We’ve always been a Disney family, ever since I was tiny. So, naturally, my kids are growing up Disney, too. I’m imagining that just going to Disney World is a big enough YIPPPEEEEEE! moment for a lot of people, but for families with food allergies, like ours, it adds a huge sigh of relief, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… to the YIPPPEEEEEE!
And here’s why.
Walt Disney World is fantastic at dealing with food allergies. Just fantastic! For starters, all of their chefs and managers are completely wonderful, knowledgeable and helpful at their dining restaurants as well as their quick service counters (which is where we almost always end up). When you decide where to go to eat – usually not an easy decision – all you have to say is, “I have a food allergy order,” and WHOOSH! A manager or chef is called right to you.
Now, I could go into all the fantastic details about dining with allergies at Disney parks, but I’m thinking that’s a post for another day… or several days.
But there’s something NEW allergy-wise at the Animal Kingdom now. Something they’re trying out in this particular park, and I’m sincerely hoping it will go Disney Worldwide very soon.
It’s called the Gardens Kiosk, and it’s near the center of the Animal Kingdom Park, on the way to Dinoland.
Looking at the kiosk is exciting enough! Allergy-friendly snacks runneth over! You can occasionally find these snacks in different restaurants or kiosks around all of the parks, but to have them all in one convenient location is, well, YAY!
BUT… that’s not all this little kiosk houses. Inside was a very friendly cast member, armed with gigantic binders of all of the food offered at every restaurant, quick service location and kiosk in the park!
She asked our allergies and got to work.
She also gave us this handy dandy little quick service guide, complete with some allergy-friendly options at each location. Brand new. Love it.
Did you know they can make a vegan pizza with gluten-free crust and Daiya (dairy-free) cheese at Pizzafari? Neither did I! But pizza isn’t Jillian’s fave, no matter how allergy-friendly it is. Hamburgers on the other hand… So off we went to Dinoland’s burger joint, Restaurantosaurus!
When we got there, and I did my usual, “I have a food allergy order” spiel, guess what? It went a lot smoother than normal (which is always pretty smooth!). “Have you visited the Gardens Kiosk and checked the ingredients?” she asked. Why yes, I had. She took our order, allergies and all, marked “ALLERGY” on the bill, and told us to step up and wait. A manager was there within a minute or two, allergy binder in hand, double checking that we had checked all ingredients. We had. Then we were told that our food would come out soon on a green tray (others were all blue).
I liked this. In the past, we have had issues with cast members, not knowing we were waiting on an allergy order, just handing me a regular order. One time a very nice man unknowingly gave me regular chicken nuggets while we were waiting on our allergy nuggets. Luckily, the managers seemed to know this happens occasionally and had forewarned me not to take anything from anyone but them, but still.
I like the green trays. It’s a subtle, yet noticeable, way of saying, “Hey. We’re a bit different here.”
By the way, possibly the coolest thing about eating at Restaurantosaurus, allergy stuff aside, is the fact that their kids meals come in buckets with shovels! YES!!!
But back to the allergy stuff…
We were completely impressed with the new system they’ve got going on over there, and like I said, I really, reeeeaaallllyyyyy hope they do this at the other parks, STAT!
I mean, really. Look at this face. Now, that’s a happy girl!