Dining is a huge part of a Disney vacation and there are so many different dining options throughout the parks and resorts. Many of us don’t give the ingredient list any thought, but for some making sure that a dish doesn’t contain certain ingredients can literally mean the difference between life and death. For those that find themselves living this way, know that you can enjoy Disney dining just like anyone else! That’s right, Disney goes above and beyond when it comes to serving those with food allergies.
Today we’re going to talk about the top ten table service experiences for those with food allergies at Disney World. If you missed my Quick Service article check it our here.
When you make a table service reservation be sure to fill out and list your allergies in the special requests section online or have the cast member make note of them if you are making your reservations over the phone.
Disney recommends that those with food allergies contact the dietary service department before your trip to the Disney World Resort to ensure that your needs are met. You can contact them by emailing Special.Diets@DisneyWorld.com at least 14 days in advance. You should get a response within two days which will include the Guest Allergy Dietary Request form. Guests are asked to fill out this form so that the culinary team can know in advance what will need to be done. This makes it so that that Disney can order any specialty ingredients or already made products or mixes so that they are available when you arrive.
Once you arrive to Disney World it is recommended that you speak with the restaurant manager and/or chef upon arrival at each restaurant, this will help to make your dining experience safe and enjoyable. Many chefs are able change menu items so that they meet your needs. Also, in many cases chefs will go out of their way to prefer something specifically for you. Keep in mind that each and every experience will be slightly different.
I will personally be taking part in all of this at the end of this year for my extended family trip! My younger sister has over 30 food allergies – but from what I have read and heard, she will have a feast available to her at Disney!
Now, onto the list…
- Be Our Guest – Dinner in Beast’s castle is table service while breakfast and lunch are quick service, and all three meals are allergy friendly. At breakfast and lunch there is an allergy menu available on the kiosks, this will let you know what ingredients are in each dish as well as provide you with options that will work for you. Can’t eat anything on those menus, don’t worry, Be Our Guest has a scratch kitchen so the chef will be able to provide you with a filling meal. The desserts that are available at lunch and dinner will depend on your specific allergies. For those that only need avoid tree nuts, you will be brought a cupcake without the chocolate pearls – the pearls are not made onsite and therefore have a chance of cross contamination. If you need to avoid eggs, gluten, or dairy you will mostly likely end up enjoying a delicious sorbet. Not matter what you will not be disappointed with a meal at Be Our Guest.
- Crystal Palace – At Crystal Palace everyone can dine with Winnie the Pooh and Friends for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. At three meals are served buffet style, and the chef will walk you through the buffet letting you know what you can and cannot eat based on your respective allergies. If there’s nothing that you can eat on the buffet, either because everything contains ingredients you simply cannot eat, or because you feel that dishes that you could eat are too close to dishes that you can’t and there could be cross contamination, the chef with bring you something from the back or make you something fresh. The only certain here could be allergens on chair or characters, so be sure to wipe down your chairs before you sit down and even yourself after meeting characters.
- Teppan Edo – This is a great experience, especially if you don’t have a Hibachi in your hometown. When it comes to allergies Teppan Edo is incredibly accommodating – on most occasions you can expect both the manager and the chef to discuss your requirements with you, after all, the chef prepares the food right in front of you. Those will allergies will have their food prepared first on a clean grill to avoid cross contamination, or you can request that your food be prepared in the back for you. Sauces are a large part of Japanese cuisine, but don’t worry, the chefs know exactly what is in each sauce and will only place those that you can have in front of you.
- Tusker House – This buffet offers diners the opportunity to meet and eat with Safari Donald and his friends! With it being a buffet there are tons of options for all three meals of the day. The chef will walk your through the buffet to let you know what you can and cannot eat. Chefs will also prepare something or bring something fresh from the back for you so that there is no chance of cross contamination and so that everyone can have something to enjoy.
- Le Cellier – This is a small and beautiful steakhouse in the Canada Pavilion at Epcot. The fact that it is a steakhouse makes it so that most of the main course as safe for most, except for if the steaks are topped with butter. (You might think it’s weird, but it is possible to be allergic to meat, but my sister is allergic to most meats that aren’t considered wild game.) Back to the task at hand. Chefs will work with you to make it so that there is something for everyone to enjoy! It is a signature dining experience, and because of this the chefs will go above and beyond even more than at regular Disney dining experiences.
- Kona Cafe – Kona is located on the second floor of the Ceremonial House at the Polynesian Resort. What are you hungry for? The chef will most probably find a way to make it so that you can enjoy it! Most things, especially at breakfast, including pancakes and French toast, can be found in a gluten free option. Dine in a beautiful setting and on Polynesian inspired cuisine without having to worry about whether or not your food is safe for you to eat.
- Yak & Yeti Restaurant – You can find The Yak and Yeti on the second floor in the Asia section of Animal Kingdom. This is another Asian restaurant, and Asian cuisine is known for involving peanuts, but don’t worry if this is one of your allergies chefs can work to make something special for you! The star here is the allergy friendly lettuce wraps. At this to the list for your next day at Animal Kingdom.
- Hoop Dee Doo Review – This is one of my favorite dining experiences on Disney property – it’s dinner and a show! I personally think that the best way to start of this experience is by coming to Fort Wilderness by boat. Once you are seated inside Pioneer Hall the chef will discuss with you what you can and cannot eat from what is regularly served. Don’t worry, they’ll be happy to prepare something special for you if need be, too. One of the best parts of the evening is the strawberry shortcake for dessert. If you can’t tolerate dairy, you can still enjoy a fresh and delicious strawberry dessert.
- Jiko – Journey to Jiko, the Cooking Place, at Animal Kingdom Lodge for a sunset dinner on the Savannah. The lighting inside the restaurants changes over the course of the evening to mimic the setting sun. From a food perspective there is lots to choose from, even for those with allergies. If you do your prep work, and make arrangements in advance, some of your meal may even be prepared already for you upon arrival. Be sure to speak with the chef still, safety should always be top priority. If there isn’t something already on the menu that you can eat the chef will modify a menu item or create something new for you if need be!
- The Wave… of American Flavors – The Wave is located inside the Contemporary Resort and is a restaurant that is often overlooked. You should not overlook this one if you have food allergies. Just like in most if not all of the other restaurants on property, the chefs here will make it so that you are able to have a meal that you can enjoy without worry. The menu here is extensive for all three meals of the day – at breakfast there is the option of ordering from the menu or going to the buffet, you may even be able to have something straight from the menu, perhaps with slight modifications, if you don’t have too many allergies. Of course, in order to make sure that you are satisfied the chefs will prepare something fresh for you to enjoy as well.
Do you have food allergies and have dined at Disney? Let us know about your experiences in the comments!
My name is Miriya Whitaker, I am a travel agent with World of Magic Travel, a writer for Chip and Co and Disney Addicts, and I would be happy to help you figure out restaurants are best for your family’s dining needs and to help you plan a magical vacation for the whole family. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to start planning and find out what characters you can meet on your trip. Also, follow me on Facebook for more Disney and travel information.