Underwater Grill Seaworld: This restaurant was listed as “Allergy Friendly”. It is also listed as a fine dining option. The server, like many others we encourted, lacked any training on dealing with allergies. She brought bread to our table. I asked if they offered a…
Mama Della’s at the Portofino Universal Hotel June The Portofino has plenty of fine dining options. I loved the singers that went from table to table in this restaurant. They came to our table twice, and their voices were smooth as silk. I would have…
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.
Ok where do I begin? First, we had JUST enjoyed 1900 Park Fare the day prior and it was my new favorite, but I thought my husband may enjoy the non character version so I suggested Grand Floridian Cafe. We had not trouble getting night prior reservations for breakfast.
Upon being seated, our experience was negative all the way around. First, the server was very sweet, but she took it upon herself to start discussing our gluten and dairy allergies and telling us what we can and can’t eat. She didn’t know what she was talking about, however, which was bizarre. Normally a chef comes out, which we did ask for after that strange interaction.
Next, the wait was SO SO SLOW! I couldn’t understand it as I knew there was a huge buffet next door and I could see the restaurant was not even close to busy. We waited. And waited. And waited!
So, we were already over it when our food arrived. My teen’s steak looked like a burnt puck and I was told it tasted about the same. She asked for med rare, but got scorched. Then, to make matters even more disappointing, all the food was only so so. At the price point these meals are set, I expected to be delighted with every bite. Instead I was longing for a local diner or to be back home where I could prepare a better meal for a fraction of the price. We had an additional meal, not pictured. My youngest ordered the eggs Benedict because she loved the ones she had next door the day prior, but these were vastly different and drowning in sauce to the extent that she could taste nothing else. She didn’t care for her dish, either. This was a total disappointment and the next time I am looking for breakfast near the Grand Floridian, it will be at 1900 Park Fare, for certain.
Again, I don’t know why I didn’t take meal photos, but there were plenty of safe and enjoyable options for us here. We always like the dessert, which is simple but yummy! This is a great choice for our larger gatherings with little kids because…
It was a beautiful, but surprisingly hot spring day at Disney Springs. We stopped at Vivoli il Gelato in hopes of something dairy free. They had a special of the day which was a lemon sorbet and strawberry sorbet with a canned sparkling water sweetened beverage poured in. The whip cream seen on top is not dairy free, but ordering without that would be a safe bet. They can clean serving spoons before hand, but there is risk of cross contamination of course. These were incredibly tart for the kids, and they didn’t love them, but it was cold and refreshing while we listened to a high school band play Disney classics by the water. It was a lovely little stop.
My husband has been wanting us to try Bongo’s Cuban restaurant at Downtown Disney, Orlando. We finally found a time to dine there for lunch. To start with, the menu as labeled for gluten free options, which was very convenient. I just asked if they could make the gluten free selection dairy free, and we had no trouble. My daughter ordered the roast pork with steamed vegetables. She was not a huge fan of the pork. It was a touch sweet, which she didn’t care for. The serving sizes, however, were just huge, so I shared mine with her, and I still had more than I could eat.
I ordered a steak dish in a cilantro garlic mojo. It was very good, though not as tender as the other gluten free offering. Both steak dishes were very good. I was a big fan of the sweet plantain. It was not too sweet, and the texture was nice. I look forward to trying those again. The dish was served with black beans and white rice, and the portions were just huge! To drink, I ordered a non alcoholic lemonade with mint. I just loved this drink. It was tart with a hint of effervescence. The muddled mint was fresh and delightful. The menu had several lemonade offerings that are a fresh treat. We enjoyed our meal, and our relaxing and fun environment at Bongos. While it wasn’t my favorite Downtown Disney eatery, it was a definite repeat!
As I mention below, we were happy to find that the restaurants at Coronado Springs Resort have improved, dramatically, from prior years when it comes to gluten free dairy free food options. We went to the Maya Grill for dinner, and we could easily look…
During our trip to the Coronado Springs Resort, we decided to give Pepper Market, Maya, and the other eateries of the resort a chance to redeem themselves from past trips. The results? A success! To start with, I noticed that some of the menus posted outside of the Maya restaurant and at the pool bar had meal options labeled with “GF”, which makes it so much easier to know how to order a safe food. This is a HUGE step in the right direction.
The Pepper Market items were not labeled, but we did go directly to any counter that was not too busy and ask if a chef could assist us. I would not ask the people behind the counters if foods are safe, as they will not know and they may give you wrong information. Just ask for the chef from the get go. The Chef told us that the Tortilla Soup was gluten free and dairy free, and it sounded great to me, as I was chilly and worn out from travel. The soup was pretty good. I felt it would have been much better with some fresh cilantro and some corn, but for a cafeteria soup option that was allergy safe, it was nice.
The nachos, pictured above, were from the poolside bar. These are not dairy free, but they could be made dairy free if you like. The bottom of the dish was layered with spicy chili. I did not try these, but the kids enjoyed them until they got to the bottom, which they left behind. We had other meals at CSR during our stay, and I will report those soon. All in all, we were very happy with the improvements they made.