I have been a loyal Walt Disney World fan since I was 7 weeks old. Loyal as if I had a choice in vacation that year, it was always ALWAYS Disney. Still is TBH. The first 16 years of my Disney travel was completely unrestricted food wise. Half my vacation was the excitement of Mickey bars, pizza from Pizza Planet, churros, and cream cheese pretzels. Literally drooling.
When I was 17, I finally began to see how what I was fueling my body with affected how I felt, and in an attempt to stay off of the heavy medications Crohn's disease often requires, I dedicated 100% of my life to completely changing around my diet and lifestyle. If you thought your food allergies or intolerances were too tough to travel with...let me just give you a rundown of what I have discovered I am allergic and/or intolerant to: >Gluten >Dairy >Grains >Nightshades >Eggs >Legumes >MOST starches >Cacao >and really anything with sugar that isn't from fruit or honey. So if I can travel stress-free and healthy, SO CAN YOU!
Walt Disney World is absolutely incredible at accommodating any and all allergies which I will talk about later in this post, but....ya girl is hungry...and I mean REALLY hungry, which brings me into my first tip.
#1: Pack your own supplemental snacks
Now this is definitely a preference and not a necessity for everyone, but it is for me. Disney is going to take care of you, offer tons of different snack options, and never leave you hungry. However, the reason I bring up this point is because of my own limitations. If you are gluten-free and/or dairy free, have a peanut allergy, or anything common like that, this would be more of a money saving tip for the extra hungry people like me out there. Disney offers tons of gluten and dairy free snacks that are easily accessible ranging from fruit, to chips, to cookies, to certain popcorns (oh, and the famous Pineapple Dole Whip which is free of dairy, gluten, eggs, peanuts, and many more common allergies). If your intolerances are a little more extensive like mine, bringing your own snacks for supplements is a great idea! This is because Disney, although offering tons of allergy-free snacks, isn't quite there on the grain-free/sugar-free approach. Some of my favorite snacks to keep on hand while enjoying Walt Disney World includes:
>Rhythm Carrot Sticks
>Paleo Prime Cookies (Raspberry is my favorite)
>Epic Pork Rinds
>Yo Yo Bear Fruit Rolls
>Stretch Island Fruit Leathers
>Coconut Wraps (to wrap burgers, sandwiches, etc.)
>Jackson's Sweet Potato Chips (before I was SCD)
>Terra Plantain Chips (before I was SCD)
>Bubba's Fine Foods Banana Chips (don't seem to bother me on SCD in moderation even though they are made from green bananas. LOVE the Grand Garlic Parm (*pepper=small amount of nightshades) and Nacho Nacho)
>Coconut Flake Cereal from Thrive (for breakfast in the mornings)
#2: Look up allergy menu's of restaurants you plan to attend, and/or ask to speak to the chef!
Disney has amazing, knowledgable, and caring chefs that want your trip to be free of stress and sickness, and full of magic. In the past couple of years, Disney has begun to offer an extensive allergy menu for basically every quick and table-service restaurant where there is an option to tell only your waiter or cashier instead of having to talk to the chef. With that being said, when allergy's are severe and you would like more extensive detail and reassurance, ask your cashier or waiter to speak to the chef, and they will be happy to come discuss options with you! I often still do this to cut down on the anxiety of not knowing every ingredient in my food, and to make extra customizations. From my experience, the chefs are always happy to combine various dishes to make a full meal that you can enjoy, and even pull from the kids menu if necessary. I LOVE this aspect of Disney, and the fact that the chefs and staff take you seriously, and never make you feel like an annoyance. Your food comes out on a green tray to signify that it is an allergy, and to date, I have never had an issue from an Disney food.
#3: Use apps like InstaCart or Amazon Prime Now to order fruit, drinks, and things in need of a fridge.
Even if you are on the Quick-Service Dining Plan, or the Disney Dining Plan, these plans offer only two meals per-day. You can use these however you want, but I have always found that eating breakfast in the room, and then staying in the parks for lunch and dinner was most beneficial. Like I mentioned earlier, skipping a meal, or even supplementing a snack for a meal is just not an option for me. This is where InstaCart comes in. InstaCart is an app that delivers groceries directly to your home, hotel, resort, etc. within hours. I used this thing for stocking up on tons of fruit, kombuchas, almond milk (for breakfast with coconut cereal), and any snacks I might have run out of or not been able to fit in my luggage. It as truly a lifesaver. InstaCart drivers deliver to Disney all the time, so this is no weird request for them. You have it delivered to bell-services under your name, bell services holds it for you (and even has a fridge for cold items!), and then you either go pick it up, or call and request it be delivered. Simple as that, and you have food for the entire week.
I hope you benefited from my tips and tricks that took me YEARS to learn the hard way, and that this simplifies your trip and helps to make it the stress-free trip you've been needing. If you want more detail on how I eat day-to-day/travel, follow me on Instagram @freelymadi and @madisdisneyday. You can also subscribe to my Youtube where I talk about all things health and lifestyle right here! I also would LOVE to plan your magical trip for you completely free of charge to keep your trip all about the memories, without any of the stress. You can find me on Facebook right here!
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