Decadent Food Allergy Dining at Sea World!

Wow!  I want to shout this one out loud: Sea World in San Diego is incredible for folks with food allergies!  Actually, all  Sea World owned locations have adopted food allergy programs (see below).   In addition to offering a full-blown policy on food service in the park they topped it off by selling our ever most beloved allergy friendly Divvies products.  Now, when I say decadent, I don’t mean from a culinary Auguste Escoffier bring tears to your eyes so delicious standpoint; I mean from a safe, good tasting and relaxing food allergy friendly restaurant in public point of view!  I confess, the BBQ I ordered was exceptionally good  as was our entire meal.

safe meal at sea world San Diego

The top 10 reasons that we are leading the food allergy Sea World San Diego fan club (if there is one that it is)…

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  1. Sea World’ San Diego’s website,  invited our food allergy journey to begin with the “Important Allergen Information” webpage, which was located under the Dine and Shop tab, outlining the steps for us to take to create a safe and enjoyable meal at the park.
  2. We were advised of  what to do when we arrived to “meal facility”–this is their term for  food service outlet.  I love that term!
  3. We were instructed on the “Important Allergen Information” webpage to email any further concerns or questions.  No guessing of whom to contact.
  4. We loved this clear protocol: once you arrive to a “meal facility” you go straight to the cashier and ask for the supervisor to assist you with your food allergies and meal ordering.
  5. The supervisor then takes control of managing your meal, which includes reviewing a huge binder listing all food items and their allergens including photo copies of all ingredient labels!
  6. Personal service within the masses; once you’ve determined your menu choice, the supervisor will then over see and personally deliver your meal to your table.
  7. Divvies Caramel Corn, Rock Candy, Jelly Beans and Cookies were sold at the cashier station in addition a gluten-free cookie offering from a different vendor.
  8. The Sea World San Diego staff was eager to assist, kind and understanding.  Not for one moment we felt awkward or uncomfortable.
  9. My children enjoyed sharing their Divvies treats with their cousins, who loved them just as much.
  10. Our respect for  Sea World San Diego grew when we learned they worked with professionals to create a food allergy policy and program!

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nikki seaworld supervisor

Our supervisor, and  yes, we feel as if we need to add Nikki to our  Christmas card list, was simply lovely.  She immediately came to us and introduced herself as the supervisor and explained that Sea World had partnered with the Food Allergy and Anaphlyaxis Network (FAAN) to create food allergy policy which was barely a month old.  She then opened up a large binder that was a matrix for her “meal facility” (insert my voice change and chuckle here when I use this term) outlining allergens and ingredients.  We were so pleased to be able to read the label that was photocopied and inserted into this book.

food allergy matrix from Sea World San Diego

How many times have we all read a label that a cook has torn off a box in the freezer?  Nikki discussed cross contact since our chosen “meal facility” was a cafeteria style environment and how she would have my children’s meals cooked in the kitchen and not on the  cafeteria line.  She then guided us to seating so she knew where to personally serve their meals.  During our meal she checked back in to ensure all was well.  Of course, by then we were well into our Divvies cookies!

divvies sold at sea world San Diego

We had sandwiches in our backpacks that got old and munched up but for the first time, we didn’t care!

whale show at Sea world san diego

Sea World San Diego is currently our favorite  Southern California destination and the comprehensive food allergy program sealed the deal and helped us to fully enjoy our time at the park.  We headed home that day, a tad damp from the shows and rides, tired but with full happy  stomachs.  There was no post event driving around to find an In and Out Burger ® or some sort of safe restaurant  due to starving kids!

thank you sea world

Thank you Sea World San Diego for a great day and an even more important moment of feeling “normal” during our visit!  Please keep up the good work on your Food Allergy Program! -Caroline

p.s.  We love Nikki.   She delivered your program the way I’m sure you wanted her to!

