Are special events such as firework dessert parties or holiday parties worth attending when you have celiac disease or food allergies?  It all depends on what you are looking for from the special event.  Enjoying special events at Disney is still possible when you learn what to expect beforehand.

I have attended a few special dessert parties over the years and the food I received at each of them varied greatly!  Two of the parties were in Magic Kingdom where we received a great view of the castle and fireworks.  We received snacks and desserts before the fireworks show on the Tomorrowland Terrace.  The setting was beautiful and we didn’t have to worry about crowds in our way for our viewing.  If that is important to you, then it is definitely worth the price of the party!  If you’re looking for amazing snacks, this may not be the best use of your budget.  Both times I have done this, the party had no idea I was coming even though I alerted Special Diets ahead of time.  They tried to get some safe snacks but I did feel left out when looking at other fun plates filled with snacks.  The third party I did was a private party with our Girls Getaway.  We did this in Hollywood Studios and then watched Fantasmic from our deck.  Because it was a private party, I did receive a bunch of great snacks, including gluten-free, dairy-free, and rice-free churros!  They made my night!  Whatever type of dessert party you attend, food is a huge part of it – so if possibly being disappointed is not worth the view, I would skip it.  If seeing the fireworks without crowds is what you’re after, make the reservations and enjoy!

The holiday parties and after-hour events Disney offers have a completely different focus than a dessert party.  At the holiday parties, the focus is on special characters, holiday parades and fireworks, low wait times on rides, and special treats.  At Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, they have special treats for those with allergies.  You get a special bag for allergies and go to the same candy stations that your family and friends go to.  Instead of candy, you’ll receive a coin that you cash in for treats that are safe for you!   Safe treats at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are a bit harder to find.  They have hot chocolate and cookies for most guests.  For allergy-friendly treats, they have apple juice and allergy-friendly cookies.  These are located at only a few locations so they don’t seem as prevalent as the trick-or-treat stations.  The after-hours parties where the goal was to ride as much as you can during the party, food is generally an afterthought.  When we went in 2018, we would grab a water or pop between rides and munch on popcorn along the way.  We really didn’t eat too much because we were trying to do as many rides as possible.   Because there are so many other things to do besides food, these types of parties are almost always worth the money.  

When you are deciding where to spend your money, keep your end goal in mind.  Are you looking for rare characters, fireworks, and parades?  Then head to a holiday party!  If you want a great view when watching fireworks and don’t mind if the desserts are not the best but they’re safe?  Then head to a fireworks dessert party for a firework show you’ll be able to see and won’t forget any time soon! 

Kelly Van Eerden
Lead Travel Planner & Certified Autism Travel Professional™

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