it really is a great time.

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