Do you believe in magic?
After a Disney trip full of three course allergy friendly meals, specially prepared + delivered dishes, and safe desserts after safe desserts… We certainly do!
Orlando’s Walt Disney World earned itself a household of loyal customers over twenty five years ago when the parks first took excellent care of my allergy family. From my very first birthday celebration to my twenty first (Drinking around the world anyone?), we fly south every few years to check out the latest and greatest attractions Walt Disney has to offer, surrounded by their exquisite food scene and unrivaled service!
With excellent ingredient labeling on seasonal Christmas confections, and top eight allergen free menu suggestions easily accessible on their app, our latest four-park, five-night stay was sprinkled with a little extra holiday magic while celebrating the 50th anniversary of the most magical place on earth. Bippity bop on through It All Started With A Mouse for a review of All Things Allergies’ Walt Disney World favorites.
- Southwest Airlines: The Disney magic begins with your choice of window seat by pre-boarding a flight with an open seating policy. It’s no secret that I’m a Southwest Airlines enthusiast, so jet on over to New Heights: Flying Safely with Peanut Allergies for the full run down on my travel blog post.
- Magical Express: Is anyone else devastated about Disney discontinuing the Magical Express? As goofy as it sounds, the luxury transportation from the Orlando International Airport to our hotel was always a noteworthy beginning to our family trip. Not to mention how our suitcases magically appeared at our bedsides just hours later?! Ugh, Uber could never.
- Disney’s Beach Club Villas: The Bauder’s are devoted Epcot fans so we try to stay in walking distance from their World Showcase entrance. Aside from their sand bottom pools, Disney’s Beach Club offers an on-site marketplace that resembles a miniature grocery store, carrying everything from grab-and-go snacks and ready-to-eat meals, to cooking essentials and fresh produce. We even spotted Enjoy Life Foods products! The villas also come equipped with a full size kitchen – including stainless steel appliances, fresh cookware, and a dining room – perfect for allergy families who plan to cook their own safe meals.
- Space 220: Blast off into space to experience a meal truly out of this world! Once you receive your Centauri Space Station boarding pass, the intergalactic elevator will rocket your party into a dinner among the stars. Choose from a constellation of favorites like the Big Bang Burrata, Starry Calamari, Galactic Lobster Globe, and the Slow Rotation Short Rib while gazing out into the galaxy!
- Be Our Guest: All roses, no thorns! This Beauty and the Beast inspired restaurant in Magic Kingdom immerses you in the whimsical world of Princess Belle. With the help of Lumiére and Mrs. Potts, enjoy a three course meal from the Beast’s very own peanut free kitchen, which ends with a taste of the Grey Stuff. And yes, it is delicious! Dining inside the castle is a spectacle for adults and children alike; The royal ballroom, where the two shared their first dance, projects the exact snowflake pattern from the original film onto their back windows. Disney never misses!
- Le Cellier: The Bauder family plans their entire Disney vacation around our reservation for Canada’s premier steakhouse in Epcot’s World Showcase; Our trip simply feels incomplete without a meal at the candle lit château. The Canadian cabin warms my heart each time the kitchen delivers my specially prepared meal while announcing “peanut allergy.” If you need me, I’ll be dreaming about the cheddar cheese soup + mushroom risotto until our next visit.
- Liberty Tree Tavern: Another peanut free favorite tucked away in Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square. The cozy colonial style cottage serves an all-you-care-to-enjoy family style feast complete with roasted turkey breast, mashed potatoes, herb stuffing, and house made macaronic and cheese. This reflection of history is bound to make our founding fathers proud!
- Woody’s Lunchbox: Howdy partner! Round up your crew and feel like a kid again at Woody’s Lunchbox. Even on a muggy Florida afternoon, I’m never saying no to the three cheese grilled cheese and tomato basil soup. Gluten free + allergy friendly bread is available upon request for wheat, soy, and egg allergies, plus plant based “cheddar” and tater tots can be substituted for milk allergies.
- Sunshine Seasons: In the World Nature pavilion alongside Soarin’ lies Sunshine Seasons, the café offering fresh produce right from Walt Disney World’s greenhouses. The U.S. Department of Agriculture teamed up with Disney to research organic + sustainable farming practices, and Living with the Land offers you a front row seat into magic. Take the boat ride journey after lunch to see just where your meal came from!
