Has anyone done any of the dessert parties with a severe nut allergy in the group? My oldest (18, turning 19 on our trip) is allergic to peanuts and most tree nuts. I know that Disney is, in general, great with food allergies. However, I don’t really want to book a dessert party and get there to find out that he can’t eat anything. I’m sure they would offer him some safe alternative, but that would still be a real let down for him and not a very fun time, I think.
I’m curious to hear others chime in, but I had heard the dessert parties are not the best for people with food allergies. Of course, call ahead, note it on your reservation, etc, but I had heard that even with doing all that, there might be very few choices available.
We deal with an egg allergy, but don’t need to worry about cross contamination issues, and are doing an HEA dessert party, hoping for the best. If you have concerns with cross contamination, I think your son might be stuck with fruit and enjoy life cookies, from what I understand. We’re hoping the party uses ice cream from the Plaza, which I confirmed is egg-free, so my son can go crazy with ice cream and be happy.
Yes, this is what I figure. We do usually avoid for cc, although now that he is an “adult” (in theory lol) I know that he is careful, but not quite as militant as we might have been when he was younger. I was not really planning to book a party for these reasons, but we DO want to see HEA (embarassed to say we’ve never stayed for it in our prior 2 trips), so I was considering doing it. But maybe just watching with “regular folk” is a better plan, lol.
When you book the sw party, there is (if it’s still the same) a section for you to let them know about allergies. I cannot recall if hea had the same option. It was in depth, too. Not just a “i have an allergy, checkbox.” Iirc, there was an option to select what kind of allergy, and also, an option to write text to the chef. I’d be surprised if you expressed concerns about a severe nut alllergy, they wouldn’t do something pretty special for you.
My DH and DS have Celiac (gluten intolerance). If my DH gets gluten it is a trip to the hospital emergency room.
We did a dessert party. We reserved online and checked the box for wheat allergy. We got a call two weeks before the party asking how many people in our party had the allergy and what the allergy was etc. They were very willing to answer any questions. The boxes we got on the day were prepared in a separate location that was gluten safe, the boxes were extra wrapped with cling wrap and stored in an area that was separate from the other desert boxes. We felt very safe having them eat the items in the box. This was for the Fantasmic! Dessert party.
I can tell you we felt safe everywhere we ate at Disney World because they always talked to us beforehand and took everything very seriously.
When I was at the HEA dessert party two years ago I noticed a number of people with special plates with a variety of goodies — all I remember is giant strawberries half dipped in chocolate. I asked where I could get one and the diner said they were for people with allergies.
I am sure they will go out of their way to accommodate you, but I don’t know that you’d get more than 1 plate of allergy-free goodies, so you might lose out on the ‘buffet’ aspect of it. That’s what would make it worth it to me.
I am allergic to tree nuts and have attended a dessert party. In general, when eating out I know what to avoid and look out for and you all probably do too- but, from my experience at WDW- your waiter or a chef will tell you what you can and can not eat- and create a special plate for you if you desire. I’m also allergic to pork too, so buffets are tricky with cross contamination issues and bacon “bits” mixed into things. I found plenty of options at the Dessert party that were tree nut free, but I’m not sensitive to peanuts.
I hope you are able to participate and enjoy the party!
OP - I’m interested to hear what your experience is on this if you end up booking it. We have one tree nut and one peanut allergy in our family and want to do a dessert party when we go next March. The one thing holding us back a bit on it is the allergy concern.
I appreciate this topic too, thanks. We Have a son with allergies to peanut, cashew, pistachio and sesame and have the HEA dessert party booked. I’m way less militant about this than my wife (I don’t worry much about cross contamination), so I figure ice cream is pretty safe (and fortunately the best food on the planet) but the fact they would make up a special plate up is awesome.
I did book it (the after-HEA one). Our trip is not until January so I won’t have anything to report for a while… lol. From answers both here and on a couple of FB groups, it sounds like he should have some options to enjoy!
We go in two weeks and are doing the HEA dessert party with an allergic kid. I will report back!
I wanted to report back our experience with the HEA dessert party while managing food allergies. We were there 8/26. Our son’s allergy was noted when we reserved the party and then I got in touch with the special diet folks at Disney again about two weeks before the party. Our son is allergic to eggs, fish and sesame.
I should also mention that this was our first experience with food allergy “table service” dining at Disney world, so we may not have been as savvy as some folks are in maximizing benefits.
We checked in as soon as the podium opened, around 7:35, because it was pouring rain and we didn’t want to walk around in the rain anymore. We were seated near the buffet and a “chef” came over to us immediately. He started by saying “is this the boy who is making me work hard tonight?” to my son, which I didn’t think was the best start, but in the end, I think thing went as well as can be expected.
About five minutes after chatting with the chef, we got a plate of premade goodies, which included chocolate covered strawberries, a few mini cupcakes, gummy bears, a few slices of cake, and a few large, soft chocolate chip cookies. I’m guessing it was Erin McKenna’s stuff. I think this plate was premade for all the folks with allergies, as I saw the same platter going out to a bunch of people. Our son thought the cookies were good, the strawberries are great, and the rest was only ok. He didn’t really like the gummy bears, but his sister happily ate them. Our son really wanted ice cream, so we confirmed that the ice cream doesn’t have egg and they got our son a large serving of ice cream from a new container in the back (rather than the ice cream at the actual buffet). We definitely could have had more ice cream for him, if he wanted, and we got him seconds and thirds of the chocolate covered strawberries. I’m not sure if we could have had more of the other stuff. Our son also enjoyed multiple mugs of hot cocoa (it had been pouring that evening and we were soaked, so the hot beverage was surprisingly welcome).
To us, the party was worth it, although I’m not sure I’d still feel the same way given the recent price hikes. It was our first time at WDW as a family and having a guaranteed good location to admire HEA was wonderful (we stood against the back railing as suggested and the view was phenomenal). While I don’t know that we ate “our money’s worth”, we did eat A LOT and we had brought zip top bags, so our leftovers were breakfast the next day.
I hope that helps anyone considering the party with food allergies and I’m more than happy to answer any specific questions folks may have.
Thanks for the update, much appreciated. Sounds like it will work out pretty well.
Thanks so much for this report!
I was so optimistic about doing these dessert parties with our peanut allergic DD9. We are wrapping up our trip tonight. We did the Frozen dessert party at Epcot and it was a great experience for her and although there were some options she could not eat, the chef walked her around and pointed out what she could and could not eat and we felt very comfortable and confident at the party.
The story was VERY different at the HEA party. We showed up and were told that almost nothing was safe except the cheese. Essentially everything either had peanut in it or had a risk of cross contamination. We did not feel safe at all and left the party. There was no pre-made plate of safe desserts for her, even though the allergy was noted on the reservation. Maybe they stopped doing that, or maybe someone dropped the ball. Either way, we were very disappointed.