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Dietary Guide for the Orlando Parks

    Eating at the Orlando Parks with a Dietary Requirement

    A holiday to the Orlando Parks is a trip with a difference. With so much to see and do, your experience of the parks and the wider Orlando area will be far more enjoyable if at least some elements of your trip are planned in advance, such as purchasing your Orlando attraction tickets before you travel. This advice is particularly important if you have any special requirements such as dietary requirements or additional mobility needs. If you do need any information about accessibility at the Orlando parks, check out our guide.

    Whether you are following a strict nutrition plan, or are intolerant or allergic to a type of food, there are plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy delicious food on your Orlando holiday without having to go without! Below we have listed each park, “with helpful information about the accommodations available for common dietary requirements.”

     

    Orlando dietary guide

    General Tips

     

    •  While most of the Orlando parks cope very well with dietary requirements, it’s always helpful to bring snacks that are aligned with your diet, just in case. After all, you never know when hunger will strike! Guests can bring food and snacks into the Orlando parks, but you will need to let a staff member know you are bringing food at the gate. They may take a look (just to check), or they may let you right on in.
    • If you are severely allergic to a type of food or ingredient you should wear your Medical ID bracelet or any other identifying object at all times. Make sure your Medical ID information is up to date on your mobile phone (apps such as Health for iOS have this information accessible from the home screen in case of emergency).
    • If you are eating at a restaurant in one of the parks, it is always recommended to make a reservation in advance by either booking online or telephoning beforehand and sharing your requirement information with them. This way, the chefs at each restaurant will know to prepare a meal either separately from the other ingredients or create an alternative version to a popular dish just for you!
    • The Garden Kiosk in the Animal Kingdom has an entire kiosk dedicated to allergy friendly and dietary requirement snacks!

     

    Walt Disney World Resort

    Eating Vegan at Walt Disney world Resort

    If you are allergic to dairy products or choosing to follow a vegan or plant-based diet, you will be fine at Walt Disney World. Many of the restaurants, buffets, stalls, and carts around the park offer vegan or dairy-free options.

     

    Dietary Requirements Orlando

    Snacks

    • Dole Whip. Dole Whip is a soft frozen dessert served exclusively at Disney resorts. The Pineapple flavour is dairy-free and delicious. Melissa of My Whole Food Life agrees, saying “You can’t go to Disney without trying Dole Whip. It’s the bomb and it’s vegan.”
    • Mickey Pretzels. These cute mouse-shaped pretzels are totally vegan, as is the mustard dip.
    • ‘Buttered’ Popcorn. The buttery flavour of the popcorn is actually vegetable oil, making it a delicious dairy-free snack!

    Meals

    • Coral Reef in Epcot. This restaurant provides a vegan menu as standard, full of delicious seasonal vegetables and ‘meat substitutes’ such as ‘chickn’ and tofu. 
    • Tails End at the Fort Wilderness Campground. This is the current workplace of the infamous Chef TJ. If you haven’t heard of Chef TJ, he is well-known on the vegan scene for creating delicious and stunning 5 course vegan meals, no plain old veggies and fries here! Check out this rave review of a recent Chef TJ meal from vegan blog, the VE Spot.
    • Cape May Café in Epcot. This restaurant is very popular with breakfast as it serves Mickey Mouse Waffles, these can be made vegan and GF if you ask. They also serve vegan and GF doughnuts!  

    Must read blogs before you go

    • Melissa King of My Whole Food Life visited Walt Disney World in 2015 and is a long-time Disney fan, she says “Disney takes allergies and dietary restrictions very seriously. I have been there multiple times and it's never been an issue."
    • Perri at Life Gone Vegan has written a fantastic blog about her experience of Disney World as a vegan. On visiting Disney as a vegan, Perri said:

    “Disney World is one of the easiest places to find food for a special diet. Every restaurant has allergy-friendly options, and the park is full of snack stands with multiple healthy, vegan, and gluten free options available.”

