Planning a Disney Trip with a Special Diet: The Disney Dining Plan (plus Free Dining!)

If you’re familiar with Disney World and their dining plan, you might already be privy to all of the details. The Disney Dining Plan is available for folks who are staying at a resort and either purchase a Magic Your Way Package, or choose to use their Disney Vacation Club points… more on both of those in a later post.

The plans offer allotted meals for each night of your stay, depending on the package you choose. There are three types: The Magic Your Way Package Plus Quick Service Dining, the Magic Your Way Package Plus Dining, and the Magic Your Way Package Plus Deluxe Dining.



In addition, at certain times each year, Disney offers deals for guests to enjoy Free Dining with their stay. They’ve recently announced the fall dates which, depending on how you plan your vacation for a trip down to the event, will overlap!

But first, more on the plans themselves:

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Planning a Disney Trip with a Special Diet: Deluxe Resorts

We first dished out the details for planning your Disney trip while staying at value resorts. Then we covered the moderate resorts. And now, of course, it’s time for those deluxe resorts.


Unlike the Value and Moderate resorts, there are more than just five resorts to choose from. When it comes to the Deluxe, there’s eight: Animal Kingdom Lodge, Beach Club, BoardWalk Inn, Contemporary, Grand Floridian, Polynesian, Wilderness Lodge, and Yacht Club. You can likely tell from their names, but each one features pretty incredible themes.

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Planning a Disney Trip with a Special Diet: FAQ [part I]

Over here at the Food Allergy and Celiac Convention planning headquarters, we’re hit with some Frequently Asked Questions on some trip planning details for folks heading down to the event.

disney entry way


For this Friday’s post in our Trip Planning Series, we thought we’d cover a handful of them to get you started on planning your own trip when you come down for the fun!

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Planning a Disney Trip with a Special Diet: Snacks (Part I)

elf_logo_registeredSnacking at Disney with a Special Diet is, if you can believe it, easy. So easy, in fact, that you don’t even have to pack along all of your own foods.

But it gets even better…Have you heard the news? We are so excited to have Enjoy Life Foods as our Magic Plus Platinum Sponsor for the Food Allergy and Celiac Convention! Just like us, their whole business is devoted to making folks with food allergies and celiac disease happy with good-for-you treats that taste incredible. All of their items are free of the eight most common allergens, gluten-free, and sesame and sulphite-free, too. What’s more, everything is made in a dedicated plant and are certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization set in place by The Gluten Intolerance Group.

But we don’t just love having Enjoy Life on board because of their awesome goodies (though it surely is one of the reasons!). We love that their products are pretty much safe for everyone, and they’re readily available at Disney World, too!

We’d venture to guess that every Quick Service location houses Enjoy Life’s Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies in a two pack for an allergy-safe dessert option. Some have the Ricemilk Crunch bars, as well.


In addition, most Table Service have the cookies as a back-up when there aren’t other dessert options available. At the Table Service restaurants, the chefs generally stock a whole box in the back, meaning that the cookies often become an addition to nondairy ice cream, sorbet, and fruit to creating a full dessert option that is allergy-friendly. They often have ELF Sugar Crisp and Vanilla Honey Graham Crunchy Cookies on tap, too.


Throughout the parks, in addition to Quick Service, you can also find whole boxes available for sale at a variety of places. The Garden Kiosk in Animal Kingdom carries most of the ELF soft baked cookies, including the Double Chocolate Brownie and Snickerdoodle.

Garden Kiosk

Sunshine Seasons in Epcot carries the whole boxes of the soft baked cookies and individual packages of the Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies. Looking for a candy bar? Boom Choco Boom Bars are always available too! They are the perfect grab and go items for a sweet treat while touring the parks.


And when you didn’t think your allergy-friendly pancakes could get better? Think again: those ELF chocolate chips (yep, completely dairy- and soy-free!) are often in the back, allowing for mini dots of melty goodness in each breakfast bite. Really… what could be better?

Stay tuned for upcoming posts and contests featuring our title sponsor. We’re so glad that Enjoy Life Foods will be a part of our event!

Tell us: what is YOUR favourite Enjoy Life Foods product? Check them all out here.

Experiences at Disney with a Special Diet: Melissa’s Story

Today’s blog post features reader Melissa. She shares her personal experiences at Disney World with Celiac Disease. You’ll be blown away by her magical experiences at Disney. Take it away, Melissa!

disney guests

Where do I start? In November of 2007 we took our girls for a quick trip to Disney World to celebrate a birthday, how magical this was! We decided that we loved this place, a place where every day is full of smiles, good times and making memories of a lifetime. There are two different types of Disney World goers, the type that go once in a lifetime and the type that go on a regular basis. Those that go regularly might live in the area and go several times a day, or they might live across the country and go every year, two years, five years, but they know they will go regularly for the rest of their lives. We fall in the latter category, we fell in love with everything about Disney, too many things to mention here. Every year we fall more in love and find more amazing things that Disney provides. In 2010 one of those amazing things was still being able to go to Disney World annually with food intolerances.

Our first year with special dietary needs was 2010, in which I, myself was dairy free and sulfite free. I did not think most people had a clue what foods contained sulfites, but each and every chef at Disney World knew exactly what I was talking about. By far, my favorite meal was at The Wave, located in Disney’s Contemporary Resort. The Chef came out to our table (as they do at every restaurant) and asked about my food intolerances. He whipped me up a bowl of pasta with the best chicken and steamed broccoli I had tasted in a long time! Another wonderful experience was at Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Flame Tree BBQ, where this Chef made me the most moist chicken breast I’ve had to date, mmm!

Goofy & child at DisneyIn 2012 one of our daughters was diagnosed with Celiac disease, and due to my experience with Disney Dining I knew she’d be safe during our September visit. I almost felt more relaxed than when I fixed her meals at home. Again, at each table service restaurant, the Chef would come out to speak with us, and make us something delicious! This trip, our favorite meal was at EPCOT’s Chefs de France! Then, in 2013 we had another daughter diagnosed with Celiac disease. Again, we knew during our June 2013 trip we’d be safe!

I can’t rave enough about how wonderful the dining experiences are throughout all of Disney. We feel safe and this is due to the knowledge of the Disney Chefs and how they seem to make you feel like you are their only guest. Disney is our ‘safe’ vacation spot, the place where we know we can eat out. Any other vacation we take means making our own meals at a kitchen within our condo rental. Disney Dining is simply the best and if you have special dietary needs, whether they are allergies, intolerances, or an autoimmune disease like Celiac Disease, you MUST experience this for yourself. I believe, your first visit, won’t be your last and you will truly be amazed at how relaxed you will feel with the care the Chefs take putting extra time into your meals!

Child with Babycakes

Melissa is a mother of 3 girls, two of which have Celiac Disease. She has done much of her own research to help keep her daughters gluten-free and feeling healthy! She also loves to share the information she’s found, good tips for eating gluten free and gluten free recipes via her Facebook page at

Melissa enjoys spending time with her family and has a love for travel. Planning trips has become a hobby. Melissa and her family frequent Disney World regularly and love the experiences and memories that Disney brings to their lives. Disney has so much to offer, most importantly, one of the best special dietary needs dining experiences you can find!