One of the questions I am asked most frequently is about specific food options in different theme parks for those who have special diets or allergies. I have a food allergy myself (shellfish), and I know all-too-well the care that has to be taken when someone in your traveling party must eat a special diet.
During a menu tasting at Legoland Florida, I got a chance to chat with Rob Stit, Legoland’s executive chef, about how the new theme park is accommodating those who need to eat gluten-free or have other food allergies.
Rob showed me the binder the park has developed that contains a “standard operating procedure” for questions about food allergies. Employees in each eatery at the park have one. The binder has a grid that shows which menu items in the eatery are OK for people with different food allergies.
There is also a list of what people with each allergy can eat throughout the park. I found that very helpful. I am frequently told at restaurants what I can’t eat, so it’s good that employees at Legoland Florida are empowered to help with suggestions about what you might want to order.
At this point, Rob said, there are no special menu items that are gluten-free or that cater to any particular allergy. That could change as the park gets established and they are able to gauge demand. Rob said he did not want to offer any kind of packaged gluten-free offerings that did not live up to his standards for food at the park, so the culinary staff there wanted to take the time to develop their own offerings to ensure their quality.
I wouldn’t, at this point, describe Legoland Florida as a park that caters to food allergies or special diets, but it’s good to see them at least equipping their staff with the knowledge to help you make the right choices. And I appreciate that it’s standard, written information throughout the park, rather than something that’s passed down from employee to employee and could be mistaken or misinterpreted.
Since Legoland Florida closes at 5 p.m., this is a theme park where you are generally only going to be eating a noonday meal, so I don’t know that it’s all that necessary for the place to cater closely to special diets. A weeklong vacation at a resort is one thing, having limited choices for one meal is another, at least in my experience. However, I acknowledge that my allergy is way easier to get around than many others, such as those to corn, gluten or dairy.
Rob said that the admissions department also has a copy of his food allergy information, so you should be able to call and get information prior to your trip if you need it. The general information phone number for Legoland Florida is 877-350-5346.
If you have dined at Legoland Florida and have food allergies, I would love to hear about your experience in the comments.