Gluten Free Dining at the Disneyland Resort: A Superthread

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by ArchOwl, Oct 5, 2012.

  1. ArchOwl

    ArchOwl The Highly Educated Owl

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    ****Updated 1/9/2013****

    First, let me say that I am hopeful that this thread will be updated regularly and that others will scan their gluten free lists after their trips so that we can keep this as current as possible. I do want to warn people to use the information here only as a guideline and for planning purposes. When you arrive at the park, get an updated list, or be sure to check with the manager or chef at the restaurant to make sure the item is still gluten-free. Changes do happen and I would hate for anyone to have a reaction because they assumed something was gluten-free. :thumbsup2

    As an introduction, I do not have Celiac Disease, but my little sister (age 9) does. We often travel to Disneyland together and I have lots of experience at both counter service and table service as I am the travel planner for my family. I have found helpful information here on the Disboards and want to assist as many people as I can in how to have a great time at the DLR while eating gluten-free!

    Obtaining a List of Gluten-Free Options at the Parks
    When you arrive at the Disneyland Resort, either park has the list of gluten-free options at Guest Relations. At Disneyland, Guest Relations is in City Hall which is on your left as you enter the park. At California Adventure, Guest Relations is in the Chamber of Commerce building on your left as you enter the park. The list is multiple pages and stapled together and has all the options in the parks and the hotels of the Resort area. Please be advised that while this list is very good, it does not and cannot list all of the items that may be available at the signature dining restaurants such as Carthay Circle and Napa Rose. At those places, the chefs prefer to work with the gluten-free diner directly. They will often create a personalized meal based on preferences. So if you desire a fine dining experience, please dont think that you are limited to the options on the menu at those restaurants.

    Additionally, this list is not exhaustive. Others have reported that when asked, modifications have been made at restaurants not listed. So if there is something you want, be sure to ask!

    Table Service Dining
    If you plan on eating at a table service restaurant, call in advance and make your reservation with Disney Dining. You can call them at (714) 781-3463 or email them at dine@disneyland.com. At the time of booking, make sure to tell the agent about the allergy need. They will attach it to your reservation, but will also make sure to tell you to alert the staff when you arrive. I have found that Disney takes this very seriously. I have always been ready to alert the staff upon our arrival, but they have always mentioned it first and double checked to make sure they have the correct information.

    Counter Service Dining
    If you plan on eating at a counter service restaurant, you will want to let them know about the gluten-free need. I have had highly varied experiences ordering from counter service. Sometimes the Cast Member (CM) will know what is gluten-free and will be able to complete the order. Sometimes I have had the CM fetch the lead on duty and they went over the options and completed the order. So your experience may vary. I always find it helpful to have a copy of the recent gluten-free options available from Guest Relations at either park. If I have that, I often feel the regular CM is comfortable completing the order. Without it, I oftentimes end up waiting for the lead. I would love to hear about the experiences of others, so that we can all be informed about what is happening at Disneyland.

    Special Diets at the DLR
    There is also a DLR Special Diets email: dlr.special.diets@disney.com. I have not had to use them, as I have found that our needs have been met through the regular Disney Dining line. I would not hesitate to use them, however, for multiple allergies.


    In addition to maintaining the gluten-free list, I would love it if we all came back here with our gluten-free experiences while in the parks. Please feel free to post gluten-free dining reviews and questions.

    Latest Gluten-Free List from the DLR
    Below are the scans of the gluten-free listed obtained from the DLR (Disneyland Resort) on January 1, 2013. The fine print on the bottom says it is valid until June 30, 2013. These scans are JPGs, maybe I should convert to PDFs if people find that easier to navigate.

    Pages 1-5 are for Disneyland
    Pages 6-10 are for California Adventure
    Pages 11-14 are for the Resorts

    I do not know of a list for Downtown Disney, but perhaps we can work on getting that information together.

    Again, this list is NOT a substitute for your own good sense and you should definitely check again when you arrive at the DLR for the latest information. Please feel free to comment here or Private Message me with corrections or additional information. I hope this helps!

