Dining out is supposed be a fun and social experience, but when you have Celiac Disease or any other food allergies for that matter, it could present itself to be a very stressful and nerve-wracking situation. I was hoping that Disneyland would be a little less stressful being that it is considered the happiest place on earth. This past Mother’s Day my Mother and I spent two days at Disneyland; some meals were tastier than others and some less stressful than others.
If you have any food allergies or concerns I highly recommend that prior to starting your day at Disneyland that you stop at City Hall on Main Street and pick up the Celiac Offerings Dining Options packet or discuss your dietary concerns with them. They most likely have a packet addressing your needs. (I have attached the Celiac Offerings packet to make the planning a little easier)
After stopping by City Hall I head over to the River Belle Terrace in Adventureland. There I ordered the Mississippi Turkey Breast Sandwich and requested a gluten-free bun. I can’t begin express how easy it was to order my lunch. I thought WOW if it is this easy to order a sandwich I am sure that the rest of my visit would be easy. I was dead wrong on this. Not only was the sandwich large enough to share, but it was delicious. Fresh carved turkey like on Thanksgiving day and a gluten-free bun that did not taste like it was missing flour.
Mississippi Turkey Breast Sandwich & a gluten-free bun
I don’t know about you, but in my family we always manage to eat our way through Disney. Just because I can’t eat gluten does not mean that this rule does not still apply. One of my favorite snacks at Disneyland is found at Tropical Imports in Adventureland. Healthy and not full of junk…and easy to order! Just grab and go!
Fresh Strawberries & Chocolate Dipping Sauce
Around dinner time is when I started to hit a brick wall in regards to food handlers not being knowledgeable enough about Celiac Disease and gluten-free dining. My dinner took forever to make and my mom’s dinner was severed to her way before mine probably started even cooking. Lesson learned: be sure to request that all meals are brought out at the same time. I did not actually learn this lesson until the following day of eating in shifts.
Tangaroa Terrace Kids Salmon, broccoli, & white rice
Being that I am lactose intolerant my choice in dessert was not my shinning moment, but who could resist ice cream from Gibson Girl on Main Street? What should have been an easy order was beyond difficult. It took 6 people to order 2 scoops of ice cream with hot fudge, whipped cream, and sprinkles. Keep in mind that mine had to be scooped from fresh cartons in the back to avoid cross contamination. The end result was not necessarily worth all of the stress, but it was absolutely delicious.
Gibson Girl Ice Cream
If I already did not eat enough the prior day I was on to round two of my Disney Dining experience. I started my second day off at Storytellers Restaurant which is at The Grand California Hotel. Let me preface this with I was rather brave to order pancakes as the last time I ate pancakes was after the Disneyland Half Marathon in 2009. They made me so sick that I never ordered them again. This time around it was different. Thanks to Chef Chris I had the most amazing pancakes ever. He used Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pancake Mix and Pierre Water. No eggs, butter, oil, or even milk. I am still dreaming of how out of this world these pancakes were. Don’t walk, run to Storytellers if you have the opportunity to eat breakfast in Disneyland.
Gluten Free Pancakes
While not as exciting as my breakfast for lunch I headed over to Redd Rocketts Pizza Port. There I ordered rice noodles with marinara sauce or tomato basil sauce. This was by far not my favorite meal and I feel that being a pizza place they need to improve their gluten-free pasta.
Redd Rocketts Pizza Port GF Rice Noodles with Marinara Sauce
Day two of my afternoon snacking was the world-famous Dole Whip. While I wanted something from the Jolly Holiday Bakery it was rather disappointing as all they had to offer was prepackaged bakery goods, which I could have purchased at my local grocery store. I feel that the Jolly Holiday Bakery really missed their mark as they should have better options for gluten-free customers.
I had an amazing two days with my mom and we ended our weekend back at Storytellers. My favorite meal for dinner at Storytellers is the children’s salmon with broccoli, and white rice. This salmon is much better than Tangaroa Terrace at The Disneyland Hotel. The waiter also brought gluten-free pita bread, which is the same crust that they use for the gluten-free pizza. For a safe, stress free meal I highly recommend Storytellers Cafe.
Gluten Free Bread
Salmon, white rice, and broccoli
Guess what, Mousketeers? Disneyland is totally celiac-friendly. The options might be limited, but there is still many offerings throughout Disneyland. Remember to advocate for yourself and request to speak with a chef prior to ordering. I think that I found my dream job…working for Disney’s culinary department developing and finding the best foods for gluten-free and allergy suffers.