Families and Special Needs Foods at Disney Resort

A trip to the Happiest Place on Earth might not be as happy if you have particular dietary food needs. But as long as you do the research, plan and prepare ahead of time, everyone will have a fun (and food allergy free) time.

After searching the web, we realized we were able to bring in medications and our own foods into the parks, and specific foods at most restaurants, which saved my family of five a whopping headache. We also make sure to get travel insurance every time we travel to California, that way we’re entirely covered. TravelGuard trip insurance has a variety of plans and coverage, which I found extremely helpful.

If your family is like mine, and there are members with specific food needs, consider these options before your next visit to the park:

Special Dietary Requests

You can make significant dietary requests, including food intolerance’s, food allergies, kosher meals and medically restricted diets to most table-service restaurants and quick-serve locations throughout the park. If you let the restaurants know ahead of time, chefs can easily create delicious and nutritious dietary substitutes. According to Disney’s site, chefs can accommodate common food allergies, including gluten or wheat, lactose or dairy, peanuts and tree nuts, shellfish, soy, fish, eggs and corn.

To request specialty foods based on food allergies not listed on their site (which I listed above), phenylketonuria (PKU), metabolic disorders or persons with multiple allergies and intolerance’s must be requested at least 14 days prior to arrival.

When placing orders online, indicate all food allergies when reserving a table. When making a reservation over the phone, Disney recommends that you inform the cast members of any dietary requirements, so they’re well-prepared ahead of time.

Kosher meals are available at select table-service restaurants — so, make sure to plan ahead. You must alert the restaurant 24 hours in advance by calling (407) 939-3463. Kosher meals are available at Plaza Inn, the Tomorrowland Terrace, and Rancho del Zocalo located in Disneyland and Taste Pilot’s Grill at California Adventure Park.

Bringing in Food

You are more than welcome to bring in your own food into the park as long as it doesn’t require heating. If you are going to bring in food, make sure you inform a security cast member of all food items once you enter the park. Snacks and specific foods can be brought in a backpack, lunch box or small cooler. It is stated, however, “Suitcases, coolers or backpacks with or without wheels larger than 24-inches long by 15-inches wide and 18-inches high” are restricted. And just think, all the food you bring into the park is that much money you’re saving on food while inside the park, and we all know how expensive that can be.5704339390_54ee216326

Photo by Flickr user Kheiligh

Michelle Montgomery

Michelle is a stay-at-home mom who loves to write and do arts and crafts with her children, Terry and Mavis.

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