Food Allergies - who takes care of it best

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by SauceBoss, Jun 29, 2007.

  1. SauceBoss

    SauceBoss I know more about this stuff than you think.....

    Sep 7, 2004
    Hi there - here's an interesting topic that's been getting a lot of buzz lately. We all know the extent that WDW goes to accomodate guests with dietary needs, just curious about different experiences at different restaurants.

    Anyone do it better than the rest, or anyone receive exceptional attention from any restaurant anyone specific? or lack of attention or interest, for that matter?

  2. RSoxFan

    RSoxFan <font color=red>Give Me Beach Club or Give Me Deat

    Mar 14, 2006
    My brother and I are allergic to nuts and shellfish. We do great at every restaurant in WDW. We just tell the server and they usually bring the chef out to meet us. I especially remember them being great at the Garden Grill and Les Chefs de France. But really, we never had a bad experience
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  4. hildarumpole

    hildarumpole DIS Veteran

    Oct 20, 2006
    We never had a problem with the kids food allergies, but some chefs were nicer and more attentive than others. The chef at Crystal Palace was the most friendly and took a lot of time explaining everything on the buffet. The WCC chef seemed a little stressed, but was very thorough. Biergarten and H&V were good, too. Other chefs weren't awful, just not so friendly. Ohana and R&C seemed a bit bored by the whole routine of visiting tables about allergies. They both came to table saying, "What do you want to know?" in sort of fed up tones. It's good WDW takes allergies so seriously, but they could come up with a better way of dealing with them, other than mandating every chef visit every table with allergies. We had some long waits before we met the chef and could order at a few places. Ohana wouldn't even let us order drinks while we waited. We already know Sprite doesn't contain any nuts, thanks. People who live with food allergies know what types of foods are a problem for them and can recognize them on a menu. It would be nice if the menus noted the most common allergens with the items if it's not obvious by the name or description. Buffets could note things on the labels over the food. They could also flag the ticket for the chef, so he/she knows to be careful when preparing and can alert the patron if there is a problem with the menu choice. If someone has more unusual allergies, or really wants to talk to a chef, then that can be requested. Given how busy the restaurants are and the fact that WDW does take food allergies very seriously, a more streamlined approach might make more sense at this point.
  5. Claireybear

    Claireybear Mouseketeer

    May 23, 2007
    My mother has a dairy and egg allergy. We ate at lots of Disney restaurants - The Norweigan restaurant Akershus was by far the best - the chef Dan was brilliant!! Crystal Palace was also very good - my mum managed to have a dairy and egg free chococlate cake!! Planet Hollywood and Biergarten were probably the worst - not bad but not that overly helpful either!! Off site Bahama Breeze was fab too - this was the only place the actual waiters and waitresses were able to tell us what each dish had in it!
  6. Cindy's Mom

    Cindy's Mom DIS Veteran

    Jan 16, 2005
    I'm so glad that someone else out there agrees with me on this. I think sometimes having the chef come over to the table is overkill - so much that I don't even put her nut or shellfish allergy on the ADR's anymore.

    The Chef last year at Spoodles was VERY nice, but after his spiel - he stayed at our table to "talk about our trip"; and all we really wanted to do was order and get some food into our cranky kids stomachs.

    Like you said - we kinda know what has nuts and what doesn't - please don't flame me on the cross contamination issue - because a chef telling me that this doesn't contain nuts is not going to stop a kitchen helper from using the wrong spoon. That would happen anyway. It here were

    Luckily DD isn't too experimental in her foods, so its basically chicken nuggets, hot dogs and pizza at WDW.
  7. BCV2002

    BCV2002 Go Cubs Go! Go Cubs Go! Hey, Chicago, what do ya s

    Feb 11, 2006
    My mother is about allergic to every type of food (anything aged, moldy, has yeast, vinager). We've gone to WDW at least 20 times and they've always been great about her food allergies, probably better than any other place we've been to (well, that is except DCL, but that counts as Disney). :) Anyway, after going to a million restaurants, I've come to see that the fancier the better when accommodating to people with food allergies. Every restaurant has been great to us, but by far the 2 best to help her were CA Grill and Narcoossee's. The chef came out and made sure to even cook her steak on a different grill b/c mushrooms were cooked on the other ones earlier (another thing she's allergic to). I wouldn't have too many worries though about them down there. They've always been great.
  8. gracelrm

    gracelrm <font color=teal>Wow - you learn something new eve

    Jul 1, 2002
    We ate at Wolfgang Puck Cafe in June and it was the only restaurant that I was asked if anyone at the table had any food allergies. I'm allergic to eggs and my DH told the server that and the chef came out to discuss menu options for me. We had the DDP and ate TS meals 7 nights and this was the only time we were asked.
  9. 3DisneyBuggs

