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Old 06-14-2014, 08:32 PM   #1
LoveMMC
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Freaking out a little: dairy free toddler

So my baby will be 18 months when we go to Disney.
He has a dairy allergy.

I was looking at a reference sheet for what I can feed him- and I don't see much. A lot of chicken tenders and desserts.
He didn't eat till 12 months and now loves food like chicken, pork, ground beef, veggies, fruit, bread
When we go out I say he has a dairy allergy and order my meal dairy free- then given him pieces of it and a veggie purée

We are eating at:
1900
BOG
Ohana
Via Napoli
Teppan Edo
Hollywood Vine

Any experiences or suggestions? Do we just order chicken tenders at every meal?

Tia
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Old 06-14-2014, 08:46 PM   #2
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Have you contacted Special Diets and made note of the allergy on your ARD's? If a piece of chicken and some veggies makes him happy, the chefs I am sure can make that happen. They are use to dealing with a lot more complexed dietary issues so I'm sure they can manage that!!! It's so hard to let others make food for an allergic kiddo for sure, the chefs are amazing from what I hear! (our first trip is in Sept but we have heard amazing things!)
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:25 PM   #3
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you will be fine

DD and I have dairy allergy. The only reason that I worry about DF at WDW is that I remember favorites from before I was diagnosed. Back when I had no idea that so many of my allergy issues were due to dairy, I enjoyed all sorts of things that I can't have now.
Ordering DF for yourself to share with your toddler should be no problem and you will usually even have choices of entrees and appetizers. If you, yourself, needn't be strictly DF, you could maybe share appetizers, breads and desserts that contain dairy with others in your party. And share your DF order with your toddler. I imagine that a toddler would love the DF frozen "ice-cream" and packaged cookies when you allow it and fruit or sorbet at other times if dessert is something you all want. If the rest of the party wants appetizers, then maybe they would bring crackers for your toddler or you could order a kid's applesauce. Could you even have some of your own snacks for the toddler? I don't know about WDW, but elsewhere it's standard for mom to have crackers or teething biscuits or something to help toddlers await restaurant meals, right?

Just add the special request of dairy allergy to your ADRs and the chefs will come talk to you about what you can share with your toddler. (But do list an allergy on the ADRs so they know to come talk to you - there is hidden dairy. There are menu items almost everywhere I've been that I would have assumed DD and I could have - until the chef said no. So do list the allergy and talk to chefs at TS and managers at QS to avoid unexpected dairy.) It will be just fine. At QS locations, you tell the cashier taking the QS order that you have an allergy and a manager with the allergy binder will come out to talk to you about what you can give your toddler and they will take your order. It sometimes takes a few minutes longer at QS but it is easy and you will have much more than allergy chicken to eat, - really.
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Old 06-14-2014, 09:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveMMC View Post
...I was looking at a reference sheet for what I can feed him- and I don't see much. ...Do we just order chicken tenders at every meal?

Tia
If the reference sheet that you mention is the one sent by special diets that lists the allergy friendly options, that is a list of specialty items that can be found at certain locations. There are plenty of menu items at both TS and QS locations that are already DF and don't require substitution with specialty items.
The only thing I see from rereading your OP that I need to add is that if your son really likes bread then you may want to bring some. WDW doesn't seem keen to give you a bread other than the multi-allergy Udi's roll most places. Plenty of breads naturally do not contain dairy but either WDW breads mostly contain dairy or there is concern about cross-contamination in regular breads.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveMMC View Post
So my baby will be 18 months when we go to Disney. He has a dairy allergy. I was looking at a reference sheet for what I can feed him- and I don't see much. A lot of chicken tenders and desserts. He didn't eat till 12 months and now loves food like chicken, pork, ground beef, veggies, fruit, bread When we go out I say he has a dairy allergy and order my meal dairy free- then given him pieces of it and a veggie purée We are eating at: 1900 BOG Ohana Via Napoli Teppan Edo Hollywood Vine Any experiences or suggestions? Do we just order chicken tenders at every meal? Tia

If u or a family member have a dairy allergy please tell the chef and the head chef will make just about anything off the menu!
Thanks!
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:17 PM   #6
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With any of the sit-down places you will pretty much have a normal meal just talk to the chef and they will make food separately for you.

Sometimes counter service (fast food style places) can be a little more frustrating because they won't have as many options to work with. Those are the places where you may see a lot of chicken tenders but other people eat a lot of chicken tenders at places like that too. If you are going for a quick lunch, after talking to the chef it may be better to order LO their own side item or a kids meal than to require the special meal yourself. (for example if the bun had dairy, it may rule out most of the menu) As a PP said really watch for the hidden dairy. If you like waffles the allergy mickey waffles a lot of the resort counter service make are really good.

Overall, Disney is a really easy place to be compared to most of the world if you have one of the major allergies, especially if it's ONE and not a group of them.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minnielexa View Post
If u or a family member have a dairy allergy please tell the chef and the head chef will make just about anything off the menu!
Thanks!
Minnielexa
This was not our recent experience. There were plenty of things on the menu that they did not allow us as a DF option. I wish they would "make just about anything." Nonetheless, there are still options that they will make DF and the OP should be fine with her toddler son. I think the OP was concerned that they could eat only those specialty substitute items from the list rather than having those options in addition to menu items that are already dairy free.
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Old 06-14-2014, 10:58 PM   #8
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Oh thank you so much.
That was our experience at family restaurants around here and happy to hear it's the same at wdw.
I am going to call Monday and add the dairy allergy to the reservation because I made the reservations at 180 days and since then we had our scare and hospital visit. (Also he wouldn't eat at all till 12 months - removing dairy from my diet and within 2 weeks he started eating! Thank God.)

