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New Allergy-Friendly Menus at Disneyland, Walt Disney World Resorts

Pam Brandon

by , Food Writer, Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort

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On April 14, Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts will begin to introduce new allergy-friendly menus at approximately 120 quick-service and table-service locations. The menus provide more convenience and readily available options for guests with special dietary requests.

“Over the years, the number of guests with food allergies and intolerances has continued to grow. In 2013 alone, our cast members assisted with more than 650,000 special dietary requests. These new allergy menus are another way in which we can provide high-quality, safe and more accessible alternatives, and the best possible dining experience for guests with specific dietary needs,” says Gary Jones, chef and culinary dietary specialist for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

The new allergy-friendly menus provide allergen content for each menu item, making informed choices easier. Menu selection includes appetizers (where applicable), entrées, side items, desserts and kids’ meals, and focuses on the most common allergens: gluten/wheat, milk, peanut, tree nut and fish.

Guests are still able to consult directly with a restaurant chef or special diets trained cast member. We also encourage guests to continue to communicate special dietary needs to our restaurant cast members, as this allows our culinary team to take extra measures during preparation to prevent the introduction of the allergen.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts is the recipient of a FARE (Food Allergy Research and Education) Award for dedication to providing a safe and enjoyable dining experience for vacationing families and our chefs have been recognized for their commitment to food allergy awareness, education and management.

The new menus will be introduced in signature restaurants on April 14, then debut at other table-service and quick-service restaurants (including Walt Disney World water parks, Downtown Disney and resort hotels) through September 2015. For more information on special dietary requests, click here for Walt Disney World Resort and click here for Disneyland Resort.

Click here to check out a sample menu.

Comments

  • Food allergy friendliness along with quality choices is just another reason I love Disney! There is nothing I hate more than a restaurant stating they have an allergy friendly menu and then offering dry chicken as it’s qualifying item! Not only does Disney have an extensive food allergy friendly menu, all over the parks, but the items are unique and yummy! Great job Disney! We love you for so many reasons, but this just adds to our list! Jamie @ Love of the Mouse

  • This is awesome news. Disney is already ahead of the curve on allergy-friendliness. We took 9 trips to WDW with a dairy allergy child (EpiPen) and were always thrilled with the options and the service Disney provides to guests with severe food allergies. We were never left to feel like we were a burden. My daughter loved when the Chef used to call the house and leave her a message the week before our trip to say he was expecting her. She had her favourite Chef (Raphaelle) at Chef Mickey’s and he was phenomenal. She would talk about him the whole year until she got to go again. Keep up the great work!

  • We ate at the Blue Bayou on Saturday and after specifying we were vegan at check-in, we were given the Allergy Friendly Menu. I don’t think our waiter was familiar with the menu at all. On the Allergy Friendly Menu, it states that the Salad is Dairy Free however he said it wasn’t because it had cheese. After pointing out that it didn’t state that on the allergy-free menu, he informed me the menu was wrong. Afterwards, I looked at the main menu and that one did include cheese. He also brought us bread and butter while informing us we couldn’t eat any of it. I’m not sure if its was just our waiter that was unaware of how to “order” off the menu or all the staff. It would help if they were more aware on what to do.

    Other than that, we already knew what we could eat in the other restaurants & didn’t need an allergy-free menu. I was unaware when making reservations that I could speak to the chef to arrange something.

  • PS I forgot to mention that, unfortunately, the quick service in 2012 had barely any options; we eventually stuck with breakfast only for our quick service—the chef “Manny” at the All Star Movie resort took great care of us & started our day out so well, we repeated it the next two days!! Thanks Manny—I hope you’re still there

  • I have visited Disney once in 2012. Although the sit-down service options were good, they lacked a few things: 1. more dessert choices for my gluten free, soy free, dairy free son 2. even though I requested it in advance at one restaurant, they did not carry the Earth Balance dairy free/soy free substitute (they had the one with soy) 3. allergen friendly condiments (they couldn’t tell me what the condiments contained at one quick service restaurant). We had a wonderful experience. These are just a few minor suggestions to make a good experience great. I’m not dairy free (only GF/SF) & my options were great. Since soy is one of the top 8 allergens, I would love (in life in general) to see less of it—it is the hardest allergy/intolerance to avoid. If the dining is as good or better than in 2012, I truly cannot wait!! :)

  • I think these are a great addition! I’m also going to chime in about having at least 1 vegan entree (and labeling it vegan) at counter service and table service restaurants. Its time consuming for everyone to have to ask for a chef or manager to special order a vegan entree (though much appreciated!). I would eat in the parks more if I didn’t have to wait to speak with someone about what to order and worry that I was holding up the line.

  • This is great. Hopefully they will incorporate Veggie / Tofu / Soy hot dogs for the famous corn dogs and offer meat substitutes, and start incorporating more veggie broth in lieu of chicken or beef in soups / gravy’s that can easily be converted to Vegetarian.

