Disney Value Resorts are well, a great value. Not only are there great meals that the whole family would love, but Chef's are easily accessible too to ask questions about food allergies. For example, I ordered a pot roast, mashed potatoes and mushroom risotto at Pop Century a few days ago, my husband went for a giant sandwich, our oldest for Mickey Waffles, and the youngest cheese pizza. Before we ordered the pizza though, I needed to know if it was safe for our son's allergies.
Finding a chef to ask the necessary questions is quite easy, just let someone at the station you wish to order at know you have a food allergy question, and they will get a chef right away.
A note on this. We ate multiple times at Pop Century, and even though it's just a short walk over the bridge of Art of Animation, I like Pop's food court better than AoA. We didn't have a good interaction with the chef at Art of Animation, for something as simple as pizza, and the food court there was much more chaotic, so we actually left, and went back to Pop.
If you have never ordered with a food allergy at a Value Resort, let me assure you, our experience was fantastic. The chef took a lot of time to answer my questions about particular foods. Never once did I feel rushed, or that it was a bother. He even pulled out his cell phone, which was filled with pictures of ingredients, and scrolled through to help me find the information I was looking for. He was knowledgeable, patient, and made sure he asked if I had any more questions, before we parted ways. He offered that a chef could make my son's pizza, but said it would be the same as everyone else could order regularly, so we opted to just order from the counter, and not wait.
There were multiple others I saw over our trip at Pop with food allergies, in fact one evening, while waiting to find out if the ingredients for a particular food had been found out yet, a young woman struck up a conversation saying she only vacations at Disney, because they take her Celiac's seriously, and she knows they will always take good care of her.
While most meals can be easily adapted, or perhaps are already safe for you or your child, you probably already know that desserts are a little different. Our chef pointed out the few allergy friendly options they had, (not many) and let me know the ice cream, and dole whips, and churros would be safe, but anything in the glass bakery cases would be subject to cross contamination. To be honest, I guess in an effort to be more eco friendly, or perhaps just to save money, very few treats now, including the cupcakes are packaged individually. I saw more children than I would care to see touching, touching, touching until they finally decided which one they wanted.
While I was disapointed in the snack offerings allergen wise in the gift shops, they did have prepackaged jumbo Hostess muffins and other treats, that, after a quick phone call to Hostess confirmed they would be safe for my son's allergies. It's worth a look in your own gift shop for a treat too.
For our first visit to Disney with food allergies, I felt like we were able to make confident choices, and ended our trip reaction free, and feeling normal, and isn't that the best thing anyone can hope for?
Stay turned (once I'm unpacked, and the photos unloaded from memory card to computer) there will be some reviews of the places we ate at, including their allergy menus. In the meantime, we are already planning next time...what's your favorite resort to grab a bite at?
Did you know that in just a few minute's time, you could be munching on Disney's Funnel Cakes? It's a copycat recipe, that takes almost no ingredients, and can be ready faster than you can sing most any Disney song! I love this because I know my son can eat it safely, even if he can't get one at Disney!
Let's get started! This will make 6 batches
You'll need oil, and either a large pot, or a fryer. Get your oil heating. If you don't have a fryer with a level to fill, just fill a few inches deep in a pot.
Gather your ingredients
1 1/2 TBSP baking
2 cups of all purpose flour
2 cups of milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 TBSP sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Mix all of your ingredients together. Stir until there are no lumps. Set our toppings off to the side.
Once your oil is hot, work is small batches. Either with a funnel, or a measuring cup, drizzle the batter into the hot oil. Be careful!
When the batter starts to turn golden, flip the funnel cake over, with a heat safe sppon or spatula or tongs. It doesn't take long. About a minute on the flipped side is all you need. Pull out, and set on a plate with a paper towel to drain off excess oil.
Smother in toppings, and enjoy!
Mr. Disney made his creation in the top picture, the oldest just wanted powdered sugar!
Dress it up as much or as little as you want...you can't go wrong! Try it, and let us know what toppings you used!
So my picture looks a little wonky, and my ride crispy treats were rushed because someone kept trying to devour them, but they were incredibly tasty, shaped like Mickey, and reminiscent (and better tasting) of the ones we got our last trip at Pop Century.
This next trip, we can't get those for our youngest, there could be cross contamination with his allergy, so once again, we are showing him we can make whatever he wants, at home!
If you've never made these, they are super easy. The hardest part is putting the treats into the pan, but I have a trick for that. These are super easy to customize! If we didn't have an allergy, we'd be using candy melts to really decorate these! For a quick and easy job though, it worked well!
The steps are easy! Gather supplies! You'll need cutters, butter, marshmallows, rice cereal, and wax paper, along with a pan. If you want to add chocolate, or sprinkles, you'll need that too!
Melt 3 TBS of butter in a pot, then add 10 oz package of marshmallows. Once melted, add in 6 cups of crisped rice cereal. Stir til combined, then press into a wax paper lined 9x13 pan. That's it! I usually spray cooking spray on my wax paper, and since I make double or triple batches, use that paper to press with my hands into the corners, and really compact it all so it won't fall apart. You could also just put it on a lined cookie sheet, fold the paper over and press that way.
