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June 2015 GF/DF at WDW Newsletter

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Welcome...


Summer is here! With the hot Florida temperatures, it's a good thing that Disney is celebrating the "Coolest Summer Ever!" With Star Wars Weekends and the Frozen-inspired cool summer fun, there's loads to do while at Disney during the summer months.

I got the chance to visit Star Wars Weekends on its first weekend this year and had a galactic blast! One of my favorite experiences was dining at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Galactic Breakfast with all my favorite characters from the Empire. Not only was the experience fun, but it was also tasty too. Even better, this year Disney released a gluten-free and nut-free menu for diners visiting the breakfast. You can check out the menu on the website!

You can also read the full dining review of the Sci-Fi Dine-In Galactic Breakfast. I was as hungry as a Wookie when I dined there, and it did not dissapoint!

















The newest dining experience at Star Wars Weekends includes the Rebel Hangar Lounge where small plates and appetizers are served. I'll be dining there soon, so stay tuned to the website for the latest info and review!


In this issue of the newsletter, we're also featuring GFDF at WDW's newest sponsor and travel partner, Practically Perfect Vacations. I had the chance to interview vacation planner Megan Caceres, and I absolutely adore the fact that this agency has a lot of experience with special diets first-hand. They are a terrific vacation planning agency, and they can help assist you with all your Disney vacation planning needs.

Have you heard about the new allergy-friendly menus that Disney began releasing in signature dining locations in April? We've got the inside scoop here in the newsletter, and quite a few menus on the website for you to check out!

As always, this newsletter features updates on special events and meetups, and guest articles. Of course, you’ll always find the latest reviews, tips, and tricks on Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW! If you have a great idea for a series or feature you'd like to see in the newsletter, let us know by emailing: gfdf.wdw@gmail.com

Sarah, Owner
Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW

Photo of Sarah & Greedo at the Sci-Fi Galactic Dine-In Breakfast during the 2015 Star Wars Weekends
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For all your Disney travel needs,
contact Kim from Practically Perfect Vacations!

For a free quote, visit:
Practically Perfect Vacations

Meet Megan Caceres from Practically Perfect Vacations

 

Looking to plan your next Jolly Holiday? Megan Caceres at Practically Perfect Vacations is here to help! I recently had the chance to interview Megan to learn a little bit more about her and the services that Practically Perfect Vacations offers guests, including ways to assist guests with special dietary needs.

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How long have you been a vacation planner with Practically Perfect Vacations?

I have been with Practically Perfect Vacations since 2012.
 
What are some of the services that you can provide for guests with special dietary needs traveling to Disney?

I think for many planning a Disney World trip can be daunting enough, add in traveling with Special dietary needs and it becomes stressful. For me the most important thing I can offer a client is peace of mind. To take away the stress so that they can just concentrate on the magical trip that they have coming up.
 
In terms of their special dietary needs, I always have a conference call with my clients so that we can discuss all the dietary needs that we need to focus on. We can discuss different restaurants, menus and most importantly when it is time to book I make sure all of their needs are listed on their reservations. As we get closer to the trip we discuss snacks, provisions if we need to in terms of ordering certain grocery items to their room and for clients that are traveling with multiple special dietary needs I contact Special Diets at Disney and make sure that we have everything listed with them as well.
 
Your family travels to Disney with special dietary needs. What is your number one tip for families traveling to Disney with a special dietary need for the first time?

Don't shy away of asking questions, whether with a chef, or a manager at a counter service restaurant or at your resort. They are wonderful to deal with and I have always had such amazing service from them. They have been so accommodating to work with and have always made our vacations magical.
 
I still remember one trip, it was my daughter's birthday and a friend of ours were meeting us for a few days. Between the two of them the allergy list was extensive. We really wanted to have a little cake but we really figured between their combined list there probably would not be anything left to put in a cake. I called anyway and remember clearly the pastry chef saying...."no worries, we will take care of it". It was a joke between my friend and I wondering what exactly would they be putting in this cake. All I can say is that the birthday girl has a huge smile on her face with a delicious chocolate cake that everyone at the table (a table that included tons of allergies) could enjoy....and it was delicious.
 
What is your favorite restaurant at Disney for special dietary needs?  

This is hard as we have had fabulous service and so many of the Walt Disney World restaurants. I will say some of my recent interactions at The Wave, California Grill and Sanaa have left us happy and very full when we walked out of the restaurant.

 
 
If you could recommend one Disney must-do what would it be?  

Enjoy the little things, take that moment to just stop and take it all in. Don't worry about rushing to the next attraction, sometimes that magical moment will be when you least expect it.  
 
How can guests connect with you to book their next Disney vacation? 

You can reach me at 347-414-4576 or email at Megan.caceres@pp-vacations.com.
 
And of course, we had to ask Megan some fun Disney questions!
 
What is your...
Favorite resort: Animal Kingdom Lodge
Favorite restaurant: The Wave
Favorite park: Epcot
Favorite attraction: Expedition Everest
Favorite Disney character: Goofy
Favorite food item:   Creme Brulee
 
 

Allergy-Friendly Menus Debut at Disney World!

 
Beginning in April with signature dining locations, Disney World will be introducing new allergy-friendly dining menus at Disney park and resort restaurants – over 120 locations in total – throughout 2015. By the end of the year, most, if not all, Disney World dining locations will carry such menus. 

The allergy-friendly menus currently focus on the top 8 common allergens (gluten/wheat, milk/dairy, egg, soy, peanut, tree nut, fish and shellfish) and allow the guest the ability to easily make an informed choice about what dish to order when dining out. The menus include appetizers, entrees, side dishes, desserts, and children’s menus.

Guests can still consult with a chef or special diets trained manager directly, whenever dining at a Disney restaurant. Guests are also still encouraged to note their special dietary needs on Advanced Dining Reservations and to communicate with Disney’s Special Diets Department prior to their Disney vacation. And guests should always alert the culinary team when an allergen or special dietary request is needed, to ensure safety.

I've had the opportunity to see and use several of these allergy-friendly menus at signature dining locations like Artist Point. As a gluten free & dairy free diner, I found that often the dairy free options were a bit "limited" on the allergy-friendly menu but that many dishes could be easily modified with a consult from a Disney chef. However, if spending a lot of time discussing the menu with the chef is not your preferred way to dine, these allergy-friendly menus make it easy for you to quickly identify the dishes that are safe for you to consume, if your special dietary need is covered under the top 8 common allergens.

Here is a sample of the current allergy-friendly menus found on the Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW website!


Citricos


 
Narcoossee's



Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room



 
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Do you have a question for the newsletter? Want to see a new feature? Interested in submitting your own guest dining review? Send all your comments, questions, and suggestions to Sarah at gfdf.wdw@gmail.com!

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