Food allergy email to SpecialDiets@DisneyWorld.com

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by klc318, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. klc318

    klc318 Longtime Lurker, Sometimes Poster

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    I'm just wondering what exactly you put in the email for special diets. My DD6 has multiple food allergies. Do I just list her allergies? Do I tell them where we have ADR's? Do I just request the paperwork to fill out? What is involved in this paperwork? (I just saw the "paperwork" mentioned on here, first I've heard of it.) This is not our first trip w/ DD, and last time we had no problems but I would like more info about CS and what is available to her there. I just want to make it easier on us and WDW if we can.

    Thanks
     
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  3. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    Just tell them you have a trip coming up and a member of your travel party has multiple food allergies. You can list the allergies to speed up the process of getting the attachments but there's no point in listing other info since you'll be sent a form to fill out where all that info will be entered anyway. Even if you tell them all that stuff in the email, you'll still need to fill out the form and send it in.
     
  4. klc318

    klc318 Longtime Lurker, Sometimes Poster

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    Thank you!!
     
  5. glencoe

    glencoe Mouseketeer

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    When do you need to call in? I thought it was two weeks in advance but how can they send a form and you get it back in that time period?

    thanks!
     
  6. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    If you wait until 2 weeks before then you'll have to phone rather than email. You can email any time before that. I like to email around 4-5 weeks before my trip. That gives us time to communicate back and forth and for me to update my handy dandy chart of allergy foods but it's close enough that not much will change.
     
  7. nfceagles

    nfceagles Mouseketeer

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    clanmcculluch- I've filled that form out before and had a great trip, but i was curious what kind of detail you list on that form. Other than listing allergies, do you ever make special requests here?
     
  8. hildarumpole

    hildarumpole DIS Veteran

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    Every time I've contacted Special Diets, they've emailed the form within hours. You simply fill in the form and email it back to them. It doesn't take much time. The form will ask for your party info: names, dates of travel, resort, contact phone# while at Disney, ADRs with restaurant names, dates, times and confirmation numbers, allergies, and special requests. My kids allergies are not unusual (pn/tn, shellfish), so we don't need to make any special requests, but on our last trip I included that we were staying club level in the special requests section. Special Diets emailed me that they had forwarded the info to the BC CL, which was followed up by a phone call from the CL manager. The special requests section is helpful for those who have uncommon allergies or other non-allergy dietary restrictions.
     
  9. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    The kinds of special requests I make are things like beside a 50s PTC I'll specify that we'll be ordering fried chicken. I used to say things about my kids preferences but it now seems as though the chefs don't actually see the form until the day of the ADR. If I have specific question or concerns about a restaurant then I'll put that in the body of the email to which I've attached the completed form as this seems to get read. The email gets forwarded to the appropriate chefs which is what matters. These kinds of questions are things to the effect of asking if sushi rice at a location is gluten free (in the Japan pavillion at Epcot it's not but at Kona Island Sushi bar it is) or if specific items contain certain allergens or what kinds of options there are at a restaurant that doesn't look like it'll have much that one or the other of my kids can eat. These types of question get forwarded to chefs who then contact me directly. I do this because we have laundry lists of allergies. DD13 can't eat any of the package allergy baked goods at WDW other that Enjoy Life products so I like to be sure that she'll have options for at least a few meals. She gets a LOT of ice cream for dessert and that gets really tiring. Chefs at Pop and POFQ have baked things just for her (kneads cookies or Bob's Red Mill brownies) when they know we're coming.

    I'm glad to hear that at BC you were contacted by the CL manager. Poly IPO is useless and they didn't put me in touch with anybody. They actually sent me a link to garden grocer and told me I should order stuff for ourselves. The chefs once we arrived were amazing and bent over backward for us well beyond our expectations but IPO had me VERY worried. On our most recent stay there, the chefs hadn't even received the form from Special Diets until after I had already said hi (the chef was coming in when we were in the Hawaii lobby and remembered us; I really felt like ohana). The chef had to call and ask for the form and was very frustrated that this is happening more and more. I had asked Special Diets ahead of time to make sure it got forwarded to the Poly CL chefs and was assured it was but it seems that it wasn't.
     
  10. EvangelineG

    EvangelineG Mouseketeer

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    Great to see this thread, because I had some of these same questions myself, like wondering about how far in advance to send the form in to special diets and exactly what info to include. I hope it's OK to ask a few related questions here rather than starting a new thread?

    So from what clanmcculloch said, it would be appropriate to include the types of foods my sons are hoping to order on the form under the comments section for each restaurant? For example sushi at Tokyo Dining, and pasta at Tony's?

