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Eliserose 09-27-2012 01:22 PM

Club Level with allergies
Has anyone stayed CL with allergies? Wondering if it's worth it, or if the kids won't be able to eat much. One child is gluten free and one is peanut & shellfish allergic. (Interested in the Polynesian, if that matters).

clanmcculloch 09-27-2012 01:43 PM

Well since you're interesting in the Polynesian, I just have to respond. If you look at my signature, I've stayed Poly CL multiple times. We'll stay again. We LOVE Poly CL. If you look at my latest dining review you'll see that we have lots of allergies. Not a problem. The chefs will take great care of you. That review does NOT include Poly CL as we didn't stay there this trip but it really is wonderful there. I don't want to go into details because I would hate for lurkers who don't have allergies to try to take advantage but I guarantee you that your kids will have plenty to eat. You will not grab your allergy food from the counter as that would be too dangerous. The chefs will make sure that there is safe food available for you. There's be something for breakfast and evening appetizers plus snacks and desserts (the desserts will likely be the same as the snacks and the same that are found all over WDW; expect plenty of Enjoy Life and OMG products). If any of the adults are gluten free, they can get in Redbridge beer for you (ask me how I know LOL).

One word of caution though. How severe is the peanut allergy? There are uncrustables in the lounge. Will potential smears of peanutbutter from stickly little fingers on tables pose a risk? There's the potential for this in the lounge, especially by the downstairs TV where the smaller kid sized chairs and sofa are located. This isn't a risk to the food that the chefs will provide but it is a risk while sitting in the lounge. For us, one of the many things we like about Poly CL is that lounge.

I will caution you to not let IPO freak you out if you try asking them questions about allergies. Before my first stay, they had me really questioning whether or not I had made a mistake in booking there. They literally sent me a link to Garden Grocer and told me that I should order my own groceries. When I was checking in to the Hawaii building I was mentioning this to the CM checking me in (super friendly folks there BTW) and she noticed that the chef was walking in at the same time and brought us over to meet her. She is so friendly and helpful. IPO is useless but the people actually in the building are absolutely wonderful. Send your form in to Special Diets and to IPO, but it wouldn't surprise me if the chefs aren't notified that you're coming (more often than not in my experience). They will have safe food for you anyway even without notice.

IMO you can't go wrong with Poly CL with food allergies.

Eliserose 09-28-2012 08:27 AM

Wow! Thanks so much for all the information-so helpful and exactly what I was looking for. We had our first stay at the Poly last week, and I don't think I'll ever stay anywhere else. What is IPO? That's great to know about the food and also about the Pb&J. My daughter is 9, so hopefully that wouldn't be an issue and she could just be careful about it. I'll definitely check out your dining reviews too. We have had great dining experiences as far as allergies are concerned. Glad to know if I pay the $$ for CL, they will be able to eat!

mistysue 09-28-2012 10:00 AM

Do you happen to know much about the YC CL? DH and I left our last trip thinking we would love to stay at YC again, but because of the counter service issues we would only do it club level- thinking they would probably be able to provide something for our son. While we were there they had a grab and go sort of station set up in the bar (with nothing safe) and the BC marketplace would not make him anything. So with his allergies he can not eat at the resort unless we go to a table service or bring it ourselves. While sort of a lot, his allergies aren't that odd- wheat, soy, egg, dairy, peanut, nuts, shellfish, buckwheat and sesame. BC/YC was the only place we went anybody even batted an eye at it.

clanmcculloch 09-28-2012 10:36 AM

IPO = Itinerary Planning Office
They're the people who you're in touch with before your trip for all your pre-planning needs. They don't actually work at the Polynesian and I haven't found any use for them in all of my trips.

FYI: Don't do online checkin when staying CL, at least at Poly. If you do online checkin then you'll have to go to the online checkin counter in the Great Ceremonial House to check in. If you don't then you'll be driven to the Hawaii building by golf cart and checked in much more comfortably in the Hawaii building.

I really don't have any experience with any other resorts' CL offerings. I did consider CL at YC or BC but I've read very polar experiences meaning somebody sent me some glowing information while another basically said that the CL folks wouldn't (not couldn't but wouldn't) accomodate them in any way. Knowing that IPO has been useless at Poly I wouldn't trust them at other resorts either so I'm just not sure what to say about other resorts.

When we stayed at YC (non-CL) I chose non-CL because I wanted to try a lot of TS restaurants. I knew that there weren't CS options so I planned very carefully to make sure that on resort days I booked a big TS lunch/late breakfast and on park days that we ate CS in the parks and then had TS for dinner at the resort. I had groceries in the room for breakfasts and snacks. It worked out really well and would definitely consider this again but I definitely hear you on the frustration of no CS anywhere around Crescent Lake. I'm pretty sure I wrote a dining review from that trip but it's probably really buried by now. I should really link my dining reviews in my signature to make things easier.

