Eating at Walt Disney World With Multiple Food Allergies- Part 2
Quick Service Dining
Golden Tip Number 1:
Talk to a chef before fretting over menu options.
Instead of trying to modify existing menu items, immediately inform a worker there that you need to speak to a chef about food allergies. They will happily (this was the case in EVERY place we went) find a chef promptly to help you find a meal that works for you.
Quick service restaurants that we visited on our trip:
We ate at the Conptemo Café (located in the Contemporary hotel) three different times, the first time being our first experience with Disney dining. We were not disappointed! The chef who was working that afternoon came out with paper in hand. She asked me the food allergies/restrictions our party had, asked what my son liked to eat, and went to the kitchen to make sure of a few ingredients. She brought back a folder of different foods and their ingredients to make sure that the bun she had in mind for my son’s hamburger would work. She took her job seriously and wanted us to be pleased with our meals. The anxious feelings of, “Are we going to worry about our meals all week?” started to fade. Specifically, our son had a combination of 28 food allergies and intolerances, we were amazed that they could make it work. For me, it started to feel like a vacation. Yes, I still had to navigate the process of ordering, but I didn’t have to shop, prepare, and make any meals for a week.
What we ate: The vegetarians in our party enjoyed the Cobb salad. The menu says it has chicken on the salad but you can order it without the chicken. The salad comes with an avocado dressing which wasn’t too flavorful but there are more dressings that you can pick up to add to it.
I ordered the veggie curry dish one evening which was quite yummy. For dinner one day the chef asked me what my son might like that he hadn’t had yet in the week. He (the chef) mentioned he had some breaded chicken tenders he could make. I thought for sure they would have something in the batter he couldn’t eat. But sure enough after looking over the ingredients they didn’t. My son loved them and I loved that the chef cared so much to make him happy. As far as breakfast, they made special gluten-free, dairy free Mickey shaped waffles for my son and me. I believe they were made from a tapioca flour blend. They were pretty good and of course very cute.
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe- located in Tommorowland
What we ate: This was at the end of the day and we were all tired. The chef was accommodating and ordered my son a hamburger with a gluten free, dairy free bun. He had apple slice and carrots on the side. I ordered a salad, a toasted bun with butter, and fries (which cancelled out the healthy salad!). For dessert I got a GF chocolate chip cookie.
Tip: If you sit in the lower area near Ray (the singing, piano playing dinosaur) it is loud, especially after a long day of being over stimulated. Although the food was good, it probably would have been better in a different seating area. Plus, my son did not like Ray and was scared of him.
Pinocchio Village- located in Fantasyland
What we ate: Greek salad for the vegetarians with fresh mozzarella balls and a cup of tomato basil soup. Yummy and didn’t give us that I -can’t -believe –I- just- ate -that feeling! For my son, I had mentioned to the chef that my son enjoyed the chicken tenders at the Contempo café. The chef said they didn’t have those at their restaurant but would check to see if a close restaurant did. She came to our table to tell me that a restaurant across the park had them in their freezer and they would make them and run them across the park to us. WHAT? That is what I call service. There are other things he could have eaten but they went out of their way to please us. When delivering us the chicken tenders there was a generous amount along with applesauce and carrot sticks. Again, my son was happy. Way to go Pinocchio!
Tip: We ate outside which seemed to be less crowded and noisy. Send someone in your party to scout out a table and save one while the other orders.
Pizzasafari: There is plenty of seating in this restaurant, but since it was December and shorts weather we sat outside.
What we ate: For my son they had a GF crust that did not have potato starch in it. They did not have a dairy free, soy free, cheese so I had them put sauce on it along with pepperoni. For him that was close enough. He didn’t even question the cheese not being there. For myself I ordered an Amy’s brand gluten-free cheese pizza and had them add grilled veggies on top. Unfortunately, by the time I sat down it was cold. This was due to my own indecisiveness. At first I ordered my son something else (I can’t remember now) but then realized that everyone else was ordering pizza. How torturous would it be for him to watch us eat pizza when it is his favorite food? So I changed the order. The problem was mine sat there while waiting on his. Wish I would have eaten it while standing and waiting for his.
Tip: Know your options fully before ordering and don’t feel rushed about the crowds behind you.
Next week is part 3- Table Service Dining at Disney World.