Disney World is renowned for how much they do for those with food allergies- and it’s a good thing too, with roughly 1 in 10 people having an allergy or intolerance. True to form, this isn’t a burden for Disney in their goal to make this the happiest vacation ever, and they have lots of options for you.
BUT- while Disney has strict procedures, other restaurants not owned by Disney ON Disney property may not be following the same guidelines.
Food Allergy Awareness is becoming more mainstream, especially at Disney, but comments on forums, facebook groups, and my own experience have left me sometimes dissatisfied with service outside of Disney World’s owned and operated Restaurants.
While this post will dive into Restaurants- just know that snacks can be hard to come by. Only these certified snacks are in the parks, and the majority of allergy-friendly snacks with no CC will only be found at the resorts.
Here is a list of places that are not Owned and Operated by Disney, but on property. Please remember- this is just a list of places to be aware that they *could* be no better that your restaurant’s back home. Since we come to Disney with the idea that everything is allergy friendly, I needed to set the record straight for those of you that need to know to be aware. MANY of these places still have Disney Magic, but your mileage may vary.
The Tea (literally)-
While Joeffrey’s works closely with Disney World (they have their own coffee blend for each of the resorts) they are NOT owned by Disney, and the allergy awareness there has been incredibly lacking (in my experience). It’s hard to come by ingredients for flavors and extras, dairy free milk is not guaranteed, and lack of awareness among the staff is high in the multiple times I’ve tried to participate. The one large one in Disney Springs (that’s also a bar) has been the only one that was able to address my allergy concerns.
Starbucks is also at all four parks and two in Disney Springs, but they are not owned by Disney. Easy to say that my experiences there have been better- even though they have made some beautiful treats exclusive to the main street starbucks that generally carry 5 or more of the top allergens.
The vast majority of options in Disney Springs are NOT owned by Disney, so much so that it’s easier to tell you which ones ARE owned by Disney.
The only quick serve owned there by Disney is D-Luxe Burger. It’s good- we enjoy it- nothing like super fancy or memorable BUT safe and easy to get to and easy to order! They have a top 8 bun and a dedicated fryer as of this writing. Just double check by speaking with a manager.
Independently owned at Epcot is by Country. So most everything in this country should be assumed that it is run outside of Disney!
Yes Owned and Operated by Disney World
All the restaurants in Future World (has quick service Sunshine Seasons)
The American Adventure (has quick service Regal Eagle)
We can’t talk about Epcot without talking about the Festivals! So- word of caution- the festivals are not very CC allergy Friendly, and can be difficult outside of the top 8 allergens as far as getting ingredients.
It’s also important to note that the restaurants listed above ALSO have their own booths- so they are operated independently and a Disney Chef will not be able to give you allergen information. You’ll need to speak to Chefs/Management at the booths themselves!
Epcot has four festivals and I’ve reviewed three of them for allergy concerns.
Of course, we need to talk about the resorts! While 95% of what you see on the property is owned by Disney, some places are independently run.
Mainly, the Swan and Dolphin Resort. They have quick service options, Table Service options, and a Character Meal only offered on the Weekends.
Shades of Green, which is owned and operated by the Department of Defense, is also not Disney Owned. Military Members will need to inquire within to find out what allergy friendly accommodations can be made.
We also need to talk about options on Disney’s Boardwalk as some of these places are not owned by Disney World.
Ample Hills Ice cream is independently owned, as well as the JellyRolls Bar and the ESPN Bar.
As far as I know, the little stands on the boardwalk that sell hotdogs and drinks are also not owned by Disney.
That’s a wrap
I know this question comes up a lot in forums and groups, people are genuinely confused when they think about the Disney bubble and all of the food options. In reality- these eateries are not to be avoided, just make sure you continue to be #allergyaware and always confirm with a chef or manager before consuming.