For our family at least, Disney restaurants are a big part of the vacation. As you found out last Foodie Friday, I do love to cook! But I’ll admit, I love eating out too. It’s a huge luxury for me to sit back, relax, and let someone else handle the details – and the dishes!

But like everything else, eating out isn’t exactly simple with our family. One of our boys has a nut allergy. Thankfully, his is not severe, and he can be around nuts as long as he doesn’t eat them and avoiding nuts is usually not too difficult. I still have to ask, every time we eat out, every time he has a snack at Cub Scouts, every time we eat dinner with another family – “Does anything here have nuts in it?”

Nut-free chocolate cake

Nut-free chocolate cake

Usually when I ask that question in a restaurant, the server pauses for a moment and then points out the obvious culprits – banana bread, chocolate walnut brownies, and so on. Not so at Disney restaurants! Like everything else they do, Disney goes beyond expectations.

My first clue that this might be a different experience came when I made our dining reservations several months before we travelled, and there was a place on the online form to indicate special dietary needs. But I had no idea how well Disney would handle that little notation.

At every meal, including the Spirit of Aloha dinner show, the chef came out to guide us through safe menu choices. At buffet restaurants, the chefs took my son on a guided tour of the entire buffet. And the best part of that experience wasn’t simply the absence of a medical emergency. It was the attitude of the chefs. I understand that these chefs have more than enough to do at any given moment, but I never felt rushed. Every single chef gave me the impression that coming into the dining room wasn’t an interruption, but a welcome part of their day.

Have you dined at Disney with special dietary needs?