Living with a food allergy can be difficult, but travelling with a food allergy can seem downright impossible! Parents of children with allergies often have to worry about a multitude of scenarios when travelling, whether it is lack of options, contamination, or - more generally - ignorance of staff.
When our family travelled to Walt Disney World earlier this month, we were worried about the same things. As a family with many dietary restrictions, we were concerned that we’d have a hard time managing it. We were wonderfully wrong!
Walt Disney World is definitely doable with food allergies. In fact, it’s more than doable; it is actually an amazing place for guests with food allergies.
Here are some suggestions on how to make the most of your allergy-friendly trip to Walt Disney World:
There are a multitude of great online resources that can help you navigate Walt Disney World through the eyes (and mouths) of people with special dietary restrictions. The official Walt Disney World site at www.disneyworld.disney.go.com provides menus for each restaurant in the parks, meaning you can plan ahead as to where you’d like to eat and not have to worry about whether they can accommodate your allergy. Another great site is www.glutenfreedairyfreewdw.com for their top ten lists. They highlight the best restaurants to visit for those with allergies. Your visit to Walt Disney World can be hassle and worry-free as long as you’re willing to invest the time and effort into the planning required.
This one might be controversial for die-hard fans but I think it’s definitely worth considering. There are plenty of great accommodations close to the parks, and it makes your vacation so, so, so much easier. We stayed at the amazing Storybrooke Villas, but your choices are literally limitless. While Walt Disney World offers many places to eat for those with dietary restrictions, we found that the dishes at each restaurant were often the same(ish). If you’re eating only at the parks or resorts, you might find the food to be bland and monotonous. Staying off-site allows you to make your own breakfast, pack snacks of your choice, and simply offers greater food variety than Walt Disney World alone.
Whether you’re staying on-site or off-site, packing snacks allowed us to enjoy the day without having to worry about finding special snack items in the parks. We saved time and money by bringing snacks that we knew our kids would enjoy and that they were accustomed to eating. It also meant less line-ups and that alone made it worth it.
If you don’t know something, just ask. A lot of times, the restaurants don’t always display their special dietary menus, and you might assume they don’t have one. However, we found that as long as we asked, restaurants were able to provide us with options. More often than not, the chef at the park restaurants will come out to speak to you about your allergies and ensure you feel comfortable with your order.
You might never find another travel destination that is as accommodating to food allergies as Walt Disney World! While it is natural to worry, try not to stress too much as you prepare for your trip because chances are, WDW has your allergy covered.
I hope this helps ease your mind about any upcoming Walt Disney World trip you might be planning. Even with food allergies, it really is the happiest place on Earth!