In a trending TikTok video, a person who is visiting Disney World in Orlando shared their disappointment at the lack of vegetarian options available.
In the video, J explains that they’re vegetarian and have food aversions and sensory issues. Given their dietary restrictions, they continually asked the family member planning the Disney trip about the menus for the restaurants they’d all be going to, so they could prepare themselves ahead of time and make sure there were actual options for them to eat.
Instead of providing the information, the person would vaguely say they’re getting Mexican food or going to an Italian restaurant.
“You’ll have what you want,” the family member assured J.
That did not turn out to be the case. On the first day of the trip, and after hours at the theme park, the family went to an Italian restaurant where J only had two options, fake bolognese or gnocchi (which they’d never tried).
“I’m not a fake meat person,” J says in the clip, adding that the texture freaks them out.
@j.theythem.asd #autism #autismacceptance #autismawawarness #autismeducation #autismtiktok #autistic #autisticadult #autisticadulting #autisticadultsdoexist #autisticfood #autisticfoodsensoryissues #autisticfoodprobs #autisticfoodstruggles #disney #disneyworld #disneyworldflorida #disneyworldfood #disneyworldfoods #disneyworldfoodreview #disneyvegetarian #vegetariandisneycruise ♬ original sound – J | They/Them | AuDhd | BPD
Despite letting their waiter know about their food restrictions and asking for help, the staff said J only had the two listed options and added that they couldn’t accommodate serving them just noodles and butter or sauce since it was a kid’s meal item.
Then again for breakfast J was stuck with one option. The hotel had pancakes, breakfast sausage, and bacon. J could only eat half of those options due to being vegetarian and shared that the waffles were fine but too small to be a proper meal.
“I am austisitc and I feel like I have had very limited safe foods that I have found here that I can eat,” J explains.
At Disney, J’s family members had plenty of options at the restaurant they went to, but J had to choose between “a vegan pizza which looked absolutely disgusting” and what resembled a “gas station pizza” at a Disney price point.
“Disney. Like. As a vegetarian, you get one or two options at a restaurant, and if you don’t like it you get what you get?” J says, frustrated.
J went on to explain that they were filming from their hotel room alone because they would rather stay there than go to the Mexican restaurant that only had one vegetarian option with their family.
“At this point, I would rather stay in a hotel and not eat than have to go through what I went through at dinner last night,” they add, noting that they were staring at their plate of Italian food the other day in tears.
J shares that they were already anticipating the trip being bad given that they were at the park with their family for upwards of six hours, hot, tired, and hungry, and with limited solutions for the latter.
“I do not feel like this is fair to me. I feel like I’m not being accommodated by both my family and by Disney. If I was on a trip with my partner right now this would not have been a situation,” J says.
In reply to a commenter who said it’s “hard” to plan a trip around someone with food restrictions, J said that they’re aware of the difficulty.
“Oh I know it’s hard. I’ve planned my own trips since I was 16. I’m almost 30. But it gets done. Can’t book stuff without looking. It’s not fair to us,” J responded.
The video has more than 3,000 views and dozens of comments as of Wednesday morning.
Many commenters sympathized with J.
“It’s not your fault at all. and good job advocating for yourself. your family members are definitely at fault for not taking you into consideration,” a commenter said.
“Family is totally at fault. Also Disney of course. But they are choosing to purposely excluding you at this point because communication is an easy fix,” another viewer wrote.
In reply, J shared that her family members expressed it was an accident and assumed there would be items they could eat.
“I believe them but still you gotta check,” J said.
The Daily Dot reached out to J via TikTok comment and to Disney World via email.
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*First Published: Aug 30, 2023, 8:26 am CDT
Stacy Fernández is a freelance writer, project manager and communications specialist. She’s worked at The Texas Tribune, The Dallas Morning News and run social for The Education Trust New York. Her favorite hobby is finding hidden gems at the thrift store, she loves a good audio book and is a chocolate enthusiast.