    3DisneyBuggs <font color=teal>The only way I would fly is if Jo

    Sep 29, 2005
    I had the chef come out at the Kona Cafe and take away my pancakes. He didn't see them being cooked and couldn't be sure they were nut free. Also at Spoodles they were attentive. My dessert was minus the biscotti and they gave me no olives w my med dips due to almonds being in them.
  10. dbarker

    dbarker DIS Veteran

    Dec 2, 2004
    Our first morning I had the chef at Boma come talk to me about my allergies (corn, barley, soy and msg). I was disappointed that he didn't realize that a lot of foods use corn starch, corn syrup, etc. I pretty much know what I can and cannot eat.

    However, the chef at 50's was fantastic. He much more aware and since I ordered the fried cheese, he fried it in new grease so there wouldn't be any cross-contamination w/ the beer battered stuff. (Barley and beer are major disasters for me. I'm tolerant of the other allergens)
  11. allergymoms

    allergymoms Earning My Ears

    Dec 16, 2006
    Artists point at the Wilderness lodge was outstanding. The chef came out three times--when we ordered, when he brought the food and to check on us. The manager came over twice, during our meal and at the end.

    The service was outstanding and the food (especially the adult food) was wonderful! And it was great to eat gourmet food while your kids are coloring with crayons right at the table.

    I'd highly recommend it!

    Take care,
  12. gigi1313

    gigi1313 DIS Veteran

    Aug 28, 2001
    we've had some good and some not-so-good experiences... mostly good though!

    if we get a "good" talkative, friendly, very helpful chef, ds will ask to snap a photo and get an autograph... the chefs seem to love being asked! LOL!

    our best experiences thusfar have been at: chef mickey's (chef allan), LTT (chef amber), H&V, Donald's, and Garden Grill (it was the server here that made it outstanding)

    at these restaurants they were helpful but often very rushed and did not offer to go out of their way, just gave the safe/not safe options: CP, Mama Melrose, Biergarten, HDDR, 'ohana (breakfast, we would not even chance dinner), 1900 PF, CRT (although they gave us safe pastries that other tables did not get), and Artist's Point...

    the ones that were less than helpful (and one where ds had a reaction due to incorrect info) were LeCellier, Tony's and Boma breakfast...
  13. Smerdle

    Smerdle Earning My Ears

    Nov 26, 2006
    I am allergic to Wheat. When my DH and I went back in December last year we ate Kona, Mama Melrose and the Tusker House in AK. Out of the 3 the only place I had any problems or hangup rather was the Tusker House. Here when I ordered a burger with the EnerG Wheat Free Bun it took them a while about 10 mins to locate the buns but the floor lead/manager brought the package out to me to make sure the buns were the correct ones. At both Kona and Mama the chefs visited our tables. It was great because I ordered the Mahi Mahi at Kona and the chef was able to substitute Tamarid sauce for the Soy Sauce (regular soy sauce is brewed and contains wheat) without having to sacrifice flavor. Both chefs personally brought to our tables tapioca rolls that I was able to eat and made sure I had my own dipping sauce that would not be contaminated. I think all around Disney does a GREAT job at accommodating anyone with a food allergy. :cutie:
  14. lovindonald

    lovindonald DIS Veteran

    Jun 14, 2006
    DD is peanut allergic and the best place we encountered was 1900 Park Fare. The chef immediately came out and went through the entire buffet with me. He was wonderful and told me to ask for him if I had any further questions. I was walked through the buffet at Chef Mickeys (breakfast) and they were unconcerned with the whole allergy thing. It was more of a pain in the neck for them. Maybe it was just the CM that was there, but I was not impressed with them at all.
  15. Simba's Mom

