Being Gluten Intolerant in Disneyland
Drum roll pleaseeeee. Time for the Disneyland version of Allergy Friendly menus! Long wait right? I think this is the fastest I have ever created two foodie posts side by side! Anyways, many of you know that in August I was lucky enough to travel to the motherland in Anaheim for a few days. I had never been to Disneyland before and I really didn’t know what to expect, I only knew what I’ve been told. Yes, it most certainly was smaller and the vibe was definitely different (but still magical all the same). One thing that truly stuck out to me though was the difference in food. I know California is known for being a little more earthy-crunchy and healthier, but I truly didn’t expect that to carry over into the Disneyland Parks.
While strolling through Disneyland during my first initial exploration, I would take note of the menus at all the passing food locations. You know you have an obsession with food when you get excited to see what’s on the menu. Now I am not trying to bash Disney World here by any means, but what I noticed in Disneyland is that not only is there more dining options, but each menu seems to have more of a variety. The menus don’t all consist of mainly fast food such as burgers and chicken nuggets like many of the Quick Service locations in Magic Kingdom. Each place had unique menu items that couldn’t be found in other locations. Although this is true for many Magic Kingdom locations as well, Disneyland’s different options were much healthier in my opinion!
So lets take a look at all the Allergy Friendly goodies I got in Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure shall we?
Now once again unfortunately I THOUGHT I had pictures of all the glorious meals I consumed, but apparently there are a few missing. So I will describe as best as I can the ones I lost, and show you the ones I have!
Like the Disney World post, let’s start with breakfast! (The most important, and delicious, meal of the day) My cousin and I decided to get to Disneyland bright and early for opening. In doing so, we decided we would run right to the rides we were determined to get on before the lines started to get long as well as get FastPasses (still crazy to me that they still have paper ones there). Anyways after about an hour or two of aimlessly wondering and riding rides, we realized how starving we were without breakfast. We headed back to Main Street and came across the Carnation Cafe! It was adorable inside and we even met Chef Oscar Martinez! Of course us being completely ignorant to all things Disneyland had no idea he was the oldest still-working (at the time) Cast Member! Knowing I met him before his retirement was really special! Anyways the first day I got my usual gluten free waffles with a side of scrambled eggs. Per usual they were crunchy deliciousness.
On the third day of our trip however, we decided to return to the Carnation Cafe for breakfast because it was just so darn good the first time around! This time I got gluten-free dairy-free pancakes with scrambled eggs and bacon. Let me tell you, they were fluffy and DELICIOUS. Some of the best pancakes I’ve ever had and it amazed me how normal they tasted even with missing two key ingredients I was intolerant to! It made them all the better!
The other breakfast location I would like to highlight is in Disney’s California Adventure! On our second day, we once again got up bright and early to run over to get FastPasses for Radiator Springs Racers. We rode it twice. It was amazing. Ride it people. It’s like Test Track times two. ANYWAYS. After riding that we were in Cars Land and once again realized how hungry we were from not having had breakfast yet. This is when we stumbled upon Flo’s V8 Cafe. Now for those of you who know me, I love all things 50s/60s retro. This diner was the SPITTING image of a small roadside diner from the past and it was identical to the one in the movie. So after realizing we clearly had to eat breakfast here, we headed on inside. Once we arrived and I got my good old Allergy Friendly Menu, the woman at the register was EXTREMELY kind and let me mix and match a few of the items on the menu to meet my intolerances! I was able to get my usual scrambled eggs with a side of gluten-free bread and fruit! It was delicious, healthy, and filling!
Now for lunch. This is where things unfortunately get difficult because I was so in the moment, I forgot to take pictures of many of the things I ordered. The first lunch stop we made of our trip was at The Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe. What an adorable little stop right in the hub of it all! Here I got the Allergy Friendly version of the Jolly Holiday Salad! It was pretty much identical to the normal one even with the nuts because I requested them, just minus the cheese! It was so good! I’m always a sucker for a hearty salad (I can be healthy when I want to be).
Other than that we really just ate snacks throughout the day instead of full meals when it came to lunch. I got a Dole Whip of course. I needed to see what life was like at my sister-location. Honestly, it looked to me like they had things way more under control, but then again they have been doing it for longer.
Now for dinner! These were some of my favorite meals! On the first day after a six hour delay and being jet lagged, we decided to check out Downtown Disney fast then head to bed. We asked to be seated outside and sat down in the Uva Bar’s patio! There I got life changing gluten-free fish tacos with my all time favorite sweet potato fries on the side. It was sooooo good. Ugh my mouth waters a little just thinking about it still.
Flash forward to our second full day. We decided to check out Disney’s California Adventure Boardwalk considering we heard so many good things about all the different yummy options they had. I headed right over to the Lucky Fortune Cookery because I’m a big fan of some good Chinese food! And wasn’t I lucky when I found out they had an Allergy Friendly menu there as well. Get it. At least I think I’m funny. After browsing the menu, I decided on the Allergy Friendly Asian Rice Bowl with chicken and gluten-free teriyaki sauce! I swear I had a picture of this one for the longest time, yet I can’t seem to find it anymore! Too bad because it looked as good as it sounded!
Lastly, I wanted to highlight one of my all-time favorite experiences during my short trip. I was lucky enough to get a reservation at the Blue Bayou in New Orleans Square. Now before I dive into this one, I wanted to put out a slight disclaimer. One, it was too dark to take pictures of my food and too awkward to use flash, two, this restaurant is definitely more high-end and on the pricier side for Disney, but totally worth it!
Now I informed my server ahead of time that I was in need of the allergy friendly menu because the meal consists of two courses (with the option of dessert) and a bread basket at the beginning. I was so excited when I saw them bring out a basket of warm gluten free rolls just for me! They were delicious. I had to tell myself to stop eating roll after roll or else I wouldn’t have been able to eat the two courses still coming my way!
Unfortunately for all of my fellow gluten intolerant pals, you cannot try the famous Gumbo because it has gluten in it. But to lighten the blow, they offer an amazing Blue Bayou House Salad as a substitute! I got the salad and it was delicious! It had caramelized pecans and cranberries in it, which for those of you who know me are my FAVORITE salad toppings!
For the main course, I got Pan-seared Salmon. It came with creamy white-cheddar mashed potatoes and veggies, topped with a savory Basil Beurre Blanc sauce! My taste buds are singing just thinking about the meal. The ambiance of the entire venue really enhanced the entire experience as well. If you’ve never heard of the restaurant before, I highly recommend you look up some pictures of it! It’s almost like the sci-fi diner where you are taken inside and it suddenly turns into night. The ceiling is covered in twinkly lights and you’re sudden transported to Louisiana on a warm summer night. You sit outside of the main house and watch boaters go by along the Bayou on their way to beginning their adventure to piracy (You overlook the pirates of the caribbean ride). You can just sit, listen to the crickets chirp, watch fireflies in the distance, and just enjoy the peaceful atmosphere while you enjoy equally satisfying food!
And there ya have it folks! This was a majority of the Allergy Friendly meals I consumed on my brief trip across the country! I hope you enjoyed the insider info on being Allergy Friendly in Disneyland and the descriptions made you hungry!