Tips for Navigating Walt Disney World with Food Allergies #FPIES #Disney

As I shared in a previous post, my kids and I recently visited Walt Disney World (WDW) and had a magical experience.  My youngest child (4 years old) has severe and rare food allergies due to having Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) and was able to feel completely normal at nearly every meal we ate. While Walt Disney World itself does it's best to be accommodating of special diets, I strongly believe that it's a partnership with the family and that there are things you can do that help to make it a real success. Below are my top five tips for successfully navigating Walt Disney World with food allergies. 

How Walt Disney World Made Food Allergies Magical!

If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with food allergies/intolerances then you know how difficult it can often be to feel "normal" when dining out or attending events. I recently traveled to Walt Disney World with my three children (ages 4, 6, and 8) and my parents. If you aren't aware, my youngest has been diagnosed with FPIES, a rare food allergy disease that causes her to vomit and potentially go into life-threatening shock following the ingestion of certain foods.  Her trigger foods are dairy, gluten, oats, bananas, mangoes, sweet potatoes, and avocados. There are also some gluten-free ingredients such as buckwheat that we have yet to trial and therefore aren't cleared as "safe" for her to consume yet. *You can learn more about FPIES here and more about my daughter's story specifically here.*
I fully admit, that even after joining the Disney Food Allergy Facebook group and reading all of the positive stories of kids with food allergies vacationing at WDW, I was still extremely skeptical that my daughter would in fact be able to feel "normal" and enjoy food safely served alongside for siblings all week long. You see, my daughter has NEVER enjoyed a full meal (including dessert) at any restaurant in her 4+ years of life. So, in my mind I was thinking "How is Disney going to be able to accomplish this when no one else could?"
Well, Disney surely proved me wrong. From the moment we arrived at The Contemporary (Bay Lake Towers) for our first table service meal at The Wave until the final meal the night before we departed at the same restaurant, they really made it magical. I NEVER thought coming into this vacation that I would see them take something that has been such a struggle for my little one and our family and make it absolutely MAGICAL. Below are a few of the highlights of her dining adventures:
Excited about dinner at The Liberty Tree Tavern (MK)