    I had sent several questions in the body of my email when I first contacted special diets, but I got the canned response with the forms, which was good, but didn't help with most of my questions. I didn't get any response to my second email at all. :confused3 I had wanted some info prior to making ADR's just to make sure the restaurants I was thinking of could accommodate my sons' lists of allergies (Eggs,Tree nuts, Peanuts and all other legumes, including but not limited to green peas, lentils, chick peas, split peas, black beans, kidney beans etc.(Exceptions: soy and green beans are OK), Mushrooms (incl. truffles, truffle oil)). Thanks to info here on the DIS :-)cheer2:) and some other sites, I got some of the info I wanted anyway and went ahead and made ADRs with the info I had.

    I would still love to be able to get some specifics before our trip though. It would really help with managing expectations for my sons, who both also have Aspergers. For example they're both really interested in Japanese culture, and a friend came home and told them about eating sushi and kakigori at the Japanese pavilion. If they could do this too, it would make their trip. They're talking about it every day (we're still 5 months out!). If there was any way of confirming that the Kaki Gori will be safe for them, and/or that the chefs at Tokyo Dining could accommodate us for sushi before we go to avoid crashing hopes and meltdowns when we're there, that would be really, really helpful. Has anyone else had luck getting this type of info before a trip? And if so, did you get it through a regular email, after you'd sent the special dietary request form or through a phone call?

    I'm also wondering about CS restaurants. Does anyone list those on their guest allergy/dietary request form too?
     
  11. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    I do include the types of foods that we like but I've noticed in the past year (since Brenda Bennet left Special Diets) that it seems to get ignored.

    My notes in the body of the initial email have also been ignored. I include it again with the email with the completed form and then if I don't get a response within a week I send it again, asking for a response.

    Make it clear that you need to know that item A from restaurant B is safe for your son with xyz allergies. Be that specific. Send the email again and again every few days until you receive a response. There's no reason for them to not respond in any way. It's very easy for them to forward emails to chefs and chefs are wonderful about responding. They should be able to confirm one way or the other about sushi and kaki gori.

    What is it about Aspies and Japan? Mine's also fascinated by it and plans to live there as an adult. She's teaching herself written and spoken Japanese so that she can create her Manga's authentically, meaning in Japanese. Definitely real manga, not AmeriManga which I'm sure your kids can explain the difference (I can't but I've heard the terms since DD13 is obsessed).

    I did hear from a chef at Tokyo Dining though unfortunately the response caused us to cancel. I'm not sure about your allergens. I know that the sushi rice contains gluten and that the oil they use contains sesame oil so we won't go. I do believe that they do fully understand and respect allergies including all aspect of cross contamination so this is one of the few non-Disney owned restaurants I would feel comfortable recommending to somebody with a list like yours, assuming they say they handle this list.

    Another option for sushi is Kona Island Sushi Bar. Chef Jonathan is the BEST!!! He created works of art for DD13. If you eat at Kona then you can order items from the sushi bar's menu as well which is nice if you're not all sushi lovers. The emails we sent back and forth about allergies were with Chef Johnny who oversees allergies in the Poly's kitchens (other than the club lounge) but it's chef Johathan who has prepared all of DD13's amazing sushi platters.

    The only CS I make mention of on my form/in my emails is the one at our resort since we do eat a lot at our resort. For parks I just carry a list I make up of what items we can find at each location so that I know when we walk through the doors just what will be available. I still ask for the manager and confirm the items but so far very little has changed so we've been safe with the list (again, confirm the items with the manager). When it comes to the resort CS, I do ask to have a chef contact me to find out just what kinds of foods will be available. Some items they state they need notice to get in so it's important that we talk with them, especially since we do eat a lot of meals there. Once the chef contacts me, the communication is directly with the chef and Special Diets is out of it which I prefer since they've gotten so slow. It does work out well and both of my kids end up with plenty of options.
     
  12. dismichael

    dismichael DIS Veteran

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    just indicate the date your trip is and they will send you a form that you download and return to them. It covers all allergy questions, etc. Then, they forward that form to all the different chefs that will be accommodating you during your stay.
     
  13. MadiWI

    MadiWI Mouseketeer

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    When I really want to know if food at a CS or just a "snack stand" is safe, I will e-mail special diets until I get an answer. I was able to find out that the Kaki Gori was peanut and tree nut free (our only allergies) last year before our trip. After our 1st trip, I found many things not included on the general sheets and most of the folks working at the snack carts/stands don't have allergy binders available (my experience). Things we want to try on the next trip I e-mail about. You have to be persistent sometimes becuase they aren't as on top of requests as they used to be. I don't list the QS dining restaurants we are going to, but I do sometimes ask about specific items. With "just" PN and TN allergies, I haven't found that necessary - though dessert selections are often lacking

    Good luck - they are WONDERFUL in general about dealing with FAs!
     
