Packed everything but the kitchen sink? I get it, traveling with food needs is a bit intimidating.
There’s tons of packing lists and hacks… but those with dietary needs tend to get left out of the packing (and the eating 😅)
Here’s some ideas to get you started on your packing list. These are items I’ve verified (the hard way) on my Disney World vacations and hopefully they make your trip a little easier.
Headed to Disney World? Discover tips and up to date info in this Food Allergy Guide for Disney World, or the Ultimate Gluten Free Disney World guide.
This post may contain affiliate links, read my full disclosure here.
Packing Items for Food Allergies at Disney World
Straws (because most aren’t gluten free or allergy friendly)
Straws are a huge hot topic lately, mainly because Disney World switched to paper straws and there’s a global supply shortage… so at any time there are 3+ brands on disney property
What’s more? We don’t know the ingredients in most of these straws (especially as they use whatever straw is available) that have the potential to break apart in your drink after 30 minutes of being exposed to liquids!
Some people with gluten allergies have confirmed issues with the straws, as well as those with nut allergies, corn allergies, and tropical fruits.
It is in your own best interest to bring a reusable straw with you, go without straws, or ask to see the brand every time you use a straw.
PRO TIP: Joffery’s Coffee at Disney World typically has agave straws.
Bring Water Bottle/Drinking Bottle to Disney World to prevent Cross Contact
Shared kitchens are a cross-contact accident waiting to happen… especially when you consider that most restaurant staff don’t change gloves before grabbing drinks!
Not only is it helpful with keeping you hydrated (as we know reactions are so much worse when you are tired and achy from lack of water), but the less items your grabbing from a kitchen the less chances you have of accidental cross contact.
My last time at Blizzard Beach Disney Water Park, I caught the cast member putting bread on a tray and then filling up water cups (all with the same gloves!) YIKES! I pulled a manager over and calmly explained what I saw, and while He was helpful and promised to educate staff, he also used the excuse that ‘they are new’. It only takes one new staff member to totally mess up your vacation from accidental cross contact!
For Water Bottles, we have a very large plastic one for the adults and as a backup a metal one, plus smaller metal ones for the kids. Plastic is great too… it just heats up faster in this weather!
Metal and Plastic bottles are great…but NO glass. It’s not allowed in by Disney Rules. I also recommend bottles without straws (or bring a cleaner) as it gets funky after day 2!
The most popular no lid option is the HydroFlask which we’ve loved and used.
If you have to have a straw, this metal water bottle has the best 5 star ratings on Amazon.
Accidents happen… especially the more you rely on kitchen staff to keep your safety first (and they can’t/won’t as many aren’t aware with the struggles of food allergy cross contact on everything from cups to silverware to trays and tables!)
Snacks/Meals (especially as backups)
Technically, you can find a meal anywhere you go. Even if that means just a plain protein and something basic like rice, or cooked potatoe with olive oil.
There’s a few reasons you’d want to bring snacks or meals. It’s a budget friendly way to stretch your food expenses. It provides peace of mind. It prevents the hungry hangry grumpies. It saves you time (And your paying 20-100 per hour to even set foot on property when you add up all your expenses!).
You can also find a list of snacks inside the Touring Plan and Snack Guide for Disney World, listed by Park to help with the planning overwhelm.
One thing to consider… the weather (it gets hot 10 months out of the year) as it could derail your snack plans.
here’s a list of snack ideas:
- snack bars , protein bars , granola bars
- fresh fruit like oranges, apples or dried fruits
- crunchy snacks like chips, trail mix, puffs
- meat strips, fruit leathers, or other dried items that won’t melt and don’t need refrigeration
- smoothies , fruit drinks, protein powders, milks
Some of my favorite snacks include GoMacro allergy friendly bars, Heavenly Hunks bars (that link is for amazon, but we get ours at Costco), KinniKinnick snacks (you’ll find the donuts at Disney but not the shelf stable stuff!).
Cross Contact Prevention Methods to reduce allergen exposure
We bring wipes everywhere we go in case I need to wipe down the table, wipe hands, or even wipe a cup or bottle! Nothing beats soap and water for your hands, but wipes are also effective at removing allergens (but not plain water or hand sanitizer). Especially as using an item like a napkin or paper towel will not remove the allergen.
There’s food everywhere at disney world… and many people don’t understand how a little piece of food (think a piece of glitter) can spread to another person.
We use these Honest Brand alcohol wipes for the tables and our hands (plus doors, chairs, stairwells… you get the idea) But really, most brands from amazon or target will do. It just needs to have alcohol to remove allergens effectively (See the link above for that data!)
Other ideas include things like table covers, gloves, and face masks.
Medications/Remedies in case of an allergic or autoimmune reaction
I saved the most obvious for last, but it’s also a good reminder to check on your emergency supply kit. What do YOU need in case you have a reaction? Have you checked the expiration dates on your epipen or other medication like zofran? Do you need more medications compounded?
Do you have the things you need like benadryl or pepto-bismol? And how are you planning to carry those into the parks? Things like gasX or tumeric or other items for symptom management should be brought with you in containers that pass through travel requirements and come into the parks with you.
You can bring bags onto rides, so I am a HUGE fan of a fanny pack. I bring one in everytime I go, in addition to a diaper bag and a regular food bag.
I love these layered fanny packs, and then we use our collapsible clevermade cooler for many theme park trips (not so much disney, but absolutely to legoland and seaworld!) It keeps things cold as you can’t bring in ice, but only ice packs. So a soft sided cooler is worth it’s weight in cold when you’ve got epipens, medications, and cold foods!
It’s also a good idea to call your primary doctor/allergist and let them know your headed on vacation in case you need to have something called into the local pharmacy.