Guest Review: Allergy Friendly Dining at Walt Disney World

Join us in welcoming guest author Jennifer Harris with an informative review of allergy friendly dining at Walt Disney World. Are you on a special diet? Read on!

Oh Disney, how I love your allergen-friendly ways. Dining at Disney is half the fun for those with food intolerance/allergy while visiting its theme parks. From the very first meal, it is apparent their talented team of chefs has got your back and then some. With table and quick service, buffet, and fine dining options, the attention paid to preparing allergen-free cuisine is exemplary. The sky is the limit at Disney because serving their guests is top priority.

Preparation tables are sanitized, gloves are changed, and one chef handles the order from start to finish to ensure there is no cross contact. Disney can currently prepare meals for those allergic/intolerant to: wheat, gluten, peanuts and tree nuts, soy, eggs, corn, dairy and lactose, shellfish, and fish.

Gluten Free Mickey Waffles

Gluten Free Mickey Waffles

[Read more…]

SNEAK PEEK: New Disney-Branded Allergy Friendly Snacks

Here’s a bit of news for ya — there are about to be some changes coming up with Disney-branded, pre-packaged snacks and we have a sneak peek for you today at one of the new varieties!

The parks and resorts will soon start selling a Disney-branded allergy friendly line of snacks!

Snacks With Character Allergy Friendly Snack

Snacks With Character Allergy Friendly Snack

The new line will include Chocolate Chip Crunchy Cookies, Sugar Crisp Crunchy Cookies, and Mountain Mambo Seed & Fruit Mix. The allergy friendly snacks will be billed “Snacks with Character,” and each will feature a well-known Disney character. No exact date yet on when these will be officially released, but let’s check out the Chocolate Chip Crunchy Cookies! [Read more…]

Review: Mocha Brownie Cupcake at Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC in Downtown Disney

It was just this past February when many Disney World guests celebrated the opening of Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC  in The Landing of Disney World’s Disney Springs area.

For those who had missed the presence of BabyCakes in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace since its previous location  closed to accommodate construction in March 2014, the new storefront was a welcome re-addition.

While the name has changed, the focus on vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), soy-free, and gluten-free baked goods remains the same, making it a great destination for many Disney World guests on special diets.

Though I’m not on a special diet myself, I sometimes find myself stopping by Erin McKenna’s when I’m at Downtown Disney, anyway. I’ve found that I’ve come to enjoy several of the treats (I can’t walk by without at least entertaining the notion of picking up a slice of Lemon Teacake), and I can never resist any bakery case full o’ cupcakes.

Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC indoor sign

Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC indoor sign

Cupcakes!

Cupcakes!

Just a reminder, though, that the updated location has been able to expand its selection, and offers [Read more…]

News! Disney to Roll Out Allergy-Friendly Menus at More Than 100 Restaurants in Disney World and Disneyland

Editor’s Note: Copies of the Allergy Menu from Skipper’s Canteen have been added to this post as of January 14, 2016.

For some time, Disney has been a leader in the hospitality industry when it comes to serving guests with food allergies and sensitivities. Today, we’re learning that they’re offering options that will hopefully continue to make Disney visits more enjoyable and worry-free for guests who live with allergies.

Allergy-friendly kiosk menu

Allergy-friendly kiosk menu

After previously piloting Allergy-Friendly Menus at a number of venues, Disney has announced they will roll out Allergy-Friendly Menus to around 120 restaurants. The menus will be available at both counter service and table service locations throughout Walt Disney World and Disneyland parks and resorts. The move will include venues at Disney water parks and Downtown Disney restaurants as well.

Gluten Free Menu currently at ABC Commissary

ABC Commissary Took Part Offered a Gluten Free Menu During the Pilot Program

The goal is to provide a convenient way for guests to manage their food allergies while dining at Disney restaurants, and to provide more food options that are readily available.

The allergy-friendly menus will focus on the most common allergens: [Read more…]

News! And Review: Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC (BabyCakes!) Opens in Disney Springs

Just last week we showed you the signs outside the new Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC in Downtown Disney…

Erin McKenna's NYC Bakery sign

Erin McKenna’s NYC Bakery sign

And NOW we are happy to report that as of yesterday, it’s open for business!

First things first: Why all the excitement over this bakery? Well, aside from being the latest addition on the scene as Downtown Disney transitions to Disney Springs, it’s also the new home to BabyCakes NYC gluten-free and vegan baked goods in Disney World!

Erin McKenna's Bakery storefront

Erin McKenna’s Bakery storefront

Erin McKenna is the founder of BabyCakes NYC. Almost one year ago, the BabyCakes location in Downtown Disney’s Marketplace closed (along with Pollo Campero and Bodie’s All-American) to accommodate construction in the area. The new Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC fills the void felt by many guests on restricted diets, either due to allergies, digestive intolerances or lifestyle choice when BabyCakes closed, so we’re here to offer it a hearty “Welcome Back!”

