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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 11:49 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2011 2:23 pm
Posts: 4
Our Disneyland Experience – ALLERGIES: Dairy, Treenuts and Peanuts

We went to Disneyland back (Anaheim, California) for a week with our 4 year old daughter (no allergies) and our 7 year old son (Life threatening allergies to dairy, treenuts and peanuts). We just got back and I want to share our experience while it is still fresh in my mind. Hope this helps others who may be considering a vacation there (would highly recommend this place!). Thank you to everyone who gave us few tips on how to have a safe vacation.

This post is a long one, but I have listed all the food, dining, travel, accommodation, and other info. You can choose the section you want to read 

NOTE: This post merely shares our experience based on the allergies we deal with. Please use your discretion and apply accordingly to suit your situation and need.

1. FLIGHT

We flew via Continental Airlines (/United Airways as they were undergoing merger), from Ottawa via Chicago to Orange County. We booked through someone we know and they also arranged a local shuttle to and from the airport. Hotel was also reserved through the same person. We got a good deal for a 5 day pass to Disneyland through this booking.

Overall experience:

Flight from Ottawa to Chicago and return Chicago to Ottawa: Very pleasant. The airlines personnel announced that there was a traveller on the plane who has peanut allergies and requested that no one eat any peanuts. Also they let us board a bit early to wipe down our son’s seat. Very co-operative.

Flight from Chicago to Orange County and return Orange County to Chicago: Okay. They said they would allow us to board early but really didn’t. There were many people before we got there and we were rushing to wipe down the seat and his headset etc. On the return side, even though the person who gave us the boarding pass let us take our children’s booster seats to use on the plane, once we were in the plane the air hostess would not allow us to use it. We used it 3 ways but how come we were not allowed the last US route, we don’t know! It was airlines approved booster seats too! Minor inconvenience but not a big deal.

In short, experience on the Canada side was good, but the US side was okay (same airlines!)

NOTE:
Each of us had a pouch with our ID’s, Emergency contact info etc., our son had his epipen, Benadryl, and allergy card (ordered from http://www.anaphylaxis.ca/content/livin ... ue.asp#two ) in his pouch at all times. We adults had our passport, tickets, chef contact info etc., in our pouch at all times. (We had a copy of the passport numbers somewhere else in case we lost the passports.

We took cooked boiled eggs, cooked pepperoni, Campbells Chicken Noodle box and PC Cooked Bacon for our son to eat on the plane and during our 2 hour stopover in Chicago. We didn’t have any problems ourselves, but this is something you may want to check prior to your departure.

Meds: We had a Dr’s note for our son’s allergy, a prescription for Epipen, Benadryl, and his puffers. We carried all of his meds in a clear Ziploc bag and no problems there. 


[color=#800000]2. ACCOMODATION


Tropicana Inn & Suites
1540 South Harbor Blvd
Anaheim, CA 92802
Tel: (714) 635-4082
Fax: (714) 635-1535

Tollfree: 1 800 828 4898 - http://tropicanainn-anaheim.com/

Apart from Disneyland, staying at his hotel allows for a trip to San Diego, Hollywood, Las Vegas or even San Francisco if you want. It has a pool and hot tub.

Overall experience: On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being low and 5 being high. For looks, lighting, and atmosphere we would give a 3. For access to Disneyland, cleanliness, meeting our needs for cooking with a stove and eat a lot at "home", we would give a 5. It definitely met our needs. We would stay there again for sure.

We had a room with full kitchen - Stove with oven, fridge/freezer, small dining table, pots and pans. We also had a bar fridge in the room where the TV and bed was.

The hotel was across from the Disneyland entrance. It was awesome. From our room door to the Disneyland entrance, we were there in less than 3 minutes (walking). If you have a day pass, you could take a break at mid-day. rest a bit in your room and go back to Disneyland if you want. Very convenient!

3. FOOD

Overall experience: EXCELLENT especially since the menu was planned ahead of time (see sample below). We took 1 ½ suitcase of food items and trust me we used most of it. It was great to have empty suitcase to bring our US shopping items 

We ate our breakfasts at the hotel, packed our sandwiches and a tetrapack drink for lunch at Disney. We ate out every supper time at the pre-arranged restaurants.

