How To Eat Gluten-Free at Disneyland 2022 + Free Printable Guide
Oh, boy! This has been a long-time-coming update for my gluten-free guides to Disneyland. I started it back in the fall of 2019, was about to finish in March of 2020 and post it early April, but then something unexpected happened… the world broke and Disneyland closed for a very long time. A very, very, very, very, very long time. Thankfully, Disneyland is back, and while we can’t hug Mickey yet (coming soon!), we can at least eat gluten-free Mickey waffles and drench them in maple syrup. We may not have fast passes anymore (don’t get me started on that), but at least we can eat delicious gluten-free foods at the brand new Avenger’s Campus and even see Spiderman fly through the sky!
If you haven’t checked out my gluten-free guide to Disney Part 1 or Part 2, make sure you read up on those dining options, as well as study those tips to make your trip to Disneyland extra special when it comes to food. You can also CLICK HERE to download a free printable guide to take with you to the parks! Or save it to your phone for a quick reference. Thousands of people have downloaded this form over the last few years, and it has become a very handy tool. There’s also one for Walt Disney World… click here for that guide.
UPDATE: After a recent trip to Disneyland, I have to say that while there are options for those with food allergies, they have a lot of work to do to get back to the way things used to be before 2020. Be prepared to ask for the chef every time you order as most waiters are not 100% sure of themselves or the menu. That is not a diss on anyone … there are no printed out or tangible menus to accommodate food allergies at this time (the only one we found was at Docking Bay 7). So, you must rely on the the person at the order window or your waiter to tell you what’s available off the top of their head. When someone says "you should be fine" or "I think it's gluten-free"... RED FLAG! Again, if you’re not 100% comfortable, ASK FOR THE CHEF!
Remember that menus and chefs can change, and some things aren’t fully back to the norm at the Happiest Place On Earth, so be patient with cast members and NEVER EVER eat anything you don’t feel fully confident is totally safe for you. Don’t ever feel bad for asking for the chef, double-checking and asking a million questions. They want you to feel safe while dining. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t eat it and ask for a manager or head chef.
MOBILE ORDERING: Yes, we now have access to mobile ordering! However, while it’s nice to order from wherever you are in the parks, if you don’t plan ahead you’ll have to wait awhile to get your food. Peak times could mean a 2 hour wait for some food, so check wait times and try to plan accordingly. Make sure that when you get to the restaurant for mobile pick up that you alert a cast member of your food allergens!z
BRING FOOD: Yes! This is still an option. We do it all the time. Bring snacks you can carry in your backpack or purse. Bring water, sandwiches, fruit, veggies — whatever you want! Just make sure you don’t bring glass or booze! We've even brought in our own Chipotle burrito bowls!
DINING RESERVATIONS: At the moment, reservations are key. They really are necessary for certain restaurants. Gone are the days that you can waltz up to the Blue Bayou in the morning and snag a late lunch or dinner reservation. If you want to eat somewhere that requires a reservation go get one now! And be sure you have a reservation for the park as well.
PARK RESERVATIONS: Unfortunately, yes — you need that, too. No longer can you go on a spur of the moment afternoon trip to the Happiest Place on Earth. If you want to hit up Disneyland or California Adventure be sure to check the app or website ahead of time and secure a park reservation for that day. If you have a park hopper or Magic Key Pass, make sure your dining reservation is good for the appropriate park at the appropriate time of the day. Example: If you make a park reservation for California Adventure but your dining reservation is somewhere in Disneyland, you cannot hop between parks until after 1pm. So make that dining reservation for after 1pm.
And whatever you do, if your food allergens are anaphylactic please bring your epipen with you wherever you go. DO NOT LEAVE IT IN THE LOCKERS!
If you have any questions that you can’t seem to find solid answers for, make sure to stop at City Hall on Main Street upon entering Disneyland. Also, if you have a bad experience or you didn't feel comfortable at a restaurant, please go to City Hall and let them know -- not to "complain" but to help them better train those in the food service area. They appreciate the feedback... please be kind.
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.
LET’S GET TO THE FOOD…
Açaí Chia Breakfast Bowl
This was probably the most beautiful and refreshing breakfast meal I’ve had at the parks. Just be sure to order it without oats, as they are NOT CERTIFIED Gluten-Free. I would get this again in a heartbeat. You’ll eat outside and enjoy a nice little tropical hideaway with tiki torches, music and delicious, quick service food!
Carnation Cafe (Main Street USA)
Eggs (cooked to your preference) over potatoes with either sausage, bacon or both. It was okay — not bad, but also not my favorite meal at the parks... just a simple option available.
There’s really nothing like a good Mickey Mouse waffle when you’re at the Happiest Place on Earth. They just taste better than regular-shaped waffles.
Blue Bayou (New Orlean’s Square)
This is another great place to get the famous gluten-free Monte Cristo at Disneyland. Not only do you get to enjoy a cool view (try to request a table near the water), but you can devour this famous sandwich… made gluten-free! You MUST order this in advance. Please call Disney dining (714-781-4636) 24 hours in advance if you’d like to order this Disneyland classic dish!
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo (Galaxy’s Edge)
Endorian Roasted Chicken Salad
This was probably one of the freshest meal options that we found. It was very flavorful and pretty healthy. Greens mixed with quinoa, butternut quash, topped with chicken made for a great, quick meal!
DISNEY'S CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE
Pym’s Test Kitchen (Avenger’s Campus)
This is a fancy, upgraded and extremely tasty meat-and-cheese sandwich. With rosemary ham, provolone, salami and a sun-dried tomato spread, it’s a total hit. The arugula salad was great, too. Everything on this menu is so perfectly curated!
Caesar Salad + Colossal Crouton
Loved the plating of this salad + large-and-in-charge “crouton” as well. Another healthy and refreshing, gluten-free option at the parks.
PB3 Superb Sandwich
Oh-my-sugar-rush — if you’re wanting something sweet, you need to give this sandwich a try! Peanut butter & jelly plus banana & bacon? Does it get any better? Plus, hash browns to balance out the sweet and salty. Goodness this was amazing!