It’s my delight to introduce a guest blogger, Linda McDonald of Life on Summerhill. Linda is a wife, mom, interior designer, blogger, and jack of all trades, no really just ask her! She is married to a man who has a back country slang sense of humor and they have two very active teenage girls. Also in this cute little house on a hill they a strange lookin’ cat named Stinkerbell and their floppy rabbit Eugene Flynn Fitzherbert. She has lived in Florida her entire life…and she just happens to be my Aunt!
Linda writes about home decor, organizing and storage ideas. But recently we traveled to Walt Disney World and I got to experience what it would be like to eat at Disney with a food allergy. So I asked her to write about it so we could share it with all of you, beautiful people.
So without further ado, heeeeeerrrrrreeeee’s Linda!
Traveling and food go together like spaghetti and meatballs unless you have a food allergy. People with allergies don’t always find food to be fun. I learned this several years ago when I kept getting sick and eventually was diagnosed with a gluten and dairy allergy.
On a recent visit to Walt Disney World, we decided to dine at a different restaurant each evening. I must admit that this was so much fun! It allowed us an opportunity to visit different resorts and taste a little bit of that restaurant’s culture or time period.
Believe it or not, eating out is not the pleasure it used to be now that I have a gluten and dairy allergy. I’m usually left eating a salad wherever I go. I typically carry my own salad dressing–which I love, but it also tends to make each salad taste almost exactly the same.
Disney however, brought the fun back into eating! So we want to share a little about our journey, restaurant by restaurant, and how we worked with Disney to make this experience so pleasurable.
Contempo Cafe at Disney’s Contemporary Resort
After just arriving at the futuristic Contemporary Resort we decided to catch a quick evening meal at this cafe. When we arrived we spoke with a server and asked to speak with the kitchen manager regarding our dietary needs. The manager handed me a special menu that was easy to follow. After selecting a hamburger with a gluten/dairy free bun the manager took my order and prepared it separately. The burger was very tasty but I was a little disappointed in the bun which was basically just regular gluten free bread and not a hamburger bun.
Captain Cook’s at Disney’s Polynesian Resort
When we arrived at the South Sea themed cafe we asked an attendant for the allergy menu. It’s was very easy to follow and there were lots of selections. After I made my choice, I gave the attendant my selections and my allergies. She marked my order accordingly and like magic my food showed up just as specified. I chose the Seared Chicken Breast. It came with a red quinoa and edamame salad and warm pineapple sambal. Everything was very fresh, but to my surprise, the red quinoa and edamame were cold and also bland. So I mainly ate the chicken and pineapples.
Territory Lounge at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Lodge
Territory Lounge has a western atmosphere that fits in with the general Pacific Northwest charm of the resort . My dining experience here was a little more complicated. There was no allergy menu and I never spoke with a chef. However, the waiter was a dream! We went through the menu together and he offered to go to another restaurant at the resort to get me a gluten and dairy free bun for my hamburger. I also asked about French fries and he said they weren’t an option because the oil was used for other products that weren’t allergy free. So, I sadly gave up on that thought. Imagine my surprise when my food arrived with French fries! They had emptied a fryer and refilled it with clean oil just for my fries. Talk about feeling really special!!
The Mara at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge
What a fantastic taste of African food! At this restaurant, I asked to see the chef and he came and asked about my allergies. From there he told me what foods are okay to eat. I had the Potjie, which is basically an African stew over rice. It was delicious! I would highly recommend it if you have my allergies.
The Grand Floridian Cafe at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
Well, I saved the best for last! On our last day before coming home, we decided to have brunch at this beautiful Victorian resort. While checking in for our reservation I shared with the hostess that I have allergies. She stopped what she was doing and stamped a receipt with the word allergy in red. After we were seated at this cute little table, they handed me a menu with red lettering below each dish signifying if that item was free of specific allergies. But it even gets better from here! While waiting to order, the restaurant’s chef came out and with typical Disney magic shared with me that I could have gluten and dairy free Mickey waffles!. Wow! I felt like a kid again! So, I did what every full grown mom would do–I ordered those mouse waffles with bacon and ate them all! It was good to the last drop! Yum-yum!
So, overall these last 4 days of dining have been dreamy and delicious!! What are some of your favorite Disney restaurants to eat in? Maybe the next time I go I will give it a try and write another Disney dining food allergy review.