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.
The top 10 reasons that we are leading the food allergy Sea World San Diego fan club (if there is one that it is)…
- 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.
- 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!
- We were instructed on the “Important Allergen Information” webpage to email any further concerns or questions. No guessing of whom to contact.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- The Sea World San Diego staff was eager to assist, kind and understanding. Not for one moment we felt awkward or uncomfortable.
- My children enjoyed sharing their Divvies treats with their cousins, who loved them just as much.
- Our respect for Sea World San Diego grew when we learned they worked with professionals to create a food allergy policy and program!
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.
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!
We had sandwiches in our backpacks that got old and munched up but for the first time, we didn’t care!
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 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
Adventure Island Tampa
Water Country USA Williamsburg, VA
Sesame Place Langhorne, PA