Eliserose 09-28-2012 10:45 AM

Thanks for that tip! I did online check in this time and it was great, got all my requests (Tokelau balcony), so I would have probably done it again before hearing that.
Is there a way to find your dining reviews? I'd love to read them. We didn't do O'Hana b/c I was worried about the peanut issue, but loved Kona for breakfast and dinner.

clanmcculloch 09-28-2012 10:49 AM

I'll see if I can find older dining reviews. For my current one that's in progress (doesn't include any Poly stuff), I know it's still on the first page of this board.

clanmcculloch 09-28-2012 11:06 AM

I found my dining reviews and added them to my signature. Note that there's very little info about Poly CL.

dawnball 10-01-2012 02:19 PM

My parents stayed CL at AKL a few years ago for their anniversary. Special diets weren't a problem, but they were time-consuming (as usual). A snack in the lounge would take an hour to obtain, but they could drop by, ask about something, and then come back later.

Mrs K 10-03-2012 02:10 PM

We have stayed CL at the Poly many times and my DD has severe peanut/treenut, shellfish/seafood allergies. We have also stayed CL at the Grand Floridian. The Poly CL staff and lounge offerings were much better at the Poly. The chef has a book behind the counter with ingredients. My DD stuck with simple things like veggies and cheese to be safe. The CM's would also get her food from the back to avoid cross contamination. She avoided the buckets of gummies and goldfish too. The uncrustables are always a problem. I always carry wipes to clean the table and chairs. She had a reaction years ago from touching something in the lounge. I always figure better safe than sorry, so avoiding foods is something she has just gotten used to.

Eliserose 10-03-2012 02:13 PM

Thanks so much for all this great info!

snorris49 10-06-2012 08:43 AM

The only club level I had difficulty with was Wilderness Lodge mostly I think because the staff did not enjoy having to work with the allergies. The chefs on the other were good there, but I often didn't find many options or ability to get many options because the staff would tell me no that they didn't have time to ask the chefs, etc. AKL is amazing and I've heard Poly is great as well! I think mine might have just been an isolated incident.

Brandee23 04-08-2013 01:33 PM

What a great post!!

My daughter is severly allergic to peanuts. She's had bad reactions from touching it. She is 6 and in kindergarten. She develops small contact reactions at school often; like one itchy hive on her face, or a splotch on her chin. She sits at a nut free table at lunch and snack. The allergist feels she is some how contacting it, maybe by sharing school supplies with other kids. He said the minutest amount will give her a reaction.

With that being said, I am very cautious especially traveling. I don't feel comfortable flying with her yet. My parents are DVC members so we always stay at a Disney villa. It's always nice to have a kitchen. This trip we are going with my mom, and sister & her family. Since my mom didn't have enough points for everyone, we decided to try a split stay. We are staying at OKW Villa for 5 day and Polynesian for 5 days.

We have plans to stay at the Polynesian Club Level. Should I be nervous about a contact reaction there? We've been to Disney often so I know how great Disney restaurants have been in the past. I am hoping the Polynesian Club Level will be no different. I definitely will bring plenty of wipes, and always wipe down the table there. Do they have people there that also wipe down the tables? I am also wondering how busy does it get there?

If anyone else has stayed at the Polynesian cl with food allergies recently, I'd love to hear your advice. I'm excited to try the Polynesian and hear cl is newly renovated. I haven't seen pictures of it yet, are pictures of the new renovations posted anywhere?

I'm happy to see this thread on FA! Any advice is always helpful!! Thanks!!! :) :)

clanmcculloch 04-08-2013 02:24 PM

They have uncrustables in the Poly CL lounge. They also have a low table with low chairs surrounding a TV that's on a kids' channel in the lounge and I bet at least a quarter if not more of the kids who go in there sit down here with uncrustables. Since your DD has contact allergies from even the smallest amount of peanuts, I'd say you shouldn't bring her into the lounge. Stickly little peanut butter covered fingers could have touched anywhere in there. We love using the lounge but my kids don't have contact allergies to any foods.

That doesn't mean you won't be able to take advantage of the food offered by the lounge. The chefs will prepare food for her that is prepared in a peanut free kitchen and kept separate from the regular food. There'll also be peanut free snacks available and they can get juices and milks and fruit for you from the back so that you'll get stuff that has not been exposed to the lounge and potential cross contamination.

Brandee23 04-08-2013 04:35 PM


Originally Posted by clanmcculloch (Post 48045506)
They have uncrustables in the Poly CL lounge. They also have a low table with low chairs surrounding a TV that's on a kids' channel in the lounge and I bet at least a quarter if not more of the kids who go in there sit down here with uncrustables. Since your DD has contact allergies from even the smallest amount of peanuts, I'd say you shouldn't bring her into the lounge. Stickly little peanut butter covered fingers could have touched anywhere in there. We love using the lounge but my kids don't have contact allergies to any foods.

That's what I am worried about. I was hoping since most of the kids usually sit at the low table and chairs surrounding the tv that maybe she could sit at one of the other tables in the lounge. But, it sounds like that may not be safe either. :( I'm starting to wonder if we shouldn't stay at the Poly Cl. I don't want her to feel as if she has to be isolated. It may be easier not to have the option of being in the lounge area.

I am glad to hear the chef is more then helpful with FA's. It's good to know they are careful and it sounds like they will be helpful.

I truly appreciate your response!!! Thank you!! :)

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