    • Bianca at The Friendly Fig has written a post full of 38 fantastic tips for eating vegan in Disney World.

    Bianca’s top tip on eating Vegan at Disney World is:

    “Never hesitate or be afraid to speak up about your needs. As long as you do, Disney will take care of you. They are trained to handle dietary restrictions. Even if there doesn't seem to be anything on the menu, ask to speak to the chef and 95% of the time, he or she will be able to whip something up for you.”

    • Vegan Disney World is a fantastic resource for those visiting the park, their whole site is  full of helpful information, and this post in particular lists every eatery in Magic Kingdom and whether it is vegan.

    Eating Gluten Free at Walt Disney World Resort

    Don’t despair if you are visiting Walt Disney World with a gluten intolerance or allergy, there are plenty of options available to you, and even dedicated menus and establishments that will cater to your specific requirements.

     

    Dietary Requirements Orlando

     

    Snacks

    • The pineapple and vanilla Dole Whip, is gluten free (please note that the vanilla contains dairy). You can get Dole Whip at Aloha Isle in Magic Kingdom, and Captain Cooks, in the Polynesian Resort.
    • Erin McKenna’s bakery in Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) is an entirely gluten free and vegan bakery! Selling award-winning donuts, cupcakes, cookies, and other savoury delights such as bagels, a trip to Erin McKenna’s is a must if you are visiting Disney World.
    • Enjoy Life Snacks – Disney has collaborated with this well-known allergy friendly brand to produce its own range of themed snacks. They are available across the park if you speak to a cast member, and can also be bought online in advice (minus the Disney packaging).

    Meals

    • Sanaa at the Animal Kingdom. This restaurant carries its own allergy-free menu as well as making GF and DF varieties of other menu items, side, and sauces.
    • Cinderella’s Royal Table in Magic Kingdom. Not only does this establishment offer a gluten free version of the delicious Mickey Waffles, you can also dine with a Disney princess!
    Dietary Requirements Orlando

    Must read blogs before you go

    • Gluten Free Dairy Free WDW As you can expect from the title, Sarah’s website is incredibly helpful if you are visiting Disney World and you are intolerant or allergic to gluten. Here’s Sarah’s top tip on visiting Disney World as a gluten free traveller:

    “Visiting Disney gluten-free is truly magical! There are so many options and choices for guests to enjoy deliciously and safely. To make the visit even more magical, contact Disney’s Special Diets Department before your trip, check out gluten-free and allergy-friendly menus online, and read reviews from others who have visited. Before you know it, you’ll be dining at Disney gluten-free like a pro!”

    • This blog post from Alexis who runs GF in Orlando lists so many delicious gluten free desserts, you’ll want to try them all!
    • Get Green Be Well has a helpful post listing all the different gluten, dairy, and allergen-free snacks available. We asked Kimberly, the journalist behind this fantastic blog for her top tip on visiting Disney with additional dietary needs:

    “If in doubt, always, always, always ask a cast member. Disney cast members are so well trained on working with guests with food sensitivities that you should never feel bad about asking anyone, from the person taking your order - even at a food kiosk - to the chef in a sit-down restaurant.”


    Eating with Allergies at Walt Disney World Resort

    When visiting the stalls and restaurants, and chatting to the Cast Members at Walt Disney World, you will soon realise that the staff and park is committed to offering a wide range of dietary options to guests, so that every single guest can enjoy the magic of the park, without having to compromise on food choice.

     

    Dietary Requirements Orlando

     

    Taken from the official Disney World site, here is the list of allergies that most Disney chefs can accommodate:

    • Gluten or wheat
    • Eggs
    • Fish
    • Milk or lactose
    • Peanuts and tree nuts
    • Shellfish
    • Soy
    • Corn

    Top Tip -  It is always best to consult a Disney restaurant in advance so that the chefs are aware of your arrival and can prepare an allergen-free menu accordingly. However, if you are unable to discuss your dietary needs prior to arriving, make sure to tell a server as soon as you arrive at the restaurant.

