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Old 09-29-2012, 11:02 PM   #1
Jellifer
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Wishes fireworks - not so allergy friendly

I had a very unmagical time today at the tomorrow land dessert party, I'll just copy and paste my email to Disney as it is a long story to re-write. It's not an event I would recommend for a nut free family.



To whomever it may concern,

I am writing with regard to your wishes dessert party which I attended tonight (29th September 2012).

I booked my tickets to the party online (reference **********) and specified at the time of booking that I have a nut allergy. I then followed up this booking with a general query to the wdw-dine telephone line. I was assured that if the booking specified an allergy the manager would be made aware and would be able to help.

When I arrived at the party tonight I spoke to the manager who hurriedly pointed out what I should definitely avoid on the buffet and he promised to bring an allergy book to my table so that we could work out what I can eat and also get some specialist allergy cakes brought over if necessary. I made it very clear to the manager that my nut allergy is lethal.

I took some strawberries and a crispie cake to my table with a cup of coffee while I waited on the manager to come over - I'm still waiting. The manager disappeared and was nowhere to be seen for the rest of the event.

While waiting for the manager I visited the buffet table for the second time; a peanut butter cake had been smashed into a platter and smeared over the plates holding several of the cakes I thought to be suitable rendering the cakes dangerous to eat due to the risk of cross contamination.

When I asked a cast member for the manager I was told he was with another allergy family and he would come over soon. 10 minutes later a different cast member cleared our table and advised us to stand at the balcony for the fireworks.

I am incredibly disappointed to say the least, I brought friends thousands of miles to visit Disney as they are top for customer service and known for
dealing well with allergies. So far this holiday I have only been disappointed in not being able to eat a candy apple (which i can appreciate as there are nuts in the preparation area) everything else has been perfect and this happening tonight has really let me down.

I am unsure what I would like Disney to do to remedy the situation but I would be most grateful if someone can assure me that this wont happen to another allergy family as I would hate for a child to be made to feel the way I have been made to feel tonight.

Kindest regards,
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:47 PM   #2
seven dwarfs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellifer View Post
I had a very unmagical time today at the tomorrow land dessert party, I'll just copy and paste my email to Disney as it is a long story to re-write. It's not an event I would recommend for a nut free family.



To whomever it may concern,

I am writing with regard to your wishes dessert party which I attended tonight (29th September 2012).

I booked my tickets to the party online (reference **********) and specified at the time of booking that I have a nut allergy. I then followed up this booking with a general query to the wdw-dine telephone line. I was assured that if the booking specified an allergy the manager would be made aware and would be able to help.

When I arrived at the party tonight I spoke to the manager who hurriedly pointed out what I should definitely avoid on the buffet and he promised to bring an allergy book to my table so that we could work out what I can eat and also get some specialist allergy cakes brought over if necessary. I made it very clear to the manager that my nut allergy is lethal.

I took some strawberries and a crispie cake to my table with a cup of coffee while I waited on the manager to come over - I'm still waiting. The manager disappeared and was nowhere to be seen for the rest of the event.

While waiting for the manager I visited the buffet table for the second time; a peanut butter cake had been smashed into a platter and smeared over the plates holding several of the cakes I thought to be suitable rendering the cakes dangerous to eat due to the risk of cross contamination.

When I asked a cast member for the manager I was told he was with another allergy family and he would come over soon. 10 minutes later a different cast member cleared our table and advised us to stand at the balcony for the fireworks.

I am incredibly disappointed to say the least, I brought friends thousands of miles to visit Disney as they are top for customer service and known for
dealing well with allergies. So far this holiday I have only been disappointed in not being able to eat a candy apple (which i can appreciate as there are nuts in the preparation area) everything else has been perfect and this happening tonight has really let me down.

I am unsure what I would like Disney to do to remedy the situation but I would be most grateful if someone can assure me that this wont happen to another allergy family as I would hate for a child to be made to feel the way I have been made to feel tonight.

