Choosing what restaurant to eat at is one of the most fun parts of planning a Walt Disney World vacation. Some go for the atmosphere of the place, while others go for the food itself. Whichever way you prefer, you can’t go wrong. The wide range of food choices while vacationing at the happiest place on Earth guarantees two things: there is something for everyone and you won’t leave the place starving. Trust me on this one.
But what about those of us who have dietary needs? Do we still enjoy it? What about the selection? Do they get the same quality and care as those guests without? Speaking from experience the answer is an emphatic YES!
I was fortunate enough to be blessed with numerous amounts of food allergies and have now passed a couple on to my son. I say fortunate because while I could look at it as a bother, I try not to. At Walt Disney World, not only is it not an issue, but often we have found that our allergies allow us some of the best meal experiences.
One of the experiences that stick out in my mind happened during my last trip this past August at Trail’s End Restaurant located at The Campsites at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort. Admittedly, I don’t spend much time at buffets these days. But this trip we had invited my parents and my sister to join us. They just so happen to love buffets, which meant I was a bit outnumbered in the decision.
I have to say, for those of us with allergies I often find that the chef makes the experience. And the chef for Trail’s End Restaurant that night totally made not only the meal, but also the trip. No, he didn’t walk me around and point out only the things I could have but rather he asked if I trusted him enough to prepare something special for me, which let’s face it, I didn’t really have a choice there. He almost sounded giddy as he clapped his hands and ran back to the kitchen to prepare my special allergy-friendly meal, and yes, this did include my dairy-free dessert.
While the rest of my family went up to get their plates, my meal was being prepared in the back, in a special section away from the other food, so there would be no worry of any cross contamination. And when it finally came out? This was no two-item meal, but a smorgasbord of fish, shrimp, and special baked chicken and endless amount of veggies. None of which contained dairy, egg or pork and dairy products. The meal was fabulous! It looked so amazing that even my husband seemed quite a bit jealous and had to steal a bite or two of his own. His verdict? Let’s just say he finished mine off without a complaint. In fact, he said some of my selection was better than his own.
Dinner however, was nothing compared to dessert. Yes, that is right, dessert. Being allergic to dairy products definitely leaves desserts such as ice cream off the menu in most places. But in Disney, well, turns out I cannot only have cake, but ice cream too. I must hand it to the chef for the fabulous stacked dessert consisting of several layers of chocolate and vanilla rice cream in between bananas, rice cream sandwich all of which lay on top of a sweet strawberry base then slathered in chocolate sauce. For the record, it was incredible, and one of the best desserts I have had in a long, long time.
It was so good in fact I had to hug the chef–though I am sorry I didn’t get his name.
My only regret was that my eyes were larger than my stomach.