Travel to Disneyland LA with multiple food allergies

Disney Ash and ChefIn December/January of 2018/19, our family travelled to Disneyland in California and then onto Las Vegas.  I wanted to share what a wonderful time we had and our experience.

Firstly, our eldest daughter has multiple food allergies (is at risk of anaphylaxis to dairy, eggs and peanuts) as well as EoE (Eosinophilic Oesophagitus) – managed with diet.  This means that she has a huge range of dietary restrictions.

Travelling overseas is a big task for our family and this is only our second trip overseas.  Let me say at the outset – we had the most amazing time.

Lots of preparation went into this trip.  Research and reading.  We utilised the travel advice and help sheets from Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia and also spoke with the airline (Virgin Australia) and followed the US Allergy Organisation (FARE) for US information.  My husband also travels frequently to the USA and was able to do some research on food options while away – which was reassuring.

We also used a Disney travel Specialist – who specialises in helping families with food allergy experience Disney Resorts. 

We’ve flown a few times domestically and overseas once before – so we were familiar with the flight process.

We used the travel help sheets from Allergy & Anaphylaxis Australia, which provided us with information such as:

  • Disclosing the allergy on booking;

  • Travelling with all medication (including extra EpiPens) in the carry on luggage

  • Taking all food for our daughter for the flight

  • Taking an ample amount of wet wipes to wipe down the seating and tray tables on boarding.

We flew Virgin Australia and the airline staff could not have been more welcoming, reassuring and helpful.  Virgin Australia do not serve peanut snacks, which was one of the reasons we chose this airline.  Both times, when we boarded, one of the crew introduced themselves to us and checked that we had medication (including EpiPens) in our possession.  Whilst we took our own food for our daughter, Virgin provides a fruit only platter and so we ordered that as a precaution. 

On the flight home – I was chatting to one of the air crew about travelling with allergies and she was very well informed – telling me that the crew receive EpiPen training refreshers annually and that they carry EpiPens in their first aid kit.  This particular crew member has been flying for 18 years and has never had to deal with an anaphylaxis in the air. 

DISNEYLAND was awesome!  We stayed at one of the Disney Resort Hotels and ate out every meal for 7 days.  We followed our allergy travel agent’s recommendations to have sit down meals in the park or at the hotels each meal – due to the extent of our daughter’s allergies.

To say that the wait staff and chefs were fantastic is an understatement – we were looked after so well and we were all able to truly relax and enjoy our holiday. 

I think at times we underestimate the load we carry in managing our allergies on a daily basis – to be able to let that go and really enjoy was priceless.

We had no incidents or issues communicating and at every meal the chef came to our table and spoke with my daughter directly.  We used the chef cards and the chefs and wait staff remembered these each day. 

Disneyland was terrific fun and our kids would describe it as the best holiday ever.  

It truly was fantastic to be treated with so much respect and by people who so clearly understood the issues with serving people with food allergy.

When our family left Disneyland to explore other parts of LA, the chefs (as per our request) even prepared lunch and/or dinner for our daughter, meaning that we did not have to worry about locating safe foods.

We also took pre-packaged snacks to top up – but found that we did not need many of these as the meals were so amazing and filling.

In Las Vegas we stayed in an AirBNB – which was a fully self-contained house.  We drove to local supermarkets and had a large range of food (fresh and pre-packaged) to choose from.  We only ate out once in Las Vegas at a Steakhouse and again used the chef cards and were treated very well and with respect, so that my daughter could enjoy herself safely.  We took in shows and shopping before flying home with Delta to LA and then Virgin Australia to Sydney.

It truly was the holiday of a lifetime and it was so much fun making memories.

Disney Ferris Wheel

Disney castle at night

Content created 30 July 2019

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