Thank you again.
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Old 06-23-2014, 02:22 PM   #9
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I just wanted to add something you might want to consider for your reservations. My son has extremely severe dairy allergies (and peanuts and shellfish) and we never eat in any restaurants - EXCEPT at Disney World, so that's our yearly vacation. Just wanted to give you a baseline for our extremely low risk-threshhold.

The thing is - not all Disney restaurants are created equally. There are Disney owned and operated restaurants and then there are "operating participants." The O.P. restaurants appear on the Disney site and aren't flagged, but they do not go through the same training as the Disney owned and operated restaurants. You will hear plenty of people that have had fantastic experiences at the O.P. restaurants, but it seems to me when I hear of the rare bad case, it's always at these. As a result, we only eat at the Disney ones.

At Epcot, all the restaurants in Mexico, China, Italy, Japan, Morocco, and France are operating participants - so Via Napoli & Teppan Edo are both not Disney owned and operated. Again - you'll hear from a lot of people that love these two restaurants, but I thought you should know so you can make your own decision. We've always stuck to Rose & Crown (fish and chips are dairy free), Canada, or Coral Reef.

I'm a bit off your timetable, but we go every year - so my last visit was summer 2013. We go to 1900 every year and have always loved it (especially if Chef TJ is really back at dinner). Be aware at the buffets that some chefs will try to walk you through the buffet and say this is okay and this isn't - which if fine depending on your level of allergy. My son's is too severe, so we can't risk the cross contamination. You just need to tell them how bad your son's allergy is and ask if they can prepare his food (or yours in this case) in the back, so there's no risk. Always been a ton of options there.

BOG has always been great as well.

I haven't eaten at the others. Besides Rose & Crown, BOG, and 1900 - Our best options have been:

50's Diner - they have a separate blender for "milkshakes" using Tofutti. They can also do fried chicken.

Kona Grill/Polynesian - They've always had Udi's rolls and Earth Balance butter for before the meal. They also bring a make your own sundae at the end with safe cotton candy, sprinkles, and syrup.

New for us this year, but I'm hearing good things about Kouzzina's.

For counter service, the options are pretty standard stuff, but Pizza Planet has always been able to make a dairy free pizza.

Also, the ice cream palor on Main Street keeps Tofutti in the back. A manager will go and make it for you, so it's never near the dairy ice cream.

This will be new for us this year as well, but I can't wait to try the Allergy Carts at Animal Kingdom, which are supposed to have a lot of dairy free goodies for kids.

As several people have told you, just definitely make sure you get the allergy noted on your reservations. When you check in, they'll confirm you have the allergy in your group. Then when you sit, the waiter will know and tell you they're sending out the chef or you can just ask them to do so. The chefs have always been fantastic, and honestly, a single dairy allergy is easy for them compared to what so many people have. They have always asked what my son wanted - and while it's never been anything over the top, they've always been able to come up with a solid meal (salad, pasta, chicken, fish, etc.) Those lists are only the allergy specific brands, it doesn't include all the products that are just naturally dairy free.

Also - don't put too much stock into that restaurant will have that specific product. We've always found that the restaurants actual stock differs quite a bit - but that list is key to us knowing all the potential brands we might run into, so I can research any ones I'm not familar with before we go.

We leave next week, so if I find anything has changed, I'll let you know when we return. Hope you have a wonderful trip! Disney is truly the best place on earth for kids with allergies.
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Old 06-23-2014, 05:52 PM   #10
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We at 2 weeks ago at 1900 Park Fair, 'Ohana & Hollywood & Vine (among others). My daughter has a gluten, egg and dairy allergy and we had no issues what so ever. Just make a note in your reservation and remind either your server or the CM that seats you and they will have the chef come out to talk it over with you. If necessary they will make a special meal and desert. At the buffet's they will walk the line with you to tell you what can and can't be eaten, if the choices are big enough they will make something special.
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Old 06-24-2014, 08:00 AM   #11
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We took a long trip when my youngest DS was around 15 months and dairy free was pretty new for us. Chefs were unbelievable at all the restaurants we went to. They would explain the menu to us, tell us what he could have and offer other meals they could prepare for him. At buffets they'd show us around the buffet and let us know what to avoid.

We had breakfast at Captain's Grille and they made him dairy free scrambled eggs since there's milk in the buffet ones.

Ohana was pretty easy, he ate noodles, vegetables, some of the meats, and the chef made him a special cookie ice cream sundae. Others brought him a bunch of Enjoy Life cookies and chocolate bars.

Eating at Disney is much easier for us than going anywhere else.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:11 PM   #12
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Just tell the CM when you check in and they'll take care of you. Between my kids and I, we have 14 (and counting) different allergies and intolerances. We were able to eat just fine at WDW and the chefs were great about figuring out meals for us. Dairy allergy is so common that they will have many different options for you.
Have a great trip!
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Old 06-25-2014, 06:53 PM   #13
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The chef will make substitutions for you, don't worry! They are REALLY great at this! We always travel dairy free gluten free and we started with kids were very little. Dairy has not been an issue.
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Old 06-26-2014, 05:49 PM   #14
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Just another post to say you will be fine. No, change that. You will be great! Our odd has multiple (including dairy) allergies, and she is treated like a princess by the chefs at WDW. That is what keeps us coming back! I do find table service sometimes easier to deal with than QS (CM, even managers, sometimes aren't as experienced as chefs). And I always review menus ahead of time to make sure restaurants have the ingredients necessary. They will make whatever you need with what they have.we have had good experiences at Ohana (great breakfast!) and BOG. We haven't tried the others on your list.
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