Kindest regards,
I am so sorry this happend to you. I really understand what it is like to spend good money for an experience and not recieve what you thought was advertised. My family recently had some pretty bad experiences during our dinning. We only had three of our meals that turned out ok. I have since read other reviews of the same establishments of others having a great time and wonderful service with their allergies. I can't help but feel sad my family didn't have that same service. I hope disney can somehow address these issues so it is a positive experience for all allergy guest. It seems as if it is hit or miss and this could be a huge issue to someone with allergies.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:10 PM   #3
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Sorry this happened to you. I don't have experience with a nut allergy but my first thought was, if they know ahead of time that people need nut free treats why don't they prepare special small platters ahead of time and bring those to the tables of people who need it? I'm sure other entitled folk might be wondering why they can't have a special platter, but for those that need it, I think this would be a reasonable solution to avoid cross contamination.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:22 PM   #4
Jellifer
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There was a table who had a butterfly platter with cakes that was delivered to them sealed in cling film, I assume they were a multiple allergy family.

I was told by WDW-dine that as I'm "only" allergic to nuts Disney will handle that easily as many of their guests can't have nut products. They made it sound like they're so clued up on nut allergies (mine is all nuts and some seeds that are related to nuts) that I'd pitch up, speak to someone and the buffet would be completely safe with nut containing cakes in a separate area or just not there at all. I'm still disappointed thinking about it. To let you understand I didn't get a nut allergy until I was 22, I ate a pear one day and my mouth broke out into blisters, my airway tightened and if my flat mate wasn't a student nurse I'd be dead. When we had the tests done it came back as a nut allergy and they think my pear had been dumped in a bin of monkey nuts then moved back to the pear bin - thats how sensitive I am! I'm finding the allergy difficult to deal with, I love peanuts, nutella, snickers etc and now I can't even get up close to someone who has eaten anything with nuts in it.

I cheered myself up today with a baby cakes cupcake, it was lovely being able to choose anything behind the counter - its an experience I've never had in the UK. It was the experience I was hoping to have yesterday but I suppose nothing can be right all the time.

I'm not sure how long it will take to hear back from Disney, does anyone know how long they take to reply to complaints?
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellifer View Post
There was a table who had a butterfly platter with cakes that was delivered to them sealed in cling film, I assume they were a multiple allergy family.

I was told by WDW-dine that as I'm "only" allergic to nuts Disney will handle that easily as many of their guests can't have nut products. They made it sound like they're so clued up on nut allergies (mine is all nuts and some seeds that are related to nuts) that I'd pitch up, speak to someone and the buffet would be completely safe with nut containing cakes in a separate area or just not there at all. I'm still disappointed thinking about it. To let you understand I didn't get a nut allergy until I was 22, I ate a pear one day and my mouth broke out into blisters, my airway tightened and if my flat mate wasn't a student nurse I'd be dead. When we had the tests done it came back as a nut allergy and they think my pear had been dumped in a bin of monkey nuts then moved back to the pear bin - thats how sensitive I am! I'm finding the allergy difficult to deal with, I love peanuts, nutella, snickers etc and now I can't even get up close to someone who has eaten anything with nuts in it.

I cheered myself up today with a baby cakes cupcake, it was lovely being able to choose anything behind the counter - its an experience I've never had in the UK. It was the experience I was hoping to have yesterday but I suppose nothing can be right all the time.

I'm not sure how long it will take to hear back from Disney, does anyone know how long they take to reply to complaints?

You are aware of this from Babycakes right?
* NOTE: It has recently been called to our attention that the FDA now categorizes coconut as a treenut. For this reason, BabyCakes NYC cannot claim to bake without treenuts as coconut oil is an essential part of our products. This is the only nut with which we bake.

As far as what you were told about being able to handle the allergy at the location, it is true. WDW policy is to address single allergies at the location. Those with multiple allergies require additional planning.

I am confused by a few things you have posted, such as "I can't even get up close to someone who has eaten anything with nuts in it". At any given time at WDW you are surrounded by people who have eaten or are eating peanut products. Others at the dessert party had eaten peanut products. Did you react? Is your allergy airborne? Or just contact/consumption?