We did a mini grocery shopping the 2nd day to get things like – Eggs, fruits, frozen veggies/corn, water bottles etc., We went to the Sprouts Farmers Market (see address and phone number at the end of this post). Check with them for allergy friendly items before you pack food for your trip. They had a lot of non-dairy items for our son which we could have avoided carrying with us.

Food that we took:

Frozen bread, pancakes, muffins, granola bars, cookies. Earths best butter (we didn’t have to since we saw that at the Sprouts grocery store near us (see my note below).

Cereal, PC precooked bacon, Walmart precooked minipeps pepperonis (these were awesome on the plane, in Disneyland…everywhere it was a hit!), Molasses, Tons of Wow butter (similar to sun butter), Blue Diamond Almonds (these were great snack during the day), Guardian Angel chocolates (so my son could have a dessert if he couldn’t have the cotton candy or something that is in Disneyland), Sphagetti, Pasta sauce cans, Costco canned chicken for sandwiches, Campbells Chicken Noodle soup (great since you just have to add hot water – very handy on the plane especially since my son couldn’t eat anything on the plane), chips, nachos, shake ‘n bake (very handy since I cooked drumsticks with this – easy meal), Old del Paso tortillas kit (didn’t use it though!), PC Rice Krispy squares, Welchs, Skittles,

Natura soymilk cartons (big ones and tetra packs for day trips), and few juice packs to start us off.

We had a mealplan chart made. I can't see to post tables here. If you want a copy email me at achnjag@gmail.ca


4. EATING AT DISNEYLAND RESTAURANTS

Overall experience:

FIVE STAR. Not only did our son enjoy eating at every restaurant we went to, he also was confident in taking food from them which he is usually not at restaurants. The chefs came and talked to us and him and explained what is safe for him and how they are going to prepare his meals. In most of the restaurants the chief chef already knew what the allergies were when we got there. Especially in fine dining places, even the greeter was informed and knew our son’s allergy issues and directed us to the chief chef. It was quite impressive how well organized they were. We were also very impressed how they handled cross contamination.

Contacts:
MAIN RESERVATION LINE - (714) 781-DINE or (714) 781-3463
Chris Justensen (Chief Chef) 714 781 3569

Once we had our trip planned (i.e. knew which park we were going to be at every day, we emailed the chefs of the restaurants (see list below) and mentioned that dinners are for 2 Adults and 2 Children. We specifically mentioned that our 7 year old boy has life-threatening allergies (Anaphylaxis) to ALL DAIRY, ALL TREENUTS & PEANUTS. We also gave them a list of ingredients that we avoid due to our son’s severe allergy.

NOTE: Reservations can only be made for fine dining places through the main reservation line mentioned above. Reservations cannot be made to the fast food places mentioned below. Fortunately I was able to contact the chef of the Hungry Bear restaurant Scott Mancino who was extremely diligent and helpful in putting me in touch with all the other fast food restaurant chefs. I honestly can’t remember how I got his phone number in the 20 hours or so of work I put in to plan our restaurant visits, but I am thankful and glad to have started my communications with him.

• Hungry Bear Restaurant at Critter Country (Fast food)
o Chef Scott Mancino – B.B. 714 448-5923 Office 714 781 7693
• Catal Restaurant at Downtown Disney (Fine dining)
o Chef Nick Weber – 714 774 4442
• Village Haus Restaurant at Fantasyland (Fast food)
o Chef Ralph Perez - 714 781-1193 or ask for Chef Sean
• Tomorrowland Terrace at Tomorrowland (Fast food)
o Juan.M.Lugo.Nunez - Juan.M.Lugo.Nunez@disney.com
• Bengal Barbeque at Adventureland (Fast food)
o Chef Michael Soto - 714-781-0182 B.B. 714-493-7072
• Ariels Grotto at Disney California Adventure Park – Character breakfast and Fine dining – MUST visit this place if you have little girls who love princesses.
o Chef Natalie 714 817 2246 (or ask for chef Ramiro) 714 817 2517
• Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante at Frontierland (Fast food)
o Chef Amy Benson - Phone (714)781-4940 B.B 714 620-4962

Even though they are great at taking clients with allergies on the spot, I would highly recommend organizing your visits ahead of time. In our case, some chefs even sent me pictures of the ingredients in the box etc., to get my approval of the meals they were suggesting. Overall, it makes your job and the Chef’s job easier – less confusion too.


