Please help us welcome Kelley Lord to MiceChat. Jessica Ma’ilo usually appears in this spot, but due to a very busy schedule is scaling back to a column every other week. Jessica’s good friend Kelley is picking up the newly opened spot. Kelley loves Walt Disney World and lives in the shadow of the parks. We are looking forward to introducing her to you! – Dusty

Anyone who has to deal with food allergies knows how difficult it can be to eat out. My family has various food allergies including gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, corn and onions. Try walking into Olive Garden with that list and see how many items on the menu are even remotely a safe option. Lucky for my family, Disney World does allergies right. The chefs have all undergone extensive training on how to safely deal with food allergies and they take this responsibility very seriously. There are dedicated areas, pans and utensils in the kitchens for food prep to avoid cross-contamination. Some locations have dedicated fryers and grills as well.

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We dined at the Animal Kingdom Lodge’s Sanaa this week and had a most delicious experience! Chef Carroll came to our table after we were seated to discuss our food allergies. My onion allergy pretty much excluded the entire menu for me so I gave her creative control to whip something up for me. Her only questions were what type of meat I wanted and how spicy I liked my foods. I requested chicken and a medium spicy level and mentioned how much I loved tomatoes. The meal that was served to me was nothing short of mouthwatering. Chef Carroll had created a dish with a grilled chicken breast with a light, crispy coating that sat on a bed of basmati rice swimming in a sauce she made up for the dish that included white wine, coconut milk and garlic. I had to resist licking the bowl clean, and I can assure you that every grain of rice was consumed. My son is allergic to eggs and was avoiding gluten and dairy. He is not a fan of any traditional kid’s meal fare so the chef made him a kid’s size steak with a side of carrots that he completely devoured.

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Sanaa was such an enjoyable dining experience that we will most definitely return. The location is tucked away at Kidani Village at the Animal Kingdom Lodge and is usually quite easy to secure with an ADR during the lunchtime hours. Be sure to arrive several minutes before your reservation to have time to walk outside and see the animals on the savanna. The kids loved watching the baby giraffe, the zebras and ankole cattle. Great food and an amazing view gives Sanaa a big thumbs up from our family!

Have you been to Sanaa at Kidani Village? Do you have allergies or special dietary requirements? Have you had good luck dining at Disney?

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Kelley is a proud Army wife, mom of 5, former Mouseketeer wrangler, and current travel agent at Fairy Godmother Travel. She lives close enough to the mouse to watch Illuminations from her front yard and Wishes from the bedroom window. She frequents the Disney restaurants often due to the special care they take in dealing with her family's food allergies. Kelley can be contacted at [email protected], and you can also check out her Facebook page dedicated to dining with allergies at Disney: https://www.facebook.com/disneywithfoodallergies