Happy #tastytuesday Disney friends!! Today I wanted to cover the allergy friendly perspective of the new Taste of Magic Kingdom Park VIP Tour! You can book this VIP tour directly through My Disney Experience (MDE), by calling into Walt Disney World directly, or by using a travel agent (like me!). We booked ours through the MDE website and paid $99 a person, as this tour is not included as a part of the Disney Dining Plan. We love the VIP tours because the groups are small and you usually get to focus on one aspect of a park (or multiple parks depending on the tour you book!). In this case, it was all about the FOOD!!!
PSA before we begin: this will definitely be one of my longer reviews since we did so many things in 3 hours, so I will be mostly focusing on the food. If you’d like to know more about the kitchens we saw or the Walt Disney World history that was talked about on the floor, comment below or send me an email through my contact page!
Our tour began at 9:00am, and it was advised that we check in at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant about 15 minutes before our tour was to begin. Kyle and I were staying at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, so we hopped on the monorail and entered the park around 8:15am to give us some time to grab coffee at the Main Street Bakery (aka, Starbucks) before we checked into our tour location. Once we got our coffee, we headed over to Tony’s Town Square Restaurant, which is to the left once you enter the Town Square Theater.
Once we were all checked in, we received our VIP lanyards. I also spoke with a cast member named Brooke (who Kyle and I had on our Nights of Adventure VIP Tour in November 2018! If you interact with her at all, she is soooo nice!) who confirmed my food allergies. I had put on the reservation my main allergies: dairy, eggs, and gluten. Another cast member also brought over a book with all of the dietary information about each dish we would be eating that day (not pictured) so I knew ahead of time what I could/could not eat. Luckily, I was able to have more than half of the dishes that we were given on our tour!
Our tour started in Tony’s Town Square Restaurant. We were offered coffee, and array of tea, and the signature Mickey cinnamon roll. Since the cinnamon role contained every single one of my allergies, I declined to try it and instead took some pictures. I also passed on the coffee/tea since we had already stopped at The Main Street Bakery. Our 3 VIP tour guides took the time to speak to our group (about 15ish other people) and to play an ice breaker to get to know us. We were then given our whisper units (small earpieces so we could hear the VIP tour guides as we were walking) and our tour began!
Our first stop was to see the kitchen at Casey’s Corner. We were not allowed to take pictures of the inside of the kitchen, but I couldn’t help snapping a picture of a *basically* empty Casey’s Corner, since we were in the quick service location before it opened for the day. The kitchen is so small (it took less than a minute to walk through), and the VIP tour guides let us know that the kitchen receives its food from the Tomorrowland Terrace restaurant, where it is cooked and then brought over to Casey’s Corner through Disney magic. Also, peep Christian, one of our VIP tour guides, in the picture above! He was very funny and really enjoyed talking about how much he loves Biergarten in the Germany Pavillon, as he is from Germany originally.
Our next stop, and first actual food experience, was the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen in Adventureland. Please excuse my not-so-great picture of the sign that I thought I taken well in the moment :p. We also got to walk through the kitchen here (again, pictures could not be taken in the kitchen). We were split into two groups and went through one at a time. The cool thing about the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen is that it is a shared kitchen with both the Diamond Horseshoe and also the Liberty Tree Tavern. You can actually see all the way across to the Liberty Tree Tavern when you are in the kitchen.
After we viewed the kitchen, Chef Charlie came out to speak to our group. He explained that we were eating a 12 hour braised beef, queso fresco, naan, corn cakes, rice, and a lime crema. There were also vegetables on the dish that were cooked in a tomato based sauce. The only thing edited on my dish was the queso fresco; everything else was good to go for my food allergies! Everything that we were served here is on the menu at the Jungle Navigation Co. Lt. Skipper Canteen, which I am pumped about, because this was my favorite sampling of the day. Additionally, we were able to try the Punch Line Punch, which is a signature non-alcoholic drink at the restaurant. It is a mix of tropical juices with a Mango puree, and it was delightfully refreshing!
Next, we headed over to Aloha Isle Refreshments for, you guessed it, Dole whip!! I actually had not tried Dole whip until my honeymoon in November 2018, but now that I’ve tried it, I definitely understand why it is such a signature snack in the Disney parks. Fun fact about Dole whip: unless you have a sensitivity to pineapple or sugar, it is naturally allergy friendly! It is also never fully frozen, which is why it is so creamy when you eat it. It was such a great pick-me-up on a hot Florida morning!
