Travelling with Food Allergies

Going on vacation fills most families with excitement and anticipation.  Unfortunately, families with food allergies might be feeling anxiety and fear instead of the excitement that they should be feeling.  Beyond Castles Travel has experience in travelling with food allergies and we would like to share some travel tips.

One of the best ways to make sure there won’t be unexpected exposures is to plan ahead, which can be difficult on vacation.  Disney is a company that makes planning ahead a bit easier.

All of Disney’s full service restaurants that take reservations can accomodate dietary needs related to intolerances or allergies when ordered at least 72 hours in advance.  Common food allergies include;

  • gluten or wheat
  • shellfish
  • soy
  • lactose or dairy
  • peanuts and tree nuts
  • fish
  • eggs
  • corn

If you are making your own reservations, you will need to let them know at that time what the allergy is and who in your party has it.  Personally, I have also been given the direct phone number for a restaurant that we were going to eat at so that we could call them the day before to confirm that they knew about the allergy.  Contact Diana at or at 740-953-0373.

Once you arrive at the restaurant, remind the hostess and the server regarding your allergy and the chef will come out to discuss safe options and alternatives.

The locations listed below have quick-service menu items or products that, upon request, may accommodate Guests’ common food allergy or intolerance needs.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park:

  • Restaurantosaurus
  • Flame Tree Barbecue


Disney’s Hollywood Studios Theme Park:

  • Backlot Express
  • Studios Catering Co.
  • ABC Commissary
  • Toy Story Pizza Planet


Epcot Theme Park:

  • Liberty Inn
  • Sunshine Season


Magic Kingdom Theme Park:

  • Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café
  • Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café
  • Main Street Bakery
  • Columbia Harbor House
  • The Pinocchio Village House

And for pre-packaged items, please make sure you read the ingredient label.

Even though Disney will do their best to help avoid your allergen, always remember to have your emergency medication with you at all times.  We will even bring wipes to clean off a table before my son eat.

Also, remember that you can bring food into the park.  We always bring safe “treats” for my son because we like to get pastries from the countries in the World Showcase but they are not safe for guests with peanut allergies.  So we bring safe treats for my son that he only gets to eat.

Eating on vacation can be a challenge with food allergies but Beyond Castles Travel would like to make that easier for you.  We can make your reservations for you, taking care of all special notes.    We will handle your reservation like it was our own and your dietary needs like they were ours so all you need to feel before your vacation is excitement and anticipation.

Travelling beyond Disney to someplace else in the world?  Book your package with us and we will make all reservations and gather all the information that we can to help make eating on your vacation a piece of allergen-safe cake!

2012 Disney Dining Plan

Disney has released the details of their 2012 Dining Plans!! 

There are a few changes to note.

We are going to start with the Quick-Service Dining Plan.  For 2011 packages, guests who pick this package will receive 2 quick-service meals and 2 snacks per person per night of your stay, plus one refillable mug per person.

For the 2012 Quick-Service Dining Plan, each person (ages 3+) will receive:

     2 Quick-Service Meals– One entree, one dessert and one non-alcoholic drink OR one complete combo meal

     1 Snack– Choose from: Frozen ice-cream novelty, popsicle or fruit bar,

                                                     Box of popcorn

                                                     Single piece of whole fruite

                                                     Medium fountain soft drink or juice

     Resort Refillable Drink Mug– one per person, per package

For 2012, you will still receive 2 Quick-Service Meals per person, per night of your stay but now you will only receive 1 snack per person, per night of your stay.

On to Disney’s Dining Plan (Basic Dining), where they have included one refillable drink mug per person in the 2012 Disney Dining Plan!  The rest of the package appears to be the same.

     1 Table-Service Meal– One entree, one dessert and one non-alcoholic beverage OR one full buffet

     1 Quick-Service Meal– One entree, one dessert and one non-alcholic beverage OR one complete combo meal

     1 Snack–  Frozen ice-cream novelty, popsicle or fruit bar,

                          Box of popcorn

                          Single piece of whole fruite

                          Medium fountain soft drink or juice

And there appear to be no changes to the Disney’s Deluxe Dining Plan for 2012.

For each package night, each person (ages 3+) will receive:

3 meals ANY combination of Quick-Service and/or Table-Service Restaurants-

     Each Table-Service mealincludes- One appetizer, one entree, one dessert and one non- alcohlic beverage OR one full buffet

     Each Quick-Service mealincludes: One entree, one dessert and one non-alcohlic beverage OR one complete combo meal

2 Snack–  Frozen ice-cream novelty, popsicle or fruit bar,

                      Box of popcorn

                      Single piece of whole fruite

                     Medium fountain soft drink or juice

Resort Refillable Drink Mug– one per person, per package

Disney’s meal plans still continue to be a great value.  My favorite option is Disney’s Disney Dining Plan.  I love the ability to have a table-service meal everyday and save money while I’m doing it.  A table-service meal is a great way to take some time and relax and maybe meet a few Disney characters– because, yes, the Disney character meals are included as options for a table-service meal! 

And remember that if you book your Disney vacation with Beyond Castles, we can make those table-service advance dining reservations for you!

Which is your favorite dining option?

Run the Happiest Place on Earth

On your mark, get set, go!  Ok, maybe it’s because I just finished a 5K today and am going to start training for my next half marathon but I am in the mood to run!!  The ultimate place to run, in my opinion, would be Walt Disney World.  To have the chance to run through the parks before or after hours with Disney’s world-class entertainment energizing me, is just the best thing I can imagine.

