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Disneyworld Trip Next Month - Anxious/have A Few Q's


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Sweetfudge

 
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Posted 27 December 2008 - 10:24 PM

So I know I've already posted about this before, but still feeling a little anxious. I am going to Disney World next month, first time w/ food allergies/intolerances. I've done a lot of research, and have a pretty good idea of what to do (thanks mostly to you all!). I'm making all my reservations on monday, but had a couple questions still.
Most of the time, when I go out to eat, I end up eating a lot of salads. First of all, how do I do the salad thing DF at WDW (I am SOOOO tired of italian dressing)? Do they have safe salad options in case I must resort to a salad?
Second of all, I am intolerant to potatoes. What are some good alternative side dishes I can ask for/expect?
What is the best thing I can bring into the park w/ me? I wish I could just take in my little tupperware w/ DF ranch like I do when I go out to eat at home...although I suppose I could since I'm planning on bringing a small cooler to stash in a locker, and could probably finds some ice for it. Is that too much work?
I am also on an IBS diet...meaning low sugar/fat/red meat diet. How does this alter my options? I do enjoy the occasional sweets, and usually can handle them if I eat my fiber. What are the choices there for gluten-free/DF desserts? Mostly I had read that there's sorbet and fruit stuff.

Thanks all! B)
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Sweetfudge

Born and raised in Portland, OR; Currently living in Provo, UT
Gluten-free since June 2006
Also living with Hypoglycemia since 1991
Dairy-free for good since summer 2008
Started IBS diet and probiotics at GI's recommendation - Fall 2008
Also avoiding: potatoes, beans, crucifers, popcorn, most red meat, coconut milk :(
Started eating a Paleo diet Spring 2011. Love it!

The grass is always greener where you water it.

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#2 Sailing Girl

 
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Posted 28 December 2008 - 01:02 PM

DD and I go to Disney *frequently*, in large part because it's so easy to deal with food intolerance issues there and still feel normal.

In general, almost any table-service restaurant (with the exception of some in Epcot and some in Downtown Disney) can handle any and all food restrictions -- you won't be limited to salads! (Many times, when we say the issue is gluten, he/she says "Is that all?")

Many counter-service places can do gluten-free burger and hot dog rolls, plus pizza (Amy's). At buffet-style meals, the chef will bring you fresh food from the back to avoid CC.

Are you staying on-property (i.e., in one of the Disney hotels)? Will you be using the dining plan? Let me know what you'll be doing and I can give you some specific recommendations, if you want.
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#3 Sweetfudge

 
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Posted 28 December 2008 - 08:48 PM

DD and I go to Disney *frequently*, in large part because it's so easy to deal with food intolerance issues there and still feel normal.

In general, almost any table-service restaurant (with the exception of some in Epcot and some in Downtown Disney) can handle any and all food restrictions -- you won't be limited to salads! (Many times, when we say the issue is gluten, he/she says "Is that all?")

Many counter-service places can do gluten-free burger and hot dog rolls, plus pizza (Amy's). At buffet-style meals, the chef will bring you fresh food from the back to avoid CC.

Are you staying on-property (i.e., in one of the Disney hotels)? Will you be using the dining plan? Let me know what you'll be doing and I can give you some specific recommendations, if you want.

I'm glad I won't have to eat salads :P
I can probably do the burger/hot dog (even though I'm supposed to eat red meat sparingly), but won't be as fun since I can't eat french fries. Can't do Amy's either (dairy and past CC issues).
Yes, we'll be staying at the Port Orleans hotel. We have the dining plan. We're just trying to map out where to eat, and which days.
How would you recommend ordering. I've read that the special request orders often take 10-30 minutes longer than other people coming in and ordering. Should I call in advance and talk w/ the chef? Make my order when I book the reservations/when we're on our way over to the restaurant? Or just show up before we get too hungry? It's just me and DH, so no crying, starving children will be involved :) Although DH can get a little grumpy when hungry. Then again, so do I...
Is there anything you would recommend I bring w/ me each day into the park, as far as food/snacks?
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Sweetfudge

Born and raised in Portland, OR; Currently living in Provo, UT
Gluten-free since June 2006
Also living with Hypoglycemia since 1991
Dairy-free for good since summer 2008
Started IBS diet and probiotics at GI's recommendation - Fall 2008
Also avoiding: potatoes, beans, crucifers, popcorn, most red meat, coconut milk :(
Started eating a Paleo diet Spring 2011. Love it!

The grass is always greener where you water it.

