We are back with a review of 3 days eating gluten free and dairy free in Disneyland California. We hope this information can help you on your travels and/or inspire you in your kitchen!
Not all of the amazing caramel apples are gluten free, but this one was. It was a layer of caramel on apple with white chocolate and chocolate decor. It was not dairy free, but it was gluten free. 3 of our group shared this, and they reported it as being very good!
Dinner at Ariel’s Grotto was a treat for us, and it was my favorite low allergen dining spot of the trip. The children enjoyed a starter of fruit, jello and optional cheese as well as salad.
For the adults there was a tier of appetizers to choose from. While the standard seafood was not gluten free, the chef offered to make anything I wanted gluten free and dairy free. I only opted for the salad, olives, and tomatoes for appetizer. They were quite good. The yellow tomatoes were very sweet and tender and the salad had a wonderful dressing. I very much enjoyed the variety of olives to sample
While the others in our party were served warm bread, we were not offered a bread option. I asked our waiter if they had gluten free rolls and olive oil and they did. They were brought to us, promptly. As it was a chilly evening, my daughter appreciated the warm gluten free rolls.
For dinner, the children both had the tri tip steak and mashed potatoes. These were gluten free, but not dairy free. The chef assured me she could make anything dairy free if I wanted it, but she recommended the rice instead of potatoes. I opted for the sustainable fish of the day, which was a wonderful choice.
The children liked their steak and potatoes and I LOVED my fish. It was cooked with a wonderful, subtle flavor. It was not overwhelmed by oil or seasoning, yet it delivered a nice taste. The fish was tender, flaky, and perfectly cooked. The vegetables served alongside included squash on the grill and a pineapple red pepper salad in addition to wild rice. While I love all of these dishes, I was not able to eat this much food in one setting. I focused on the fish, and much of the rest had to be forfeited for this trip. I was left craving this fish for the next week!
The chef was very friendly and kind here, and I would highly recommend this restaurant to those with allergies. My suggestion would be to speak up for what you would like, however, as we would not have received all aspects of our meal had we not asked for them.
For dessert, we only had one option. It was a bit odd, but actually quite refreshing and nice. We had a blood orange sorbet with berries. It was a tad too bitter to eat the whole thing, but one bite of sorbet with a bite of berries was a nice combination.
We ordered room service from the Disneyland Paradise Pier Hotel. They brought gluten free dairy free eggs and potatoes with peppers. The potatoes were delicious. We enjoyed these with tea and honey.
A different morning we ordered breakfast from the Disneyland Hotel Steakhouse 55. The atmosphere in this hotel was great. It was a calm retreat from the standard Disney dining. I opted for a simple breakfast of tea and frozen gluten free dairy free waffles. They offered to jazz these up a bit, but I was not in the mood for much more than a plain waffle. The rest of the group ordered omelets.
In addition to these dining options we also ate at the following venues:
House of Blues in Downtown Disney. Here my daughter had a gluten free burger, gluten free fries, pickle, tomato, lettuce, and no bun. I had a pork sandwich and coleslaw. I didn’t ask if the pork sauce was dairy free and or gluten free and I did end up feeling quite sick after this meal. It was the only meal that upset my stomach on the trip. My daughter was fine with her meal, but we made a point to make sure hers was gluten free.
We had a quick service lunch at Troubador Inn in the Disneyland Park. We had baked potatoes and brats with saurkraut. The only guaranteed gluten free item was the baked potato, so that is what my daughter had. She loves baked potatoes, so she was content with this. I got a banana to go alongside as well as sliced apples.
Three members of our group ate at the Wine Country Trattoria in the California Adventure Park where they served gluten free pasta. I was not present for this meal, but I was told that is was good, not great.
The Surf’s Up quick service restaurant was our late lunch stop one day. It is located inside the Paradise Pier Hotel. At our lunch time, late afternoon, they were not interested in doing gluten free fries or looking for gluten free buns, but they were able to do a cobb salad (so so) and a burger without bun. The server was friendly, but the selection was very limited.
We enjoyed a free meal, courtesy of booking through Costco, at Goofy’s Kitchen. This is a character dinner. We have never been to a character meal with SO MANY characters. It was Pluto, Chip, Dale, Goofy, Aladdin, and Minnie! They had plenty of gluten free and dairy free foods to choose from on the buffet and the chef offered to make us gluten free pasta if we’d like it. We didn’t feel the need with all the other choices available. While they did not have a dairy free ice cream, they did have a gluten free dairy free brownie that they brought out at the end of the meal. It was my daughter’s birthday, so we were happy about that. The disappointment was that it tasted terrible. Despite the fact that it was our only dessert on the trip, save for the slightly bitter sorbet, we both took one bite and left it on the table. Disneyland California could benefit from some pointers on serving those with allergies from Disney World in Florida. We didn’t encounter any establishment to have rice or soy milk on hand, or rice or soy ice cream. The selection was surprisingly limited. We stopped at two ice cream shops and were told there was nothing dairy free, unlike the main ice cream shops in Walt Disney World.
Our final shopping for food took the place of fruit from the fresh fruit stands in each park. Here we found pineapple, banana, apple, pickles, and mango in addition to a few other snack offerings. I really enjoyed this as an alternative to chips or nuts throughout the day.