Book your Disney Race weekend package with us and you’ll receive $10 off your race entry fee.  Refer friends and family who book their race weekend package with us and you will receive $5 off your race entry fee per person you refer!  We will also prepare your weekend itinerary for you, so all you need to worry about is which race to run!

I’m pretty new to the running scene, having run my first half marathon in May but I am totally psyched about doing a half or my first full marathon at Walt Disney World.  So I’ve been doing a little research on all the options out there for running the most magical races out there.  (And I’ll share with you the event I’m currently dreaming about!)

The first event coming up is actually the Disneyland half marathon, September 2-4.  They are no longer taking registrations for this race as it is full but I wanted to toss it out there since it would be an amazing run.  I will be keeping track of this event for next year and will post when the registration opens.  You start in Disneyland, run through the park, continue on into Disney’s California Adventure Park and then onto the streets of Anaheim, finishing by the Disneyland hotel.

The next event coming up, and it is still open for registrations, is Disney World’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon, September 30-October 1.  This race corresponds with Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, what could be better than that?  The half marathon will take you through three theme parks….at night!  And of course Disney’s world-class entertainment will be along the route.  And if that wasn’t enough motivation, at the finish will be the afterhours party inside Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival!  To add to the fun of the weekend, they also have a half marathon relay, kids’ races and Disney’s Halloween 5K.

The ultimate race weekend at Disney World is the Disney Full Marathon weekend, January 5-8, 2012.  This weekend consists of a half marathon, a full marathon, a full marathon relay, the Family Fun Run 5K, Kids’ Races, and my personal favorite, Goofy’s Race and a Half.  For the full marathon, you will run the most magical 26.2 miles on Earth, through ALL four theme parks— I can hardly contain my excitement!  You will start in Epcot, run through the Magic Kingdom, then to the Animal Kingdom, the Hollywood Studios and then back to Epcot to finish.  Registration is still open for this event but you must register by November 1 to get your personalized bib.  For the piece de resistance, and my ultimate goal, Goofy’s Race and a Half!  Run the Disney Half Marathon on Saturday.  Then run the Disney Full Marathon on Sunday!  A 39.3 mile adventure!  You will receive the Donald Duck medal for finsihing the half, the Mickey Mouse medal for finishing the full, and for being goofy enough to do both….you’ll also receive the Goofy medal!

January 27-29, 2012 is Disneyland’s Tinkerbell Half Marathon.  Run through Disneyland and the streets of Anaheim for your Tinkerbell-inspired finisher’s medal.

The weekend of February 24-26, 2012 is Disney’s Princess Half Marathon.  Registration for this event will open July 5, 2011.  This weekend consists of the half marathon, the Beauty and the Beast Royal Family 5K and the Royal Family Kids’ Run.

And if you complete and a half (or full) marathon at both Disney World and Disneyland in the same calendar year, you’ll recieve a very special medal for completing the Disney Coast to Coast Challenge.

There are so many options for running through the parks it’s hard to decide which to do!  Personally, I’d love to do them all but if I can’t, I’ll try for the Goofy medal!  If you are interested in these events and would like email updates and information, please email Diana at and let me know what races you are interested in.

And remember to book your race weekend package with us and receive $10 off your race entry fee.  Also, receive $5 off per referral who books a race weekend package with us.

Your Own Hogwart’s Acceptance Letter

             Yes, of course, we all want to be a student at Hogwart’s.  Now at least, we can get an acceptance letter written to us and signed by Minerva McGonagall.  I recently got an email from the Harry Potter WB Shop about this super cool new item.

            The Hogwart’s acceptance letter panel is exclusive to the and a fantastic gift for any Harry Potter fan.  Just follow the instructions on the WB site to personalize it.  You can also choose between the American or British wording of the letter.

          The acceptance letter is a replica of those sent to all incoming Hogwart’s students.  You can personalize it for yourself or for your favorite Harry Potter fan.

A product thumbnail of Harry Potter Hogwarts Personalized Acceptance Letter Chromaluxe Panel

        Featuring the Hogwart’s crest, the letter is available in 5×7 or 8×10 sizes.   The American wording starts with, “We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,” and the British wording starts with, “We are pleased to inform you that you have a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.”

       Of course both versions are signed by Minerva McGonagall, Deputy Headmistress at Hogwarts. Printed on 1/4 inch thick Chromaluxe panels that don’t require any framing, these replicas are highly resistant to ultraviolet rays, scuffs, scratches, water, and fading.

       The panels include an attached easel so they can stand on any desk, shelf, or night table.

       The letter is $24.95,  a great price.  I know already know who I’ll be getting this for!

Cinderella’s Castle

Cinderella’s castle.  It is the most iconic of all the Disney castles.  Whenever you see it, it gives you that magice Disney feel that you only get when you are walking down Main Street USA.  Cinderella’s castle is 189 feet high, it was the tallest Disney building until the Tower of Terror came along.  It was finished in July 1971 after 18 months of construction and uses forced perception to make it look taller than it actually is.   

Oddly enough, the castle isn’t actually made of a single brick.  Some fiberglass here, some concrete there, some plaster there and Presto! you have a castle that can handle wind speeds up to 110 mph!

Don”t just walk through the inside of the castle.  It’s easy to want to speed through there on your way to the next ride but stop and look at the mosiacs on the walls.  It tells the story of Cinderella with over 300,000 pieces of Italian glass in 500 different colors.  The castle is wheelchair/ECV acessible.

And don’t miss Tinkerbell’s nightly flight kicking off the nightly firework show!