My family has not been bowling together in ages – perhaps four to six years. It’s not that we don’t enjoy it. We actually love the activity and playful competition between us. However, we either just haven’t had the chance to go or something was standing in our way…like our son’s food allergies. Yes, believe it or not, those can create an obstacle when it comes to bowling. Well, now that we live in central Florida, our boys have been eager to hop over to Splitsville Luxury Lanes in Disney Springs for some “roll in rock out” fun. I admit, though, I’ve been a little hesitant. We weren’t quite sure how food allergy friendly they could be. However, we decided it was time that we put them to the test. So ~ did they bowl a strike or did they throw a gutterball?
My family was provided complimentary bowling time and food in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are 100% mine and mine alone. This post also contains affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure policy for more information.
A Family Fun Night of Bowling
Splitsville Luxury Lanes at Disney Springs is 50,000 square feet of excitement! It’s a unique bowling venue with a creative menu to boot. Guests can take to the lanes, play some billiards, enjoy live entertainment and dine on sushi or pizza all while making memories with their families and friends.
We arrived on a Friday night, just before any of the true end of week crowds showed up. The younger two were psyched because they could not wait to bowl against each other ~ or at least try to beat mom, who has been the crowned queen of the lanes for years (ahem). Upon our arrival, we were directed to the front desk where they took our names and our shoe sizes. After that, we were personally escorted to our assigned lane for the evening.
Fun fact: At Splitsville, your shoes come to you in a bucket and are literally handed out by one of the Cast Members (yes, remember that even at Splitsville the employees are called Cast Members in Disney Springs).
Meeting Coral and Mentioning Food Allergies
We each switched into our bowling shoes and began to either scout out a perfectly suited bowling ball or study the menu. It didn’t take long before Coral (actually pronounced more like corral versus the color or reef), our Cast Member for the evening, approached. It was then that the food allergy conversation began!
We explained what food allergies our son had and Coral explained their process. She started off with sharing that peanuts and tree nuts would not be an issue, but that she would still have the manager, Allen, come over to speak with us regarding specific options our son could order. This was important particularly because his situation is life-threatening.
You all know I love that – speaking directly to management or a chef is exactly how I like to handle these situations.
Coral talked a little about the Splitsville kitchen, specifically noting that fried foods would probably not be safe due to potential egg contaminants, that there were no peanuts or tree nuts in the facility and that the desserts would not be an option. She wasn’t at all negative about it, just up front and compassionate. It was good for us to know right off the bat.
Coral then left us to review the menu and made her way to discuss the situation with both the chef and the manager. It didn’t take long before Allen made his way over to us.
Meeting Allen and Discussing the Menu
Allen was the manager on duty that night and he had already greeted us upon our arrival. So, we had already exchanged smiles. When he approached our lane, we immediately felt comfortable launching into the discussion regarding what options there were for our son.
As a note, remember that our family is dealing with egg, peanut and tree nut allergies. We do not have to manage dairy or gluten, but the menu is so vast that I cannot see there being an issue finding something safe to enjoy. Just be sure to speak to the manager!!
Allen once again reiterated that anything fried would not work simply because our son’s food allergies are very sensitive to cross contamination. That took out fries, nachos and anything with chicken tenders. He could have had a burger; however, not the bun as they do have egg in them.
Let’s chat about the menu a little more…
One of the unique aspects of Splitsville is their creative menu. If you’re looking for the standard bowling alley foods – well, they have them…better quality, of course. However, if you have this intense craving for a stocked salad (packed with veggies and other good eats), a bowl of braised shorts ribs or even spicy sushi, Splitsville has you covered!!
What made our son’s smile expand from ear to ear, however, was the fact that their pizzas were safe for him! With the exception of the Firehouse Pizza, which has chicken tenders on it and, thus, potential for egg contamination, Logan was able to order any of the pizzas on their menu (and there are quite a few options!).
There was no argument for him. He was all about that pepperoni pizza!
Food allergy friendly drink tip….
We don’t do soda often, but when we are out for a special evening together, Logan loves to enjoy one. To avoid the potential for any kind of allergen on the glasses, we occasionally go the safe route and try to order our son’s drinks in a to-go cup. This way we avoid the potential of any contaminant being left inside the cup or around the rim. I know that’s a long shot and likely unnecessary – but this just gives us peace of mind when we feel we need that extra comfort measure.
What was really sweet, though, was that Allen decided to upgrade our drinks and we were offered the really cool 28 oz pin sipper cups!!! They look just like bowling pins! Check these out!!
They are $9.99 and can be used with the Coca-Cola® Freestyle or an Icee!!
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to call that pixie dust and be grateful!
When the food arrived –
The server took extra care when delivering our son’s pizza, though it did come out with the other orders. Normally, I would have asked for it to be separated, but I watched him as he served it and all was well. Just be watchful and mindful of how your food allergy order is delivered. It can make a difference!
The food allergy friendly order was placed on one of the two tables in our lane and the rest of the order on the other, just to prevent any mishaps. Of course, that left Logan believing that the ENTIRE pepperoni pizza was for him.
Hmmmm…..rude awakening, kid. Rude awakening!
Now, what did the rest of us order?
It’s important that you see a little more than just what we ordered that was food allergy friendly. So, just to give you a quick look at what else the Splitsville menu has to offer, I’ll show you a few pics of what the rest of us ordered.
The three of us chose to share everything, but what we did order was fantastic! We did a little bowling alley fare and added a few upgraded options.
