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By: Holly Marie | AFAA Editorial Contributor
Our time at Disneyland has proven to be one of the safest we've ever encountered. I count myself lucky that we are able to give him that experience as a child and that he can just truly be. Be a kid. See the magic that the world possesses.
Our mission as parents of a food allergy child is making sure he is in the safest and healthiest environment possible.

Our son is deathly allergic to Gluten, Arrowroot, Peanuts, and Tree-nuts. He immediately throws up upon ingesting eggs, apples, and beef. Other allergies that cause digestive distress include: shellfish and pork.
Disneyland with Food Allergies

Our time at Disneyland has proven to be one of the safest we've ever encountered. I count myself lucky that we are able to give him that experience as a child and that he can just truly be. Be a kid. See the magic that the world possesses. I can count the restaurants on ONE finger that we can go to in our city. And I know many of my fellow food-allergy parents know which one I am talking about- two thumbs up that they are now GMO free! At Disneyland there were multiple options for us to eat at as a family and until you live with food allergies you just don't know how special that really is.

MEALS

ADR (Advance Dinner Reservation) – cuts wait times down to 5 minutes(or no wait-can I get a high-five?) instead of the typical 40-50 minutes and get in to the Disneyland Park BEFORE it actually opens for the public. Rockstar Status. Can also get Character Meets done as well. We ate at the Plaza Inn(in Disneyland) and were able to take pictures with characters who came around to our individual tables. We ALWAYS bring a ton of dry cereal, baby food pouches, camelback water bottles(easy to refill), and rice-krispy treats. For dinner our MUST for every visit is Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue. Delicious, finger-licking good time. Drinks flowing(hello Diet Coke) in large mason jars, a live band(great for kids to watch), and all you can eat BBQ, corn, beans, and cornbread. Plus being tucked away from the crowds of the parades(during dinner time) is most pleasant-surrounded by cool pine trees.

FOOD ALLERGIES

Plus- if you have food allergies and you book two weeks in advance they are more than willing to accommodate you and will work to make sure your meals are safe and MAGICAL. They will order food YOU CAN EAT and ensure that your time is both safe and enjoyable.

Each time we have had the Head Chef of both restaurants come out and welcome us, letting us know that they are making our meal. Not having to worry about life-threatening food allergies? Now THAT is another reason that Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth.

You can also ask many of the fast service food stops if they are allergy-friendly. We always stop and watch the Star Wars Jedi Training and last year they did not have any safe options for us to grab(which is why I always bring more than enough food with us) BUT this year they had their own menu options for food allergies and the Head Chef cooked my son his food.

Or – save time and money and bring your own food. You can eat snacks while waiting to board rides; just be ready to store those snacks. See Fanny Pack.

RIDES

Road Map to Rides – Check height restrictions, make a list of which rides are a must. We bring wipes to quickly wipe down each the surface area-so simple I can do it in my sleep. My husband made a spreadsheet. Don’t forget about Baby Swap(Rider Exchange)! Hello secret path through Indiana Jones! Know which ones are Fast Pass and USE THEM. A lot of the kids rides have a large line and no fast pass… know which ones are height and AGE friendly for your family before waiting. Little known secret for tiny tots? The ride hidden behind the Splash Mountain Exit NEVER has a wait and is baby and toddler friendly. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. LOVED being able to ride that a couple times with two EXTREMELY happy little ones.
FANNY PACK

I’ve worn one in each adult trip I’ve taken. At first I’ve had a few snickers and a couple call outs BUT when they are asked to store their backpack in lockers after they’ve waited an eternity to get on a ride? Payback? Knowledge is power. You can ride EVERY SINGLE RIDE at Disneyland while wearing a fanny pack. The same sadly can not be said for the much cooler looking cousin, the back pack.

Snacks, Epi-Pens(crucial for us), Cell Phone, Keys, Tickets. BOOM. Always with you. Please remember to bring a ziplock bag to store your cell phone in and Epi-Pens(in the fanny pack) because you can AND WILL get wet on Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain(does that really need to be written?) and by a wayward toddler trying to “help” you with your water. Inevitable.

Babywearing & Strollers

Last year I forgot my precious LILLEbaby in the car(and it is a TREK to go back to the car) and goodness my back paid the price. Babywear for the WIN!

Strollers are necessary for babies or toddlers. Our baby and two year old took multiple naps throughout the day on our first trip to Disneyland. Plus we just “parked” our stroller outside each ride with about fifty of it’s stroller friends and never had a problem.

You can rent strollers but it is far easier for us to bring our own with allergies AND save some money while we are at it.

This past year we only used our stroller to get to the park and to get across large distances. But our soon to be two and three year old went all day without napping in the stroller so we parked it at the Haunted Mansion for 8+ hours. My little girl DID sleep in the LILLEbaby for two hours and we rode the train around the park and watched my husband and three year old go on a couple of rides.

FREE SOUVENIRS

Free Souvenirs – Get the Buttons – First Disney Trip, Birthday, Honorary Citizen of Disneyland, Family Reunion, Happy Anniversary, Just Engaged, Just Graduated, Just Married….there are even more from City Hall and any of the shops on Main Street. Ask a cashier.

Also get a Jungle Safari Map – just ask one of the tour guides. Speaking of Jungle Cruise. It is the FIRST ride we go on. Everyone in the park makes a BEELINE for Indiana Jones and we just grab our fast pass for Indiana(or rider swap-MUCH faster) and then get onto a boat for a hilarious ride around. Every single trip at Jungle Safari brings different jokes. Last year while holding the baby on my lap I forgot about a certain part that JUMPS out at you and nearly lost my marbles. Lucky that Emma Marie thought it was hilarious. Message me if that information is need to know.

CALL

Call Disney – Extremely friendly, knowledgeable staff and will answer any question! (714)781-4636.

Do you have any Disneyland Tips for our fellow food-allergy parents?

Please comment below and SHARE!




More Disneyland Information:

A Day at Disneyland: Tips & Tricks

Disneyland Trip: Toddler & Preschooler FAVORITES

Author:

Holly Marie is a mom to a toddler and preschooler, former teacher and high school coach. She shares the best parenting advice she can find. She continues to work hard at keeping a happy, healthy home. Come join the adventure in parenthood! www.ascuteasabugsear.com

Let me know if you have any questions-

Feel free to send an email to Holly Marie- AsCuteAsABugsEarBlog@gmail.com.

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Comments

08/10/2015 5:26am

This is an amazing family because here is allot of happiness and good deeds to improve something new.

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08/11/2015 9:50am

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