It is so important to make your dining reservations at Disney as soon as you can. It will help you with your Disney planning and help you to get the best places and the best times for dining. Dining at Disney is part of the whole experience!! Planning at Disney is like planning to have fun.
Making your dining reservations at Disney starts at 180 days out. What I mean by this is, if you are staying on site, 180 days from your arrival date (not necessarily first day in parks) is the 180 day mark for you. Also, make sure you pick the hardest to get reservations first not starting with your arrival day and going first. I recommend using the 180 calculator : http://pscalculator.net/pscalc.php Disney will also let you know the dates with an email and letter. You can also see the date on your My Disney Experience account if you are staying on site.
If you are staying off site then it is 180 days from the actual date you want the reservation. So, when staying off site you will need to get up each day for the reservations you want.
I also recommend checking out the menus for each of the restaurants as you want to make sure you will enjoy the options that are available. This is very helpful when on the dining plan as well. Check out All Ears menu list: http://allears.net/dining/menu
The link will show you ALL the menus at Disney. Keep in mind that they are subject to change.
Disney does an amazing job of dealing with food allergies and special requirements. It is very allergy friendly in my opinion. You want to make sure that you mark your allergies when you make your dining reservations. If you forget you can mention it to the cast member when you are seated. You will be provided at allergy menu.If you are not completely comfortable with that then they will have the chef come talk to you. I have even had the chef walk me around the buffet.If I wanted something that was close to a food I had an allergy with they brought me fresh from in back. I had a visit there with my nephew who is severely allergic to peanuts and it gave me a real piece of mind. They also have a great gluten free menu options.
I recommend not having two buffet meals in one day, unless maybe for breakfast and then for dinner, their is a LOT of food and you will want to try it all!
Make sure to check out the park crowd calendars BEFORE making your reservations. here is a great link for Kenny The Pirate:https://www.kennythepirate.com/crowd-calendars/
Enjoy and try something new! Disney makes it magical! No calories at Disney:)