For travel agent Lizzie Reynolds, Disney is magical. And not just because of Cinderella’s castle or adrenaline-inducing Space Mountain. Rather, for the chefs and their eagerness to create dishes for all visitors, including those with food allergies.
Over a decade ago, Lizzie Reynolds made her first trip to Disney World on a family vacation with her husband and her 4-year-old daughter.
Reynold’s daughter has severe food allergies to dairy and nuts, and as a result, Reynolds told Insider she found it difficult to plan vacations in the past due to struggles finding restaurants that had dairy-free and nut-free menus.
Reynolds said a friend urged her family to go to Disney World. Initially, Reynolds “didn’t want to buy into the whole Disney thing,” and essentially didn’t understand the hype around the theme parks.
Then, she took her friend’s advice, planned a trip, and experienced Disney’s magic firsthand.
Reynolds said chefs at Disney’s restaurants were not only willing but excited to create her daughter personalized, allergy-free meals. Meanwhile, every quick-service stand had information on the food it served, and her daughter was able to eat snacks and meals carefree for the first time.
As a mom, Reynolds didn’t have to plan, cook, or pack meals for the trip. “I cried when we were coming home because it was my first real vacation from the kitchen,” she said.
Reynolds realized that other travelers with food allergies should know how enjoyable it is to vacation at Disney, so, she launched her own travel agency, Pixie Lizzie, eight years ago. Her team caters to all travelers both with and without food allergies, but Reynolds and a couple of select agents work specifically with clients who have food allergies. Reynolds also added that although her team books a majority of Disney trips, Pixie Lizzie is not directly affiliated with Disney.
Today, Reynolds has visited Disney World and Disneyland dozens of times and helps plan trips for hundreds of travelers with allergies.
No matter the allergy — whether it’s soy, gluten, nuts, dairy, or something else — Reynolds said Disney is the best place to vacation.