To keep with theme of it being Friday at the bowling alley, we ordered a pizza to share, as well. The teen was die hard about ordering the meat lovers pizza, so we let that happen.
I personally have been on a sushi kick lately, so Hubby was kind enough to let me order a plate. The California Crunch is the California Roll kicked up a notch. It has Tempura Kani Kama krab, cucumber and avocado, topped with tempura crunch,
spicy mayo and kimchee ponzu.
It was sooooooo GOOOOOOOOOD!
We also felt it would be smart to get something that seemed more like a meal. Hubby had his eyes on one of the bowls, so we all shared the Short Rib and Mashed bowl. This entree includes braised short ribs glazed with Korean BBQ sauce served over wasabi mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies with scallions and shaved carrots.
This was a huge hit!!! In fact, I think this was gone before the pizza was!
For a more detailed look at their menu, click here.
So, let’s talk dessert!
While Splitsville does not have anything on their menu that is specifically allergy-friendly, the manager didn’t want Logan to feel left out. So, while the rest of us did enjoy a few decadent treats, Allen offered our son a delicious Icee! Know what? That hit the spot for my kid. He knew he would have had something special when he returned home if nothing was offered, but this worked out for him. Coral gave him the option to mix flavors, so he mixed the blue raspberry and cherry flavors (something he doesn’t normally have either – only on rare occasion) and enjoyed every sip!!!
It simply made ME happy to see HIM happy.
Now ~ what did we get??? Behold…the seasonal Peppermint Chocolate Cupcake and the slice of Giant Cake (which just happened to be carrot cake!!)
They also have a Super Sundae, Root Beer Float and a Ghirardelli Brownie a la Mode! Just in case you were wondering….
What about the bowling!!
Oh, yeah!! We squeezed this in, too! LOL ~ In fact, we had a blast teasing each other (all in good fun!!) because it had been so long since we had all bowled. I don’t think any of us broke a score of 100, but one of the boys did beat me the first round (I came back to win it in the end, though). It was a night of memory-making we will never forget!
I love the bright colored bowling balls and the clean alleys. The bowling balls range in size from about 6 lbs to about 15 lbs (do they come any bigger than that??) and some have Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse on them (specific to this Splitsville)! If you need assistance with bowling (littles love these!!!), they do have the ramps that allow you to push the bowl, rather than throw it down the alley.
If you’re looking to figure out which holes fit your fingers the best, they have a model with tons of holes in it to assist you in finding the perfect fit! What a brilliant idea!
So, let’s review!
Did Splitsville bowl a strike or throw a gutterball when it comes to providing a food allergy friendly experience?
I would say a strike for us personally, but maybe a spare overall for food allergies. Let me explain.
Why a Spare: The reason I say “spare” is simply because they didn’t have a tremendous variety when it came to ordering for our particular food allergies (namely the egg). I mean, pizza worked out for us, but, because they do not have a dedicated fryer, this takes away a lot of options for those with life-threatening dietary restrictions. A spare also leaves room for improvement ~ they will get chance to add a little to the score in the future, as I’m sure we will be back.
Why a Strike: Though Logan was hoping to have the nachos, he was quite pleased with the pepperoni pizza (which was delish!!!) and very grateful to have had the soda in a pin sipper! He also loved the Icee at the end because he knows this is not something he will get on a regular basis!
Not to mention, the customer service was magical! Coral was there when we needed her and she always served us with a smile. She was attentive, it was easy to communicate with her and she showed understanding and compassion for our situation. Allen, the manager, was just as awesome ~ patient with our food allergy discussion, informative and upfront about what they could and could not do, and very invested in making sure we had a safe and fabulous time!
End of Game synopsis
The entire night was a success in our book. We had a great time bowling, there were no allergic reactions of any kind and we met some great Cast Members in the process. We no longer have a fear of visiting Splitsville and this may very well become a family fun night more often.
If you’re looking to enjoy Splitsville, but have had some reservations because of food allergies or dietary restrictions, here are a few tips I would recommend to help you make a more informed decision.
- Speak directly to a manager about food options.
- Consider ordering drinks in a to-go cup.
- Bring gloves to use for handling bowling balls. This go round, we didn’t and we were fine. He did, however, wipe down the ball he was using on a regular basis. He also kept his wipes out to use before eating.
As a bonus, I thought I would share a little bowling wisdom I have gleaned over the years. Of course, this from the person who still didn’t break 100 this go round.
- Ask if shoes run big or small before telling them your size.
- Pick a ball where your fingers will not get stuck, nor slip out too easily.
- Always pick up your ball with two hands on the sides, never from the holes.
- Use lane etiquette. In other words, if the lane to either side of you is up to bowl, stand back. Let them bowl first. It’s not safe to let two people bowl at the same time in close proximity.
- Do not aim for the pins – aim for the arrows on the lane. Yes, the ones that point towards the pins.
It’s great to know that we were able to share another positive experience with you. As a family, we look forward to another night of competition…I mean, bowling. Now ~ as a reminder, I am not a food allergy expert. I’m just a mom who is working hard to provide her son who has food allergies with the tools he needs to live the best life he can. You have to make your own well informed decisions as to whether something is safe for you or your family member’s food allergy situation. I simply hope that, by sharing our stories, you have more information to make your decision with confidence.
If you stop by Splitsville or have a great food allergy Splitsville story – please feel free to share it below! I’d love to hear it and I’m sure others in our situation would, as well.
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