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Can You Enjoy A Disney Buffet With A Food Allergy?

Can You Enjoy A Disney Buffet With A Food Allergy?

Do you or someone in your travel party have a food allergy? Did you know that Disney makes dining with a food allergy simple? Here is my experience with dining at a buffet with a food allergy. 

Disney food allergy statement 

Credit: Jamie

On Disney’s website you will find their allergy statement. It reads:

About our allergy-friendly menu items: Guests may consult with a chef or special diets trained Cast Members before placing an order. We use reasonable efforts in our sourcing, preparation and handling procedures to avoid the introduction of the named allergens into allergy-friendly menu choices.

While we take steps to prevent cross-contact, we do not have seperate allergy-friendly kitchens and are unable to guarantee that a menu item is completely free of allergens. Allergy-friendly offerings are reliant on supplier ingredient labels. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the contents of each food item.

Allergen advisory statements (e.g., “may contain”) are not regulated and therefore not taken into consideration when developing allergy-friendly meals. It is ultimately our Gusts’ discretion to make an informed choice based upon their individual dietary needs.

Food allergies at Disney

Photo Credit: Heather

My family has become more comfortable dining out when at Disney, as they take it very seriously. I have found that I am not alone in this. I still like to have control for most of our meals, so we usually book a room with a kitchen. This helps with keeping the cost of our food down, but also I can control the ingredients. 

Also, when needing to have items specially prepared with a food allergy, it may take longer to receive them. Be prepared for dining times to be longer than average, but I will happily wait a little extra to know we are getting safe food for my son. Click HERE to learn about booking and preparing for your Disney trip with a food allergy. 

Dining experiences may take longer when ordering allergy friendly food items.

I have done a few table services with great experiences (more to come as we venture around!), check out my experiences at Tusker House andOhana. Disney even has an allergy friendly option for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party. Check out my review HERE.

Buffet 

Credit: Monica

I know I never worried or thought twice about a buffet until my youngest was diagnosed with multiple food allergies. Now I look through “allergy glasses” and just the thought of a buffet is terrifying. I can just imagine bits of cheese and egg (milk and eggs are our allergies) everywhere. People using tongs for different items than what they were intended.  Cross contamination EVERYWHERE! 

Disney has so many buffets with such yummy options. Is this something my family would have to give up? The answer: NO WAY! 

But how? If you have read my previous experiences (see links above) of dining at Disney with food allergies it is much easier than I ever thought. When you dine at a buffet at Disney you will have several options. This was my experience at Crystal Palace (before characters returned). 

Option One

Photo Credit: Heather

The first option Disney gave us was an allergy menu. This was a list of all the items that are served on the buffet. Here you can see what allergen each item contains. From this list you can then decide if any of these items are right for you. 

Some people feel comfortable enough in this option that they can simply avoid their allergen this way. But what if this doesn’t work for you? What if you could have an allergic reaction with possible cross contamination? There is another option! 

Option Two 

Photo Credit: Heather

The second option, and the option we chose, is speaking with the chef. Disney is great and a chef can talk to you at each table service meal. I 100% recommend this! Talking with the chef really put me at ease. I loved this! My family doesn’t dine out at home due to my son’s allergies, but we feel more comfortable at Disney knowing that they truly make a great effort when preparing allergy friendly foods. 

The Buffet Allergy Guide listed each menu item and any of the top allergens it would contain.

The chef came out and talked to us and asked us what we wanted on the menu. We could order anything off the menu to be brought to our table directly! This was such a relief and brought some comfort to our meal.

What we chose 

Photo Credit: Heather

Looking at the menu there were plenty of things for my son to choose from. Because he is still young, we chose the items we thought he would eat. We only chose a couple of items even though the chef told us we could choose whatever we would like. 

Unfortunately, the chicken tenders here were not an option. We opted for the oven roasted chicken, roasted marble potatoes, and the basmati rice.

An allergy friendly roll was also brought to the table along with a vegan butter. This roll is like other allergy friendly rolls we have come across at Disney. Decent but a little bland in taste and slightly dry. Being able to have the vegan butter definitely helps.

Photo Credit: Heather

The main food items were brought to the table and they were hot and delicious! The chicken had great flavor and very moist and tender. My little guy gobbled this down and couldn’t get enough. The potatoes were tasty with a lot of flavor and just the right amount of tenderness. However my toddler preferred the rice. This was just your basic rice, but it was still yummy! 

The chef did tell us we could pick something for dessert. The server felt like there wasn’t an option that would be safe. There were a couple of options on the printed menu they gave us. We could have asked to speak to the chef again, but my toddler isn’t a big sweets guy and seemed to have eaten his fair share of dinner. 

I would have probably requested to speak to the chef again to see our options if my son was older or hadn’t already eaten so much. I wasn’t even sure if he would eat it if given the chance and didn’t want to waste anyone’s time or food. We opted to pass on dessert at this meal.

Final thoughts 

Credit: Susan

With all of Disney’s restaurants and some that are quite specific with their menus, it’s easy to be hesitant to book a reservation with a food allergy. I know I was fully prepared for my son to have a peanut butter sandwich I had packed versus food from the buffet.  Fortunately, that was not needed!

My anxiety around dining out at Disney is getting less and less, and we are able to enjoy some pretty amazing Disney dining experiences! Now, if I could get my toddler to not be scared of characters so we can book some character meals! Happy dining, crew!

Have you dined at a Disney buffet with food allergies? Does this help you feel more comfortable about booking a dining reservation at a Disney buffet if you have food allergies? Let us know on the Kenny the Pirate Facebook page. Don’t forget to join the KtP crew page too!


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