sorry it’s been awhile since my last post~ but I just got back from Disney World! I was really excited to go, ever since I found out that I was celiac, because I’ve heard such great things about Disney World and food allergies. and they did a great job.
it’s best for everyone, celiac or not, to make reservations for their sit-down restaurants as early as possible after booking your trip (407-WDW-DINE). when you call, let them know about your “allergy”, and they’ll note it on your reservation. I also contacted their Special Diets team and filled out a form with my dinner confirmations and listed the allergies for each person in our party. at first this seemed like it was the only way to notify them. But after changing around some reservations later on, I didn’t need to fill out the form again with the amendments. so I’m not sure that’s it’s necessary, but it certainly didn’t hurt!
the Special Diets team also sent me a TON of helpful info for the parks/ water parks that I told them I’d be visiting. so I highly recommend contacting them (WDW.Special.Diets@Disney.com) if you go. they sent forms showing which brands of specialty gluten-free products they used, and where they were available at each of the 4 parks. there were separate forms for each of the parks, where they listed what gluten-free products were available at which locations (specialty or not). they also sent me the nutrition and ingredient info on their allergen-free chicken tenders that are available throughout WDW (and very tasty!!). basically, they sent a ton of info!
also, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them. since your reservations for all of the restaurants are through the same phone number, you don’t actually get to talk to each restaurant ahead of time. so it’s nice that the Special Diets team will research your questions and let you know. for instance, I asked if any of the gluten-free pizza locations also had dairy-free pizzas, and they checked it out and told me that there’s only one place at WDW that does this: Pizza Planet at Hollywood Studios. it really helped to plan to trip out better. so feel free to ask them what you need.
the sit-down restaurants were great~ all of them will be able to accommodate a gluten-free, or other allergen-free diet. for the buffets we went to, the chef brought us around and showed us what we could eat. I’m extra cautious and prefer not to eat items that are on a buffet or otherwise sitting out with non gluten-free foods, so the chefs were very helpful in making me a plate in the kitchen and bringing it out.
at the quick service restaurants, not all of them had gluten-free options, but many or most of them did. the packet of info from the Special Diets team gave all the info on what to get and where, so I could plan ahead. sometimes we had to back-track or make a longer trip to get the gluten-free food, and it would often take longer for them to make it, but it was always tasty and worth the wait!
I was delighted that they use several items from our neck of the woods. French Meadow cookies and brownies were in many locations, including most sit-down restaurants. ironically, they were cheaper there than if you buy them at their restaurant in Minneapolis, because Disney World doesn’t charge extra for special, gluten-free foods, which is really nice! there were also some Kinnikinnick products (Wisconsin brand) used as well.
as far as vacations go, this is one of the easiest ones you’ll find, as far as coordinating your gluten-free diet is concerned. gluten-free food is everywhere, and they take it very seriously. so you can relax and enjoy your vacation like a “normal” person if you have food allergies.