Once you cut your shapes, decorate! I even put a few onto Popsicle sticks! If you don't want to cut shapes, just decorate your big rectangle, and cut into smaller pieces. Or really large pieces!! These are so yummy, in 3 days, we'd eaten 4 batches, I'm a little embarrassed to say!
Can't wait to see what you make!!
It's no secret that Disney's stopping the plastic straws is a trending conversation, one that leads to some heated points of view, but no matter which way you are thinking, there is somthing to be aware of in the new paper straws department.
Several Disney allergy groups, have comments saying in Disney LAND their servers told them the paper straws are corn based. In Walt Disney WORLD there are reports of soy being used in the ink, one person even saying that some of the straws had gluten.
If you, or someone you know has any of these allergies, stop and check on the straws, before you use them. Disney changes suppliers often, so what they have today, might be totally different next week. I can't confirm this myself just yet, but on our upcoming trip I plan to see for myself. (With yes, my plastic straws in my backpack.) I don't feel confident in vacation sterilizing my allergy kiddo's straws, so we are planning to bring a few plastic, until we can confirm that the paper are safe, for our allergies.
One of our favorite things about Disney? The snacks! You probably have your own favorites there too, and you've seen a few of our copycat ones, but doesn't it stink when on your next visit, you don't see the same things you had last time and fell in love with? While some things are never changing, like the Dole Whips, or Mickey Pretzels, others are in a constant rotation, things like cupcakes, cones and prepackaged specialty baked goods.
If there's an allergy in your house, I'm sure you especially know how upsetting that can be. Your choices for treats are already limited, and when your choices shrink, it can make your trip to the Magic Kingdom not as magical.
Recently we experienced that when Disney switched up some of their offerings, in particular, the prepackaged cookie and brownie area. Where previously they had sold OMG Brand products, now, it's two different brands, and the brownie, which is definitely a good substitution dessert in the sea of cross contact forbidden cupcakes, was made in a facility with nuts. If you've got a nut allergy, do you REALLY want to take that chance and ruin your vacation? We don't.
So of course, we did what anyone would do. Food allergy people understand. We PANICKED. I won't lie, my heart was heavy and there were tears and I felt absolutely sick to my stomach. The very few treats that our 6 year old would actually want had now been cut in half, and when you are 6, and everyone else has something yummy, that's a Big Deal.
Thankfully, I discovered that you can still buy the OMG products, directly through their website! What's even more exciting, is buying them ahead of time is actually going to SAVE us money, over The Mouse's Markup. I was so excited about this, I decided to share with you guys, so that you can have a safe, or heck, just plain AMAZING Disney dessert, AND save money! They didn't ask me to write this, and might think I'm slightly crazy for how obsessed we are over these, but I want to make sure everyone knows!
Don't don't let the gluten free part scare you if you don't need to be gluten free. I admit, I wondered if they would have the "healthy" taste of Enjoy Life products, but O.M.G. I bit into one, and the heavens opened. A choir of angels sung, and for just a brief moment, through the heavy snow falling, the sun shone and everything was perfect. Then my kids gave the puppy dog eyes and sighing, I handed over the rest.
They say these are gluten free....I cannot tell at all. They are so incredibly fudge-y inside, flaky on the tops, moist, rich...I could go on and on. The perfect brownie has been made, and it is one most everyone can enjoy!
The brownies are shipped freshly made, sealed in pretty thick plastic, and are meant to be frozen, and thawed. Once thawed, they say to use within two weeks. I hope they last that long here. I have them in the freezer right now, so I can practice thawing before our summer trip. I'll be buying more, so that when the oldest buys Disney treats to bring home, the youngest can eat his heart out on these brownies. These are even going to replace the Wolfgang Puck brownies I bring back every time and free. I can even keep a stash for when SURPRISE! There is a birthday party I didn't hear about until the last minute, and didn't have time for make him his own cupcakes!
OMG has a lot of other products too, cookies, rolls, pizza dough, muffins...a big list! If the other things taste as good as these, you won't be disappointed. Another great thing? Their customer service! Before I even ordered, I sent several emails with questions, and was surprised at how fast I got answers! When does that EVER happen? I think it was even the owner herself who answered me each time! Huge!
Shipping was free, I don't know if it's that way on all orders, but it was only about 3 days from when I ordered, to when I got my brownies! So fast! They weren't broken or crumbly at all, like I worried about.
I'm excited to try these jazzed up too! Ice cream on top, or whipped cream and hot fudge, shaped like Mickey.... these stand alone, but a dash of Disney sprinkles, when I can manage to find them, will definitely be awesome!
Here's a peek what they look like kind, of hard to see through the wrapper. It's not safe for me to open any more, and I forgot to take pictures while it was out! (The three seconds it lasted!) And, here is the ingredients label, for you to check out, yourself. If you go into the Food Service tab, you can see all of their ingredients, for all their products. Isn't that so nice? I sure appreciate it.
I will say, you will see these on Amazon. Don't buy them there. WAAAAY overpriced. Buy directly. And tell everyone you know, because these things are so amazing, it's a disservice NOT to share the word, and help get them into stores everywhere! Happy eating! And if you stop by my house? Umm. Sorry. All out. Can't share. Nope. Move along. Nothing to see here...