Eating GLUTEN FREE at Disneyland Part 1
The Happiest Place On Earth got happier with these gluten free finds! I’m celebrating because anytime you can find something that is safe for you to eat, especially at a big theme park, it’s a win!
My husband and I are big Disney fans! We got engaged there, visit often, but also bring our own food and snacks (did you know you can do that?). While I have known that they do have many allergy-friendly meals and snacks available, we just always go to our favorite place for our favorite meal (which you will see down below), as well as bring our own snacks. But, for the first time in a long time, we ventured out to find the best gluten free finds in Disneyland and in California Adventure… and, OH BOY, did we find some great food!
I will add to this list as I find and taste more meals, but here are some great Gluten Free finds, as well as some tips to make your trip to Disneyland the happiest as possible.
While there are many more allergy friendly and gluten free options, here are a handful of options that you will love, including a gluten free & dairy free pizza, one of Disneyland’s famous deep fried sandwiches and even one of Walt Disney’s favorite meals.
Most Disney chefs, restaurants and quick-service locations can accommodate the following common food allergies:
Gluten or wheat
Milk or lactose
Peanuts and tree nuts
Before you GO:
Disney, "For questions/requests related to food allergies, intolerances and other special dietary needs, contact us at Special.Diets@disneyland.com"
Before you ORDER:
Make sure your server knows of your allergens.
Always ask to speak to the chef before ordering - especially if you have questions about the menu. There is always a possibility that menus and ingredients can change.
Some places serve gluten free French fries that are cooked in a dedicated gluten free frier. Some restaurants have fries cooked in a cross contaminated frier. Ask your server.
Double check signs that say “gluten friendly” vs "gluten free” — some places might have gluten free options, but do have the possibility of cross contamination (example: GF Cookies at Jack Jacks are listed at “gluten friendly” and there is a possibility of cross contamination).
Don't be afraid to ask questions, check and recheck that items are gluten free.
Ask if there's a possibility of cross contamination.
If you are unsure of finding snacks that suit your needs, wants and magical desires — you can bring your own. Bring safe snacks for the whole family in a backpack, purse or even get a locker on Main Street or in California Adventure to store your goodies. Just don’t bring any glass or alcohol. However, if you're gluten allergy is anaphylactic, make sure you carry your epipen with you wherever you go. DO NOT LEAVE IT IN THE LOCKERS!
Side note: I didn't include any breakfasts in this blog post for a few reasons: I'm not a morning person, so I rarely eat breakfast at Disneyland. I also feel like they have many options at each breakfast location, character breakfasts included! I have eaten at Storyteller's Cafe, located in Disney's Grand California Hotel for breakfast with these 2 lovely friends of mine (Erica - Celiacandthebeast.com and Cindy vegetarianmamma.com -- both are great bloggers and resources for the gluten free community!). Just as you would any other restaurant or place for breakfast on Disney property, let your server know of your allergens, ask how they can accommodate you and more often than not, the chef will come out and speak with you. When we went to Storytellers Cafe, the chef came out and asked about all of our allergens (all three of us are different) and he brought out food specially prepared for us... including THESE Gluten Free Dairy Free Mickey Waffles!
Carnation Cafe (Main Street)
This chili comes with sour cream and cheese. Chili was one of Walt Disney’s favorite meals, so here’s your chance to get this delicious chili on Main Street USA.
Main Street Cheese Burger with a side of fresh fruit.
This delicious burger is served on a gluten free bun with a side of fruit. I asked for the house sauce on the side. If you can snag an outside table during the parade you can get a gluten free burger and a fun show.
Jolly Holiday (End of Main Street)
Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
I have to say, I was excited for this meal... but also not excited because it’s a grilled cheese! It should be great, but also could be just okay. It was PHENOMENAL! See video below with that cheesy goodness. I could have passed on the soup - it was decent, but the gluten free grilled cheese sandwhich is a must-have!
Rancho Del Zocalo (Frontierland)
We always order the Tostada Salad (our go-to) without the shell. I prefer the “kids chicken,” as sometimes the regular chicken can be too spicy for me. I order my salad with beans, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese, salsa and cilantro. You can also ask for a side of brown rice if you like. This is our most consumed meal at Disneyland! I have even been known to bring a small container of my homemade dairy free sour cream and my own grain free, gluten free chips.
Red Rose Tavern (Fantasyland)
Enchanted Cauliflower Steak & French Fries
Wow - this was such a great meal! This is a vegetarian option that is a big slice of fresh cauliflower cooked with seasonings and put on a gluten free bun with tomato, lettuce and house sauce. We enjoyed this sandwhich a lot and can’t wait for another one! This meal is served with gluten free French fries or apple slices. They gave me both — so that was a win!
Cafe Orleans (New Orleans Square)
Monte Cristo Sandwich
This is a must-have! While it’s certainly not healthy, by any means, it’s outrageously tasty! But there is a catch. You must order this meal 24 hours in advance so they can prepare it for you. This sandwhich is a turkey, ham and Swiss treat dusted with powdered sugar and served with berry purée. Call (714) 781-3463 to make a reservation and let them know at least 24 hours in advance that you would like the gluten free Monte Cristo sandwich. If you are booking your reservations way in advance or online, I still recommend that you call 24 to 36 hours in advance to double check that they have your order.
Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta (Paradise Gardens Park)
This pizza was delicious. Walk in and ask to speak to the chef. Let them know you would like a gluten free pizza. They will ask what your allergens are and make it specifically for you. At this location you can also request dairy free cheese for your pizza. How cool is that? This is a thin crust pizza and we loved every bite of it!
Penne Pasta with Marinara
I only took a bite of this pasta, as it is made from corn. However, they do serve a gluten free pasta made from corn with a delicious marinara sauce. My husband loved it! The sauce was great, too. If you can eat corn then you will love this pasta dish at Disney!
Lucky Fortune Cookery (Pacific Wharf)
Asian Rice Bowl
You can order meat or tofu over rice, with a choice of 2 gluten free sauces: teriyaki or Thai coconut. You will NOT be able to eat the vegetables here because they are cooked in the same skillet as the potstickers. I normally don’t go for Asian food too often, but I had to get this … you know, for research purposes (wink wink). I actually really enjoyed this dish. We chose beef over rice with the sauce on the side. All of it was delicious! This is a great option.
Cocina Cucamonga (Pacific Wharf)
Tacos! What else is there to say? They have a gluten free taco plate that is delicious. You can choose between steak, chicken or pork. it comes with rice and beans, as well as salsa on the side. Quite the tasty plate! I don’t eat corn really at all, so I only ate part of 1 of the 3 tacos, while my hubby happily enjoyed the rest. Another yummy meal!
Throughout the parks, you can also find vending carts that sell gluten free snacks. Because items can change, ALWAYS ask the vendor or server to make sure items are, in fact, gluten free.
Mickey face ice cream bars on a stick
Check back on this blog to see an updated list next time you are heading to Disneyland. I will update it as often as I can get to the park and try new Gluten Free Finds. Keep in mind that there might be more or less during the holiday season, so call ahead, ask questions and feel free to make a pit stop at City Hall on Main Street to see what’s new.
Don't forget to check out my YouTube video that shows all of these tasty treats in action -- best part is that extra cheesy grilled cheesy! Like the video, subscribe to my channel and leave a comment -- it all helps more than you know :)