    DISNEYLAND LIST

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  3. ArchOwl

    ArchOwl The Highly Educated Owl

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    CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE LIST

    ****Updated 1/9/2013****

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  4. ArchOwl

    ArchOwl The Highly Educated Owl

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    HOTEL LIST

    ****Updated 1/9/2013****

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  5. carlilekids

    carlilekids Earning My Ears

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    Thanks for starting this thread!
     
  6. ArchOwl

    ArchOwl The Highly Educated Owl

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    Dining Review from September 23rd, 2012

    Plaza Inn Breakfast with Minnie and Friends

    I had made a reservation ahead of time with Disney Dining and had them note on the reservation that we had a gluten-free need. When we arrived to check in, I was ready to remind the hostess, but she mentioned it first and double checked with us regarding the allergy. We were shown around the buffet by our hostess, but specifically asked not to have the gluten-free diner take from the buffet line. She told us that the chef would be out to speak with us about gluten-free options.

    Within 5 minutes or so, Amanda, our chef, arrived at our table. She was very pleasant and asked everyone’s names and checked again regarding the allergy. She asked my little sister what she wanted and said she would prepare gluten-free Mickey waffles and also bring out fresh food from the kitchen. After about 10-15 minutes or so, Amanda brought out two GIANT plates of food. Included were multiple gluten-free waffles, hash browns, sausage, bacon, scrambled eggs, and an entire plate just of cut fruit.

    My little sister was overjoyed to be able to eat the gluten-free waffles and dug right in. The chef came back out a little while later, addressing my little sister by name and asking if she needed anything else and if she was enjoying herself. Needless to say, we did not need any more food and thanked everyone for being so accommodating. My sister left stuffed and we were happy to have had such a nice breakfast. :goodvibes

    This was my second time eating with a gluten-free diner at the Plaza Inn breakfast and both times they have shown proper concern and have given us more than enough options. My little sister really likes how the chefs talk to her and ask her what she would like. Overall, I recommend Plaza Inn for breakfast for those seeking to eat gluten-free. :thumbsup2
     
  7. lisachrystine

    lisachrystine Mouseketeer

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    We had the same experience with Minnie and Friends. My DD3 and DS7 are both Celiac. At the time, my DD was 2, so we didn't pay for her meal and technically, she was supposed to eat off my plate. We weren't sure what would happen, but they happily brought out her own plate of GF food when they brought DS's. :thumbsup2:thumbsup2 for Plaza Inn AND GF Mickey waffles - and making my kiddos feel like they weren't "different" from everyone else. pixiedust:
     
  8. Purplegal

    Purplegal Mouseketeer

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    Thanks for starting this thread! I agree with Minnie Breakfast, they are very accommodating! They also made dairy free waffles for my DD which was awesome and hard to find in the parks.
    I really enjoy eating at DLR...so nice to have all these options for gf! I love the gf pizza, and having a burger with gf bun.
    Now if they would only have more options for my dairy free DD!
     
  9. LoKay

    LoKay Earning My Ears

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    We were there in July and I got the list when we entered DLR. The one place I was looking for was Bengal BBQ and was disappointed it wasn't on the list but since that has been our families favorite for more years then I care to remember I gave it a shot and asked if they could accommodate gluten free. The answer was yes! I just had to get no sauce on anything, which I was fine with. So moral if my story is, if a place isn't on the list, ask and hey usually can accommodate you. Of course, for us planners out there that want to know before we go that doesn't help, but sometimes spontaneity is fun! :)
     
  10. Camshell

    Camshell Mouseketeer

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    Thank you so much for those posted sheets. I've recently discovered I have a gluten intolerance and it's wonderful to know I can eat gluten free. Do they actually have a menu that is gluten and dairy free? I need to avoid dairy too. I can probably just ask for some of the gluten free items without dairy if possible, but sometimes it's hard to know what is in them.
     