After Aloha Isle, we made our way to Tortuga Tavern. At this location, we tried something I had never tried before: a turkey leg! I thought it tasted pretty great. It was a little salty, but a nice balance to the Dole whip we had just eaten. The only thing that I could not get over with the turkey leg was the texture, but I guess they’re not for everyone! The turkey leg was also allergy friendly as-is.
Once we made our way out of Tortuga Tavern, we travelled quickly through Fronteirland and made our way to Liberty Square. We got to eat on the other side of the kitchen from the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen at the Diamond Horseshoe! Chef Kevin came out to speak with us at the Diamond Horseshoe and explained that we were served the Colony Chicken Salad that is on the menu both at the Diamond Horseshoe and the Liberty Tree Tavern. Usually the salad is served with cheese on top, but my dish omitted the cheese due to my food allergies. Additionally, this salad has apples, dried cranberries, and pecans on top and it was tossed in a honey shallot vinaigrette. I’ve had the Colony Chicken Salad before at the Liberty Tree Tavern, and it love it, so this dish was a hit in my book!
After dining at the Diamond Horseshoe, our VIP tour guides took our tour on a special behind-the-scenes route through New Fantasyland and behind Be Our Guest restaurant, ending by Gaston’s Tavern. From there, we were served a sampling of The Grey Stuff. The VIP tour guides mentioned that they do not know the ingredients in The Grey Stuff, but did confirm that it is not allergy friendly. Kyle tried it for me and described it as a chocolate/cookies and cream mousse. Even though I couldn’t try it, I did get this super cute picture!
Once we had made our way through New Fantasyland, we entered into Tomorrowland and bee lined for Cosmic Ray’s Starlight cafe. We got to walk through the kitchen again here, which is actually similar to the size of the one at Casey’s Corner. A fun fact about Cosmic Ray’s is that it used to be the #1 most efficient restaurant in the world, and it is still in the top 3. What makes this quick service restaurant so efficient is that there are 3 different Bays (ordering stations) that serve the exact same thing, so it’s almost like 3 different restaurants are making the food at the same time all in one restaurant.
At Cosmic Ray’s we got to go behind one of the Bays and grab a plant based sloppy joe. This is item is not allergy friendly for those who have gluten or soy allergies, so I could not try the sloppy joe. Kyle was able to try it for me and said it had a snappy texture. He felt like it was more like biting into a hot dog instead of a sloppy joe. However, he really enjoyed it overall, as the taste and smell were exactly like a sloppy joe. Although this is not an allergy friendly option, it was nice to see a built-in plant based option on our food tour for vegetarians, vegans, and plant based dietary restrictions.
Our tour came to a close at the Tomorrowland Terrace, where the Happily Ever After dessert party is hosted for those watching from the Tomorrowland Terrace and The Plaza Garden. We were able to try a new food item that Walt Disney World is looking to put on one of their menus. It was not allergy friendly, so I did not get to try it, and we were not allowed to take pictures, as the item is still being worked on. Kyle enjoyed it and had fun rating it on the sheets provided to us. Maybe we’ll see it on a Magic Kingdom menu in the future!
Overall, Kyle and I really enjoyed this tour. It was fun, informative, and gave us a lot of food to munch on throughout. I also didn’t mention that we received bottle of water for free several times throughout our tour, which was a nice touch. I wish that there had been more allergy friendly options offered towards the end of the tour, however, I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of food that was offered that was already allergy friendly or easily modified to be allergy friendly. In our opinion, it was definitely worth the $99 per person, and something you should consider if you are looking for a special and different experience for your next Walt Disney World trip. Definitely keep in mind that the food items may change, so you may have a completely different experience then we did!
Here’s to living our best and most delicious Disney lives!<3
Meagan has been living with many food allergies and sensitivities since she was 19 years old. She is currently a Personal Vacation Advisor for Magical Vacation Planner, specializing in helping her guests book trips to Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort. Meagan enjoys researching fitness and nutrition and has taken a special interest in finding allergy friendly options at Walt Disney World.
Interested in having Meagan help you plan your next trip? Send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or get a free quote at https://magicalvacationplanner.com/staff/meagan-slone/!