#4 Sailing Girl

 
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Posted 31 December 2008 - 02:13 PM

Hi Sweetfudge,

Sorry to be so long in replying.

The first thing you want to do is get a list of gluten-free foods for all the parks (there are many, many options). Email specialdiets*at*disneyworld.com and ask for the gluten-free lists.

Counter service special requests do take longer. When you first arrive in the restaurant, ask any cast member (Disney workers are known as cast members) to bring you a manager for a special diet request. The manager will show you a binder with ingredients lists for the various options, so you can choose from there. The manager then will make your meal personally. They'll know to change gloves etc., but if you're in a particularly gluteny place (Toy Story Pizza Planet in Disney Studios comes to mind), make sure they don't hand your food forward over the counter to the workers handling the gluten stuff.

You'll need reservations at table service restaurants (407-WDW-DINE), and you should tell the person taking the reservations that you're gluten-free. At table service restaurants, the chef will come to your table to discuss options. The food doesn't take any longer, and they're generally willing to make whatever you want (within reason, of course!). If you want a special gluten-free dessert or something, get the phone number of the restaurant from the main reservation line and call a few days in advance -- they'll make gluten-free cakes and other stuff with some notice. But in almost every case, you don't need to call ahead -- they can accommodate you.

At the buffet-style places, the chef will take you through the buffet and point out what's safe and what's not. He/she also will bring food from the back to avoid CC.

If you want to run any potential restaurant selections by me, I'd be glad to help -- some are better than others (although I've never had a truly bad meal there!).

I know you said you can't have them, but French fries are safe throughout the park (always ask, just in case). I normally don't bring any food into the park -- it's the only place I go where I know I always can find something to eat! There are fruit carts and gluten-free cookies/brownies in every park somewhere.

Good luck, and if you have any other questions let me know!
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#5 Sweetfudge

 
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Posted 01 January 2009 - 09:46 AM

Thanks Sailing Girl. What kind of desserts do they offer that are both gluten and dairy free? I would love some french fries, but I did another potato test the other day, and got so sick from it :(
I'm getting more and more excited to go! And to not have to cook! Yay!
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Sweetfudge

Born and raised in Portland, OR; Currently living in Provo, UT
Gluten-free since June 2006
Also living with Hypoglycemia since 1991
Dairy-free for good since summer 2008
Started IBS diet and probiotics at GI's recommendation - Fall 2008
Also avoiding: potatoes, beans, crucifers, popcorn, most red meat, coconut milk :(
Started eating a Paleo diet Spring 2011. Love it!

The grass is always greener where you water it.

#6 ~alex~

 
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Posted 01 January 2009 - 02:02 PM

Hey there,

I can't add much to the excellent information/advice you've gotten already but I just wanted to add that I also had a terrific gluten-free experience at Disney World. My husband and I went there this past summer -- we stayed on site and went with the dinning plan. We made all of our reservations in advance so every restaurant we went to already knew about my dietary needs. I always had a chef come out and talk to me when I got there. We ate a couple of buffets and a chef took me through to tell me what I could eat. At one of the buffets, I think the chef could sense my unease about the possibility of cross contamination and so she made me my own meal and brought it out to me!

One of the best things is you never feel weird or like a nuisance when discussing your dietary needs at the restaurants. They were all very professional and eager to make sure I was able to eat safely. When we booked our vacation we upgraded our dining plan so that we had two table service meals per day and no counter service meals. I thought this would make it easier since I could make sure every restaurant knew about the gluten-free thing in advance. It did make things easy but ended up being way to much food! The one counter service place we ate brought out a manager to talk to us when I informed them about requiring gluten-free food and everything turned out well.

It sounds like you've been doing quite a bit of research but just in case you haven't come across these, here are a few sites that give some information and tell of people's positive gluten-free experiences at Disney:
http://allears.net/din/guestceliac.htm
http://www.glutenand...estaurants.html

Have a great time! I understand your anxiety. I was so worried that I would be glutened and spend my much anticipated holiday in the bathroom. But everything turned out great. Disney just does things right. I'm pretty sure we will be taking many future vacations to Disney because it just makes things so much easier (and it's so much fun too!). Best of luck!

Alex
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#7 Sailing Girl

 
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Posted 02 January 2009 - 07:13 AM

Hi Sweetfudge,

I'm not sure what desserts are an option in the restaurants you'll be trying -- each restaurant is different. I have in my hand a pre-packaged brownie from the parks (we were just there) that appears to be casein- and lactose-free, but contains eggs (don't know if you can do eggs).

