If you’ve been around the block with food allergies, you know that vacations aren’t the easy thing they were before allergies. Sure, you can cook the entire vacation (as many people do) or not go at all.
But as an Orlando local, I can tell you about how I’m spoiled by being close to vacation destinations that can handle food allergies. In fact–you might be surprised to find–Orlando holds some of the number one destinations when it comes to food allergies.
Orlando has three major theme parks. Disney World (Land is in California), Universal Orlando, and Sea World. Each of the three have their own options when it comes to food allergies, but there’s one in particular that goes above and beyond! While Seaworld has a dedicated Allergy-Friendly restaurant, they just don’t compare to the crazy options you have at Disney World!
So let’s talk about what sets Disney World above the pack when you have food allergies. (Especially when you have 20+ like my family manages!)
What all of the parks have in common
- A restaurant with options
Every single theme park in Orlando has at least ONE restaurant with a chef that can handle your allergens. Obviously you’re at their mercy as far as price and location. But there is one place you can safely eat!
- Basic awareness of food allergies (especially the common ones)
Every Orlando theme park has a general awareness of allergens and that they are important. I’ve never been laughed at for requesting a menu or a chef, and they all know to refer to that one restaurant that can handle allergies.
What Disney World has that really takes the cake
- They’ve got allergy menus
Hey-oh! This might seem like a foreign concept but I want to tell you about one of the best additions to the allergy realm Disney has ever done.
Top 8 free allergen menus.
Y’all–life changing! You can read this while you wait in line or look it up online. It’s amazing! I still recommend talking to a chef (because the menus don’t have everything) but the fact that they make it easy to plan ahead of time is such a huge stress relief!
- You can speak with a chef!
Easily my most favorite part is that at any of the table service places I go, I know I can speak with a chef. No, things aren’t going to be some gourmet creation. BUT I can get a safe protein with no spices and some fruits and veggies that aren’t covered in my allergies. You don’t need fancy–you need safe and yummy eats so you can enjoy the vacation with your family. And that’s what you get!
- They’ve got safe food
S.a.f.e. foooooooddd. And not just safe food that is gluten free. No way–I mean real safe food! Like brands you buy in the store. Udis, Enjoy Life, Namaste, Bob’s Red Mill, So Delicious.
They’ve got wonderful options that you are familiar with (and some you aren’t) AND you can easily get ingredients list. It really takes the stress out of dining.
- It’s a language people understand
You understand–you’ve told the staff you have allergies and they tell you they have a gluten free menu. Frustrating, right? Well, at Disney World, it’s not something that is foreign. The managers to the basic staff are trained in food allergies and you know that you can ask and find someone that will have an answer for you.
- Dedicated bakery
Let me tell you about Erin Mckenna’s located in Disney Springs. It is a dedicated gluten free, soy free, vegan, kosher bakery! DEDICATED! Y’all–the joy I have from knowing my kids can order anything they see is amazing. It is truly a gift to visit this bakery on vacation.
As you can see, vacationing with allergies is not the same as it was 10 years ago. The awareness is there, the options are popping up all over the place, but for a truly immersive experience, Disney World is the place to go with food allergies!