    After visiting Disney World for the first time and being an annual passport holder for Disneyland and DCA, I am disappointed that there are not more options. There are so many tasty meat free options now a days. Eating salad, pasta, cheese pizza or a garden burger gets old!

    I am looking forward to seeing the changes.

  • It would be so amazing for vegan options to be labeled, as well as adding more vegan options. There are a ton of vegetarian options, but few vegan options without having to ask to customize every meal from sometimes not too helpful/knowledgable cast members.

  • I have multiple food allergies and I love to visit Disneyland! The chef and staff have always been fabulous working around my food allergies! Thanks so much!!!

  • I agree with comment #3 (Stephanie). Disneyland needs Tofutti, or some sort of non-dairy ice cream. I know they have Dole whip, but just one flavor of it. Disneyland could also really benefit from Erin McKenna’s Bakery (formerly Babycakes), which I’m happy to see has returned to WDW’s Downtown Disney.

    I think the menus on the Disneyland and Walt Disney World websites should do a better job at communicating food allergies. I know ingredients change all the time, but it really would help in planning.

    I think this is a great idea, by the way. I’m always impressed by how Disney handles food allergies, so keep up the good work (but always continue to improve!).

  • I hope they add more vegan/dairy free vegetarian options, too!

  • It’s a great idea, and will definitely help out people with allergies! However, in the current form it is a little hard to use.

    What I want is the ability to filter the menu to hide dishes containing certain allergens. That way I know that the the menu I see contains only dishes I can eat.

    Click the ‘Show Allergy/Diet Menu’ button on the menu to see what I mean.

  • Let’s hope the chefs and managers at Rancho Zocalo at Disneyland get on board. They have been a nonstop sore spot in dealing with food allergies.

  • Thanks so much! This is very helpful.

  • I also agree with those who have requested Vegetarian and Vegan options. So many time I have thought I had found a vegetarian food item and was disappointed to discover that it contained animal ingredients. One example is a tomato soup that was made with chicken stock!

  • Disney is our constant vacation destination because of the care they take with my daughter’s food allergies. I love that they keep trying to improve upon what is already a great dining experience. <3 you, Disney!!

  • I also think adding Vegan , or adding labels which contain animal ingredients would be great!

  • I agree with Mary in comment #5. We don’t have any food allergies, but my large family goes to the parks a few times a year. Half of us are vegan and the other half eat meat, so it’s very difficult to find a restaurant we can all enjoy together.

    It would be great if we could eat together in a place that clearly labels which products contain animal ingredients.

  • It would also be nice if symbols were used instead of or in addition to words, for those guests who don’t read English (or don’t read it well).

  • This is so great! Our next trip will be with one vegan, someone who doesn’t eat gluten and someone who doesn’t eat refined sugars. As great as the Disney chefs are, this will make life so much easier!

    The words vegetarian and/or vegan would be a welcome addition to the special menus too :)

  • Great idea! But the menu would be a lot less confusing if you used a different font (italics don’t stand out enough) and changed the wording to “Safe for … allergies”. I had to read it twice to realize the menu meant those things were safe for those allergies.

    Otherwise, well done!

  • I developed my allergy as an adult and Disneylad was the first place that didn’t make me feel like I was too much trouble asking questions in a restaraunt. In fact, I was encouraged. I hope this switch makes it easier on the cast members as well. Thank you!

  • Disney World has always been great at treating our gluten and peanut/treenut allergies its Disneyland that really needed to work on it. I will be at Disneyland from June 7-12 and am hoping I will now be able to get good food without the worries. Thanks you Disney!

  • This is a great step! I just wish you would also make it easier for vegetarians to know what they’re eating. A vegetarian/vegan/pescetarian option in the allergies menu and clear labeling of items prepared with meat products (stocks, lard, flavorings, etc.) would be another huge step forward.

  • When I was down there in February I was so pleased with how easy it was to find something to eat with my multiple food intolerances. I am glad to hear that they are going to be making it even easier! This is going to make so many people have an even more magical time!

  • Will we be able to see the allergy menus online before heading to the park? That way we can make a decision of which quick service to eat depending on what they offer

  • Great news! As a family with some vegans and some children with milk allergies it would be great to have more options to choose from. We always try to support the restaurants like Carnation Cafe during our trips to Disneyland (with permanent vegan items on the menu) in the hopes it will lead to more offerings. Any chance Disneyland might someday get the Tofutti option Disney World enjoys?

  • Could you please offer some non chocolate gluten free desserts at WDW? I am not a fan of chocolate and the only offerings are the gf brownie or gf chocolate chip cookie. There are many other choices- Enjoy Life- one of your featured chocolate chip cookie companies offers sugar cookies and graham cookies as well. Please

    Thanks- and THANK YOU for having wonderful gluten free meals. I always feel safe eating at Disney!

  • I have always been pleased with the accommodations Disney makes for guests with food allergies. As a parent of children with allergies, this is very welcome news.

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