Multi-Allergy Dining Review
We spent 11 nights at WDW in the second half of August and I thought I’d share our dining experience with multiple food allergies. I started writing this up shortly after I returned but I never got around to finishing. At this point I have the TS meals done so I figure I’d better hurry up and get this posted. No pictures added yet because if I wait on adding those then I’ll never get this done.
DD12: gluten, milk, eggs, yeast, citrus, peanuts (mild), MSG
DD10: milk, hazelnuts, brazil nuts, peanuts (mild), sesame, citrus, cranberry, blueberry, lima beans (she loves that she can’t eat these), raw carrots, raw apple & pear skins, soy products other than Tofutti (I have no idea why she can eat Tofutti but she can; we don’t worry about minor soy ingredients, just soy being the major ingredient because that’s what causes a reaction)
I don’t allow artificial sweeteners either.
None of these allergies is life threatening thank G-d. For DD12 hers cause various levels of GI distress, headaches and affect her autism. For DD10 they cause various levels of GI distress, trigger chronic bladder problems and certain ones cause Oral Allergy Syndrome depending on which food.
We ate at the following restaurants:
Kona Café (dinner)
50s Prime Time Café (lunch)
Coral Reef (dinner)
Tusker House (breakfast)
Hoop Dee Doo Review
1900 Park Fare (breakfast)
Port Orleans French Quarter Food Court
Columbia Harbour House
I already posted a separate review of Poly CL dining.
When the chef came out to meet us, we both gave each other funny looks. I told her that she looked very familiar and she said the same to me. It seems she used to work at Pop Century, somewhere we’ve stayed several times and since we eat a lot in our resort’s food court she must have taken care of us there in the past. Sweet! She was definitely knowledgeable about allergies and extremely helpful.
DD12: She was really excited to have sushi so the chef coordinated her meal with the sushi bar. Chef Johnny had already told me via email that she could get something safe there so she ordered the nigiri plate. There were no garnishes other than the pickled ginger and wasabi but that’s fine since she just wanted the sushi and nothing else. To drink she had chocolate Silk and for dessert a bowl of Tofutti ice cream. I didn’t think about it until I saw somebody else’s dessert but I wish I had asked if she could eat the cotton candy. She loved her meal.
DD10: Nothing on the menu was appealing to her. There’s a chicken with noodles meal on the menu so she finally agreed to plain noodles and plain chicken wings. The chef had to get the wings from ‘Ohana because the ones at Kona are pre-marinated in a sauce containing milk. Unfortunately, the wings were too spicy for her so the chef offered to get her a plain chicken breast. I wouldn’t have asked because we had already ordered and gotten her food but the chef saw her take the bite and quickly drop the wing and guzzle her drink so she offered. She was very nice. She got pineapple juice to drink and a French Meadow brownie for dessert (warmed up; nice touch).
If we go back, I’ll likely just ask if DD10 can get a kids meal using something like allergy chicken tenders and fries or else just noodles. I know DD12 will want the nigiri again.
50s Prime Time Café
This is a meal that we were REALLY looking forward to. Those of you with allergies know just how big of a deal a milkshake and fried chicken is. Of course both girls ordered this. DD10’s we asked to be made using rice milk instead of soy milk (remember the only soy products she can handle is Tofutti; Silk causes Oral Allergy Syndrome). DD12’s was all soy. YUMMY, and of course HUGE. And of course they both also ordered the fried chicken. Normally this comes with mashed potatoes and collard greens but neither was safe so the chef suggested french fries (gee, you think kids might like french fries?) with green beans and carrots. They really didn’t want the veggies but I told them they’d at least try them (such a mean mom). They lucked out and the chef left them off. LOL! Let me tell you, that portion of food is HUGE!! You get a half chicken with that meal (breast, thigh, wing and drumstick). Next time, we’ll order one meal for the two of them (heck, DH and I will do the same). Just to tell you how good the chicken was, DD12 chose to skip dessert because she didn’t want to stop eating her chicken. Yup, it was that good. I tasted it and thought it was even better than the regular fried chicken which was quite yummy. DD10 of course wanted dessert so the chef put together a brownie sundae for her.
I’ve already booked my ADR for my February trip. This time though we’ll split a couple meals since there’s just SOOOOO much food.