     

    Must read blogs before you go

    • Allergy Eats’ Disney Section, this is a fantastic resource for Walt Disney World guests with allergies. Simply select your intolerance, then the location you’ll be visiting, for instance Animal Kingdom, and you will be given a list of each of the restaurants that can cater to your allergy.
    • Allergy Free Mouse is an immensely useful resource for those visiting the parks with allergies or if your children have allergies. The site is full of helpful sections, from trip planning to reviews from others with allergies who have visited the parks.
    • The DFB (Disney Food Blog) Special Diets Resources page. This whole blog is useful to read in advance of your trip to Disney World, but there are also dedicated sections to eating with allergies and intolerances.

    Further Information / FAQ

     

    Dietary Requirements Orlando

     

    Can I bring my own snacks into Walt Disney World?

    Yes, you can! Many of the blogs and forums providing information and advice on eating at Walt Disney World with additional dietary requirements all say that it is fine to bring in your own snacks, even in a large cool box! Here is Disney’s official line about bringing snacks: “Guests with food allergies or intolerances are allowed to bring food into Walt Disney World theme parks and dining locations. When entering a park, simply inform the Security at bag check that someone in the party has a food allergy or intolerance.” And here is a handy tip from Cadry’s Kitchen about bringing your own food in a cool box (cooler in the US): “There is one thing you need to remember, though. The cooler must be soft-sided. A hard Playmate-style cooler can’t go through. My other advice is to bring in a water bottle to refill throughout the day. There are plenty of water faucets, and in the hot Florida sun, you’ll need it.”

    Can I store food at Walt Disney World?

    Yes, you can! There are lockers throughout the park that are available to rent daily. There are 13 locker stands throughout the park and Water Parks. See the official Disney site for more information.

    I have multiple food allergies, can I be catered for?

    Yes, you can! Disney states that: “A single Guest with 4 or more allergies/intolerances or multiple Guests with allergies/intolerances within the same party should contact Special.Diets@DisneyWorld.com after booking dining arrangements for their visit and at least 14 days prior to their arrival”. The phone number for Walt Disney World dining reservations is: (407) WDW-DINE or (407) 939-3463. Erin McKenna’s Bakery in Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) can deliver their vegan and GF cakes and doughnuts to most table service restaurants. Please call 855.GOBABYCAKES (462.2292) at least 7 days before your reservation.

    Universal Orlando Resort

    Eating Vegan at Universal Orlando Resort

    Compared to the many vegan-friendly options and special menu items available at Walt Disney World, at first glance, Universal Studios Orlando may seem a slight disappointment. However, we have gathered some expert tips and advice from bloggers across the globe, to show you that you don’t need to be disheartened.

     

    Dietary Requirements Orlando

     

    Snacks

    • Honeydukes offer a variety of vegan sweets including: strawberry Blood Pops, Pineapple Cubes, Fizzy Wizzy, and Sherbet Lemons.
    • Pumpkin Juice is vegan, this is available all over the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
    • Auntie Ann’s Pretzels - these are vegan as long as you don’t have the butter that they are glazed with.
    • Dippin’ Dots – The rainbow ice and blueberry ice flavours of these tiny sweet treats are vegan, you can get these at the stall in the CityWalk.

    Meals

    • Vivo in CityWalk is an Italian restaurant that makes delicious pizzas – just ask for yours without the cheese. The pasta, however, is freshly made so unfortunately contains eggs.
    • Three Broomsticks is of course situated in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, offering many vegan or easily-made-into vegan menu options such as baked potatoes, corn on the cob, and soup.
    • Antojitos Authentic Mexican Food serves delicious authentic Mexican food, as you would expect from its name! Not only is the food delicious but there is live entertainment from a Mariachi band.

    Must read blogs before you go

    • Erica who created Happiest When Exploring has an incredibly helpful post for visiting Universal Studios as a vegan.
    • Bianca from the Friendly Fig visited Universal Studios in 2016 and created this post about her experiences at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. 

