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Old 10-02-2012, 04:25 PM   #1
ForAandA
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Celiac Disease and CS???

Hello, everyone! I am putting this in the DisAbilities forum instead of the dining forum. If it needs to be moved I apologize ahead of time.

About 2 months ago I was diagnosed with Celiac disease. After being 100% gluten free I can honestly say that I feel better than I have in 20 years. Though I miss "real" bread, pasta, etc.; I have actually lost weight by losing the carbs, have been eating better, and have even started exercising again!

That being said I have done a TON of research for our next family trip to POFQ. I have always had food allergies, even before my diagnosis (shellfish, strawberries, and flax seed). All foods I can basically avoid. I have always eaten well at the World.

We have booked our ADR's at our favorites. I have already spoken with 2 chefs down in Orlando telling me my options. I have also read some also GF dining reviews. The one thing I am afraid of is counter service. The thought of cross contanimation is scary for me. I do not want to be sick while on vacation!

Has anyone had experience with CS while being GF? More specifically we will have a breakfast or 2 at Sassagoula Floatworks. I was thinking of a CS meal at Comumbia Harbour House or Cosmic Rays. I am going to avoid my beloved Caseys . No more corn dog nuggets for me.

Disney seems to have gone up and beyond with GF options. I will visit babycakes and stock up on snacks (expecially donuts!).

Any suggestions on the CS locations? Is it really going to be a 30 minute wait for GF chicken fingers? Should I just go safe and stick to salads? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:20 PM   #2
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Gluten Free at Disney World

I posted this earlier today - I hope it helps. If you do a "gluten" search on these forums, you will find hundreds of entries that may be of help.

I don't have a favorite Gluten Free item but I can discuss my experiences at Disney World with a Gluten allergy. Be assured that Disney manages food allergies very well.

Disney was way ahead of the rest of the country and offered special meals for Gluten allergies many years ago. Anytime I want a Gluten Free meal I notify the server (for full service meals) or cashier (for quick service meals) and I am always given prompt attention.

For any quick service location, there is always a book with the list of ingredients for all of the food items sold at that location. Once you notify the cashier, a manager will show up with the book of ingredients and go over your choices with you. For example, they will offer to bake your fries in the oven since cooking them in oil could cause cross contamination, they regularly have gluten free bread for hamburgers, etc. The manager will take your order and personally oversee its preparation and then personally deliver it to your table. Yes, it does take some extra time to have your food prepared so plan on some extra time at quick service locations.

For any full service location, just notify your waiter of your allergy and the Chef will actually arrive at your table and go over the menu choices with you. Sometimes the chef has prepared items for me that are "off menu" to accommodate my allergy. The chef usually delivers the meal personally to insure no mix ups. I know Italy in Epcot and Tony's Town Square in the MK offer gluten free pasta.

Also, Disney can prepare Gluten Free Mickey waffles at breakfast. When you make any dining reservation just make sure that you notify Disney of your Gluten Allergy and continue to notify all of the Disney employees where ever you are dining...Disney will take good care of you.

Hope this helps ease your mind. I understand the difficulties of traveling withe a Gluten Allergy and I have had the best experiences at Disney World.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:21 PM   #3
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Yes, you will wait longer for any allergy meal to be prepared, even at a counter service restaurant, but it is so worth it to not be sick on vacation. I wouldn't even count on salads being a safe bet because you never know with cross contamination, or what is in a dressing, or anything else. There are options at the counter service restaurants, check Casey's as I believe they do have gf buns. But you will be fine! Yes you may wait but you can offset some of that by going at off peak times. Try not to go have lunch at noon, try to eat at 11, or at 1:30, it makes a huge difference.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:41 PM   #4
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While at POFQ for breakfast, ask to speak with Chef Rafael at Sassagoula's or the manager there, Earl. Chef Rafael was eager to help me with my dietary limitations (though he has a rather thick accent), and Earl was kind enough to offer to help bridge any communication gap we may have.

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Old 10-02-2012, 08:52 PM   #5
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Thank you all for the great information. I know that I will be waiting for food, no doubt about it. I feel kind of guilty holding everyone up, if that makes sense.

Regardless I do NOT want to be sick on vacation! Thanks for all the great tips
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:10 AM   #6
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[QUOTE=ForAandA;46333012]Thank you all for the great information. I know that I will be waiting for food, no doubt about it. I feel kind of guilty holding everyone up, if that makes sense.

Regardless I do NOT want to be sick on vacation! Thanks for all the great tips [/Q

The only people you will be holding up is your own party. You will be off to the side waiting for the manager, the book, the chef (however the particular CS handles it) and the rest of the line will keep moving. If you don't want to hold up the rest of your group so much they can lag behind a bit (play a Sorceror spot or two, stop in a shop, use the restroom, get your table and set up if its not during the busy time when they don't allow that). Another thing we do is go ahead and have me order separately for the other part of the family so we can go ahead and get our food, drinks, and stuff. They will literally not order anything from the Celiac person until given the go ahead...I was DYING (well not really) of thirst and they would not let my husband order a diet coke until the Chef said it was ok. I said fine fine separate order for me now! Anyway I go ahead and order everything else and then get our group set up and started. We have only had a long wait for my husbands food a couple of times but he soooo loves the Disney GF chicken tenders that it is worth it.

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Old 10-04-2012, 04:16 PM   #7
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We have had great experiences at CS places! Our first gf trip in 2009, Cosmic Ray's blew us away, in fact! (Gluten Free was heard of, but not nearly the phenomenon it is now!) Not every location has a great variety of gf options, but with a little planning you can eat SO well, more than just plain grilled chicken and steamed veggies!

Our last trip was almost a year ago, and at that time WDW Special Diets was still able to provide a list of GF options at all of their CS and snack stands. I know there have been some changes so I don't know if they still do that, but having that info helped me to plan so that my kids and DH could get a variety they don't usually get to enjoy dining out. Also at the time, we brought our own Udis rolls into the parks because my guys didn't love the tapioca rolls for burgers/dogs, but now they carry Udis!

At Cosmic Rays, my guys like the rotisserie chicken or a burger. At Columbia House, they have gf chicken fingers and fries! I know, the picture of good health LOL, but for 9 & 7 yo boys who have celiacs, this was beyond a treat for them! The wait for them was not that bad at all, and they prepare them in a separate fryer. My favorite CS is Flametree BBQ in AK, lots of choices and Delish!!! I have found that the managers at all of the CS locations we've gone to have been quite knowledgable about cross-con and were personally responsible for our meals. We've never had a negative experience!
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Old 10-05-2012, 10:18 AM   #8
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So thankful for all this great info. Heading to WDW in 20 days and this has been my main concern. I am still hoping to be able to navigate the different kiosks in Epcot during the Food & Wine festival.
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Old 10-05-2012, 11:34 AM   #9
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It was just our first time being in Disney with our GF daughter. We also have another daughter with allergies. All the food was prepared separately and brought out together. We had some great QS experiences. We ate at Cosmic Rays, Electric Umbrella, Peco Bills and Captain Cooks with no problems. They didn't have too much for her at CC, she had grilled cheese on a GF hamburger bun. We tried to go to Columbia Harbor House, but they told us that the whole kitchen is cross contaminated with shellfish, so we left due to a shellfish allergy. They did not offer us any other options there.
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