1 week at Disney, All Known Princesses plus various Fairies met and autographed….and my girls are still talking about their favorite person of all….Chef Amber. Thank goodness there was one last page in the Princess Autograph Book for her to sign. Let me back up a bit and say that the trip was absolutely wonderful. Let me also say that despite being a pediatrician and surrounded by wonderful kids all the time…I am also plagued by a touch of cynicism ( I blame that on an overpriced medical education I’m still paying on at an ego-filled University, followed by residency out East in the backwoods filled with the consequences of poor parenting, absent dental hygiene, and an unfortunate trend in parental heroin use.) Disney Magic…bla bla bla bla…how good can they be? The answer..Really, Really, Good….like, still shaking my head in amazement….Good.
I had heard rumors that Disney was pretty good at handling food allergies. I was still a bit (ok, a lot) doubtful, so I ordered up a load of groceries to be delivered to our room, and packed my induction burner to do some cooking. Those back-ups were nice for breakfast, packing a lunch for a busy day, and dinner when we wanted to save a few bucks…but not necessary. We made reservations in advance, indicating Brynn’s allergies, for the California Grill, Yachtsman Steakhouse, Brown Derby, Princess Lunch at Akershus, and Rose and Crown. Granted, those are some of the nicer restaurants, but that was the end-of-the-day reward for mom and dad. And honestly, the $12 kid’s steak dinner is a steal when hot dogs and fries are $9 (plus the cost of Prevacid for mom).
All of the restaurants had kid’s meals with safe options, grilled chicken/steak, safe potato, vege with no butter. All of the restaurants had the chef come to the table to talk options. The visual of The Chef, was a big thing for Brynn. It really put her at ease and she ate all her meals without the constant nervous questioning that usually accompanies her meals…even when I am the cook.
The one restaurant that I was nervous about, ended out being the highlight of our trip. The Rose and
Crown is in the UK portion of Epcot, chosen because it was a good spot to watch the fireworks. As we walked in, I could smell the fish and chips, looked at the kids menu with no safe option in sight…and my heart sank…we had made a terrible mistake. And then Chef Amber arrived, took over and spoke directly to Brynn. Steak? No problem, she had half of a steak left over from an allergic kid she’d cooked for earlier that day. Potato…how about french fries in a dedicated, no-fish, fryer? Veges…your choice, peas, carrots, green beans? And how about dessert? Divvies chocolate chip cookie sundae with Rice Dream ice cream and Mickey sprinkles…for two.
Just when we though Brynn’s heart would nearly burst with happiness, the staff told the girls that Mickey was stuck in the monorail and needed their help to start his fireworks. Those amazing, creative people, ushered the girls onto the deck with a Mickey Wand, and because they had watched the fireworks hundreds of times, were able to tell the girls where to point that wand to direct the fireworks. There is not a doubt in Brynn and Katie’s mind that they truly started and directed the fireworks. Add a Tinkerbell light from Chef Amber and a Tinkerbell pin from the staff…and you get Brynn, floating home saying “My eyes are sparkling and my heart is so full of joy…this is my most magical day ever.” I have to agree.