Indiana theme park welcomes food allergy families
After my family’s own disappointing experience at Six Flags New England this past Summer (which I documented on the AllergyEats Blog under “Six Flags food service – another thrill ride”), it was nice to read about a theme park that openly welcomes food-allergic guests and their families. Granted, the information is coming from a press release that was put out by the park itself; nevertheless, the fact that they recognize the importance of telling the world about their expanding allergy-friendly food offerings says something positive in and of itself.
Located in Santa Claus, IN (a water park in Santa Claus???), Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari says that next season “families will be able to enjoy meals together, even when one of the family members has severe food allergies or other strict dietary needs.”
“Several of the park’s restaurants offer an expanded menu of pre-packaged food items which do not contain eight of the most common food allergens, namely: wheat, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, soy and eggs.”
The park says that the reaction to their limited allergen-friendly food introductions a few years ago was so good that they decided to add some vegetarian and sugar-free items, too. This is clearly a park that realizes the guest experience is more than just rides. Everyone has got to eat too! The more comfortable, the better.
Offered at Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari are allergen-free (of the big eight) pizza, chicken nuggets, and turkey corn dogs, as well as gluten-free sandwich bread. Further, the specified restaurants in the park that serve this food have designated equipment for preparing gluten-free and dairy-free items.
For dessert, those with allergies to the big eight can still enjoy snickerdoodle cookies, as well as gluten- and wheat-free brownies, and dairy-free ice cream bars.
The park’s website has a page called “Food & Restaurants” that lists the allergen-friendly items served. Guests can also speak to members of the food department’s management about ingredients, etc.
While I’m not quite ready to compare Holiday World & Splashin’ Safari to DisneyWorld, I am encouraged by management’s obvious efforts to make food allergy families feel welcomed at this park. Now how long is the drive from Boston?
Have any of you been to this park? Do you have a local/regional theme park near you that is similarly “aware” of food allergies? It would be great to start a dialogue here about which theme parks we know “get it” and which don’t. (For the moment, we can leave Disney out – they’re been well-covered as outstanding.) Please share your thoughts and stories by clicking Comment or Reply below.
Also, please remember to rate any restaurants you’ve recently patronized by clicking over to the core AllergyEats site at www.allergyeats.com. The power and value of this site in helping our community find allergy-friendly restaurants is driven by, and depends on, you! All it takes is a minute or less to rate a restaurant. If you’re new to AllergyEats, please join our growing list of raters adding more value for fellow food-allergic diners every day. If you’re an AllergyEats “veteran,” please remember to rate every dining experience.