As far how long it takes to hear back from WDW, usually a couple weeks.
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Old 09-30-2012, 09:57 PM   #6
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I am glad you took the time to share your experience. The dessert party was something I was thinking on experiencing but was concerned about my son's allergy to hazelnuts. Now, I am sure to steer clear of this experience. I have suffered with food allergies all my life and now my son too and Disney was the only place where I trusted to have allergy- free dining experiences. Too bad that you had to go through that bad experience but at least you might have prevented it's reoccurrence.
Thank you and good luck!

Just as a side note, the gluten free flour Baby Cakes uses, is processed on the same machine that processes hazelnuts. That is why my son can't eat their desserts. Since you are deadly allergic, I just wanted to give you a heads up!
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:00 PM   #7
Jellifer
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It's contact so as long as no one I'm with eats them then I'm fine, I wash my hands a lot, take anti histamines as a preventative and ive learned not to touch my face or mouth which all helps. I don't react to coconut but I can't eat most coconut products in the UK as they tend to be mixed with almond/process almond at the same plant. baby cakes told me that although there are other nuts used on their flour production lines they dump the first few batches made to reduce the risk, my cupcake was really good and I've not had any swelling or other problems since eating my cake

I did tell Disney it's most nuts and that cross contamination is a big issue for me but they shrugged it off and said nut allergies were easy dealt with by them. I'm hoping to hear back from them soon, at least with a reply saying they're looking into this and they'll report back. I just want reassured that they are looking into the risks, what if a kid with a nut allergy had eaten one of the "safe" cakes after the tray had been smeared with peanut butter?
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:23 PM   #8
livndisney
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellifer View Post
It's contact so as long as no one I'm with eats them then I'm fine, I wash my hands a lot, take anti histamines as a preventative and ive learned not to touch my face or mouth which all helps. I don't react to coconut but I can't eat most coconut products in the UK as they tend to be mixed with almond/process almond at the same plant. baby cakes told me that although there are other nuts used on their flour production lines they dump the first few batches made to reduce the risk, my cupcake was really good and I've not had any swelling or other problems since eating my cake

I did tell Disney it's most nuts and that cross contamination is a big issue for me but they shrugged it off and said nut allergies were easy dealt with by them. I'm hoping to hear back from them soon, at least with a reply saying they're looking into this and they'll report back. I just want reassured that they are looking into the risks, what if a kid with a nut allergy had eaten one of the "safe" cakes after the tray had been smeared with peanut butter?
Again I am confused by your statements. WDW is quite aware of the hazards of allergies. You have one of the common allergies. And their policy is :


Common Food Allergies
Table-service restaurants that accept reservations at Walt Disney World Resort can accommodate most food allergies or intolerances.

Common Food Allergies include:

gluten or wheat
shellfish
soy
lactose or dairy
peanuts
tree nuts
fish
eggs
corn


Guests should notate these food allergies and intolerances at the time of booking their dining reservation. Guests are also welcome to speak to a chef or a manager on duty when arriving at the dining location.

Most restaurants offer no sugar added, low fat, low sodium or vegetarian options. Advance arrangements are not necessary for guests with lifestyle dietary requests. Guests can discuss this with their server upon arrival at the restaurant.

Metabolic Disorders/Multiple Allergies
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
PKU
Metabolic disorders
A single guest with multiple allergies/intolerances or multiple guests with allergies/intolerances within the same party



The website also says :

" Walt Disney Parks and Resorts will use reasonable efforts to prevent the introduction of the allergen of concern into the food through close attention during our sourcing, preparation and handling processes. However, it is ultimately up to the Guest to use his or her individual discretion to make an informed choice regarding whether to order any particular items. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts cannot guarantee that allergens may not have been introduced during another stage of the food chain process or, even inadvertently, during preparation. We do not have separate kitchens to prepare allergen-free items or separate dining areas for Guests with allergies or intolerances. and The restaurants will do their best to accommodate guest dietary requirements, but cannot guarantee they will be able to meet all requests."