  14. EvangelineG

    EvangelineG Mouseketeer

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    Thanks clanmcculloch and MadiWI for your answers! I am going to wait until around the 8-6 week mark, and then be very, very persistent in trying to get some info. It's too bad that it seems to be harder to get specific allergy info now that Brenda Bennet has left. I've certainly seen her name a lot around the boards and read about how fantastic she was to deal with.

    And thanks clanmcculloch for the heads up about the Kona sushi bar, I'll definitely keep that in mind as a back up plan, although the thrill of eating sushi in "Japan" would be better if we can get it safely from Tokyo Dining. It's cool that your daughter is into Japanese culture as well! My sons are just getting started on their interest in it, mostly centred around feudal Japan, samurai's and ninjas though. It does seem to be a pretty common Aspie obsession!
     
  15. lenshanem

    lenshanem <a href="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/" targ

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    I emailed last week, got two emails back. One was a general email stating someone will contact me soon. The second email said to let the servers know when I arrived and then there was an attachment with allergy info inside the parks, but no form to fill out. I was surprised, we go alot and this is the first time I got no form to send back? I did send my resort reservation number so maybe they pulled it up themselves? :confused3
     
  16. hildarumpole

    hildarumpole DIS Veteran

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    Email them again and ask for the form. Whomever sent it out could have simply forgot to attach it. If the procedure has changed, they should let you know in the reply email.

    Disney prides itself on how well they handle allergies. It would be surprising if they took a backwards step of having guests inform the server upon arrival of allergies. It could lead to a lot of disappointed people, especially those with uncommon allergies, because the chef wasn't able to prepare in advance.
     
  17. aggordon2

    aggordon2 Mouseketeer

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    Besides filling out the forms from the email, we call the restaurant directly and talk with the chefs on the phone. We explain all the different allergies that both our kids have (one is allergic to dairy and eggs, and the other is on a gluten free, dairy free diet). We feel that talking to the chefs directly helps ease our anxiety and makes our vacation that much better. :goodvibes
     
  18. nfceagles

    nfceagles Mouseketeer

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    Can I ask where you find the phone numbers to reach the chefs directly?
     
  19. clanmcculloch

    clanmcculloch DIS Veteran

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    I just wanted to share our latest experience. I just emailed this morning for our August trip. I indicated that we had several unusual lists of allergies and I requested the allergy form to fill out. I didn't actually expect to hear back today as it's the weekend but I got an email back within a couple hours with the latest version of the allergy form and the general special diets attachment with some foods with their common allergens listed (no specific allergy attachments because I didn't indicate our allergens yet) as well as a long email. I notice that in the email it says:
    This makes me think that if a person is only dealing with 1-3 allergies and all of them are listed allergens then they're no longer bothering with filling out the forms. I'm not saying if this is a good move or not. What I do know is that our last trip left me not feeling the love from special diets since it seemed as though none of the chefs knew we were coming even with the forms and the notes on our ADRs. I'm not sure what this change will do to improve the situation..
     
  20. book_junkie

    book_junkie DIS Veteran

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    Last year, for both trips (one a mother/daughter and one with my hubby), I contacted WDW separately about my allergies ( Caspian peppers *anything but black and white pepper*, cherries and bananas) as well as getting sugar free treats for the Halloween Parties (type two diabetes).

    I filled out the form they sent twice, once for each trip, listing every reservation and the party dates, and the ONLY place that had that info was Town Hall in MK, where we had to check in to get a voucher for sugar free snacks (which was WONDERFUL!!!!). :cool1:

    When I made the table service reservations online, I made sure to call back closer to our trips, and have the cast member note in the reservation that there was an allergy.

    When we got there, on BOTH trips, NONE of the table service restaurants had the allergies specified, so I made sure to mention it to our server, who then had the chef come out to the table and walked through the menu and what they could/could not do.

    The restaurants themselves were wonderful in handling it, but I wouldn't count on special diets to handle things entirely, especially if it's a violent/ life threatening reaction. :confused3
     
  21. livndisney

    livndisney DIS Veteran

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    I know what you mean. The last few interactions with Special Diets have been "less than magical". It is frustrating to spend the time making arrangements to arrive and find no information had been forwarded. And even worse to arrive and find they have no "safe" food for you.
     

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