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Old 01-16-2014, 08:44 PM   #1
matt1979
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Allergen Info and Special Requests at CS Restaurants

We're on the QS dining plan...and both my wife and I have food allergies. She's got a gluten allergy...which is usually pretty easy to deal with as its usually obvious what has gluten. My milk/lactose allergy can be more tricky as its sometimes hard to figure out what's cooked in butter vs oil. Anyway...how easy is it to find allergen info at CS restaurants? Also, how accommodating are they willing to be at CS places? Am I stuck with what's there...or can I make a special request that veggies be served/cooked without butter. Overall I'm not too concerned about finding food to eat as long as I can find the allergen info...just curious what's reasonable to expect/ask for at CS restaurants with regards to special requests.
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Old 01-16-2014, 09:32 PM   #2
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We're on the QS dining plan...and both my wife and I have food allergies. She's got a gluten allergy...which is usually pretty easy to deal with as its usually obvious what has gluten. My milk/lactose allergy can be more tricky as its sometimes hard to figure out what's cooked in butter vs oil. Anyway...how easy is it to find allergen info at CS restaurants? Also, how accommodating are they willing to be at CS places? Am I stuck with what's there...or can I make a special request that veggies be served/cooked without butter. Overall I'm not too concerned about finding food to eat as long as I can find the allergen info...just curious what's reasonable to expect/ask for at CS restaurants with regards to special requests.
When you go into a CS restaurant tell someone (generally the cashier but if you find someone else that works too) that you have an allergy - they will get the chef for you. You'll tell the chef about your allergy(s) and go from there. Disney is really wonderful where allergies are concerned.
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Old 01-17-2014, 12:28 AM   #3
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My ds(5) has a severe milk allergy and we've done pretty good at the QS places. Like the pp mentioned, you will tell a cashier that you have an allergy and need to speak to a manager. The manager will come out and you go from there. They will either tell you what they can make for you or show you a book that lists all the allergens and what meals are free of those allergens.

My ds has had special meals made for him that were not even on the menu at QS restaurants but not all managers will do that. Most places have just told us what he can have and usually something is acceptable. The best QS places we have found is Contempo Cafe at CR, Captain Cook's at the Poly, Pecos Bills in MK and Columbia Harbor House in MK.

Despite most people having a good experience, we did not have one at Be Our Guest. The only dairy free item they would offer him were french fries and a pork dish (which I didn't think he'd eat). I'm not kidding. They had a kid's spaghetti and I asked if it was dairy free. They said 'no, because the chef puts cheese on the top'. I asked if they could just leave the cheese off and they said 'no'. BUT I think we had a 'unique' experience there.

Most of Disney is great with allergies and I think you'll do just fine even at QS.
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Old 01-17-2014, 07:21 AM   #4
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In addition to what others mentioned about speaking to the manager, email Special Diets at specialdiets@disneyworld.com. Tell them your allergies, and they will send you a list of allergy free food and where it is available. Of course, some places might have other foods that just happen to be allergy free, but this list gives you an idea about the definites. I have a GF/TN/PN allergy child, and it just took a bit of extra time at CS. That was it. Here is the GF list I was sent this week. http://wdw.wdpromedia.com/media/kana...-WheatFree.pdf

