Food allergies--when do I contact the chefs?
I'm planning our family's first trip to WDW and am trying to put the legwork in ahead of time so we can have a smoother vacation. We've been to DLR as a family and so we do have some first-hand experience with Disney chefs, but until this trip I've not made any reservations ahead of time.
Me: peanut, tree nuts, soy (not all forms, the oils and lecithins are okay). OAS keeps me from eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Cross contamination is a problem for peanuts and soy, but not for the others.
DS6: peanut, tree nuts, sesame. Jury is still out on shellfish, we're hoping to do a couple of food challenges after Christmas.
We're not traveling until late May, but I've made some reservations already (DD8 has her heart set on breakfast with Cindy!). What's the best time to contact the chefs where we have ADRs? Obviously it's not time yet, but I have a very busy spring coming up and I want to stick it on my calendar so I don't forget to call!
If it is noted on the ressie the chef will see you at the restaurant
That's it? Nothing else?
Last time we went to WDW I was allergic to peanuts, eggs and shellfish. CC issue for both peanuts and shellfish.
We leave in 13 days and my list this time is:
peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, shellfish, wheat, oats, coconut, sesame, brocolli, ginger.
(peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, and shellfish are anaphylaxis and CC)
I also have every severe OAS so I can't tolerate raw fruits or veggies either
I might also be allergic to chocolate...still waiting for those results
For me, I plan on speaking to the chef at our resort (POP century) the first morning we are there so that I know exactly what I can and cannot have while there.
But otherwise, I just plan on talking to the chef at each restaurant when we get there.
I also already know that all snacks at WDW are off limits to me so thats not a concern for me about gettign that information. I'm just going ot carry my own snacks (GF cookies, popcorn, GF cake pops, etc).
But I know many others have contacted the chefs beforehand so they will probably have more information if you would like to do that.
I contact Special Diets around 1.5 months before my trip so see what kind of info they'll send out. I don't necessarily ask for chefs to contact me but if I have specific questions then I ask. If it's a restaurant that I'm unsure if there are options for my kids then I'll ask then to speak with a chef but otherwise I don't ask. Like you we have laundry lists of allergies. Some trips I hear from all the chefs while other trips I don't hear from any. I really don't know why exactly that is. If we'll be eating a lot at our resort then I do ask to speak with a chef at the resort so that I know there will be options for my kids for all those meals but for single meals at a location I'm fine with just waiting until we get there, unless it's a restaurant I'm unsure of for one reason or another (there aren't many that fit in this category).
I carry cards which are printed with what is allowed and not allowed. When I talk to the server, I give them the card to take to the chef. Very often the chef will come out and talk to me about it and suggest ideas, or ask me for ideas. It helps to resolve any confusion or mistakes. If we are dining at something with a fixed menu, such as a dinner show, I speak to the chef when I make the reservation if I can, so something can be arranged ahead of time.
You are supposed to contact special diets- this is from Disney's website:
"Guests with requests associated with the list below should contact the Walt Disney World Resort at Special.Diets@DisneyWorld.com at least 14 days prior to arrival and after booking all dining arrangements for the entire visit:
Allergy or intolerance not listed above under Common Food Allergies
A single guest with multiple allergies/intolerances or multiple guests with allergies/intolerances within the same party"
When you email them the form the chef will call you if they have a question.
DS needed special food everywhere and we were fine besides breakfast at Hollywood and Vine.
There isn't really anything they do in advance expect look at the items people have checked on the reservations.
I also recommend printing little cards. I just opened a word document, made 3 columns and typed a bunch of lists that I printed on regular paper and cut up into business card size before our trip.
Thanks everybody! We are doing Spirit of Aloha (and I know Polynesian food is a trouble spot with soy allergies) so I will make sure to note that. And I'll mark my calendar for a couple of weeks ahead of our trip to email Special Diets!
My husband has his heart set on Asian food, which I typically cannot eat due to the soy/nut allergies, so I made a reservation at Teppan Edo. If we can make that happen we will ALL be happy.
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