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curlyhair 03-12-2014 08:54 PM

GF & Vegetarian & Dining Plan...Oh, My!
We haven't been to Disney in several years, since before my sons were diagnosed with Celiac. I am excited to see all of the gluten-free options in the parks and resorts, but I am a little concerned about our next trip, because they are also vegetarian. In the opinion of the forum Disney gurus, should I try out the dining plan? We never have before, but it seems the way to go now. Or should we just plan to pay for our food? I think I'm worried about being locked into specific places to eat that might not accommodate the GF + vegetarian necessity.

I know I don't have a high post count, but I have been lurking and learning on the boards for many, many years. Thank you!

Snow2009 03-13-2014 12:42 AM

I am gf and went this past summer. I was able to eat everywhere the rest of my group wanted to eat. Just make sure you make the cm aware of your allergy before ordering.

mag73 03-13-2014 07:36 PM

Dd has celiac and we have gone to Disney every year for the past 12 years, and never had any problems. She has been able to eat at all the restaurants ( qs& ts) with a lot of gf choices. We did try the dining plan maybe 5 years ago and did not have any problems with it. I feel that Disney is one of the easiest places to visit on a gf diet.

sleepingbean 03-14-2014 11:29 AM

I think you'll be very happy with the options! I had a vegetarian stew that was gluten free at the Wave in the contemporary, for example. There are many vegetarian options and the chefs can typically accommodate for allergies.

clanmcculloch 03-17-2014 10:44 AM

It's very rare for the dining plan to be a good financial decision regardless of dietary needs, but with dietary needs it can be even more difficult because it forces you to get a dessert but at many (most) locations that's just cookies/brownies and/or ice cream and/or sorbet, though some TS locations will doctor it up into a nice sundae. Without the dining plan you have more flexibility to go elsewhere to find a special treat from a cart or kiosk or even just skip dessert.

Sagginit 03-18-2014 11:06 PM

i definitely think you will find something for them to eat, QS will be the bigger challenge. depending on their age you may end up with Amys mac and cheese or frozen pizzas.

i think you need to do some serious menu researching on this one to figure out pricing and where you will plan on eating to get them the best choices. i would say veggie options cost less than salmon or steak, so unless you are doing character buffets it may cost more to get the plan. i have heard there can be an upcharge for GF items (bread, waffles, dessert etc) which can add to the meal cost, but have heard its rarely enforced (i always do free dining so im not sure).

also as others have said, you do often get the same cookies everywhere for dessert, i have taken fruit a few times or passed it up on the dining plan. for ex. last trip i had a great meal somewhere, and the only desert i could have was a dole fruit cup.

curlyhair 03-31-2014 02:05 PM

Thanks for the replies. We decided against the dining plan; the cost of food isn't really an issue. We usually take all four of our kids with us, so I think with only two of them this time we will end up spending less than we usually do. I guess I'm mostly worried that my kids will be eating a constant rotation of GF pizza and pasta and not much else. We will have groceries delivered so snacks and cheese and hummus will be on standby. And we're not going until September, so definitely doing serious research!

clanmcculloch 03-31-2014 03:11 PM

Since you're no longer considering a dining plan, that does open up a lot more options than just GF pizza and pasta which would be what they'd be pretty much limited to with kids meals with only a few exceptions. When paying OOP you can choose a much wider variety of items, especially at TS restaurants. At CS restaurants there won't be much more but you can choose things like vegetarian chili (Columbia Harbour House) or baked sweet potatoes (fruit stand beside CHH) or lots of opens at Sunshine Seasons and more. At your resort, the chefs will have lots to work with. Your biggest limitation was going to be the dining plan so now that you're not using it, your options have burst wide open. Well, I'm assuming the dining plan was a limitation but I don't know your kids ages so that may not be true. If they're 10 or older then they could have ordered whatever entrees they wanted but for the 9 and under crowd they can only choose kids meals with a dining plan.

