Epcot’s Festival of the Arts with Food Allergies (pics, tips, menus)

Epcot has become the festival park and they have 4 festivals a year! There’s live entertainment, fun merch, cool things to do and food!

But when everyone else is super excited about food, some of us aren’t… because not all of us are able to eat freely

But we still want to enjoy the festivals and we want to get a game plan for some yummy eats! We know that other people, like our family members, are going to be enjoying good eats, so we want to know what the festivals can do for food allergies!

I went opening day (and then for a few more days and another few more days) to Festival of the Arts- this time I was on a mission to find foods that my family and I could eat freely. And I wasn’t just looking for one item- I wanted multiple things for everyone to choose from!

  • Save
Epcot Festival of the Arts Food Allergy Guide

What, when and where is the Festival of the Arts at Epcot?

The Festival of the Arts is held in the first two months of the year, which is kinda cold, but also kinda nice after all the holiday craziness.

Everywhere you turn you’ll find beautiful art, both on the walls, with the characters, and for sale. It’s truly a family friendly festival, and with it being low key, something I recommend for everyone because it puts the fun back into the Epcot Festivals!

You can find lots of things for kids to do at the festival, as well as things for just grownups to enjoy.

Want to check out all the things available? Head over to my top 10 things you’ll want to do on your next Festival of the Arts trip.

  • Save
The Festival of the Arts!

You can participate in most of the activities and sites with the price of your regular ticket.

The food however, is an additional expense. Portions are decent sized. Not quite a sample size but certainly not the size that Disney normally serves up for lunch and dinner in their restaurant. (although some can be rather small)

If we are walking around and enjoying the sites, we can easily eat 2-4 orders per person (depending on how much we share!) and a few drinks. The food entrees at the specialty booths run between 8-15 dollars, so the cost would be similar to what you would spend on a character meal is you got 4 items and a few drink or dessert offerings!

  • Save
There’s a lot more things to do than just eat

Is there a risk of Cross Contamination?

Generally, Disney World does a pretty dang good job about avoiding CC, it’s why we talk so much about the options, from character meals to quick serve options.

But for several of the festival booths, it’s going to be hard to avoid cross-contamination. Mostly because many of those stands have very small kitchens and they can have different allergens in the same area.

  • Save

Also- some of the people working the booths may not be allergy-literate, and this will cause them to not understand your concerns about cross-contamination. Which I’ve had several times at the festivals, many of these people work here part time and haven’t been trained in food allergy procedures.

Always ask to see an allergy binder or speak to the head manager.

Also- try to go in the week, and if you need to go on a weekend, go early around luch rather than later. The more people there are at Epcot, the harder it is to get clear answers and good service! There are quite a few options you can choose from at Epcot that aren’t from the festival too!

This year, for the first time ever, I spoke with a Chef on the phone about my allergy concerns. this was a new one for me, but it went well- I just asked about ingredients and modifications and was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was without having to wait for a chef to come over from the kitchen.

Following that, every time I asked about Allergies the Cast Members called a Chef on the phone.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that if you don’t get a satisfactory answer, that you ask the cast member to call another Chef. They have multiple numbers they can call, so find someone that understands all the ingredients.

How do you know what is gluten free or allergen friendly?

You’ll know several ways.

For one, you can see what other people have done! You can follow along on my instagram here! And I love sharing what other allergy friendly people have found on their trips (because not everyone has a dedicated blog and they only post on instagram)

The next is with the passport. Normally we like to grab one before entering the World Showcase so we can map out all the places we want to stop. This tells you a lot about the foods offered, where you can find them, and gives you an idea on what you could ask to modify before you get to the booth. This ONLY lists GF for Gluten Friendly.

The third is by the signs outside the stands. These list the ingredients but are NOT labeled with allergens.

This year they did away with the plant based symbols because they’re was confusing over the vegetarian versus vegan. I am FOR this because I would hate from someone to assume it was safe- but also sad because it was a great starting point to know if you could modify something.

  • Save

If you are looking for Allergen Friendly ( we avoid soy for the kids and they are also gluten free) it can get a little harder to find safe foods. but you CAN find offerings if you are comfortable with the CC risk.

Normally, we look online to see what’s available, check the passport, head to the booth, speak to a manager, check the allergen book and then decide if the items are safe for anyone to eat.

This year- with everything made in the same prepared kitchen- we’ve opted to not let the kids have any foods. (only drinks) Obviously this is a personal decision and very hard to make, but its the third festival in a row we’ve felt like this!

If you’re super hungry- definitely head to one of the quick-serve options. Sunshine Seasons and Regal Eagle both have some great allergy-friendly options for you to enjoy!

Should we ask at customer service?

You can- it never hurts. Just be prepared that they might be totally clueless (or they could be a hidden gem that knows all about allergies!)

Your best bet is going to the booth, preferably when the crowd levels are lower, and asking to speak to a manager to see the ingredient book and learn if certain allergens can be omitted. Just realize that CC risk will still exist.

Ok, Ok, what’s there to eat?

This festival is pretty limited in what options we have available for allergy food BUT there are options.

*NOTE* Disney does NOT mark drinks- so if you see something that you think could work for you (with or without alcohol) simply ask a chef what can be modified or what the ingredients are to make it safe!

As Always- CHECK WITH THE CHEF WHEN YOU GET THERE- this guide is not a guarantee

Love my allergy family- I know you’re extra careful- just don’t take my word 100%, I’d be so upset if I made someone sick!

***As Always, please speak to a qualified restaurant employee when ordering food. In order to see the most accurate ingredients and risk assessment, you will need to confirm allergy safety in real-time. This is my personal experience, I am not employed or endorsed by companies or brands mentioned.***

Top 8 Free (should be safe for most people- may need modifying)

There are a few top 8 treats that we’ve found this year, which makes me so excited!

