• On Apr 13, 2018
    Gary from PA Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Experiences, policies, pricing and other offerings are subject to change and may have changed since the date of this answer.

    We are going back to WDW late this year and would like to take the kids to a character meal, like chef mickey. My wife had gastric bypass and cannot eat a buffet. Is she able to go with us and not have to worry about paying for a meal she cannot eat?

    Hi, Gary! Congratulations to your wife for taking steps towards a healthier lifestyle. It's a huge step, and I wish her every success.

    For many people, a big part of a Walt Disney World vacation is planning meals. Character dining is usually on the top of the meal planning agenda for families with children. I'm not going to sugar coat it, character meals are not the friendliest for post-op gastric bypass patients. 

    With the exception of Cinderella's Royal Table and dinner at Be Our Guest Restaurant, you'll find most character meals offer either a buffet or a family style meal. Back in the early days of gastric bypass surgery, my experience was very different than it is now. With so many more people having undergone some type of bariatric surgery, it has become more challenging for restaurants to know what to do. 

    The biggest problem with the buffet is that there is no way to know if someone comes in, asks for a discounted meal because of gastric bypass surgery, and then eats a regular adult sized meal. It would become part of the server's job to monitor each guest's habits at the buffet, and it's just not possible for them to do that. Even with the medical cards some doctors used to give, many can now be printed off of the internet by anyone, so their validity could be called into question.

    I would say it won't hurt to ask at the restaurant if there is anything they can do to accommodate your wife's new dietary restrictions. You may have some luck in obtaining some accommodation when considered on a case by case basis.

    Have a wonderful visit!

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Meet the Panelist: Anna, New Jersey

My name is Anna and I am a retired teacher with a J.D., a proud Navy wife with 30+ years of experience, mom to three daughters and a son-in-law, and grandmom to three tiny Disney fans. I have planned vacations for all sorts of special occasions and celebrations, but I really enjoy DVC vacations, helping military families, and assisting those with special dietary needs.    Learn More About Anna

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