Welcome back to day #2 of our “Walt Disney World the Food Allergy Way” series. If you missed yesterday’s, you can read all about our experience at the Magic Kingdom, here. Today we are discussing all things Epcot. Epcot is what I’ve always referred to as the educational park. It’s where you go visit other countries without needing a passport and it’s where you go to to take a ride in a giant golf ball. (Or not really a golf ball, it’s just what I thought it was all through my childhood.) This park wasn’t my favorite as a child because let’s face it…it wasn’t the Magic Kingdom. However, it’s the park that I most look forward to visiting when it’s meal time and I could sit and watch the fountain at Epcot Innovations Plaza dance to music for hours.
When we arrived one of the things that I was most excited about was the new Starbucks that was being served at the Fountain View Cafe. I enjoyed two of my favorites from Starbucks…a tall, non-fat toffee-nut latte and a piece of pumpkin bread. Yummo! That was the perfect start to my day. The rest of our morning was filled with riding lots of rides in Epcot’s Future World. These were some of our favorites: Journey into Imagination with Figment, Living with the Land, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, and Spaceship Earth. My little men also had lots of fun filling their autograph books with signatures from many of their favorite characters. (Side note: if you are looking for Disney Princesses, Epcot’s World Showcase is a great place to find them.)
We actually only had one meal at Epcot during this trip. We ate lunch at San Angel Inn Restaurante in Mexico. This is considered a table-service meal if you are using the Disney Dining Plan. We chose this place for lunch because part of their interior design is an “active volcano.” Of course, it’s not actually active but my little men didn’t know that and they are really into volcanos these days. We notified the hostess of our allergies and our waitress once we were seated. The chef came out to chat with me and was absolutely wonderful. He explained what my little men’s options were and I couldn’t wait for my youngest to get his plate of food. He had grilled chicken tacos, steamed green beans and spanish rice. For dessert he had a huge bowl full of fresh fruit. He was so excited. Once again we were 100% reaction-free! Following lunch we set out to track down more Disney characters for their autographs and finish making our way around the World Showcase.
I often get asked about the other restaurants at Epcot’s World Showcase. As I mentioned above, we only had one meal there during this trip but we’ve tried a number of them over the past couple years. Our favorites are: Biergarten Restaurant (Germany), Chefs de France (France), and Rose & Crown Pub (United Kingdom). From a food allergy end, we have yet to have an issue at any of the restaurants that we’ve dined at. However, since Disney “casts” all of their dining staff (hostess, waitress/waiter, chef, etc) from the country that they are representing there is always room for miscommunication due to minor language barriers. So you can never be too careful. One thing that I might recommend ordering in advance are food allergy restaurant cards. They are business cards that you personalize with your child’s information and allergies. Then once you explain your allergies to the chef you give him the card. Now he has something to take back to the kitchen with him to help him remember all of the allergens as he prepares your food. Here are my favorite places to order these cards: Allergy Free Table’s Chef Cards, Gluten Away’s I AM Cards or Tiny Prints’ Allergy Cards.
Over the years I’ve become incredibly fascinated by Disney’s Epcot. I just love all of the countless details that goes into everything they create. Here are some fun facts about Epcot that you may not know. (For more facts, check out AllEars.net)
- The Land Pavillion grows more than 30 tons of fruits and vegetables each year and all of these items are served at Walt Disney World restaurants.
- The fountain at Epcot Innoventions Plaza can shoot water 150 feet in the air, only 30 feet away from reaching the top of Spaceship Earth.
- The World Showcase promenade is 1.2 miles around.
- The Illuminations: Reflections of Earth fireworks show uses about 2,800 firework shells during each show.
We didn’t make it back for the Illuminations: Reflections of Earth fireworks show. Which I’m still a bit bummed about as it’s my second most favorite fireworks show next to the Magic Kingdom’s show. However, if you’re able to stay for the show, you won’t be sorry! And on your way out of the park, sit and watch the fountain at Epcot Innoventions Plaza…it’s my favorite.
What is your favorite thing to do when you visit Epcot? Have you had any successful food allergy dining experiences at any of the other countries that I didn’t list above? I’d love to hear from you.