- Lotus Blossom Café: With a history of peanut, tree nut, and shellfish allergies, we never gave the restaurants at Epcot’s Chinese Pavilion a second glance. But after several successful food challenges, my boyfriend encouraged us to give the Lotus Blossom Café a try. Because the staff immediately and confidently knew they used soybean oil, we split chicken fried rice and egg rolls for an afternoon snack. Additional allergen information is listed on their virtual menu, accessible through Disney Magic Mobile.
- Flame Tree Barbecue: Let’s be honest… My family has been notoriously disappointed in Animal Kingdom’s food scene. Despite our love for Expedition Everest and The Tree of Life, their lack of appetizing and allergy friendly dining options often put this park on our skip list – Until now! The redesigned Disney World app challenged our preconceived notions with the addition of the mobile food ordering. Instead of wasting time in line, we placed an online order at Flame Tree Barbecue while exploring Avatar’s Pandora. Just twenty minutes later, our baked macaroni + cheese topped with barbecue pulled pork, onion rings, and coleslaw was ready for pickup.
- Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge: The Rise of the Renaissance attraction inside the new jaw dropping world of Star Wars was worth every single second we waited in the ninety minute line. Every. single. second. After being taken hostage by the First Order, Rey Skywalker and the resistance teamed up to help us escape the Sith Lord. The elaborate exhibition designed by the Disney Imagineers truly transported us into a galaxy far far away.
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure: Anyone can cook! After following along with the Ratatouille Tik Tok Musical throughout the pandemic (Anyone else?!), Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure simply had to be our first stop. Join the virtual queue for this 4D ride, then stop by the Souvenirs de France shop for your exclusive Ratatouille merch!
- Disney’s 50th Anniversary Very Merriest After Hours: The secret to not missing a single attraction? After hours at Magic Kingdom! This special ticketed event closes the park early to the general public, but permits party goers to explore the park virtually line free until one in the morning. We walked straight on to Space Mountain, and waited no more than ten minutes for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride. The private Cinderella’s Castle holiday fireworks show + fake snow down Main Street USA has us rockin’ around the Christmas tree!
- Tomorrowland PeopleMover: Because the queue is never longer than five to ten minutes, it is clear that the PeopleMover is not getting the love it deserves! Zip around Tomorrowland for a backstage look into Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, and the new Guardians of the Galaxy construction. Besides, who can say no to a few minutes off of their feet?
- Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie: Our family has a framed painting of this French bakery proudly hung in our home. That is how obsessed we are. Just steps from Disney’s Boardwalk and Beach Club resort hotels, we stop by on our way in and out of the park for a Jambon Beurre Baguette or Strawberry Fraises.
- The Festival of the Lion King: Can you feel the love tonight? Step into Animal Kingdom’s Harambe Theater for a live action performance of Disney’s The Lion King. Use the “My Genie Day” feature on the Walt Disney World app to snag your party Lightning Lane passes for this half hour show.
- Toy Story Mania: To infinity! With the addition of Galaxy’s Edge and Mickey + Minnie’s Runaway Railway, we won’t be spending nearly as much time waiting in line for Toy Story Mania. Ironically, with its crisp cool air conditioning and dazzling decor, this interactive ride was actually one of my favorites to wait for! Despite only dedicating one afternoon to Hollywood Studios, we jumped on this attraction three separate times.
When You Wish Upon A Star
Walt Disney World will always hold a special place in my heart because of the inclusively and security I have continuously felt while vacationing at their parks. We vividly recall the safe brownie sundae dessert that the Liberty Tree Tavern chef specially prepared for us back in 2014, and the teal allergy friendly trick or treating stations at Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in 2018. In Disney World, we don’t feel like an inconvenience; For once, we don’t feel guilty.
The superior food allergy protocols practiced across their properties represent the gold standard of kitchen management. Their attention to detail and willingness to accommodate is widely celebrated across the food allergy community, but simultaneously recognized as a luxury that we are only offered on Disney property. My wish upon a star? That culinary teams across the globe follow Disney’s lead. A girl can dream, right?
But in the famous words of Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, “Even miracles take a little time.”