    Eating Gluten Free at Universal Orlando Resort

    There are two main areas where you’ll want to head for something to eat when visiting Universal Studios Orlando. If you’re after snacks or you want to sample the famous wizarding themed drinks, head to Islands of Adventure, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. If you are staying for the evening, we recommend heading to the CityWalk area as it’s full of restaurants and bars, many offering gluten free options on their menus.

     

    Dietary Requirements Orlando

     

    Snacks

    • Butterbeer, Pumpkin Juice, and Gilly Water are all free from gluten and available at the Wizarding World of Harry. Potter
    • The Knight Bus food stand serves a jacket potato with cheese and broccoli which is all GF.

    Meals

    Must read blogs before you go

    • April Pevetaux’s blog about eating gluten-free at Universal Studios is very helpful.
    • This guest post on gluten free Dairy Free Walt Disney World provides an in-depth review of Kathleen’s visit to Universal Orlando Resort.

    Eating with Allergies at Universal Orlando Resort

     

    Dietary Requirements Orlando

     

    If you are visiting Universal Orlando Resort with a severe food allergy you will certainly need to contact the park in advance. Unfortunately, Universal Orlando does not have separate food preparation facilities in which to prepare allergen-free foods. This means that there is never a guarantee that food will be cross-contamination free.

    However, Universal staff are dedicated to providing a fun and enjoyable dining experience for all guests and will make every effort to prevent allergens from coming into contact with your meal.

    Advice to read before you go

     

    Further information / FAQ

    Can I bring my own snacks into Universal Studios Orlando?

    Yes, you can! Universal Studios are slightly more rigorous than Disney with regards to guests bringing in food, however if food is required for special dietary needs you will certainly be able to bring it into the park. Here is Universal’s official line about bringing snacks: “Simply notify a Security Team Member performing the security bag check at the front gate that you or a member of your party has a food allergy/intolerance. Please do not bring glass, and items should be contained in a soft-sided cooler.” Here is Universal’s official list of acceptable items: bottled water, small snacks that do not require heating, any food required for medical purposes and medically–indicated nutritional supplements, any food required for special dietary needs, baby food/baby formula, soft-sided insulated bags no larger than 8.5" wide x 6" high x 6" deep.

    Can I store food at Universal Orlando Resort?

    Yes, you can! There are lockers throughout the park that are available to rent daily. This post from Orlando Informer has an up-to-date list of where the locker stands are around the park.

    I have multiple food allergies, can I be catered for?

    Use this link to contact Universal Orlando Resort with any dietary requirements, at least 14 days before your arrival.

     

    SeaWorld Orlando

    Eating Vegan at SeaWorld Orlando

    Being a smaller park compared to Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando Resort, there are less vegan options at SeaWorld Orlando but don’t worry, you’ll still be able to find plenty of tasty food within the park. 

     

    SeaWorld Orlando dietary guide

     

    The phone number for dining reservations in Universal Orlando Resort is 407-224-FOOD. Orlando Universal Resort accepts reservations up to 180 days in advance.

    Snacks

    • Divvies - these Vegan and gluten free snacks are available across the park. The range includes cookies, popcorn, and other sweet treats.

    Meals

    • Mango Joe's offer a veggie wrap (the wraps are dairy free) but make sure you ask for it without cheese. This is a counter service ‘fast-food’ style restaurant and can get very busy before and after the animal shows.
    • Spice Mill Café offers a vegetable chilli that is vegan but make sure you ask to have it without the cheese. Check out the full recipe here.
    • The Spice Mill café also offers a Vege-Burger which is totally vegan.  

    Must read blogs before you go

    • The DIS forum is a fantastic resource for all dietary questions when visiting the Orlando parks: https://www.disboards.com/
    • Inside SeaWorld, the official SeaWorld blog has a Vegan Cuisine tag where you can browse all the blog posts about the vegan dining options.

