Tuesday, July 23, 2013
New Food Allergy Information Kiosk / Headquarters Opening at Disney's Animal Kingdom
I'm so thrilled to be writing this post. Safari Mike over at Jambo Everyone & Radio Harambe sent me a tweet alerting me to some really exciting news for those of us in the special diets community. I'll be sharing with you all the latest news as I get it, but here's what I know so far...
A new food allergy information kiosk will be opening at Disney’s Animal Kingdom on August 4, 2013. Called the “Garden Kiosk,” this will serve as an information center where guests can speak with Disney Cast Members who will help guests with food allergies and intolerances make safe dining decisions. The kiosk will be located in a former snack kiosk location just outside the Adventurers Outpost meet and greet on Discovery Island and will be open daily from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Guests will still be able to consult with chefs and managers at specific restaurants; however, this kiosk will serve as an important resource for guests with special diets at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. What does this mean for guests like you and me? What I think it means is that we'll have a one-stop shop where we can ask questions, take a look at ingredients in-depth, and find out which locations are better for us to visit or not. I've experienced really long waits sometimes only to discover they have zero food options for me. This sounds like it will help streamline that process and give guests more info before we visit a restaurant. Although I haven't heard anything exclusively, I think it will be most valuable for quick service locations, as you usually met with a manager at these locations, not a chef. Since the Animal Kingdom is heavily populated with quick service restaurants, this seems to confirm my suspicions.
In addition to information resources, guests will also be able to purchase pre-packaged snacks for various special dietary needs. At this time, snacks like hummus, vegetables, granola bars, chips, popcorn and gluten free beer have been mentioned as potential snack options. This will likely become a centralized location for special diets snacks for guests, which can often be difficult to find in various kiosks and quick service locations. I like this idea because it can be a real pain trying to navigate snacks. Plus, I think it will cut down on cross-contamination if they serve items like fresh popcorn. Only time will tell what products will be served there.
While no additional information has been released, I expect that this information kiosk will serve as the first in a series of kiosks that will be added to the parks which is great news for those of us with dietary needs. I will be there for the opening on August 4 and will be reporting all the latest special diets news and I can't wait to share all the details with you!
Let me know what you are most interested in hearing about from the kiosk. Are you as excited as I am that this is happening? I think it's a huge and important step that Disney is taking, and I applaud their special diets efforts. I can't wait to see it in person!!