  • Save
The RainBoba minus the Boba

What is it: The RainBoba- Sparkling Water Layered with Fruit Boba and topped with Foam Cloud

Where: The Deconstructed Dish near port of entry

******* Must remove Boba if avoiding Soy

Comes with a souvenir cup and was 8 dollars.

  • Save

  • Save
They also make it in front of you so that was super amazing!
  • Save

What is it: Animal Edible Sugar Paints

Where: China Booth

Additional Deets: Price is 15 for assorted animals or 22 for a dragon. It tastes pretty good the same day but not so great the next day. ALSO you can watch the candy artist make it in front of you- totally worth it!

  • Save
Red Wine Braised Short Rib

What is it: Red Wine Braised Beef Short Rib*** broccoli has Dairy and Parsnip Puree has soy/gluten and sauce has soy lethicin

Where: Cuisine Classique near Germany

Additional Deets: This was amazingly delicious and easily our favorite from this festival! We are not big meat eaters (we’re about 90% plant based for the kids) and we were super impressed with the quality and tenderness of this dish!

  • Save
Blue Sky Cherry Boba Freeze minus the Boba

What is it: Blue Sky Cherry Boba Freeze **** omit the boba for soy allergy

Where is it: Pop Eats near Disney Traders

Additional Deets: Definitely the favorite drink- no dye in the drink and not too sweet. The kids totally loved it and I felt very comfortable giving this to them because it came out of a machine. It’s a smaller sized drink- perfect for the kiddos to split. 4.50

Drinks- you’ll find quite a few more drinks that are safe, like the Coca-Cola Slushies at Test Track, The Musical Float (omit the ice cream and chocolate) and lots of adult beverages.

Gluten Free at Festival of the Arts

There are a number of gluten-friendly items this year- and many more are not marked and can be made safe with just a few simple modifications!

El Artista Hambriento- Mexico

Both Dishes in Mexico. The Sops De Barbacoa and the Agave Pork Belly are gluten free without any modifications (but not marked!!)

Pop Eats

The Sous-Vide Chicken Roulade is already gluten friendly (and marked) at Pop Eats!

The Shrimp Ceviche with Mint Lime Foam (omit the foam for soy) located at Pop Eats- it was VERY tangy but overall ok. Not my favorite, but I also don’t eat shellfish often because of my husband’s allergy.

  • Save

The Artist’s Table the American Adventure

Pan Seared Scallops- we got ours without the Parmesan Crisp to make it Dairy-free, and it was pretty decent. Tad on the spicy side. This is marked GF on the passport.

  • Save

Cuisine Classique

Seared Corvina is marked GF in the passport and then the Red Wine Braised Beef Short Rib is GF without the Parsnip Puree.

  • Save

L’Art De La Cuisine Francaise- France

Trio de Macaroons- these are the same ones they serve in France and they are prepackaged too!

Goshiki- Japan

Then we have the Sushi Donut in Japan! This is actually safe for Soy, Dairy, Egg, Gluten, Peanut, Treenut, Corn- but it has fish, shellfish, sesame.

You need to ask for it without any sauce or flavoring!

  • Save

  • Save

Milk/Egg Free

To avoid repetition you can see above the top 8 items are safe for milk and egg plus these ones below!

Refreshment Outpost

Plant Based Bratwurst at the Refreshment Outpost is milk and egg free – but it has soy and gluten in the bratwurst.

Goshiki- japan

and the Modified Vegetable Gyoza (without the mashed potatoes) at the Japan Pavilion

Soy Allergy

We found that soy protein can be avoided by simply removing most sauces- but lethicin will prove to be a problem (like it always has been with most foods in restaurants)

The sushi donut was totally soy free- I was surprised and delighted for that! but as you know, soy oil and soy lethicin is used a lot!

You can see above in the ‘top 8 section’ what items are soy PROTEIN free below

The Artist’s Table the American Adventure

Pan Seared Scallops- we got ours without the Parmesan Crisp to make it Dairy-free, and it was pretty decent. Tad on the spicy side. This is marked GF on the passport.

Pop Eats

The Shrimp Ceviche with Mint Lime Foam (omit the foam for soy) located at Pop Eats- it was VERY tangy but overall ok. Not my favorite, but I also don’t eat shellfish often because of my husband’s allergy.

Fish/Shellfish

Quite a few booths have fish or various forms of shellfish, but there are quite a number of items/booths that are totally seafood free!

In addition to the top 8 free items above, These booths would be the best options:

The Deconstructed Dish- Showcase Plaza

Decadent Delights- Showcase Plaza

El Artista Hambriento- Mexico

The Painted Panda- China

Refreshment Outpost- Outpost

Fife & Drum Tavern- The American Adventure

Mosaic Canteen- Morocco

L’Art De La Cuisine Francaise- France

Peanut Allergies

Depending on the severity of the allergy, I would totally avoid the American area (there’s a kidcot station there) as they have a peanut butter and jelly funnel cake and I saw exactly 29587207230597 people eating it all around the area. Funnel cakes are insanely popular (they smell really good!) so this is a hot spot for people.

Can I do the Wonderful Walk of Colorful Cuisine with Food Allergies?

If you grab a passport at Epcot (which you should because it’s super helpful for explaining everything that’s going on) you’ll notice that they have a booth crawl, where you purchase 5 items and get a complimentary treat. While a handful of these items can be made safe for your allergy, they aren’t doing substitutions for the ones that aren’t and the treat is not allergy-friendly.

What if I don’t like this stuff- what else is there at Epcot?

There are lots of safe food options at Epcot!

Leave a Comment

Copy link