Walt Disney World is one of the best places to visit if you have food allergies or intolerances. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts has received a FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) Award. The award was given for Disney providing a safe and enjoyable dining experience. Our guide provides essential information if you have food allergies and visiting Walt Disney World.
How good is Walt Disney World at catering to Food Allergies & Intolerances?
Yes, Disney received a FARE award, but is it really good at catering to Food Allergies & Intolerances? The simple answer is YES, but it isn’t as good as it was pre-2020.
Since Walt Disney World reopened, menu options in most venues have been significantly reduced. You can still get good, safe food, but don’t expect more than one or two options.
In addition, while you still have the option to consult with a chef or a special diets-trained Cast Member, this isn’t routinely offered like it was several years back.
So, Walt Disney World isn’t as good at dealing with food allergies as it was a few years back, but you can still guarantee safe meals. In comparison to Disneyland Paris, it remains lightyears ahead.
Walt Disney World with Food Allergies & Intolerances The Basics
The majority of Walt Disney World restaurants and quick-service locations can accommodate the following common food allergies & intolerances without any notice:
- Tree nuts
Disney will also do their best to accommodate you if you need meals made without food or ingredients that are not one of the most common allergies the Food and Drug Administration considers most common.
- Made without gluten
- Made without lactose
- Made without corn
- Made without citrus
- Made without nightshades
- Made without MSG
Most table-service and quick-service restaurant locations have allergy-friendly menus or allergy guides available. Special kid options will also be available.
Also, you can consult with a chef or special diets-trained Cast Member before selecting. Although you may need to ask, don’t expect it to be offered.
Is dining at Walt Disney World with food allergies easy?
Yes, at most locations, it is easy. The majority of cast members are well-informed and will accommodate your needs.
However, not all non-Disney-operated restaurants have a dedicated allergy-friendly menu. This is especially true in EPCOT and Disney Springs. Despite this, most restaurants are happy to alter dishes to meet your needs. However, if you have specific demands, always check in advance. As an example, Via Napoli does not do Gluten Free Pizza.
Unfortunately, we have witnessed, on occasion, poor service. This seems to be most common in quick-service locations. An example was at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie, in the France Pavilion at EPCOT. We requested a meal without dairy, and the cast member removed the cheese from an already-made sandwich. Not disastrous in our case, but it could be.
Are allergy-friendly meals good quality at Walt Disney World
If you have ever visited Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney World’s meals are significantly better quality! However, that does not mean things are perfect.
Who would have expected that the fried chicken served to all guests at Jungle Skipper Canteen is gluten-free? Or the gluten-free onion rings at Raglan Road taste better than regular ones.
As is often the case, guests with food allergies will find dessert selections more limited.
Also, at specific locations, allergy-friendly plates will be served. Previously, at Artist Point, special appetizers and desserts are served, but they appeared to be an allergy plate that covered all possible allergies. One of the desserts we all thought was disgusting and the rest tasteless.
Disney will ask about allergies when booking Advanced Dining Reservations, but they can accommodate the most common allergies on the day without prior notice.
Your server will ask about allergies before taking your order, but in the rare event, they forget to ask, make them aware. You also have the opportunity to consult with a chef or special diets-trained Cast Member if required.
A list of suitable menu items will be provided upon your arrival. However, a chef or specially trained cast member can walk through the buffet with you. If there are no suitable dishes, a special meal will usually be prepared dependent on available ingredients.
At Quick-Service locations, you should discuss with a server your needs. If you are uncertain, ask to speak to a chef or manager.
If using Mobile Ordering to arrange your quick-service meal, most allergy-friendly meals can be arranged through the app.
At snack locations, cast members usually have a book with information about allergens in the products they sell. Cast members will not be experts in these locations but will have access to the most common information.
Increasingly many of us make lifestyle choices on what we choose to eat. Disney is happy to accommodate the following requests with no advance notice:
- Smaller portions
- Plant-based options
If your diet isn’t mentioned above, Disney is still likely to be able to accommodate.
All major quick-service and table-service locations at Walt Disney World now serve plant-based options.
Metabolic & Multiple Food Allergies
Guests with metabolic disorders, less common allergies, and multiple food allergies are encouraged to contact Special.Diets@disneyworld.com 14 days before arrival. Disney requests that you don’t contact them any sooner than 14 days prior to your arrival.
Bringing your own food into the parks
Guests with food allergies and intolerance can bring food items into the park. At security points, you should highlight this to cast members.
Cast Members are prohibited from storing, preparing, cooking, or reheating any food guests bring.
Medication for allergies
Hopefully, you will not need them, but you can bring EpiPens, antihistamines, and asthma medications into the theme parks and water parks.
In addition, EpiPens are available at first aid stations and are indicated on park maps.
In addition to food allergies, Kosher and Halal meals are available at most locations with 24 hours’ notice by calling (407) WDW-DINE.
However, a number of venues, including most Disney Resort Restaurants, can now cater Kosher and Halal meals without notice. Check the Walt Disney World website or My Disney Experience for further information. We would always recommend checking in advance.
Guests with food allergies should note the following advice from the WDW website:
We use reasonable efforts in our food preparation and handling procedures to avoid the introduction of the most common allergens into your menu choices. While we take steps to prevent cross-contact, we do not have separate allergy-friendly kitchens and are unable to guarantee that a menu item is completely free of allergens.
Additionally, allergy-friendly offerings are reliant on supplier ingredient labels, and we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the contents of each food item. Allergen advisory statements (e.g., “may contain”) are not regulated and therefore not taken into consideration when developing allergy-friendly meals. It is ultimately up to your discretion to make an informed choice based upon your individual dietary needs.Walt Disney World
Our Beginners Guide to Walt Disney World is a great place to start planning your trip.
Visit our guide to learn more about Dining at Walt Disney World
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