DD12: She was pretty easy. She’s a steak lover, so steak all the way. It was very easy to prepare with just a bit of salt and pepper. It was a bit overcooked but she was happy with it. The normal sides weren’t safe so the chef gave her french fries. Again, what kid doesn’t like fries? She had her usual chocolate Silk to drink (she really liked pouring it in that cobalt blue glass). For dessert, the chef went through his allergy stuff to see what he had and walked out with 2 things to show her; a package of Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies and an Enjoy Life crispy rice chocolate bar. You should have seen her eyes light up over that chocolate bar!! He brought her a couple more to take with her. She was very happy.
DD10: Once again she was the fussier eater. There wasn’t much she wanted here so after talking with the chef, he suggested a simple chicken breast with salt and pepper and some fries. She was happy with this. She said it tasted really good and the bite DH took he said was beautifully cooked. I think she got pineapple juice here as well though she hardly drank it (I think she only ordered it because we told her she needed to pick SOMETHING and she dislikes carbonation, can’t drink Silk or citrus so that left just apple and pineapple juice). For dessert, the chef created a really special sundae stacking Tofutti ice cream with French Meadow brownies and shavings from an Enjoy Life chocolate bar with brownie and chocolate bar squares artistically arranged on top. Beautiful and of course yummy!!
The meal was good and the chef knew his stuff (mostly, I had to tell him that the Ener-G buns weren’t safe for either girl) but certainly isn’t near the top of our must do list for future trips.
The juice that’s served as everybody sits down contains orange juice. Neither girl can have citrus juice so that was out. The waitress was a bit careless with pouring so I had to clean the table to make sure they didn’t accidentally get any juice on something that they’d eat or put in their months such as cutlery. The waitress did bring DD12 some chocolate Silk (are you noticing a trend?) and DD10 got apple juice.
The chef then came out to talk to us. Because DD10 was in a wheelchair this trip, we decided to not bother walking through the line and he just went over what he could make for the girls. With their lists of allergies, there really wasn’t a lot of variety but they don’t care about variety. He made them a big batch of Mickey waffles along with a big plate of bacon and sausage. They don’t like potatoes other than french fries so no need to make anything like that for them. He said it would be safe for me to get their bacon and sausage from the buffet. I asked if they were near the eggs and he said they weren’t (they were) but after I asked he said he could get some from the back if I would be more comfortable with that.
What came next now concerns me. He asked if they wanted Fruit Loops. I was shocked. I didn’t know that they were gluten and other things free. He assured me that they were so I agreed and he brought some out for them plus rice milk for DD10 and vanilla Silk for DD12. I checked when I got home and one of the major ingredients is wheat flour. YIKES!!! DD10 is fine with gluten but DD12 has unobvious symptoms from it so we can’t always tell when she’s glutened. It affects her autism more than anything else. She alternated between agitation and kind of zoning out a bit after brunch and that evening but I wrote that off to the heat and not being at home at the time (thinking back, it was just about her most agitated time of the whole trip). Luckily no GI symptoms this time (sometimes there are with gluten and other times there aren’t) but that could be scary for somebody who gets deathly ill!
Service was one of the fasted we encountered the whole trip and the safe food was tasty and plentiful. The Fruit Loops incident does have me questioning the chef’s general allergy knowledge and safety.
I’ll start with Chef TJ was not here! I know you were all dying to know.
The girls got their usual chocolate Silk (DD12) and apple juice (DD10). Nothing new for drinks for them.
For their main food, the chef first brought out chicken wings with no sauce (the rub was still too spicy for DD10 just like it was at Kona; I told the chef she wouldn’t eat them but he brought them anyway). There aren’t any safe salad dressings for them but DD10 enjoys plain lettuce so the chef brought her out a dish of lettuce with chopped up bacon at her request (hey, it’s what she likes). For their main course the chef brought out a large tray with a mound of white rice in the middle (their request; one of their favourite foods is white rice so the chef was accommodating of this) with a bunch of skewers of different types of meats placed in kind of a pyramid over the rice. The meats were all very tasty and well seasoned and beautifully cooked. DD12 was really enjoying the sticky shrimp and even DD10 who claims to hate shrimp tried them and enjoyed a few.