  11. ArchOwl

    ArchOwl The Highly Educated Owl

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    Thanks! If you have time, I would love it if you could add to the thread about your experience with gluten free ordering and what tastes good. I haven't had the gluten free pizza yet, is it at Pizza Port?

    Good reminder to ask about gluten free options. I am going to add that to the original post. Thanks!

    I am not familiar with dairy free eating. I would contact DLR Special Diets at the email in original post to see what information they have. Maybe next time I can see if they have a dairy free list and people could cross-reference them. :)
     
  12. readytogotodisney

    readytogotodisney DIS Veteran

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    BIG thank you for this thread! :worship:
    We're leaving for our first DL trip in 8 days, and my DH has a gluten allergy. I knew we could get a list of GF food while there, but it's great to see it before hand so we can plan out a little better.


    I'll report back with our experiences when we return.
     
  13. idkmybffminnie

    idkmybffminnie ms.minnie

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    A big THANK YOU for this thread! My DH has celiac disease and I was wondering how we were going to handle this.
     
  14. ArchOwl

    ArchOwl The Highly Educated Owl

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    Lunch at Ariel's Grotto, September 24, 2012

    I had made reservations ahead of time with Disney Dining and alerted them to the allergy need. It was packed when we arrived about 10 minutes before seating. I was glad I had a reservation and had showed up early so we could get our buzzer and sit down to wait. After about a 5 minute wait, we were told to go downstairs to meet Ariel and be seated. Ariel was very lovely, paying special attention to the little ones with us. We took two pictures and were seated.

    Almost as soon as we were seated, the appetizers were brought out. For those who are unfamiliar with Ariel's Grotto, the apps and desserts are served family style and each guest chooses an entree of their own. They also bring rolls with dipping sauces. Right away, our server came over and asked about the allergy attached to our reservation. She made sure to get my little sister's name and said the chef would be out in a minute to discuss the options. Meanwhile, everything on the appetizer tray was gluten free, saving the rolls. My little sister snacked on fruit, cheese, olives, and a little salad.

    After about a 10 minute wait (we all had our drink order), the chef came out. I am sorry that I did not catch his name, because he was very funny and helpful. Since my sister is still a Disney child, she could eat off the kid's menu. He presented my mother with a few options, such as rice pasta or herbed chicken or trip tip. My little sister wanted chicken. He said he would personally make her dish and serve it with rice. I thought that was interesting, since the gluten free list says it is served with potatoes. And I know they had potatoes because several at the table ordered Tri Tip and it came with mashed potatoes.

    Our food arrived in a timely fashion, perhaps a little later than those who ordered around us, but nothing too bad. And we all received our food together, so my little sister didn't have to wait. I was a little surprised at her plate. It had the chicken with a little scoop of rice. No fruit (as mentioned on the gluten free list). It was not a big deal, since my little sister is not a big eater and had already eaten fruit from the appetizer plate. The chicken was a little bland for my tastes, but suited her just fine.

    The princesses were lovely and took their time with each table. We had a great time chatting with them and taking multiple pictures. All of the kids had a great time at this meal and are still talking about it. We had a little two year old in our party and she believes that she had lunch with the real Cinderella (her favorite). :wizard:

    When dessert arrived, my little sister was offered a warm gluten free brownie. This was good and she ate most of it (it was very large). Overall, a very nice meal and we will most likely return. It will be interesting to see what my little sister is offered next time. The chef was well versed in allergies and knew exactly what gluten free dining entailed. He went over everything with my mother and little sister to make sure they understood what was safe. I am glad to see that Disney takes this seriously and trains their chefs to understand as well. :thumbsup2
     
  15. MrsPinup

    MrsPinup 3 cups. cups, cups, cups, cups, cups

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    Thanks for posting! Now if only they had a Paleo/Primal list :) Thankfully I can bring my own foods in :goodvibes
     
  16. julieheyer

    julieheyer Crazy for the Mouse!

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    Woohoo! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Love planning ahead!!


    ESP. Happy to see jolly holiday and pfifer et al. has GF brownies, cookies and muffins!! That'll be wonderful!!