Someone mentioned that not all managers will make special meals. The exception would be meals off of this list at the appropriate places.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:01 PM   #5
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All the above tips are great. *A few to add based on 2 trips (2/12 and 2/13) with my odd who has 8 food allergies (including dairy)...*Read up on allergies on the disabilities board.*If you have multiple food allergies, Special Diets will ask for a more detailed list to be passed along to TS chefs. *We found this very helpful. *At CS, you are in charge of managing what you can and can't have by looking at the allergy list book that will be provided by the manager. It is a manager, not a chef. *My experiences varied in terms of the knowledge/helpfulness of the managers. *They all wanted to be helpful, but a few would not allow me to order foods I knew were fine for my odd (she has had food trials and tolerates *milk cooked in bread, like the standard CS hamburger bun) once they heard "allergy.". My odd is not allergic to gluten, so was very unhappy with the gluten free bun they insisted on serving. *I have learned to do my research ahead of time and know which counter service menus offer which ingredients. *This can be particularly challenging with kids meals, as they are more limited than TS meals. *We were never offered an alternate meal or separate preparation, but maybe I never asked. *We typically were fine to work with standard foods like hamburgers, fries, and fruit. *With all this being said, my odd never had a reaction to anything she ate at a CS. *You will be safe!
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Old 01-18-2014, 10:50 PM   #6
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All the above tips are great. *A few to add based on 2 trips (2/12 and 2/13) with my odd who has 8 food allergies (including dairy)...*Read up on allergies on the disabilities board.*If you have multiple food allergies, Special Diets will ask for a more detailed list to be passed along to TS chefs. *We found this very helpful. *At CS, you are in charge of managing what you can and can't have by looking at the allergy list book that will be provided by the manager. It is a manager, not a chef. *My experiences varied in terms of the knowledge/helpfulness of the managers. *They all wanted to be helpful, but a few would not allow me to order foods I knew were fine for my odd (she has had food trials and tolerates *milk cooked in bread, like the standard CS hamburger bun) once they heard "allergy.". My odd is not allergic to gluten, so was very unhappy with the gluten free bun they insisted on serving. *I have learned to do my research ahead of time and know which counter service menus offer which ingredients. *This can be particularly challenging with kids meals, as they are more limited than TS meals. *We were never offered an alternate meal or separate preparation, but maybe I never asked. *We typically were fine to work with standard foods like hamburgers, fries, and fruit. *With all this being said, my odd never had a reaction to anything she ate at a CS. *You will be safe!
we found that CS locations in the resorts (AoA, AS Music, Contemporary, POFQ etc) were the best in terms of making the dish separately for you. DH has a turkey allergy - which sounds 'easy' but often since turkey is considered to be 'safe' so it's not kept separately in a lot of places. DH can't have anything that turkey has been in (like a cooking pot) or anything that might have been touched by turkey. We've found the Disney chefs in CS locations to really be wonderful - again more so in the resorts I think due to volume (I mean FlameTree BBQ on a slow day is absolutely crazy).
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Old 01-19-2014, 03:24 AM   #7
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Despite most people having a good experience, we did not have one at Be Our Guest. The only dairy free item they would offer him were french fries and a pork dish (which I didn't think he'd eat). I'm not kidding. They had a kid's spaghetti and I asked if it was dairy free. They said 'no, because the chef puts cheese on the top'. I asked if they could just leave the cheese off and they said 'no'. BUT I think we had a 'unique' experience there.
We had a similar experience at 50's (although that is Table Service). The Chef was so unaccomodating. Everything single thing I chose he said I couldn't have. So frustrating because some of the dishes could have easily been modified slightly to make it safe for me. Then, he got annoyed when I wouldn't order anything
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:26 PM   #8
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Quick service places in the parks often don't have a ton of flexibility especially since many of the items are pre-made and warmed up. Like mashed potatoes come pre-made so you can't just get potatoes with no dairy at most QS. They have a notebook with ingredients so you can figure out what is and isn't safe. They can usually do things like leave butter off of broccoli or cheese off a burger. A few places in the parks like sunshine seasons have more flexibility because they carry a lot more fresh ingredients and have a full kitchen. Usually though with special dietary needs you do better at resort quick service locations because they carry more items and have full kitchens. SO if you want a turkey sandwich and the regular bread doesn't work for you they have like 6 other breads they can check. I can handle a few quick services here and there but it gets trying finding something you can have and actually want to eat plus having to wait a long time extra.
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Old 01-19-2014, 06:32 PM   #9
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At most CS places we went to, I checked with the chef who confirmed that the food was fine.

Columbia Harbor House was the only place where I had some issues. I ordered the salmon with couscous and after ending up in the hospital from having couscous served with peanut butter in it at a restaurant where we live, I made sure that the couscous at CHH was 100% peanut butter free. The CM was very nice and assured us it wasn't but said to check with the chef when we picked up the order to be sure. When we asked one of the cooks about speaking with the chef, he said the chef was busy and wouldn't be available for 10-20 minutes. The CM that took our order saw us waiting and saw that our food was getting cold so she took out a binder with all the ingredients in it.

Other places were very accommodating though! They should all have a book with the ingredients and any allergen free items.
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Old 01-20-2014, 01:22 AM   #10
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Usually though with special dietary needs you do better at resort quick service locations because they carry more items and have full kitchens. SO if you want a turkey sandwich and the regular bread doesn't work for you they have like 6 other breads they can check. I can handle a few quick services here and there but it gets trying finding something you can have and actually want to eat plus having to wait a long time extra.
I can definitely see where this would be the case. We've even had managers at Captain Cook's and at Contempo Cafe go to O'Hana's or Chef Mickey's to get ingredients needed to make our ds a meal or prepare him a dessert. So it makes sense that the resort locations have more flexibility.
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