For dessert, the options were limited. I was hoping for some kind of take on the chef TJ dessert but that didn’t happen. They were both just offered a dish of ice cream. Neither was very hungry so no big deal but I was disappointed that there wasn’t any kind of special dessert (I hadn’t mentioned to the kids anything about the special desserts chef TJ did so they didn’t have my sense of disappointment). I had to flag down our waitress to remind her that we were celebrating DD10’s birthday (in general our service was terrible; the only real service we got was from the chef and his assistant who would have to help us track down our server; I had to ask 3 times just to get a drink for myself). It was definitely on our reservation as DD10 was given a birthday card at check-in. She was also wearing birthday mouse ears so hard to miss. Anyway, she did mention to the chef about her birthday but she can’t eat whatever kind of cupcakes they normally use so the chef brought out a small dish with orange wedges and strawberries with a candle on it. I’ve mentioned her citrus problem before, haven’t I? It’s a good thing she was stuffed or she would have been upset. It would be better to just come over singing and hand her a candle than to put food in front of her that she can’t eat without getting sick. While the food was amazing, the dessert was more than disappointing.
We do have an ADR for up next trip. The meal itself was wonderful!!! I’m considering having a birthday cake sent here to make up for the lack of desserts (we’ll be celebrating DD12’s birthday).
Hoop Dee Doo Review
Like everywhere else, HDDR carries chocolate Silk so DD12 was happy. I can’t even remember what DD10 drank; most likely water as she was getting tired of apple juice and at home generally prefers water.
Once again, DD10 wanted a salad of plain lettuce with chopped up bacon. I didn’t even think they’d carry bacon but the chef cooked some up for her. I guess he got it from Trail’s End next door. DD10 was happy. She mostly filled up on this and hardly ate any of the rest of the food.
The chef brought out a bucket of baked (maybe rotisserie; I’m not sure) chicken and sauceless ribs for the girls. DD10 hardly ate any because she was too enthralled by the show and too stuffed for her salad but DD12 chowed down on the chicken as well as the baked beans which were already safe so no special bucket required. The food was tasty and fresh. Even though it’s not fried chicken, it’s still yummy.
For dessert, the options were much more limited than most restaurants. The only option was Tofutti ice cream and fresh strawberries. I was surprised since last time DD10 got a French Meadow brownie, but she wasn’t very hungry anyway. DD12 ate most of it.
We love this meal!!
After waiting around 45 minutes past our ADR time, we were finally seated. Big shock, DD12 had Silk chocolate milk. DD10 asked for pineapple juice. Our waitress had to go to the bar to get that and that was a fresh juiced pineapple juice with plenty of pulp. DD10 dislikes pulp so it sat undrank.
The chef came out very quickly. He was very friendly and went over what he could make. He brought them out a large dish of mini Mickey waffles with plenty of bacon, sausage and breakfast potatoes. DD10 wasn’t in the mood for eggs so we told him not to bother preparing a dish for her (it would have to be on a separate dish from the big one because DD12 can’t have eggs). We did disagree about one thing. He kept insisting that pineapple is in the citrus family. I was pretty sure that it wasn’t and the kids have eaten it numerous times with no problems. He agreed to send some out for them on the fruit platter. When I got home I confirmed that it is NOT in the citrus family. I suspect his mistake was due to the fact that pineapple is highly acidic and most people who avoid citrus do so because of the acidity, but that’s not what their problem is so they can have pineapple. This did have me a little concerned but then I realized he was erring on the side of caution which is always a good thing so I was happy. Everybody enjoyed the breakfast.
This is always a hit with our family and this time was no exception. I’m not sure if it’s my imagination or not, but somehow DD12 seems to really come alive here. She loves interacting with people from other countries and the servers here are always so wonderful about answering her questions and they never seem to lose patience with her or act rushed or put out by her. We love Akershus.
Our waitress wasn’t sure if they carried any flavour of Silk besides the plain (red) so she said she’d go look. She found the vanilla (blue) but not the chocolate so she brought out the vanilla. DD12 generally drinks the very vanilla (purple) but will on occasion drink the vanilla so she was fine with that. She had mentioned to the chef that she was looking for it so he brought out some chocolate Silk for her later. Again I can’t recall what DD10 drank. She usually just wants water and occasionally apple juice.
The chef went over the appetizer bar with us and discussed what he could bring out for the kids. He put together a large plate of a deli meats, asparagus (no sauce), beets (no additional sauce since the additional sauce contains cranberries believe it or not) and peeled apples. They were very happy with this bounty.
The chef then went over meals. DD10 again was being rather fussy so together they came up with a plain chicken dish with rice. DD12 of course wanted steak tips with rice. They got discussing seasonings which is something that really interested her since at home she’s trying to learn what spices create what flavours. She decided she wanted the rosemary seasoning mix on her meat and rice and boy did she love the taste. DD10 was fine with hers but nothing spectacular. She would probably have been happier with a mounded plate of the appetizer foods.
