Walt Disney World Special Diet Planning

Walt Disney World Special Diet Planning

A Walt Disney World special diet can interfere with enjoying a relaxing meal at the House of Mouse.  Whenever we eat out, we are nervous that the allergy and its severity is not taken seriously by the food and beverage staff.  For many, this is the difference between an allergic reaction or a fun night out.  What does this mean for a parent planning for a child with a Walt Disney World special diet?  In a nutshell: Don’t let that discomfort sour your time at the happiest place on earth!

The spectacular news is that Walt Disney World takes dietary restrictions more seriously than your fairy Godmother.  They have dedicated cooktops, fryers, and always change their gloves for a special order.  Their chefs and menus will tell you specifically what menu items are safe, and they will even send out a separate food runner to bring it to you .

Walt Disney World Special Diet Planning


The Walt Disney World Special Diet Reservation

     Disney dining is incredibly popular due to the wild success of the Disney Dining Plan.  You should make meal reservations six months in advance to guarantee a seat.  Also known as Advance Dining Reservations, it is important to make note of the dietary request when you create it.

Call Disney Dining Reservations (407-WDW-DINE)

Notify the Cast Member of any special dietary restrictions while booking your reservation.

Booking on the Walt Disney World Resort Dining website?

  • Select your restaurant, party size, and time.
  • Book the reservation by clicking on the reservation time.
  • Put the names of the guests that will be attending the reservation on the first screen that pops up.  Click next.
  • Put in your billing (credit card) information.
  • On the third screen, it will want a phone number. Below that, there is a screen called Special requests. Click “Add”.
  • An additional screen will pop up, prompting you to insert the Special Dietary Information or Accessibility requirements.
  • There is a section at the bottom of the page where you can note special dietary restrictions.
  • Consequently, if you have made your reservations, but did not tell the Cast Members at the time of reservation, fear not! You can always let them know at the check-in counter.
  • Furthermore, the advance notice enables Disney World’s best possible service.
  • Be sure to email specialdiets@disneyworld.com for further information.

Our Experience with Food Allergies

My oldest son, who is on the spectrum for Autism, is gluten-free.  Hence, dining out is often challenging.  We noted our allergies on each reservation as we booked them online or over the phone. A few weeks before we went, I emailed specialdiets@disneyworld.com to ask for specific information and recommendations.

Disney be our guest restaurant
Enjoy a relaxing dinner at Magical Kingdom’s restaurant, Be Our Guest. Try the grey stuff it’s delicious!

They flagged our dietary request upon check-in to the host desk.  Once seated, the host hands a small piece of paper off to the server that describes the allergy.  As a result, the server usually avoids taking our order until the chef comes out to personally greet us.  This has happened consistently at every table service restaurant.

Also, at buffets, they led us around and pointed out which were safe for my children to eat.   At the sit-down restaurants, they made menu recommendations.  The staff is very flexible with side dishes.  They made truly magical modifications for our child.

At counter (quick) service restaurants, the chef came out to present our options. If he was unavailable, a manager would give us a special allergy menu or binder to show specific allergens.  We paid and were given a special buzzer.

After buzzing, we came directly to the grill to pick up our allergy-safe meal.  The meals were tasty and were always a fair representation of the typical menu.  Also, they brought us allergy-safe desserts, if the desserts were not compliant.

Best of all?  Regardless of age, Disney will accommodate dietary needs.  When our son was 2 years old, he was free of charge at the buffets. The restaurants provided gluten-free toddler-friendly foods for him, despite the lack of charge.

What Allergies does Disney World accommodate?

At Walt Disney World restaurants, chefs may substitute ingredients so you get a balanced and delicious meal.  Disney World restaurants accommodate the following food allergies:

  • Gluten or wheat
  • Lactose or dairy
  • Peanuts and tree nuts
  • Shellfish
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Corn

Disney World special diet

Always be sure to tell your server about specific lifestyle requests and dietary modifications.  Disney World will accommodate you if you need the following:

  • No Sugar Added
  • Low-sodium
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Finally, the following may need advance 2 weeks notice:

  • Allergy or intolerance not listed under common food allergies
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Multiple allergies in one guest or multiple guests within the same party

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission from any link that you click.  All opinions are my own.

Gluten-Free for Cheap at Disney

Unable to eat out three meals a day in the Walt Disney World parks?  Unless you’ve saved for this trip for years or you are on a dining plan, most can’t afford it.  We don’t eat out often either, but we have created many ways to save money so we can continue to enjoy Walt Disney World regularly.

    • Stay off-property at a house or condo with a giant kitchen and local access to lots of grocery stores.
    • Stay on Resort property at a Disney Vacation Club to have access to a kitchen.
    • Pre-order specialty items on Amazon Pantry from Amazon Prime and deliver them to the hotel on the day you arrive.  We address it to the hotel, put our names and dates of stay on the package, and they’ve always held it for us at the front desk.
    • Take advantage of same-day Amazon Prime delivery with Amazon Prime Now.  You must be a member of Amazon Prime to use Amazon Prime Now at the Walt Disney World Resort. Not a member? Sign up for Amazon Prime 30-day Free Trial and start using Amazon Prime Now.
  • Order from a local grocery delivery service by ordering online a few weeks in advance and coordinate the delivery with your time of arrival.
  • If you have access to a vehicle, major grocery stores like Target, Walmart, Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s have locations nearby.
  • If you are a smartphone aficionado, request a ride with an app like Minnie Van Services through Lyft to pick you up and get you to the store.

Happy Trails!

Guests who require Walt Disney World special diet planning are able to get the full Disney Dining experience. The Cast Members and chefs truly go out of their way to make sure that you are comfortable, healthy and safe.  This is beneficial for guests with a variety of food allergies, special diets, and food intolerance.

Do you have any special dietary needs?  Have you ever experienced dining with a Walt Disney World special diet planning?

Looking for a gluten-free brew at Disney?  Help us write our new  Best Gluten-Free Snacks in Walt Disney World list for 2018!

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