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A Taste of Disney: Special Dietary Needs

Taste of DisneyPeople with food allergies and special dietary needs know how hard it often is to eat out at restaurants. It can be especially stressful when going on vacation and eating at new dining locations.

Luckily, Disney is more than happy to help accommodate each dietary request and try to make every guest have an enjoyable dining experience. They take many steps to ensure that each request is taken into consideration and handled with a little Disney “magic.”

Most table-service locations are able to provide allergy-friendly menu options. It is important that you let the Disney staff know beforehand what kind of dietary needs your party has. If you are making your dining reservations online, be sure to indicate these requests on the website. If you are calling for dining reservations, let the Disney cast member know on the phone. When you arrive for your dining reservations, be sure to remind the server or chef that you will need special accommodations.

Quick-service is a little trickier in terms of dietary restrictions, but select locations offer menu items and products for certain food allergies. Make sure to ask a cast member where to find these!

In terms of dining buffets, usually a chef can walk you through the buffet line to help determine what ingredients are in each food item and what you can eat with your dietary needs.

Standard allergies can easily be accommodated by Disney including gluten or wheat, lactose, peanuts and tree nuts, shellfish, soy, corn, fish and eggs. However, if someone in your party has extra-special needs such as multiple allergies or metabolic disorders, more advance notice is needed. Contact Special.Diets@disneyworld.com after all of your dining reservations have been booked and at least 14 days before your arrive for your vacation.

Bon appetite!

This week’s recipe is for a gluten-free dessert that is only served on special occasions at Disney’s Hollywood Brown Derby! Recipe brought to you by the Disney Parks Blog – disneyparks.disney.go.com

Flourless Chocolate Cake
Makes 12 individual cakes

Ingredients for cake:
1 cup butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons freshly brewed espresso or instant espresso
2 tablespoons hot water
6 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons rum

Ingredients for ganache:
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup dark chocolate chips

For cakes:
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two 6-cup silicone muffin molds.
Combine butter and chocolate chips in a glass bowl and microwave on high for 60 seconds. Stir until smooth. If not melted completely, return to microwave for 15-second intervals, stirring between each until melted. Set aside.
Combine cocoa powder, espresso and water in a separate bowl. Stir until smooth and set aside.
Combine eggs, sugar, and rum in a large mixing bowl, whisking thoroughly. Add cocoa-espresso mixture to egg mixture, then stir in melted chocolate mixture. Whisk until smooth and creamy.
Pour batter into prepared muffin molds and bake until cakes puff slightly and surfaces are set, about 22-25 minutes.
Cool, then refrigerate for at least three hours.

For ganache:
In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, add heavy cream and bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips; whisk until smooth.

To serve:
Remove cooled cakes from molds.
Set a wire rack over a large bowl, and one cake at a time, place on wire rack and coat with ganache, making sure to cover sides.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Kristin Casagrand is a student currently studying physical therapy at Bellarmine University. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Kristin has taken many a family vacations as a child driving 24 hrs, cramped in the back of the car and fighting with her sister to get to Disney (definitely worth it though). She looks forward to sharing “A Taste of Disney” with everyone each week.