    Eating Gluten Free at SeaWorld Orlando

    • As with the vegan fare, you may find SeaWorld a little less accommodating that Walt Disney World or Universal Orlando Resort but if you know where to get it, there is gluten free food available at SeaWorld Orlando. For a full list of all the Gluten Free options at SeaWorld, see this excellent PDF from Sarah at GFDF Walt Disney World:

    Download PDF

     

    SeaWorld dietary guide

     

    Snacks

    • GF Brownies are available at Expedition Café, Cypress Bakery, Seafire Grill, Harbor Market, Pretzel Kitchen, Spice Mill, and Terrace BBQ.
    • Enjoy Life Sugar Cookies are available all over the park
    • Beanito Nacho Cheese Chips – these are available all over the park.

    Meals

    • The Expedition Café offers a gluten free pasta dish if you order in advance.
    • Seaport Pizza offer gluten free bases, again you must order in advance.
    • Mango Joe’s fruit salad is a popular choice with the Gf crowd, delicious fruit helps to keep you hydrated in the Florida sun!

    Must read blogs before you go

    • Absolutely everything that Sarah at GFDW Walt Disney World has written on the subject. Sarah personally reviewed hundreds of Orlando eateries as a Dairy Free and Gluten Free diner and her blog is a wealth of useful information. 
    • This post from The Brainy Tourist offers a succinct roundup of the dining options available at SeaWorld. 

    Eating with Allergies at SeaWorld Orlando

     

    In order to cater to guests with allergies, SeaWorld have created Chef Cards, sometimes referred to as Allergen Information Cards. These are available to collect from Guest Services and most other main meal facilities. Alternately, you can download a template here and fill it in before you travel.

     

    Snacks

    • As mentioned previously, Divvies popcorn is allergen free and is available at Expedition Café, Cypress Bakery, Seafire Grill, Harbor Market, Pretzel Kitchen, Spice Mill, and Terrace BBQ.
    • To be totally safe, we would recommend brining your own allergy-safe snacks to SeaWorld Orlando

    Meals

    • All of the restaurants (counter-style and sit down) will be able to accommodate food allergies as long as you send an email in advance and let the chefs know.
    • The designated Allergen Friendly meal facility at SeaWorld Orlando is the Sharks Underwater Grill®, SeaWorld says:

    “Sharks Underwater Grill has been designated as the most fit restaurant to serve your special meal. With trained chefs and full service dining, Sharks can offer you a variety of safe options for your dietary needs!”

    Must read blogs before you go

    • Sarah at GF DF Walt Disney World has written a great blog post on visiting the park with SeaWorld with dietary needs.
    • The official SeaWorld Allergen Information page is also a must-read before you head to Orlando. 

    Further information / FAQ

    • Can I bring my own snacks into SeaWorld Orlando? Yes, you can! SeaWorld allows you to bring a cooler into the park as long as it collapsible. However, there aren’t facilities for you to store your food whilst you’re exploring the park, they suggest leaving the cooler in your car.  

    Here is SeaWorld’s official line about bringing snacks:

    “For diet-restricted guests, we allow carry coolers that are collapsible. We do not allow wheeled coolers.

    • Can I store food at SeaWorld Orlando? No, unfortunately you cannot

    Here is SeaWorld’s official line about leaving food:

    “Please note that we will not be able to hold your food for you while you are in the park, but you will have the option of leaving the cooler in your car and re-entering the park.”

    ·         Here is the full list of Allergen FAQ from the official SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment website: https://seaworldparks.com/-/media/Allergen_Info/Allergen_FAQ.ashx

    Please use this email address for any further question about the food at SeaWorld Orlando: AllergenFriendlySWF@seaworld.com

    Image Credits: Pen Waggener, Ruth Hartnup, L.A. Foodie, Theme Park Tourist, Bianca Scartabello, HarshLight, Joe Lewis, Rachel Wilder, Jared, Kimberly Button, Joao Carlos Medau, Mark Goebel, Chad Sparkes, The Conmunity - Pop Culture GeekChris Favero, Jeremy Thompson, mliu92, Beanitos, jules, SeaWorld Official, Divvies Official