The Walt Disney World Resort is a magical vacation destination that welcomes all! That includes guests who have food allergies. We are exploring everything you need to know about food allergies at Walt Disney World.
In this article, we discuss ways to prepare for your visit to the Walt Disney World Resort if you have food allergies. We explore both quick service and table service dining options and how to ensure your needs are accommodated. In addition, we spoke with agents at Key to the World Travel who shared their own experiences with food allergies at Walt Disney World, including their favorite restaurants.
Please note that this article refers specifically to allergies, not dietary preferences.
Quick Service and Snacks
At the quick service locations throughout the Walt Disney World Resort, there are a few ways to order your food. Upon arrival at the location of your choosing, ask to speak with a cast member regarding your allergy needs. You may receive a physical menu or notebook showing your options.
If you prefer to mobile order, select the “Allergy-Friendly” icon in the My Disney Experience mobile app to see the available options at the restaurant.
If you are looking for a snack, many snack locations have a nutritional book listing all ingredients used in each selection. A cast member can assist you.
In addition, pre-packaged allergy-friendly snacks are available with brands such as Enjoy Life, OMG, and Surf Sweets. Disney now has its own full line of allergy-friendly pre-packaged snacks called Snacks with Character developed in partnership with Enjoy Life and OMG.
When you plan to eat at table service restaurants, there are a few things to do ahead of time. First, when the reservation is booked, there is a place to notate any allergies for guests. This will let cast members know that there is a guest with an allergy. Oftentimes, you will be asked when you are seated who has the allergy. At this point, it is advised to ask to speak with a chef or manager. They are experts on the cooking process and are familiar with each menu item.
Another way to prepare for your visit is to contact the Special Diets department. They are available by phone at (407) 824-5967 or email ([email protected]). Most restaurants also have allergy-friendly menus available online.
If you are attending any of the Disney special events during your vacation, you may be wondering what options are available for guests with allergies.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party has an allergy-friendly Trick or Treat option (such as nut-free, sugar-free, or dairy-free). Guests will receive a special, colored bag to indicate to Cast Members that they have a food allergy. The cast members will give these guests special tokens instead of candy. Simply exchange your tokens at Town Hall for your choice of allergy-friendly treats. They have all ingredients listed and sorted by allergy to make it easier and safer to make selections.
For other special events, such as dessert parties, be sure to note any allergies when the event is booked. You can also contact the Special Diets department.
Although it is possible to notate your allergies online, guests that have certain allergies should always contact the Special Diets department within 14 days of their visit.
- Any allergies that are not listed under the “common” food allergies (the common allergies are considered to be eggs, gluten, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat).
- Guests with PKU (phenylketonuria) or Dysphagia
- Guests with other medically restrictive diets such as those with metabolic disorders
- A single guest with 4 or more allergies or intolerances
- Families with multiple guests with allergies or intolerances within the same party
If your allergy is a contact allergy, wipe down the tables, booths, and chairs with your own wipes upon arrival.
In addition, don’t be afraid to check your food before eating. Ask questions if you are unsure about whether they got it right.
Our Agents Suggest…
We asked some agents from Key to the World Travel to share their own experiences with food allergies at Walt Disney World. They shared their favorite restaurants, favorite food and drinks, and a few more tips to help you navigate.
Courtney Kimbroug, KTTW Travel Advisor
Courtney shared that her allergies include gluten, dairy, egg, potatoes, caramel coloring, and berries.
Her favorite meals include breakfast at Topolino’s Terrace. She shared that, despite not being listed on the menu, the chef prepared gluten-free waffles for her family. She was also offered an egg substitute, which is often difficult to find at restaurants. For lunch or dinner, she had great experiences at Jungle Navigation Co LTD Skipper Canteen and Mama Melrose. At Skipper Canteen, she worked with the chef to adapt the “Taste like Chicken” dish to her needs. At Mama Melrose, they offered allergy-friendly rolls and gluten and dairy-free pizza.
For quick service options and snacks, she enjoyed Flame Tree BBQ at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, breakfast at Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, and Regal Eagle in EPCOT. She also likes the Jabba Juice at Oga’s Cantina in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Courtney also shared her top tips for guests with allergies:
- Always ask to speak with the chef when ordering your food. They will be able to help you navigate the menu, as well as modify dishes to fit your needs.
- Carry a business card with your allergies listed. This is especially the case if you have a longer list of allergies. Chefs will find this helpful and it will ensure that they have everything listed.
- Contact the Special Diets department prior to your trip.
- Most restaurants have allergy-friendly menus listed on Disney’s website. Look at the menus prior to travel and get a general idea of what you would like to eat.
- While exploring the festivals at EPCOT, always communicate your allergies and needs before ordering. When you ask, they typically have a book with ingredients listed.
- Read labels and menus carefully. Be aware that you could be at risk for cross-contamination with some items, as Disney does not count “may contain” instances when they create their allergen warnings.
Amy Shalley, KTTW Advisor
Amy shared the following tips for guests with allergies:
- Don’t hesitate to ask for a chef. If you have multiple allergies or allergens that are not included in the Top 10, this is a must.
- There are more options than listed in the Allergy menus. IF you think that an item on the regular menu can be modified to meet your needs, just ask. Cast members are happy to accommodate when they are able!
- When visiting a quick-service restaurant with multiple or uncommon allergies, skip mobile ordering. Let them know upon arrival that you need to speak with a Cast Member regarding your food allergies. They will show you a list of the ingredients so you can verify safety.
- To navigate EPCOT’s festivals safely with multiple allergies, it’s highly recommended to stop at Guest Services when you arrive at the park. Ask to speak with a Cast Member who can help with food allergy options at the festival’s kitchens. They will arrange to meet with you and go over the menu options in the Festival Guide so that you know which options are safe. If you have common food allergies, you will have more options. Guests with multiple allergies may find that they need to eat at a table service restaurant to fill their bellies.
Susan Schneid, KTTW Advisor
Susan shared her experiences with Celiac Disease at the Walt Disney World Resort. She shared positive experiences with gluten-free options throughout the parks.
- Epcot Festivals have booklets, the festival passports, that include allergy-friendly options by showcasing an orange “G” next to the food item. If you are unable to find the food options ahead of time, grab a passport when you arrive at EPCOT and scroll through it. Some personal favorites include the potato pancakes in Germany and the enchiladas and tacos in Mexico. Mexico often has the most to offer with a gluten allergy because all the items are prepared with corn tortillas versus flour.
- Don’t be afraid to ask if meals can be modified to fit your needs, even if they are not listed on the allergy menu. For example, Mama Melrose and Tony’s Town Square have both been able to prepare pasta that was not specifically on the menu.
If you are heading to Walt Disney World with food allergies, a travel advisor is always a great resource to help you navigate!
Are you considering a trip? This is a great time to plan your perfect vacation! Having a travel advisor means someone there to have your back in any occurrence. There is no additional cost to you and you have peace of mind knowing that your vacation is in good hands. Contact our friends at Key to the World Travel® for a free, no-obligation quote for your next trip. Click here.