    We're still packing on our food for our park days, but dinner has Way more options now!! GF bread for sandwiches? So nice!!
     
  17. ArchOwl

    ArchOwl The Highly Educated Owl

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    Lunch at Rancho Del Zocalo and dessert at Gibson Girl on September 25, 2012

    On this day we had an early lunch at Rancho del Zocalo. My sister who has celiac has always liked Mexican food and it is easy to make gluten free. We arrived at Rancho Del Zocalo about 11:30am and it was uncrowded. My little sister wanted chicken tacos so we went to the appropriate station with our gluten free list in hand.

    For those who are unfamiliar, Rancho Del Zocalo is setup with different stations and you take a tray and silverware and go up to the station you would like food from. The different stations range from soups, taco salads, to enchiladas and tacos. You load up your tray and pay the cashier on the way out.

    My little sister and I approached the taco station and I informed the CM that she needed a gluten free chicken taco plate. She and I were going to split the plate, because those meals are seriously huge. The CM was very nice and I made sure to show her the gluten free list and she said that the normal sauce that comes with the chicken taco plate is left off. She asked if we would like to substitute something else and we decided on some pico de gallo. She understood exactly what was needed and what we needed to avoid. She made the tacos with corn tortillas and the pico de gallo very quickly. Very soon we were on our way laden down with tacos and rice and beans. :)

    The tacos were decent and my little sister was happy. The CM took care of us and seemed very familiar with allergies and specifically celiac disease. We did not have to speak to the manager or lead on duty as our CM took care of everything. I don't know if having the gluten free list helped or not, but it is nice when everything goes smoothly.

    After lunch we rode a few rides in the area and decided to have ice cream at the Gibson Girl. We didn't even bother notifying them of the allergy need because my little sister is familiar with the Dreyer's ice cream and knows most flavors are gluten free (excepting the ones with cookies or other baked goods inside them). We asked for a scoop of chocolate in a cup and she enjoyed it.

    I think Rancho Del Zocalo is a good option for those trying to eat gluten-free. I don't think it is the best Mexican food in the world (I am spoiled), but it is good enough. And the amount of food you get is overwhelming, so consider splitting. :thumbsup2
     
  18. lisachrystine

    lisachrystine Mouseketeer

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    Just wanted to add our recent experience at Ariel's to yours -- mostly the same - the chef was very helpful. I also have a dairy allergy in addition to my DD3 who has Celiac. Both dietary needs were handled efficiently with very little extra wait. My DD ordered GF pasta off of the kids menu and was also offered a GF brownie for dessert. All of the apetizers are GF except for the bread and they brought out some GF rolls for DD to replace the "regular" bread. She hardly ate her pasta as she filled up on fruit, cheese, salad and GF rolls. They were also kind enough to bring us a box to bring leftover GF rolls and brownie for her to snack on later. Overall, great experience.
     
  19. lisachrystine

    lisachrystine Mouseketeer

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    Since this is a new restaurant and not a lot of people have experience eating GF there, I thought I'd add a little mini review. DS7 has Celiac and ordered a turkey sandwich on a GF roll. It came with peas and carrots and "seasonal" fruit, which in our case was grapes. The chef came out to speak with me and we were, of course, told it would take a few extra minutes. Brought everyone else's food out to the table and went back for the GF. They were good about keeping it separate and DS said the sandwich was really good (albeit, very plain if your kids like more than turkey and bread). The CMs were very good about awareness. DS is very sensitive and he didn't get sick, so another :thumbsup2 for Disney's handling of GF dining.
     
  20. ArchOwl

    ArchOwl The Highly Educated Owl

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    Thanks Lisachrystine! I am glad to hear that Flo's is on top of things in regards to gluten free dining. I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, so I appreciate it.

    Would love to hear from others as well! :thumbsup2
     
  21. disneychrista

    disneychrista DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for posting this!

    I am bummed that Rancho steak tacos are not G-free. I am still muddling my way through the G-free lifestyle and figuring things out as I go.
     

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