Seaworld Owned Theme Parks with Food Allergy Policy (click on PARKS at the top of this page to be linked to the following parks…)

Sea World Orlando

Sea World San Diego

Sea World San Antonio

Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens Williamsburg, VA

Discovery Cove Orlando

Aquatica Orlando

Adventure Island Tampa

Water Country USA Williamsburg, VA

Sesame Place Langhorne, PA

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Comments

    • says

      They cooked the meal separately in the kitchen rather than on the cafeteria/buffet line to avoid cross contact. It was a wonderful experience–especially from my view point: being able to easily label read and most of all, I never felt like I was asking for the impossible!

  1. Leela says

    Love and FYI, there is an In and Out less than a mile from the Sea World front gate. Glad you had a great time with Shamu!

  2. Stephanie says

    This made my entire year! We live in San Diego. And on our frequent trips to Sea World…we have practically a cooler worth of food, snacks, etc. as we couldn’t eat at the park. THANK YOU SO MUCH Sea World for helping accommodate our kids. We will be going back more often now. As we were very loyal to LegoLand who also has a great allergy program but …looking like Sea World got FAAN in the action and actually has Divvies! WOW! P.s. love the reference to In and Out…glad know we aren’t the only ones who roam around trying on road trips trying to find one with kids. Another safe, favorite..Chipolte! Thank you SO MUCH Caroline for sharing!

    • says

      I didn’t realize Chipolte is allergy friendly! Guess I know what we will be checking out this weekend! I just love information sharing. Did you visit their allergy page yet?

  3. says

    UPDATE: The kind folks at FAAN shared with me that ALL Seaworld Owned theme parks (10 in all) share this policy.

    Bravo Sea World and FAAN!!!

  4. Mel says

    Thank you so much for this info !! We are flying to San Diego this weekend and I was very worried about what my son was going to eat at Sea World. If only every amusement park/zoo was this helpful!!!

  5. Mel says

    We had a wonderful trip to San Diego and Irvine. The only restaurant at Sea World that said they couldn’t accomodate his allergies was the pizza place (sorry, I can’t remember the name.) The staff was helpful and we did find Divvies. For some reason the caramel corn was mismarked and they sold them to use for $1 a bag. SCORE!!

    • says

      Hi Mel, so did you buy 7 bags of Divvies! Ah, the food allergy Gods smiled upon you. Thanks for sharing. I don’t remember seeing the pizza place, I was too wrapped up in my caramel corn. So glad to hear you had fun too!

  6. Kristy says

    I’m very glad to be reading this… We are planning a daytrip to San Diego sea world on Halloween day and while researching peanut allergy friendly dining options I came across a link to an old 2005 article about sea world partnering with peanut producers and offering all kinds of peanut dishes in the park and began to panic. This allergy policy has set my mind at ease knowing we will not be scrambling to find food our son can eat :)

    Do you have any recommendations for a nice sit down meal after the park closes? Prefer something fairly close. And must take reservations as there will be 13 of us and we don’t want to wait forever to be seated.

    • says

      Hi Kristy,

      Hum…outside of Sea World? I’m not sure? Outback has a great food allergy policy-don’t if one is near by. You might want to check out http://www.allergyeats.com too! I’ve found places through them too. We ate at our rented house post Sea World…including the extra caramel corn! Have fun! I love going to S. California during Halloween! What a great time of year.

  7. Kathryn says

    My son is dairy and egg free. I saw you posted a picture of the chicken nuggets and fries. He’d love to eat those!! What allergies do your kids have? I plan on calling and emailing Monday so I can find out what my son can eat before arriving at the park.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Yesterday, I happily read about SeaWorld’s Parks and Entertainment’s Food Allergy Friendly policy being implemented in the other Busch Garden properties and Sesame Place.  This last summer my family enjoyed one of the best vacations we ever experienced thanks to the beautiful shores of La Jolla, visiting family and SeaWorld’ San Diego’s brand spanking new food allergy policy.  I had excitedly blogged about our amazing experience in my blog post, “Decadent Food Allergy Dining at SeaWorld San Deigo”. […]

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