Did the manager you spoke with, point out what was safe?
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:30 PM   #9
Jellifer
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The manager said he knew the strawberries and the crispie cakes were safe, the peanut butter one wasn't (and pointed to the peanut butter one), anything in a case wasn't (pointed out the cases) and he wasn't sure about the rest but he would bring the allergy book over for us to read through together. He said there were allergy cakes available if my choice was too restrictive, but then never actually came with the book, the cakes or even an apology for not being able to help me.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellifer View Post
I made it very clear to the manager that my nut allergy is lethal.

I took some strawberries and a crispie cake to my table with a cup of coffee while I waited on the manager to come over - I'm still waiting.
I can't help but think this may have caused a problem. Perhaps if you were seen returning with food, one manager may have assumed another manager had already spoking to you.

Sorry, guess I was wrong based on the previous post.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jellifer View Post
The manager said he knew the strawberries and the crispie cakes were safe, the peanut butter one wasn't (and pointed to the peanut butter one), anything in a case wasn't (pointed out the cases) and he wasn't sure about the rest but he would bring the allergy book over for us to read through together. He said there were allergy cakes available if my choice was too restrictive, but then never actually came with the book, the cakes or even an apology for not being able to help me.
So you ate at the Dessert party and had no reactions? Your complaint is that the manager was not able to get back to you because he was helping other allergy families?

When you saw the peanut butter on the plate, did you speak to a CM? Did you ask for them to bring more safe food from the back? Or send the manager over?

In my experience, you sometimes have to remind CM's about allergies.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:50 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by DOPEYLUVER View Post
I can't help but think this may have caused a problem. Perhaps if you were seen returning with food, one manager may have assumed another manager had already spoking to you.

Sorry, guess I was wrong based on the previous post.
I think you may be on the right track. The manager may have seen the OP was enjoying desserts (that he/she had previously pointed out as "safe") and moved on to the next allergy table.
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Old 09-30-2012, 11:50 PM   #13
Jellifer
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The manager was there when I picked up the two strawberries and 2 inch slice of crispie cake. He said he would bring the allergy book and he didn't.

All around us people were gorging on cakes, other tables had piles of plates on them - I did not pay $25 to eat 2 strawberries and a crispie cake. The event is described as having "an array of tempting sweets", that was not what I was offered. I did everything I could to give Disney time to accommodate for my allergy or contact me to say they can't accommodate me so here's a refund and we suggest lining up early for the fireworks. At no point was my allergy flagged as a problem.

When I pointed out the peanut smears to cast members I was told they don't do allergies and all allergy food has to be served by the manager - this is the same man who couldn't be bothered to come and help me. The cast members couldn't/wouldn't get me safe cakes from the back. Whenever I asked to speak to the manager he was busy but as the terrace only holds 50 people I want to know where he was as aside from taking the wrapped plate to the family a few tables back I never saw him interact with guests at all.

The cast member at guest services who gave me the business card with the complaints email address on it said she was shocked that the manager didn't come to see me and she was very apologetic that Disney messed up so bad.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:10 AM   #14
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I'm sorry you had such a disappointing experience. We did the dessert party 3 years ago with a peanut/tree nut allergic child and a wrapped platter was brought to our table for him with assorted cakes, fruits, etc. It was way more than one person could ever eat.
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:10 AM   #15
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if it helps, we did the desert party in August and you didn't miss much. I thought it was the biggest waste of money I have ever spent at disney. The selection of deserts were pathetic. there were a lot of peanut items (I'm allergic to peanuts, but not highly - so I simply avoid visible peanuts and peanut butter, and don't mention it to staff and I just use dh as my tester) But what struck me was that there was absolutely no attempt made to isolate any items and given that peanut allergies are huge, I thought the desert just had far far too many of those items.

Plus we still had to deal with the people pushing and shoving their way to the buffet and pushing and shoving in front of our "front" table. and pushing and shoving around our son - who enjoyed the deserts, but we booked the party because he does not enjoy the crowds at wishes.

It's going to be a never again thing for us.
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