I told you all about the trip we took to Disney World last month and how they were so great at accommodating Nicholas’ special needs. What I haven’t told you yet is how easy it was to find food for me to eat while we were there. If you have food allergies or sensitivities, then you understand how big of a deal that can be! But don’t worry, even if you are eating at the casual dining areas without making reservations, you will be able to find something that works. Today I want to talk to you all about where to eat in Disney World if you have food allergies or restrictions.
What you should know: I hesitate to call my own food sensitivities “allergies” because there isn’t any specific food that will kill me or send me into anaphylactic shock. I do understand the varying degrees of difference because my younger brother had a severe peanut allergy while we were growing up and even the nut dust in the air at a baseball game could (and did) cause a reaction. In my case, I need to avoid eggs, dairy, and wheat because there are certain foods, especially casein and eggs, that as I have gotten older cause some very serious issues for me. When I eat those foods I get stroke-like symptoms like a complete loss of equilibrium, I start forgetting words, I lose my vision, and my hands and feet go numb. I have been in the hospital several times for symptoms that are very similar to Multiple Sclerosis, but go completely away if I just avoid certain foods. So, obviously I try my best to avoid them.
I now try to eat vegan and gluten free about 95% of the time (sometimes I cheat with the gluten, because that doesn’t make me nearly as sick, but I never cheat with the animal products).
So, if you have an allergy or sensitivity to milk, eggs, casein, or wheat this post is for you. I do want to say before I go any further, though, that if your allergy is life-threatening you should always check with the chef preparing your food. And I also want to note that Disney World has a very allergy-friendly policy that allows you to prepare your own food and bring it to the park with you.
You should also know that our family never makes meal reservations at Disney World. We prefer to spend our money at lower-cost options and we also like having as much flexibility as possible in our day. If you have a child with special needs, you understand how important that is. I cannot be rushing an over-stimulated, tantruming child to a fancy dinner reservation or making him wait another two hours until our specified time if he’s hungry NOW.
These are my own allergy-friendly finds from our days in Magic Kingdom and Disney Springs. This post is not intended to be taken as medical advice, just to offer suggestions of where to find options if you are on a similar restricted diet. And if you are choosing to eat vegan or gluten free for another reason, then I hope this post helps you as well!
My Allergy-Friendly Finds in Disney
Breakfast: The first day we were in Kissimmee we went to Disney Springs. We stopped at Erin McKenna’s Bakery ,which is a completely vegan and gluten-free bakery, and bought several doughnuts and bagels for me to take back to our room and eat as breakfast treats throughout the week. It has literally been over a year since I had a bagel or a doughnut, so I was a very happy camper. I bought the everything bagels and the day we went to Magic Kingdom I topped one with half of an avocado for breakfast while we were still in our cabin. (You HAVE to check out the affordable cottages we found!) On other days I had some of the Samoa Girl Scout cookie-inspired doughnuts. Yum. Please note, I never said these were healthy recommendations. It was vacation, after all.
As an added bonus, Erin McKenna’s Bakery also had vegan ice cream. While we were there the kids and I decided to indulge. That bag on my arm contains all of the fabulous bakery items I purchased.
Lunch and Dinner Options:
On the day we were in Magic Kingdom, we went to Starlight Cafe for lunch. I ordered the superfood salad without chicken and an order of fries. I appreciated that the salad had quinoa in it so it kept me full for several hours.
For dinner that day, we visited the Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe. I ordered the Veggie Rice Bowl. I appreciated that at the casual dining areas there was essentially a salad bar of toppings for your entree, so I was able to add as many extra veggies as I wanted.
Both the Starlight Cafe and Pecos Bills are located in Magic Kingdom. The day before that, we visited Disney Springs. My meat-eating husband was excited about barbecue because we don’t have it at home very often anymore. We found ourselves at The Polite Pig. I was nervous about finding something I could eat in a restaurant centered around meat, but it was fine. Our daughter Abby, who is mostly vegetarian but not vegan, and I spilt the 3-appetizer meal option. She ate the watermelon salad (and loved it!) and I got the barbecued cauliflower and ordered the sweet potato tots without cheese.
I already shared that the day we were in Disney Springs we ordered vegan ice cream from Erin McKenna’s. The vanilla with sugar sprinkles was my favorite. It tasted almost like sugar cookie dough.
While we were in Magic Kingdom, we stopped mid-day for the kids to have ice cream. I ordered a frozen lemonade for myself to cool off a bit.
I was hoping to grab a Dole Whip, but we never made it to one.
What other allergy-friendly foods do you love at Disney World? Any places that don’t require reservations?
Don’t forget to pin this post on your Disney Pinterest board to save for later!
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