Just a few years back I was struggling with a food allergy (to dairy). It made eating out miserable if not impossible at times. I was so nervous for my first trip to Disney World after getting the news about my new allergy. What if I got sick? Would there even be any food I want to eat? What if they couldn’t cook anything for me at all? Well let me tell you, it is a joy to eat at Disney when you have any sort of food allergies or dietary restrictions.
Disney goes above and beyond to serve those who have any dietary restrictions. They will not force you to stick to the menu and are happy to cook you whatever you like in the kitchen.
What to Expect When Dining with an Allergy
Quick Service Dining
Look for a cast member when you enter a quick service location and ask for an allergy menu. This is a recent change that I am very happy about. It used to be you had to wait for a manager to put in an order it always took 10 minutes for someone to come out and help you and find out what you can eat. It was a long process, to say the least, but now the whole process is vastly improved.
Once you put in your order, expect it to take longer than normal. Your food is being made just for you, and away from any contaminants. I think the perk of waiting is that your food is always nice and fresh when it comes out. AKA no cold french fries!
Sit Down Restaurant
The first step is to alert Disney of your allergy when you reserve your reservation at a Disney dining location. There is a checkbox right before you confirm where you can specify your exact allergy. Then when you check in at your dining location be sure to remind them again of your allergy. They typically will beat you to the punch and as again when you check in. Lastly, your server will follow up with a confirmation of your allergy and let you know that the chef will be out to go over your food options.
At this point, most restaurants have their own dedicated food allergy menu. It covers all the menu items that are best suited for allergies and it calls out which ones. My number one recommendation though is to look over the regular menu items as well. Often times there are things on the regular menu they can modify so you can still enjoy it. For me, I could often enjoy the steak if they just removed the butter sauce that was on it.
Best Disney Restaurants for those with a Food Allergy
This truly depends on what your allergy is! If you have a dairy allergy like me places like Sanaa, Kona Cafe, and Teppan Edo were my favorite. I avoided all the Italian places because I just didn’t enjoy that style of food if I couldn’t have the cheese (cheese-less pizza is no fun!). However, if you have a shellfish allergy all these places are great options and instead you would avoid Cape May, a dominate shellfish buffet.
Erin McKenna’s Bakery at Disney Springs is your allergy desert destination.
If you are looking for recommendations, never hesitate to reach out to us and ask! We are always here to help you make your vacation as magical as possible!
One more important note before you head off on your next Disney vacation. If you have multiple food allergies, unusual food allergies, or are worried about anything related to your allergy please contact Disney! They have a special department designed to handle all of your needs. Disney recommends you contact them at least two weeks prior to your trip and you can find out all the detail on how to do so here.
I have been visiting the parks annually since my parents first brought me at just a year old. Recently I was able to fulfill my life long dream of being a Florida local and moved from the wintery Northeast to the sunshine and fun of central Florida. Now I am hoping to share my Disney knowledge with you so you can have the best vacation possible!