I have always said that Disney has the best procedures and standards in place for food allergies. Those procedures/standards have changed slightly since my last visit in 2015. I don’t think they have changed in a bad way necessarily because I think both methods had pros and cons.
Previously when you told your server you had food allergies (or noted it on your ADR) you automatically spoke with a chef or manager. The plus side was that you had some freedom for customization, there was no middle man in your order, and you could easily ask questions. The cons were that it made your dining experience a bit longer and if you were in a quick service restaurant your family was most likely done eating before you ever received your food.
During my recent trip to Walt Disney World at the end of February, most restaurants (including quick service) now have an allergy menu. Each restaurant has their own version based on the menu for their location. The menu is broken down by allergen and in some cases very limited. If you have multiple allergies like me, a chef or manager will most likely still come out to discuss your options. It’s a much faster more streamlined process, but left me a little nervous on occasion. I like to speak with a chef because I usually have specific questions. The nicest part was that no one had to wait for me to eat and I never had to eat alone.
The changes make sense since it is just not possible for management to efficiently keep up. A change needed to be made to speed things up. I still had a very enjoyable experience but with a few less options. It should be noted that there are pre-packaged allergy friendly snacks available in the parks but there isn’t a large variety available and they are high priced. Even though these options were available, I continued to bring my own allergy friendly snacks with me into the parks simply because of the limited variety and the cost.
All in all I had a mostly reaction free vacation which is all I can really ask for. The Boathouse at Disney Springs was very accommodating when it came to my food. Unfortunately, due to the crowds the night we were there, they added tables. The tables were so closely packed together we were almost sharing space with those around us and I had a contact reaction on the first night of vacation because of what others around me were eating. Nothing too serious but annoying none the less. I’m sure they would have moved us had we asked but we honestly didn’t think of it until it was too late.
I still think Disney is the safest place to eat when it comes to food allergies.