Hi! I am Erin, the third of the gluten-free mommies. Both my almost six year old son, Rowan, and I have Celiac. I also have a 4-year-old daughter who is not gluten free. We have been on this gluten free adventure for about two and half years. I promise to post more about our journey, but we have just returned from a 4-day family trip to Disneyland that I want to write about while it is still fresh in my mind. This was not our first gluten free trip to Disneyland, so I knew what to expect, but I still can remember that panicky feeling I had before our last trip. I was just freshly diagnosed and my son, 3 at the time, had been gluten free for about 6 months. I was sure that we were going to have to live on string cheese, applesauce, and fruit snacks for 3 days. I was so pleasantly surprised when I discovered that you can walk into guest services and they can give you a list of what is gluten free and each restaurant and food stand for Disneyland, Disney’s California Adventures, and the Disney hotel restaurants. By the time this trip came around I knew that we would be well taken care of. Not only do they have the obvious choices, salads and corn tortillas, there are also some unexpected choices like rice pasta, pizza, GF hamburger and hot dog buns, pancakes, waffles, and dedicated fries only fryers. Between me, Rowan, and my GF mom we came very close to trying it all!
We ate all of our breakfasts in our hotel room, but ate three lunches and two dinners inside the parks. Before I go into the details of our meals, I will say that at each place we went either the manager or chef came out to talk with us and make sure that they were able to get us what we wanted. They do have dedicated prepping areas to avoid cross contamination. Our first day, we had lunch at the Italian place in Tomorrowland. I had pizza, Rowan had pasta, and my mom had a salad. It did take about twenty minutes for Rowan and I to get our food, mainly because they had to boil water and cook the pasta. While it was not the best GF Italian food I have ever had, we were just happy to be able to be accommodated! Dinner at Ariel’s Grotto in Disney’s California Adventures was great. They even brought us GF rolls to go with our chicken, tri-tip, and mashed potatoes. On a side note, if you get a chance to see the new show World of Color, do it…AMAZING! Eating at Ariel’s Grotto gave us preferred viewing passes.
The next day we ate the Mexican food place in Disneyland for lunch, and Taste Pilots in California Adventures for dinner. The Mexican place was probably my favorite, but just because I love Mexican food. The chicken tacos were great! We all had hamburgers for dinner with fries and GF buns. They even had GF slider buns for the kids meal! While the hamburgers themselves at Disneyland are nothing special and border on not so good, it was such a treat to have them on a bun we overlooked it. This was not a dry, crumble in your mouth, tastes like cardboard kind of bun either. It actually tasted like bread, and I am really picky about my bread…at home I will only eat Udi’s. Our last day was lunch at the Lucky Fortune Cookery in California Adventures. Yes, it is a Chinese place that has a GF option…move over P.F. Changs! We had chicken vegetable stir-fry over rice. It was VERY tasty! My only suggestion would be to bring a little soy sauce along with you since it is not a soy base sauce and it would have been a nice touch for the rice.
All in all leave it up to Disney to do it right when it comes to customer service. My non-gluten free family members did not have to sacrifice what they wanted at all, because there were GF choices everywhere we went. So gluten-free people of all ages- go to Disneyland with confidence! You will be able to eat well. And please try the pancakes and waffles and let me know how they are!
The newest G-Free Foodie Mommy, Erin
It is so nice to travel and not have to constantly worry about where you are going to eat. I'm glad you had such a great trip!
We went to Disney World last year and had a great time eating as well. My mom and I have several food allergies besides needing to eat GF and so it was a bit more difficult, but we were able to get advice before we left on our trip and we found lots of helpful people at Disney. The fast food restaurants were able to give us baked fries which was fabulous and we also had chefs or managers come and talk with us specifically. Our only disappointment was the Japanese Teppan-yaki restaurant where I was served the plainest food and not very much at all. Next time, I think we will try the Chinese Pavillion restaurant instead.
Faith Moore says
I am so happy to hear this news about Disneyland. We are a bit careful about going places on vacation and try to take a motorhome to do our own cooking. I now want to go to D-land! It is so nice to know about the prep areas. This information is so important for Celiacs to know about. Thank you for taking the time to share this great news with us!
Lisa Ronco says
I would have to agree about Disneyland. My son has been gluten free for 2+ years now, and we purposely renewed our passes because it was a place we all loved to go as well as it allowed my son to feel as if he got to fully participate versus having to bring something for him.
veterinary technician says
What a great resource!
Lionel Kratzke says
I couldn't resist commenting. Perfectly written!
Disney Cruise Line (in fact all cruise lines) is a fantastic vacation when you have a child with food allergies. I had my first worry free vacation going on a cruise.