curlyhair 03-31-2014 10:33 PM

I should have posted their ages, they will be 9 and 13. We haven't told our 20-yr old twins they're not coming with us, but they are in college and hopefully won't break down in tears. :laughing: I didn't even realize the dining plan required ordering from a children's menu; we have never done that with our kids before at any restaurant, there has never been anything they can eat on one. I feel better and better about this. :banana:

Thanks again to everyone and if you think of great options for gluten-free vegetarians, please let me know! My dh is on his own for research...he's vegan. But he's a grownup and can worry about himself!

curlyhair 03-31-2014 10:49 PM

I have edited my signature but it isn't appearing here, even though I have refreshed. Can anyone else see it?

ETA: Oh, now I see it in a new post. Sorry. Most other boards I use change the signature for every post under the same username.

sleepingbean 04-01-2014 08:58 AM

For sit downs, some of my favorite vegetarian gluten free meals have been the Wave (gluten free pizza for kiddo and for me, vegetarian stew as well as in house sorbet trio - photos in my sig under resorts option), Also, Captain's Grill made me a fantastic pasta and veggie dish, as did the Yachtsman Steakhouse. That was the BEST pasta dish. It wasn't on the menu, but it was SO GOOD! Drool. Also, 1900 Park Fare had some great salads that I loved (like their Nicoise without fish) and so did Crystal Palace! photos of many of those there. So many good choices, really.
For counter service, the baked potatoes at Magic Kingdom come to mind, fresh fruits and veggies off the carts. We tend to go with non vegetarian options at counter service so that's all that comes to mind for me, there? I know there are salads and veggie burgers and pastas scattered throughout, though. I would check out the allears menu page!

clanmcculloch 04-01-2014 02:33 PM

Captain's Grille really does make an amazing GF pasta dish (or were you referring to Yachtsman? We haven't tried there). The chef basically went through a list of ingredients and let us pick and choose which ones we wanted for each person's pasta bowl and sauteed it up. It was so yummy with a nice variety of fresh vegetables. I keep reading great reviews of the Wave which make me want to give them another try but there's no way I'll ever get DD16 back in there after she got sick from our dinner there.

Only the 9 year old would have to order from the kids meal using a dining plan. Typically if there isn't anything that's safe then they'll let you order something else (the rule is order from the kids menu if there is one which should be interpreted to mean that if there isn't anything that can be safely eaten then feel free to order from the regular menu). Unfortunately, pasta with marinara and/or cheese pizza are on most kids menus so there are kids meals that would be safe. You really are better off without the plan.

sleepingbean 04-01-2014 03:03 PM

Trudy, can your kids eat the Amy's pizzas? I never think about pizza when on trips like this.

clanmcculloch 04-02-2014 09:45 AM

I've never seen the Amy's that have soy cheese though I haven't really looked when in the parks. At our resort they seem to these days have Udi's crusts which DD13 can eat but at AKL this past trip they didn't have any kind of dairy free cheese in the entire resort (we ate at several restaurants and the chefs in Mara went to Boma for some of our food) so DD13 and I ate cheeseless pizzas while DD16 ate chicken tenders. At AoA last year they used Tofutti mozzerella. I hear some places have Daiya cheese but I've never encountered it. If all they have is GNI then DD13 can't eat them either because they use oranges as a medium for an enzyme (can't recall what at the moment) so GNI products aren't safe for her. Back when all they had was Ener-G (also has orange fiber) she had a couple chefs who custom made some crusts for her at our resorts (Pop and POFQ).

There aren't any frozen pizzas that don't have yeast so DD16 can't eat any of them no matter the brand.

I thought I saw in another thread that Amy's has a GF dairy and soy free pizza but I'm not seeing it on their site. We're fine with soy and the brand of soy cheese Amy's uses is one of the brands of soy products that DD13 can eat (she gets OAS from many brands but not this one) so these pizzas would work for her.

sleepingbean 04-02-2014 01:48 PM

That all makes sense! I hardly consider pizza because without dairy or gluten, it just doesn't sound too exciting, but even more so when you eliminate soy!

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