5. OTHER:


Important things that we took:
• Meds of course. We were allowed 100 ml each. So, with 4 of us, we we able to carry all the meds for our son and daughter – Benadryl, Tylenol, Gravol (for motion sickness on the plane). We took 4 epipens and there were no issues with that on the plane
• Tons of antibacterial wipes (Wet ones) and baby wipes.
• Couple of garbage bags to throw our dirty laundry.
• Tons of ziplock bags (big and small ones) – These were handy even at the hotel since we cooked breakfast and lunch and used them to store away left over dishes. The small ones, we used for packing our sandwiches for lunch at Disneyland.
• Dr’s note about our sons allergy, presecriptions for epipen, Benadryl and puffer.
• Little sunlight dish soap with sponge and handsoap
• Swimsuits, swim caps, shower caps
• My son’s scissors, can opener, knife.(wrapped in towels in luggage NOT carry-on of course 

Sight-seeing options reasonably close to Disneyland

You can book a tour bus from the hotel if want to take a day or two to see Universal Studio, Seaworld, Legoland etc., They are not far from Disneyland.

We took a tour bus from the hotel to Legoland. If you have young boys or girls into Legos it is definitely worth it. It takes 1.5 hours to get there from Disneyland. Our son enjoyed a great deal! This was not part of our plan but a nice surprise for our son 

Anaheim Stores and Shopping:

Besides the stores and shop within the Disneyland resort, there are several options around Anaheim where you can pick up a few things for your vacation without paying the in-park premium prices.
http://www.wdwinfo.com/disneyland/plan/stores.htm

McDonald's (across Disneyland) – 1 800 244 6227 for allergy info –
P.S. I believe Fries at McDonalds in the US have dairy while Canadian McD’s don’t. So beware! Do your research.

http://www.mcdonalds.com/
1500 South Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim
(714) 491-0563

Grocery store:
Sprouts Farmers’s Market
1447 South Harbor Blvd
Fullerton, CA, 92832
714 441 1233
(Open Mon to Sun 7 am to 10 pm)

Sprouts Famers’s Market was few bus stops away from our hotel. We were able to hop on the 43 Fullerton to go to Sprouts. They had a full Natural food section. We were able to get dairy free butter, ice cream, soymilk etc., Things that we get for him in Canada. Great store, reasonable prices! Highly recommend it.

Fresh and Easy is another place for grocery shopping.


Last edited by Indra on Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:26 pm
Posts: 386
Wow, thank you for the comprehensive review! I'll remember to read this again before our trip to Disneyland next year. :)

_________________
anaphylaxis to tree nuts and peanuts; asthmatic, dairy intolerant, vegan
other family members allergic to to dairy, egg, peanut, peach, banana, sesame, environmentals


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 1:44 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2007 2:45 pm
Posts: 790
Location: Vancouver, BC
Me too - we haven't started planning a trip, but I want to take them before DD gets too old to thoroughly enjoy it. Thank you for taking the time to post such a detailed review.

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DD 2004 Allergy to peanuts, egg, sesame, and new: lentils and chick peas
DS 2006 Allergy to peanuts, tree nuts, milk, egg, kiwi fruit, eczema


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:26 pm
Posts: 386
We're going to Disneyland in December and this post has been very useful in preparing for our trip.

One thing to note is that you can take more than 100 ml of medically necessary medication in your carry on! Just pack it in a large zip top bag with a label 'medication' and it will go through without affecting your usual liquids and gels - Tylenol, Benadryl, Gravol, EpiPens, etc.

We stayed at the Tropicana before and highly recommend it as well. I was able to eat the whole fresh fruits (after I washed them) at the free morning breakfast too, which was a nice addition to our homemade oatmeal breakfasts. This time we are staying at the Carousel Inn and Suites, next door to the Tropicana.

Did they let you bring lunch for everyone into the parks? I always bring a few things for myself but wasn't sure if others were allowed to bring in food. (We're travelling as four adults.)

Did you go to Universal Studios at all? We have no idea what to do for food that day of our trip besides the usual snacks I bring - and I really hope thy let me bring them into the park with me. I am having trouble getting information from them. Definitely not as allergy-friendly as Disneyland.

Any recommended safe treats/snacks in the Disneyland parks? I was told to check the giant pretzels, frozen lemonade and Dole whip.

_________________
anaphylaxis to tree nuts and peanuts; asthmatic, dairy intolerant, vegan
other family members allergic to to dairy, egg, peanut, peach, banana, sesame, environmentals


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