Atmosphere

Now, I just mentioned the Marketplace, so let’s not go too much further before we discuss the location of Erin McKenna’s. It finds its home in what is now called The Landing (formerly part of the Pleasure Island area). Depending on your most recent visit to Downtown Disney, things may look a LOT different! You’ll find Erin McKenna’s tucked right in among some brand new retails shops including Sanuk, Sound Lion, and Chapel Hats, facing what will be The Boathouse restaurant.

Erin Mckenna's NYC Bakery at The Landing

Erin Mckenna’s NYC Bakery at The Landing

Seeing this area with its exposed brick and aesthetically pleasing outdoor strolling area, you really do start to get a feel for how much [Read more…]

News! Erin McKenna’s Bakery Signage Up in Downtown Disney (BabyCakes is Back!)

Okay, BabyCakes fans… this one’s for you!

With the ongoing construction at Downtown Disney (as it continues in its transition to become Disney Springs), there’s a lot of anticipation about the new dining spots on the way: from The Boathouse and Morimoto Asia to STK Orlando. If you’ve been following the Downtown Disney/Disney Springs food news, you may recall in November when we mentioned the possible return of BabyCakes NYC to Downtown Disney in the revitalized form of Erin McKenna’s Bakery Valentine.

We’re happy to bring you official signs of its return… with the SIGNS now hanging outside what will be the bakery!

And, according to Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC’s Facebook page, it will open this Sunday at 1PM! (Thanks to reader Heather for the heads up!)

Erin McKenna's Bakery storefront

Erin McKenna’s Bakery Storefront — Word is Out That the Bakery Will Open This Sunday!

Erin McKenna's Bakery sign

Erin McKenna’s Bakery sign

Erin McKenna is the founder of BabyCakesNYC, known for its great selection of gluten-free, vegan treats including cupcakes and donuts in a wide variety of flavors.

Babycakes Sweets and Treats

Babycakes Sweets and Treats

Fans of BabyCakes will certainly remember [Read more…]

News! Allergy-friendly Menus Currently in Testing at Select Disney World Restaurants

Disney World continually seeks ways to help guests with food allergies feel more at ease during their travels. If you or any member of your traveling group has a food allergy, you may be interested to hear about a current test underway at a few dining locations in Disney World.

For a limited time, select Disney World restaurants are offering menus specifically geared towards those with food allergies to allow ease of ordering directly from the menus. Test locations at the resorts include World Premiere Food Court at All Star Movies Resort, Flying Fish Café at Disney’s BoardWalk, and Kona Café and Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian Village Resort.

Kona Cafe

At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, The Hollywood Brown Derby, Sci-Fi Dine-in Restaurant, and ABC Commissary are taking part in the test.

ABC Commissary - Outside View

ABC Commissary

In these beginning phases, ABC Commissary’s menu [Read more…]

What’s New Around Disney World: August 12, 2014

It’s time to take another trip around the World, from Downtown Disney to EPCOT… and we’ll be visiting all sorts of Disney Resorts along the way! Strap in, folks, because there’s always something to find when you’re searching for What’s New at Disney World with the DFB!

DOWNTOWN DISNEY

Construction

The name of the game all over Downtown Disney these days continues to be, of course, construction for the transformation into Disney Springs. Here are a few recent shots of what will be The Boathouse restaurant, which seems to be coming along nicely.

The Boathouse construction

The Boathouse construction

The Boathouse construction

The Boathouse construction

The Smokehouse

On the West Side, The Smokehouse has introduced a new item: Smokehouse Nachos!

The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse

The Smokehouse Menu

The Smokehouse Menu

The Nachos can be customized with [Read more…]

News! New Menu at “Allergy” Kiosk in Disney’s Animal Kingdom (And You Can Still Get Babycakes!)

With the recent closure of Babycakes NYC in Downtown Disney Orlando, readers have been all aflutter with one question: Where will I get my gluten-free treats now??

And it’s a serious question. For visitors to Walt Disney World who follow a special diet, many were super thrilled to have access to the specialty bakery’s treats. The gluten-free, vegan baked goods meant that guests with food allergies and intolerances could have their cake and eat it, too. And guests who choose to follow a special diet for other reasons could indulge guiltlessly.

Well, we recently stopped by the Gardens Kiosk in Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and we’re happy to confirm that Babycakes NYC will continue to supply the stand as well as several Disney resorts with baked goodies that meet these criteria!