    Simba's Mom <font color=green>everything went to "H*** in a ha

    Aug 26, 1999
    I can't speak from personnal experience, but one time when I was eating at Coral Reef, there was a young boy at the next table with food allergies (nut, I think). The chef came out and discussed everything with them, and after he left, the family was talking among themselves and saying how this was the best treatment they'd received of any resturaunt they'd been to at WDW. It sounded like they'd been there several days and they were very pleased. I know this is second hand info, but they were so positively impressed, I wanted to pass it on.
  16. HaleyB

    HaleyB I am not a robot

    Nov 16, 2003
    The Chef at Pop Century was excellent. He really worked to come up with options for us. This was during Free Dining so he was super busy, but he made me feel like I was his only worry.

    At the Coral Reef they made my son a brownie. He is allergic to tree nuts and milk, most desserts at WDW are a no go for him so this was huge. It came to the table warm even. He was thrilled.

    At Cape May (our last meal two years ago) we mentioned that he was envious of his sister's Mickey waffles, and the Chef asked me if I trusted her to clean a griddle, so she could make him safe Mickey head waffles, I did, and he was thrilled.

    At Boma the chef went out of her way to make him a variety of things and his plate was beautiful. They also brought him some safe candies for dessert.

    At Sci Fi they made him a most excellent fruit plate as an appetizer.
  17. tinkerbellblondie19

    tinkerbellblondie19 Blonde? Just a little. Or a lot.

    Mar 31, 2007
    Well, you know that Sprite itself is safe, but you don't know which plant the Sprite used at Disney is coming from, so if it was made at a plant that makes something with nuts, there is always the risk of cross-contamination. Also, if Disney were to take that risk of letting you order drinks before speaking to the chef, the risk is higher that something could happen, and were something to happen, it would seriously damage Disney's rep.
  18. JennyDrake

    JennyDrake Darkwing Duck's Biggest Fan

    Aug 8, 2000
    I FEEL YOUR PAIN. As a kid I was allergic to corn and allll those by products--so few people know just what all contained dextrose, etc. Thankfully, I outgrew it, but I remember it being tough.
  19. JD3419

    JD3419 Mouseketeer

    Feb 23, 2006
    We have had good and not so good experiences. At Ohana's the chef came out and it seemed like a chore to him. He bascially said what we could and couldn't eat and that was it. Boma's was the exact opposite. We have gone there several times and each time the chef remembers us, even with months between our visits. It's like coming home to family. He slowly walks us through the buffet and even brings out something special to our table.
  20. kyirish25

    kyirish25 DIS Veteran

    Jun 15, 2004
    I agree that WDW is the best in dealing with food allergies! However, we have had some chefs that you could tell were tired of going through the motions of the allergies.

    DS has allergies to peanuts and tree nuts.

    Best experiences:
    Artist Point
    50's Prime Time
    Chef Mickey's (Allan is wonderful, he has a child with food allergies so he really understands!)

    Not on-par experiences:
    1900 Park Fare - could tell chef would rather be doing something else. Lots of sighs while walking through buffet line.
    WCC - new chef and he didn't know the menu. He brought out a paper with all the allergens listed and just handed to us to review.
  21. laughinplace199

    laughinplace199 <font color=blue>AKA Shrimpo or Flamingo Legs<br><

    Apr 28, 2001
    We've had great experiences almost everywhere we've eaten at WDW. I don't know if you can say one restaurant does it better than another. I think it depends on the actual chef and/or server you're dealing with at that particular moment. I have a DD with peanut and tree nut allergies. We had a great experience at CP for breakfast last year. It was so great that I recommended it to my friend. So my friend went to CP for breakfast a few weeks later with her allergic child and had a terrible experience. We did not have the same chef. So, I think it's really more like which chefs handle allergies best, not which restaurants handle them best.

    I always try to remember the names of the chefs we speak to on vacation and then I write a letter to Disney describing our experiences and mentioning by name the chefs that helped us. We have been able to eat out without worrying at WDW, which is such a treat for us. I want to be sure that WDW knows we appreciate their efforts and that they will continue to provide such great service to families like mine. Now that DD is older, she is going to start writing her own letters to WDW too.

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