For dessert, DD10 wanted her typical brownie with ice cream. DD12 was torn between the ice cream and a sorbet that they make because she was nervous that she wouldn’t like the sorbet and would end up with nothing. The chef offered to bring out a plate with a dish of each and assured her that if she wanted more of either that all she needed to do was ask him. Of course this made her happy. She really liked the sorbet but she was quite stuffed at that point so she didn’t ask for more.
We’ll definitely be back in the future. This really is among our favourite restaurants.
1900 Park Fare
I think it’s important to preface the review. We had over an hour wait to get it. We were hungry and cranky by the time we were seated as we had just come from an EMH at MK and got caught in the pouring rain and had a frustrating experience in Toontown. We had the last breakfast seating.
I had received a call at home from a chef (I think it was chef Johnny). He said he was going to try to make apple turnovers for my girls. I’m glad I didn’t mention this to the girls because it didn’t happen. Nothing special was done. For DD10’s birthday our server brought out a cupcake that she couldn’t eat. Oh joy. How special. I was hoping that maybe chef TJ’s influence would be felt since he had just moved over to GF but no sign of him or his influence.
The chef made up the same mini Mickey waffles with bacon and sausage that they got at ‘Ohana. The dish wasn’t as plentiful. We had to ask for seconds and even that wasn’t plentiful. They also brought out some fruit at our request. I felt a little like I was putting the chef out by asking for allergy safe foods which isn’t my typical experience. This was likely more my own frustration at this point rather than the chef (which is why I prefaced my review as I did) but it’s certainly how I felt. The kids enjoyed the food that they had which is what matters.
We asked to see the chef about desserts and he really scared me when he offered Divvies cookies to DD12 (who is gluten free). I reminded him that she’s gluten free and he said they are gluten free. I insisted that he go read the label and he came back out apologizing. Can you imagine if I didn’t know? And this was just after DD10 was served the regular cupcake (as was DH and he’s diabetic so he only eats a little bit of sweets).
I know it sounds like we had a bad experience, but really it was ok. I’ve actually booked an ADR for a similar time for our upcoming trip. The kids were happy with what they got and DH and I enjoyed our food as well. I think I’m mostly hoping that chef TJ will be there but even if he’s not, it’s a decent breakfast with the waffles and breakfast meats. We love the characters and DH and I enjoy the food on the buffet and the kids like their food so I figure it’s a pretty safe bet as long as I stay on top of what we’re being served.
Thanks for the reviews! :thumbsup2
Now you've reminded me I have to get mine from October done; I leave for WDW in about 3 weeks, so I better get cracking or I'll 2 trip reports to post! :lmao:
I'm sorry to hear you had some difficulty at 1900 PF, but I'm honestly not surprised. I was contacted by Chef Jeff Bliss from there before dining at the Garden View Tea Room and promised all sorts of things, and was very disappointed to not have anything promised and a cold, right out of the package French Meadow brownie. I don't mind those, but don't promise all sorts of things and don't deliver. I'm glad you didn't mention this to your DDs...I can only imagine how disappointed they would have been.
Sounds like you enjoyed some other great meals though! I'm eating at Tusker House for breakfast in a few weeks, so thanks for the heads up on the chef info. Fruit Loops safe?! EEEK Scary! :scared1: I had really good experiences there for lunch but that like a year and 1/2 ago. I'll make sure to be extra diligent there!
Thanks again for the reviews! Can't wait to see the pics!
Pictures I didn't actually get all of my pictures uploaded and some meals I forgot to take pictures until too late so here's what I've got.
Kona Café chicken wings over noodles
50s Prime Time Café milk shake, fried chicken with french fries, brownie sundae
Coral Reef desserts
Tusker House waffles with breakfast meats
‘Ohana (dinner) chicken wings & meats over rice
‘Ohana (breakfast) waffles with breakfast meats and potatoes
Akershus appetizer bounty & Tofutti with sorbet
Sunshine Seasons rotisserie chicken with white rice
Thank you for posting such thorough reviews. My son has a severe peanut allergy and it's nice to know that the chef's take food allergies seriously.
Thanks - great reviews and very helpful!
Fabulous reviews! Thanks! This will be my 1st time eating gluten free at Disney so it helps to read about someone else's dining experience.:goodvibes
Those Enjoy Life chocolate bars are so delish, aren't they? Talk about addicting, they're better than Hershey!
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