This year we will be visiting Disneyland with some friends who are gluten free, so I did some digging to see what gluten free options the Disneyland Resort offers. I have family members who have Celiac Disease, and absolutely can’t have any gluten, and also have friends who simply have an intolerance for it. I know that going gluten-free in the parks can mean the difference between a great day, and a miserable one. So to be more prepared I spoke with a Cast Member at the Disney Dining number, who referred me to the Chef de Cuisine for the Disneyland Resort, Bill Orton. I was hoping for a comprehensive list that we could refer to without having to visit each restaurant directly to see what the gluten free options were, but because there are so many changes and substitutions daily within the resort, a list would be unreliable, and therefore unsafe, so no such list exists – but there are options out there!
Here are the Top 5 Things You Need to Know About Going Gluten-Free at the Disneyland Resort:
1. Always ask the chef! This was the most important tip I learned! The gluten-free meals and options aren’t necessarily labeled as such, or listed on the menu. The best way to see what your gluten-free options are, and to make sure that your order is entirely gluten free, is to ask to speak to the chef and order directly from him or her.
|Yay! That amazing smelling popcorn is gluten free!|
2. Ask for an ingredient list. A good time to do this might be if you are picking up a snack from an Outdoor Vending Cart (in other words, there’s no chef around). Some, but not all ODV carts carry a gluten-free snack. Sorry, no gluten-free churros, but Dole Whips and popcorn are gluten-free, and if you want to be sure that other items like the turkey leg are gluten-free, ask to see the ingredients!
3. Every restaurant carries a gluten-free meal option – breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Whether it’s quick service or a sit-down restaurant, you can find gluten-free options, so you never have to worry about which restaurant you can or can’t eat at.
|Gluten-free flies in the Pizza Port|
4. If the restaurant serves hamburgers, hot-dogs, sandwiches, pizza, or pasta – they carry a gluten-free replacement. For example, in Disneyland, the Village Haus has gluten free burgers, the Tomorrowland Terrace has gluten-free chicken sandwiches, and the Coke Corner has gluten free hot dogs, all using Udi’s Gluten-Free bread. At Redd Rocket’s Pizza Port, you can ask for your pizza made on gluten-free dough, or your meal made with gluten-free pasta. In California Adventure, the Wine Country Trattoria carries gluten-free pasta dishes as well as naturally gluten-free dishes like fish, or other meat-based meals; and at the Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta you can ask for gluten-free. Now, you can even get the famous Monte Cristo sandwich from the Blue Bayou or Cafe New Orleans (in Disneyland) made with gluten-free bread! This includes certain breakfast options, too. For example, at the Carnation Cafe in Disneyland, the famous Mickey waffle can be made specially for you with Bob’s Redmill Gluten-Free Flour.
5. There are many fresh, naturally gluten-free meal options that don’t require substitutions. Places like Tropical Imports in Disneyland and Fillmore’s Taste-In in California Adventure carry fresh fruit and vegetables. Chef Bill says: “Beef, lamb, chicken and fish are all naturally gluten-free. An example would be the salmon entrée in the Blue Bayou. The plate is gluten free as it appears on the menu and does not need to be revised for guests who request gluten-free.”
What about you – are you a gluten-free eater? If so, what is your favorite gluten-free food in the parks?