As I’m sure you’ve already noticed from my previous Walt Disney World (WDW) posts, we are such a fan of vacationing there as a family with multiple food allergies. It was a worry and stress free trip where we could go to virtually any restaurant and find something to accommodate my son’s peanut, nut, sesame, and chickpea/garbanzo allergies and my gluten-free diet.
As promised, I’m picking up with day two of our WDW adventure. Days two and three of our vacation were spent at the Magic Kingdom. Every morning we chose to eat store-bought cereal and milk in the room for breakfast. It was quick, fast, and cheap! Everyone was so excited about getting to the park, no one was really all that focused on breakfast anyway.
COSMIC RAY’S STARLIGHT CAFE IN FANTASYLAND
For one of our lunches at the Magic Kingdom we ate at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Fantasyland. It is a counter-service restaurant and is quite busy inside…enough to make any food allergy mom cringe at the prospects for cross contamination or a mix up in the order. We asked someone busing a table if they could get a manager for us so we could place a food allergy friendly order. Within seconds a manager was talking one on one with us and letting us know what meal options we could safely enjoy…and there were lots of them. Not only did he help us understand what was safe and take our order, he then placed the order himself with the kitchen so they would understand the seriousness of that particular order.
We might have had to wait another minute or two longer than the other patrons, but it was well worth the wait. At Cosmic Ray’s I dined on a gluten-free hot dog, french fries, and even a brownie. It was fabulous! My kiddos dined on AllergyFree chicken nuggets, french fries, applesauce, and milk. The brownie I had was even safe for them so we split it three ways. My kids and my needs were safely met and my hubby was able to order “normal” food from the menu…everyone was happy…and full!
CHEF MICKEY’S AT DISNEY’S CONTEMPORARY RESORT
That night we enjoyed a character dinner (where the Disney characters come visit you and your family at your dinner table) at Chef Mickey’s inside the Contemporary Hotel on the park grounds. Again, we arrived to see that the line was a buffet and I cringed thinking of the possibilities of cross contamination. After being seated, we asked our waitress to please send over the head chef, Matt Sauers.
Matt was FABULOUS!!! He took us around the buffet and discussed each food item separately letting me know exactly what would be safe for my family to meet…and again there was a wide variety of choices. Matt also offered to bring out fresh food from the kitchen that had not been sitting out on the buffet if I was concerned about contamination…music to a food allergy mom’s ears! Dinner was fabulous!!! I was so busy eating my dinner, I forgot to take a picture of it, but trust me when I say that I ate well.
I did remember to take a picture of the most important part of the meal…dessert. There wasn’t much we could have off the dessert buffet other than frozen yogurt, so Matt offered to whip us up some peanut, nut, gluten, sesame, chickpea free cupcakes. They were served to us warm right out of the oven and they were absolutely delicious. The kids had chocolate cupcakes and I had vanilla. Matt really spoiled us.
I highly recommend visiting Chef Mickey’s at The Contemporary Hotel and I also recommend you speak with Matt Sauers while there. Please tell him I sent you! He is wonderful and made sure we had a fantastic experience at Chef Mickey’s. For more information call 407-824-3831.
CINDERELLA’S ROYAL TABLE
Another one of our Magic Kingdom lunches was at Cinderella’s Royal Table restaurant located inside the famous storybook castle. We scheduled this for our daughter who is into everything princess. *Be advised, reservations have to be made months in advance to secure a spot for this attraction. It is a hot ticket!*
My daughter wore her Belle dress from Beauty and the Beast and loved every moment. When you check-in you are ushered straight to Cinderella to have a commemorative photo taken (depending on which package you choose). After visiting with Cinderella for a moment we climbed the red velvet covered stairs all the way up to the top of the castle where the formal dining room is located. The room’s decor is in rich, royal colors and it is surrounded by windows with fabulous views of the park.
We were fortunate enough to be the first ones seated which gives you the privilege of seeing the princesses first when they emerge during lunch. The waiters and waitresses are dressed in traditional castle servant garb and call everyone prince, princess, king, or queen. When asked to place our order, we requested to visit with the head chef, Joseph Hampton. Joseph was wonderful. He came directly to our table and was able to make us some version of something already on the menu. He took great time and care in listening to our needs and then serving us some delicious allergy friendly food.
The kids were served grapes and cheese, corn, chicken nuggets, mashed potatoes and a make-it-yourself ice cream sundae for dessert…and it was all served on a white mickey mouse plate with black bowls for the ears. My husband and I split a salad as an appetizer, dined on a pulled pork concoction that was sinfully delicious, and then for dessert I was able to eat a piece of gluten-free spice cake still warm from the oven. The meal was amazing.
The food was delicious, and my kids were fortunate enough to visit with Sleeping Beauty, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, and Ariel and have their pictures take with each. My daughter received a wand and my son received a sword and each received a special wishing star. The whole adventure was magic and we paid for it with our dining plan and saved a bundle.
If you visit Cinderella’s table, be sure to ask for Joseph. He was wonderful. For more information call 407-824-4401.
ROARING FORK SNACKS AT DISNEY’S WILDERNESS LODGE
Our last meal at the Magic Kingdom was at our hotel, the Wilderness Lodge. This is a counter service restaurant so we went in early to avoid peak dining hour traffic. We asked to speak with the manager, Diane Hastings. She patiently listened to all of our food allergies and accommodated us accordingly…with grace and ease. After taking our order she personally handed it to the kitchen to underscore the importance of avoiding cross-contamination and then served us personally. I was even able to enjoy a gluten-free pizza. Yum! Diane was a joy to work with and understands food intolerances and food allergies first-hand. For more information call 407-824-1299.
We are so grateful to each of these individuals and restaurants above for making our visit safe and special. Stay tuned this week for more one more post on Disney World including information on Hollywood Studios and Epcot.