Hello 2021! We’re starting the year off with a post all about dietary restrictions at Walt Disney World! I’ll explain how you can easily navigate Walt Disney World even with dietary restrictions! I’ll be talking about options for specific dietary restrictions as well as what you need to know for the different types of restaurants. And lastly, I’ll be sharing some of my personal experiences. Okay, let’s jump in!
Plant based eating
The Walt Disney World website actually has a whole guide to plant based eating! It breaks down options by park or by different areas (like The Boardwalk or Disney Springs). It then breaks it down by restaurants and what your exact options are. You can find that guide here. If you are plant based and heading to Walt Disney World, you are going to want to keep an eye out for a green leaf on menus, just like the one below. One thing to note: at festivals at Epcot there can be a V symbol on the menus- this is to signify vegetarian options, not plant based or vegan options.
Walt Disney World notes on its website that most restaurants can accommodate the following allergies:
- tree nuts
For these allergies there are generally allergy-friendly menus or allergy guides that provide more detail than a normal menu.
If you have an allergy, require a different accommodation, or have specific questions you can email Special.Diets@DisneyWorld.com with any questions once a reservation has been made and no more than 14 days in advance. But they are generally able to accommodate other requests without advance notice.
Kosher and Halal
Kosher and Halal meals can be requested at some quick-service restaurants and table service restaurants up to 24 hours in advance, You can call (407) 824-1391 to request a meal. At buffet restaurants you will receive one meal at the buffet price, and it will not be all you can eat. Wait times may be longer for these meals as they can take longer to prepare, and sometimes only vegetarian meals will be available to substitute for Halal.
Quick Service Dining
At most quick service dining locations you can request an allergy friendly menu, and speak to a chef or diet trained Cast Member if needed. You can use the My Disney Experience app to see if a restaurant you are looking at has allergy friendly or plant based options. Below you can see some screenshots of what you can see in the app when looking at the menu for ABC Commissary at Hollywood Studios.
Table Service Restaurants
When making a reservation you can select a box saying that someone in your party has an allergy or special dietary request (there will be a post explaining this step by step coming soon!) and specify your request. When you arrive at the restaurant they will confirm you have an allergy (it’s the same process for a dietary request) and a chef will visit your table to go over options. They make it very easy! You can also check in the My Disney Experience app to see if they have allergy friendly options as well as on the Walt Disney World website when you view the menu (the same information will be in both places). Below are some screenshots of what you can see in the app when looking at the menu for 50’s Prime Time Cafe at Hollywood Studios.
I’ve been a pescatarian for 14 years (meaning I don’t eat meat but do eat fish), so most of my Walt Disney World trips have been during this time! I think only on my first trip did I eat meat… but I was only 5. In all of my trips I can say I’ve never felt like I had no options! I have noticed that the number of vegetarian or plant based options has increased in the last few years, which is always good!
There are 2 distinct memories I can think of when it was even something to speak of, and funnily enough they are both from restaurants in the Japan pavilion at Epcot. The first was (in 2011) when I was at Tokyo Dining with my Mom and we were on the dining plan, so we only had certain options to choose from. I wanted to order a bento box that also came with meat, and so I asked if I could switch that for something else and was told no substitutions. I then asked if they could just not bring the meat out, and I was told again- no substitutions. So the plate came out with the meat on it and my Mom just took it. I don’t know if it was a language barrier thing or what, but that is the only negative experience I can think of.
The second was on my trip in 2016, and we were eating at Teppan Edo with a big group of us. I think they asked if there were restrictions and I mentioned being a pescatarian, so the chef made sure to prepare my food first before any meat was on the grill (they cook everything in front of you). I was so appreciative of that!
On the same trip on 2016 we went as a large group which included my sister. At the time she was on a puree diet, so all of her food needed to be in the consistency of hummus. I had noted a special request on all of our dining reservations so a chef visited our table at every meal. The first night we didn’t really understand so we didn’t ask for anything. But once we figured out that we could request that, we were amazed! It made meals so easy and even at buffets- Alex could have whatever she wanted! It gave my parents such piece of mind.
If you’d like to hear more about visiting Walt Disney World with a dietary restriction or allergy, check out the co-ordinating video below!
As you can see Walt Disney World is very accommodating for allergies and special dietary restrictions, and there is very little planning needed! If you have any questions please leave them below and I will do my best to answer.
Thank you so much for reading, and I hope this post has been helpful!