Author: Senior Diva
Millions of people have allergies – some mild – some severe. My daughter falls into the severe category. She has been an asthma suffering since she was an infant. Her list of allergies has grown as she has gotten older. At the age of 25 she now has a severe allergic reaction to 11 different foods, latex, dust, mold, soaps, shampoos, and laundry detergents. I often wonder if she became a chef so that she knew exactly what was in any dish she might want to eat.
Travelling with someone that has such severe allergies can often be overwhelming. The precautions that have to be taken are sometimes so time consuming you might often wonder if it is worth going away from home at all. Along with her Epi-Pen, my daughter also carries several copies of a Food Allergy Buddy Card. These cards can be filled-in and printed at home.
|Sample Food Allergy Buddy Card
courtesy of http://archive.supermarketguru.com/allergies/form.cfm
At better restaurants these can be given to your server to pass along to the chef so there is no risk of leaving one item off your list of allergies.
Travelling to Walt Disney World with someone that has so many allergies is much easier then other locations. There are three steps that I take to help prevent an allergy attack:
First, when making reservations, either yourself or through a Disney Travel Specialist, always be sure to tell your Travel Agent or the Cast Member taking your reservation that your party includes an individual with severe allergies. Have a list ready since you will be asked to list all allergies on your reservation and you don’t want to forget any. For reservations that include my daughter, I tell the Cast Member that I have multiple food allergies to list, as well as a request to Housekeeping for a “Full Allergy Cleaning” of the room we will be staying in and hypo-allergenic bedding and towels. A Full Allergy Cleaning insures that all woodwork (behind furniture and under beds), draperies and all surfaces are made dust free before your arrival. Hypo-allergenic bedding and towels will be used throughout your stay. On a trip a few years back that my daughter was an unexpected last minute add-on, I had not asked for hypo-allergenic bedding and she woke up after our first night covered in a rash wherever her skin had touched the sheets! These allergy requests are free of charge and have always been taken care of without hesitation on WDW’s end.
Second, when making Advanced Dining Reservations, once again inform the CM making your reservations that there will be a guest with multiple food allergies. The CM will ask for a list of all food allergies. You can make your ADR’s on-line and once you have your reservation numbers, call WDW Dining to have the allergies listed on your dining reservations. Having the food allergies listed on your reservation gives the Chef an opportunity early in the day to have one or two substitutions available to you when you arrive. Even though they have advance warning of your allergies, all WDW chefs will still come to your table to discuss alternatives and substitutions with you. In my daughter’s case, even foods she is not allergic to cannot be touched by anything made of latex (her latex allergy is very severe). Fortunately WDW workers, in all areas wear non-latex gloves. My daughter will also give the chef one of her Food Allergy Buddy cards to be sure nothing was left off of our dining reservation list of allergies.
And finally, as the time of your trip approaches (I usually call four to five days prior), call the resort you will be staying at directly. At this time verify that your reservation has been flagged as a room needing a full allergy cleaning and hypo-allergenic bedding and towels.
Following these 3 steps has always helped my family in our efforts to prevent a severe allergy attack while away from home. Walt Disney World has always been the most cooperative and helpful when it comes to this – just one more reason to love the magic of Disney!
If you have enjoyed this post and want to read more by the Senior Diva, you can visit theadultsideofdisney.com.