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Old 08-07-2009, 03:00 PM   #1
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I have a headache from planning this trip and could use some opinions please!

Warning, this is long!!!

So we do not have our 90 day window for a month still, but planning meals is already a hassle. We are there for 8 nights in early December. I'm the designated meal planner and am required to make everyone happy. Here's what I'm dealing with:

Me : I'll admit I'm part of the problem. I'm a vegetarian. That's a bit limiting. Furthermore, I'm a vegetarian who doesn't really like cheese, especially when melted. Given that Disney has decided cheese is the best substitute for meet, this is a problem.

But I'm not the worst!

My dad: He has ISSUES. Some not his fault, some are. First off, he has false teeth, so he has trouble chewing, especially really crunchy things like celery or undercooked veggies, as well as more chewy things like al dente pasta. Second, he has a constricted esophagus, so what he does chew needs to be really, really chewed. Third, he has a cow stomach, his own, natural stomach stapling. Seriously, his doctor has never seen anything like it and wants to write a case study on it but my dad refuses to sit through another colonoscopy to do it. His stomach is divided into 3 parts, and food only goes into the first part, which is very small. So he eats tiny meals and if he eats too fast, he has what he calls an "attack" and throws up. The best food for him is fish, he likes it and it usually is easy for him to eat. And finally, the ones of his doing: despite the fact that he smokes and drinks beer like a fish, he is also health obsessed and won't eat anything he considers "bad," like swordfish (mercury) or anything fried. But he will eat hot dogs. I know, I don't get it either.

My aunt: possibly the worst offender as she throws tantrums if she is unhappy with her meal. She has "allergies" to garlic and black pepper and so needs a very nice accommodating chef who is willing to cook her a dry steak and baked potato with literally no seasoning. She is also lactose intolerant and won't eat fish or chicken. It's basically steak or nothing. Oh and she eats pizza, despite the fact that most tomato sauce will have garlic and pepper in it. Again, I don't get it either.

The rest of the gang is pretty normal.

My cousin won't eat any fish, but otherwise eats everything.

My mom likes to say she'll eat anything, but in reality hates curry and anything spicy.

My uncle literally will eat anything (as long as it is served with a beer). And does. His nickname is Yum Yum. Seriously, that's what my entire family calls him.

So if you have made it this far, I am impressed and would be happy with any suggestions. We need restaurants that are a) vegetarian-friendly, b) serves fish for my dad, c) serves steak that is not pre-marinated for my aunt, d) serves rather bland things for my mom, and e) serves excellent cocktails. Because I am really, really going to need one with this crew

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Old 08-07-2009, 03:07 PM   #2
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Bless your heart! I think I completely understand your frustration, but I really don't have a solution for you. Perhaps buffets would be your best bet? I know the chefs will come out and go over the items with you to make sure you all know whats in what, and they will come to your table too at the other restaurants. I feel for ya!
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:23 PM   #3
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Wow....you're brave. I probably would have told them to plan their own meals. I don't have extensive experience with every restaurant and I've been fortunate that our pickiest eater seems to be more adventurous at WDW for some reason.
Two places that come to mind are Narcoosee's and Artist Point. Both have seafood, steaks and vegetarian on the menu. From what I've heard, all the chefs are very accommodating with food issues so you could certainly let them know what needs to be avoided and they can come up with something to satisfy. I would encourage them to take some ownership over the choices as well instead of dumping it in your lap (only to complain about it later). Have them take a look at menus and assist in making the decisions in where to eat. Its not fair for you to have to carry all the stress about it
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Old 08-07-2009, 07:26 PM   #4
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And I thought it was difficult just dealing with a fish allergy. I'll join you for a cocktail!

What comes to my mind is that you need to get in touch with Brenda Bennett at WDW.Special.Diets@disney.com

If nothing else she will notate the food allergies & intoleranes & notify the restuarants you made reservations for. You will have to fill out a brief form & submit it back to her.

She may be able to make some recommendations for you but I didn't go that far into it.......

Hope this helps a little bit. Happy planning
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cnktruitt View Post
And I thought it was difficult just dealing with a fish allergy. I'll join you for a cocktail!
Excellent advice!

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Old 08-07-2009, 09:54 PM   #6
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Just wanted to send you a big HUG!

I thought dealing with DD and her love of chicken nuggets and my desire to eat some "real" food was hard to work through.
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Old 08-10-2009, 02:18 PM   #7
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I traveled with a friend that is not only Vegan, but she is wheat and gluten free also. Her best meal of the trip was at Boma's. The chef came out to the table and sat down and asked her what she could eat. Between the two of them, they whipped up a concoction that she loved!

Also, and more importantly, GOOD cocktails at the Victoria Falls lounge right there
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:27 PM   #8
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Wow. good luck. I'd just meet everyone after dinner somewhere for a drink.
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Old 08-10-2009, 07:01 PM   #9
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Wow! I agree with the PP about Narcoosee. And would add Citricos in there too. But those are both 2 cr meals if you are doing DDP, and if you aren't, then it's just going to be expensive to always eat at signature places! But I think with everyone in your party's "issues" your best bet might be to go to TS eateries that you can specifically state your needs with your server - rather than CS places that food is pre-made, or assembly line made. I'd also consider Kona and 50s Prime Time - they were very accomodating for the few picky eaters we had.

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Old 08-10-2009, 09:27 PM   #10
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If you haven't already checked it out - allears.net has almost all of the menu's posted, by resort and by theme park. It will be time consuming, but reviewing the menus should help to determine which restaurants are worth a try.

Good luck!

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Old 08-10-2009, 10:41 PM   #11
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Well, first off all I'd leave the aunt at home. Just kidding.
Disney seems to accomodate allergies very very well if they're given notice of them.
You certainly have some challenges but fortunately there are some terrific buffets to choose from.
My personal favourite was Crystal Palace. Some seriously AWESOME choices, including a butt kicking cous cous salad that was so good I wanted to pull my chair up to the bowl and put my elbows out to keep others away.
Cosmic Rays has really good chicken with a nice selection of sides in Magic Kingdom for counter service.
The Garden Grill in Epcot but that's counter service too.
It's not difficult to find salads just about anywhere. Many restaurants offer salmon too.
Boma has some interesting selections and when I was there they did offer fish as well as about 200 other options I swear.
Check out the menus for more ideas but those are my top suggestions.
With that many food requirements, I'd be tempted to forgo the majority of table service places for counter service.
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:28 PM   #12
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WOW do you have your hands full!!!

The only thing I can tell you, as a fellow vegetarian, you shouldn't have trouble finding something to eat at any restaurant. As for everyone else...
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:44 AM   #13
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Thanks for all your suggestions and support! I will definitely email the special diets area. Looking at the menus, some of your suggestions look great! Having somewhere to start definitely makes it easier

Go Red Sox!!
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