You can check out the various pre-set menu options at www.allearsnet.com/menu/menus.htm. If you see something there that appeals, you always can ask the restaurant to make you a special version -- if it's possible, they will.

Disney is better at meeting guests' needs than any other place I've ever been -- it's truly a pleasure to stay there. Enjoy, and let us know how it goes!
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#8 Country Girl

 
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Posted 04 January 2009 - 05:39 PM

Thank you for this question. We also just booked our first vacation, post dx, to Disney World and also are staying at the Port Orleans resort. We were so worried about how this would go. I called the park and customer service said it would not be a problem, at each restaurant the chef would help us. I thought that she was just appeasing me and it was too good to be true, but it sounds like they do make it work from what I am reading here. Such a relief!!
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2 year old son with celiac disease, dx 11-08

#9 Sweetfudge

 
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Posted 04 January 2009 - 07:01 PM

Hey all! Thanks for the helpful info :) I'm feeling much better about this whole thing.
One concern I do still have (as this is an issue in my every day life at home)...what do I do about potatoes? Obviously they're a common side dish, and a lot of the guests on those websites mention french fries/mashed potatoes/hash browns. But my tummy just can't handle them! What are good alternative side dishes?? Do I need to bring stuff for that?
<_<

Thanks again!

By the way, Country Girl, we have a reservation at the restaurant in Port Orleans - the Boatwright. They sounded pretty confident about having stuff I could eat. I will definitely let you know how it goes.
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Sweetfudge

Born and raised in Portland, OR; Currently living in Provo, UT
Gluten-free since June 2006
Also living with Hypoglycemia since 1991
Dairy-free for good since summer 2008
Started IBS diet and probiotics at GI's recommendation - Fall 2008
Also avoiding: potatoes, beans, crucifers, popcorn, most red meat, coconut milk :(
Started eating a Paleo diet Spring 2011. Love it!

The grass is always greener where you water it.

#10 Sailing Girl

 
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Posted 05 January 2009 - 07:45 AM

Hi Sweetfudge,

They'll always have an alternative to potatoes for you -- just ask. I'm not a big fan of potatoes (although I don't react to them), and they generally will have rice if you want. Many table service locations have gluten-free rolls for us, now, as well. If you want something else, call the restaurant ahead of time and they'll do their absolute best to get it for you.

Also, I saw in another thread that you were looking for advice on whether to go to Planet Hollywood in Downtown Disney. I've never been there, so I don't know how they handle things ... but I'd advise you to stick with Disney-owned restaurants while you're at the parks. The others (mostly in Downtown Disney) don't have the same protocols for food-handling and allergy issues. I'm ridiculously sensitive, and I've NEVER been glutened in a Disney-owned restaurant (this is in probably 100 meals over the past few years -- we do spend a lot of time there!), and I've only been CC'd a small handful of times (never seriously).

Have fun!!
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#11 Sweetfudge

 
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Posted 08 January 2009 - 08:53 PM

They'll always have an alternative to potatoes for you -- just ask. I'm not a big fan of potatoes (although I don't react to them), and they generally will have rice if you want. Many table service locations have gluten-free rolls for us, now, as well. If you want something else, call the restaurant ahead of time and they'll do their absolute best to get it for you.

Thanks, I will stop worrying about it :)

Also, I saw in another thread that you were looking for advice on whether to go to Planet Hollywood in Downtown Disney. I've never been there, so I don't know how they handle things ... but I'd advise you to stick with Disney-owned restaurants while you're at the parks. The others (mostly in Downtown Disney) don't have the same protocols for food-handling and allergy issues. I'm ridiculously sensitive, and I've NEVER been glutened in a Disney-owned restaurant (this is in probably 100 meals over the past few years -- we do spend a lot of time there!), and I've only been CC'd a small handful of times (never seriously).

Have fun!!

Good to know. Wow, that's a lot of Disney meals :)

We're getting close now! I'm so excited! Thanks again all for the help!
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Sweetfudge

Born and raised in Portland, OR; Currently living in Provo, UT
Gluten-free since June 2006
Also living with Hypoglycemia since 1991
Dairy-free for good since summer 2008
Started IBS diet and probiotics at GI's recommendation - Fall 2008
Also avoiding: potatoes, beans, crucifers, popcorn, most red meat, coconut milk :(
Started eating a Paleo diet Spring 2011. Love it!

The grass is always greener where you water it.




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