A Cast Member Provides a Guest with Information at the Gardens Kiosk in Disney's Animal Kingdom

A Cast Member Provides a Guest with Information at the Gardens Kiosk in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The Gardens Kiosk is located centrally on Discovery Island near Flame Tree Barbecue and the entrance to It’s Tough to Be a Bug. It serves to educate guests about the top eight most common food allergens, and cast members are stationed at the kiosk with resources to assist guests who need help with food choices.

But the spot also serves as a handy place to get grab and go snacks items that are free from the most common food allergens.

We noticed a few changes to the menu when we stopped by the other day. Most notably, you can now get Tofutti Ice Cream here! The dairy-free frozen treats will be a welcome addition for guests who are lactose intolerant or who suffer from milk allergies.

New Gardens Kiosk Menu -- Click to Enlarge

New Gardens Kiosk Menu — Click to Enlarge

But we also spied an expansion of the [Read more…]

Guest Review: ‘Ohana at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Join us in welcoming guest author Kevin Carpenter with a dinner review of ‘Ohana. This Polynesian Resort restaurant at Walt Disney World is popular for its all-you-care-to-eat fare served family-style. Aloha!

Dining at ‘Ohana is not an experience entered into without expectation. The restaurant regularly claims a spot among the best table-service venues on Disney property and it enjoys word of mouth that is nothing short of exemplary. As such, reservations go quickly.

After years of close calls and near misses, I finally secured a dinner reservation – for a party of nineteen, no less – and my hopes were sky high for my first visit to ‘Ohana.

The Entrance to ‘Ohana

As we arrived at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, a large crowd already milled about outside ‘Ohana’s entrance. Seeing this, I feared our large group would be in for quite a wait. After all, our party – extended family members enjoying a Disney vacation together for the first time in many years – was well used to lengthy waits for tables. And this night looked to be no different.

We checked in and, much to my surprise, were immediately whisked to our table. I should have known that there is very little the Cast Members of Walt Disney World are not prepared to handle.

Atmosphere

From my very first steps past the Tiki idols guarding the entranceway, I was impressed by ‘Ohana’s ambiance. In true Disney style, the interior theming strikes a fine balance between subtlety and traditional Hawaiian decor.

Tiki idols stand watch as you enter ‘Ohana

As we reached our long table, one thing became abundantly clear – we had made the perfect choice for our trip’s centerpiece meal. The word ‘Ohana, meaning family, would prove to be more than simply the name of the restaurant. Everything – from the unending salads and appetizers to the main course and dessert – would be served family style. Even the servers are considered honorary “cousins”. What place could be better for a large family meal?!

While we had many cousins gathered around our table, it was our server, “Cousin” Candy, who stood out the most. She may have been a member of the family for just this one evening, but she fit right in with remarkable warmth and attentiveness.

Where all the magic happens – ‘Ohana’s grilling area

Eats

We had scarcely taken our seats before the table was filled with the incredibly tasty Welcome Bread and bowls of salad with passion fruit dressing. I could have been quite content to savor the bread’s rich tones of pineapple and coconut all night, but the few ‘Ohana veterans among us had warned not to fill up on the bread.

Welcome Bread

Salad with Passion Fruit Dressing

Next came plates of honey-coriander chicken wings and pork dumplings. These were labeled appetizers, but they could have sufficed as meals unto themselves. Especially as everything was all-you-can-eat!

Tangy and delicious, the trays of wings and dumplings demanded refilling several times. Thankfully, my seat at the end of the table afforded an excellent view of the grilling area, where skewers upon skewers of meat and shrimp delivered a firm reminder that the best was yet to come.

Chicken Wings & Pork Dumplings

Several of us requested drinks from the bar, including one who chose to fully immerse himself in the evening’s Hawaiian spirit by ordering the Lapu Lapu. This blend of rum and fruit juices comes in extravagant style – served inside a hollowed-out pineapple.

Much to the chagrin of the one who ordered it, the Lapu Lapu made its way around the table as everyone wanted a taste. It received high marks from all who sampled it. And, honestly, our meal just felt that much more traditionally Hawaiian for having the Lapu Lapu on the table!

Lapu Lapu

One important consideration to note is that it was not only the size of our party that posed a challenge, but that we were a motley crew of adventurous and picky eaters, with a dietary restriction thrown into the mix as well. One family member suffers from gluten intolerance and required special dietary accommodation. The chef came out to speak with her before any food arrived on the table, and he promised to keep her well-stocked with an assortment of gluten-free alternatives (including gluten-free bread, noodles, and dessert).

The ‘Ohana chefs worked hard to ensure that she did not miss out on any aspect of the meal and she could not have been happier with the results.

Gluten-Free Bread

Gluten-Free Dessert

“Cousin” Candy soon delivered [Read more…]