WDWNT The Magazine: Dining at Disney with Food Allergies
A couple of years ago the unthinkable happened and I discovered that I had a dairy allergy. Food allergies that develop later in life can seem like a death sentence at first, but over time you learn there are still tasty things you can eat and that life will go on.
While I won’t be enjoying a Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bar anytime soon, I have come to discover that there are still many treats I can enjoy around property like Pineapple Dole Whips and French Toast Cupcakes. The great thing about Disney is that they go out of their way to accommodate guests with allergies. Now that I am a Disney local I wanted to take some time each month to share with you some of the food options available to you if you have food allergies.
This month I want to begin with a special event that was held at Raglan Road this past weekend. Our friends over at the Gluten Free + Dairy Free WDW Blog hosted a Lunch & Learn at Raglan Road with cookbook author Laurie Sadowski. The event was packed with loads of helpful information as well as getting to enjoy a scrumptious lunch at Raglan Road.
The event started out with a Magners Irish Cider tasting and a chance to mingle with fellow event attendees. It was great to pick up tips from others’ experiences at various restaurants around property. If you have dined on property (whether it be sitdown or counter service) with anyone who has food allergies, you know that a manager or chef will come out to speak with you to discuss your food options. Some places are much more accommodating than others. I have had chefs say they can make me whatever I like off the menu (with some modifications, of course) and others who told me I was limited to a bowl of pasta. So it’s always great to hear from others where they have had the best experience.
The chef spoke with the group first about Raglan Road’s dedication to accommodating allergies. The chef acknowledged that food allergies are becoming more and more common and that, at Raglan Road, they strive to find traditional Irish dishes that are safe for those with food allergies. He also went into a little depth about the food preparation out back. For example, they have dedicated fryers in the kitchen to use for those who have certain allergies.
For lunch, there was a special menu of dairy free and gluten free options provided to us. The menu, as you can see on the left, included Fish & Chips, Butternut Squash Risotto, and a Salmon Salad. I opted for the fish and chips because they are just too delicious to pass up. I have had the regular fish and chips in the past because there is no milk used to bread the fish (the Irish instead opt for beer instead of milk). This is the first time I have ever had the gluten free option and I was surprised to find it just as tasty. As our server pointed out, the gluten free breading makes it extra crunchy! I highly recommend giving them a try next time you are at Downtown Disney.
For the last portion of our Lunch & Learn, Laurie Sadowski spoke about her books and some cooking tips to keep in mind when cooking without flour. I don’t want to give it all away so I recommend you follow the link below and get one of her cookbooks for yourself. Outside of hearing about Sadowski’s books we also got some handouts on cooking with Magners Irish Cider and Mary’s Gone Crackers, two of the event’s sponsors.
While you are waiting for your next trip to the World don’t forget to check out Laurie Sadowski’s allergy free cookbooks. She spoke about some wonderful alternatives to help your baked goods taste just as delectable as those that have gluten, dairy, and other common allergens. I purchased both versions of The Allergy-Free Cookbooks and I am looking forward to baking these recipes! A few of the highlights include: chocolate filled pumpkin cinnamon rolls, coconut pull apart bread, triple chocolate layer cake, and the essential chocolate chip cookie.
Do you also have food allergies? I would love to hear about your experiences dining on property!