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INTERCOT - Walt Disney World Inside & Out - Info Central

INTERCOT > Info Central > Dietary Needs 

Special Dietary Needs

For those with dietary challenges such food allergies, intolerances, diabetes, etc., the BEST thing you can do to help yourself enjoy your dining experience in Walt Disney World is to make dining reservations before you travel to the happiest place on earth. Make sure you tell the cast member assisting you that you have special dietary needs and have them note that in your file (even if it is a buffet that you are making a reservation for).

It is also recommended that you call the restaurant directly prior to the day that you will be dining. Explain your dietary restrictions fully to the person over the phone. The day of your meal, arrive prior to your ADR time, and again let the person at the podium know of your restrictions. Also make sure you inform your waiter or waitress of your situation.

This all may seem like a bit much, but Walt Disney World Cast Members will go out of their way to make sure that you are well taken care of. In many cases, the chef will even come to your table to discuss your needs and make a special plate just for you. If you feel the need to bring in your own food to play it safe, all Walt Disney World resort rooms come equipped with a mini refrigerator.

For medical dietary restrictions, such as Phenylketonuria, request to speak with the chef at least 24 hours in advance. IMPORTANT: Get a note from your physician and make plenty of copies. A faxed or personal request, with medical back up goes a long way to help you get what you need.

The Walt Disney World resort has increased its awareness of food allergies, intolerances, and special dietary needs dramatically in the past several years. Gluten Free and Dairy Free options are available at most food locations. "Allergy" friendly items like french fries and chicken nuggets are easy to find (they are fried in separate oil, not the peanut oil in use by most locations). Most dining locations (Quick Service and Table Service) will offer a special "allergy" menu, with items designated as peanut free, dairy free, egg free, wheat free, soy free, etc. For these types of restrictions, it is not always necessary to call in advance or speak to a chef, since a special menu has been prepared.

BEFORE YOU GO (medical conditions): For very specific medical needs, call the food management department for any of the theme parks or your resort, which can be reached via the main number (1-407-824-2222). Each theme park has a specialist assigned to requesting special dietary concerns. They will be able to answer all of your questions, or put you in touch with the head chef.

Chefs and Dietary Specialists will be able to tell you specific ingredients and what alternative meals they can provide to accommodate specific food allergies, PKU, veganism, or Diabetes. If you are Diabetic or have Phenylketonuria, contact the local chapter of the ADA, APA, or an educator affiliated with your physician, at least sixty days before your trip. They will give you information to help locate local pharmacies and grocery stores that will be able to handle all of your specific dietary needs. More importantly, they will provide you with a list of important questions that you should ask before making any dining arrangements. The more specific your request, and the more persistent you are, the better the service you will receive.

UPON ARRIVAL AT THE WORLD: Confirm, confirm, confirm. Disney is a very large place with millions of visitors a year. Make sure your request is not lost in the shuffle. Do not hesitate to use Guest Services at your resort to help you contact the specific restaurants.

For the availability of kosher meals, contact the food management department at (1-407-824-2222). Please note that menus change frequently, so it never hurts to check again prior to your visit.

FOR VEGETARIANS: Walt Disney World offers many different selections. Veggie burgers are served at many of the counter service restaurants. In addition, most restaurants offer salads and fruit/yogurt plates, meat free pasta dishes, and soups.

DIABETIC TIP: Does the "diet" soft drink you ordered taste like it may not be sugar free? Before you leave home, pick up a package of color-coded glucose test strips. Take a sample of the soft drink and see what the results are. If they are above 100 gl/ml, your server may have made a mistake.

KOSHER MEALS: You can order a kosher breakfast, lunch, or dinner at ANY Walt Disney World restaurant (either in the theme parks or at a resort) as long as you call more than 24 hours in advance.

Warren, an INTERCOT visitor writes: 

"I made priority seating reservations at the Crystal Palace so we could have dinner with Winnie the Pooh. I had an order for 4 kosher meals (no money required...just a standard Priority Seating). Same deal with breakfast at Cinderella's Castle. This is really convenient for those of us who want to share these experiences but need to comply with kosher dietary laws. The convenience is a tremendous value...better than eating a tuna sandwich every night!

The caterer is Danziger caterers from Lincolnwood, Illinois and they are under the Kof-K supervision and are Glatt Kosher.

The food is not airline food....rather, they prepare the meals in Chicago and then freeze them and ship it off to Disney. Alright...maybe it is airline food."

 
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