See Part 1 and Part 2 to read about the gluten-free meals we ate while on our recent vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. (Note, if you are just coming into this series, we don't eat Paleo while on vacation, we eat gluten-free however)
Breakfast – Cinderella's Royal Table in Cinderella’s Castle (Magic Kingdom)
I was very excited for this one since I’ve never been in the castle and Cinderella is one of my favorite princesses! (yes, I am 38) You get to see Cinderella when you enter and then Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Jasmine, Ariel, and Snow White come to your table. The restaurant itself is beautiful, you definitely feel like you are in a castle. The meal was just the same standard breakfast fare we had been having – eggs, sausage, bacon, and potatoes but I did manage to convince the Allergy Chef to bring us some gluten-free waffles. I suspect they were the kid’s version because they were tiny, but that was fine. He also brought us out some GF blueberry muffins but they were quite dense and dry. The kids both were able to have french toast but it wasn’t available for the adults. This also requires 2 credits on the dining plan so it’s an expensive meal, but you are paying more for the experience with this one than anything else. Worth it to do once I think.
Lunch – Pinocchio Village Haus in Magic Kingdom
For this meal… we were hot, tired, cranky, and the kids were beginning to completely lose it so we ventured on in to the air conditioning to revive ourselves. It is a quick service (fast food) place and another one where you need to tell the cashier that you have an allergy and they hand you an allergy menu. They had a variety of items available that were GF and we all chose to get the fried chicken tenders with french fries. They were tasty, though they needed some sort of sauce. We just mixed together some ketchup with some mayo packets and made a sort of fry sauce that worked. I even had a Coke (gasp!) but I had promised myself I’d be allowed to get one for nostalgia’s sake on my trip and it was so damn refreshing. We also got to sit in one of the tables overlooking It’s A Small World so it was fun too.
Dinner – Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom
This is a fun character meal where Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and Eeyore all come up to your table. We sat down and the server called the allergy chef who came out 3 minutes later and offered to walk me through the buffet. He was extremely friendly and went through each item (many of them were safe), making sure he stated that he got his sausages from Germany since that way they wouldn’t have any fillers in them. He also offered us some GF rolls which I had declined at first stating “Think we’ve had our fill of GF rolls this trip” but yet he persisted saying he gets a different kind than everyone else and that people come to him for the rolls. That piqued my curiosity so I said “sure”. And man, was I glad I did. They were amazing! The chef kindly allowed me to take a picture of the label to share (see below) and really, the ingredients aren’t even too bad! For dessert we had house-made gluten-free brownies but the chef also offered some Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies.
This had been our first time going to Disney on a meal plan and with my hungry kids I went for the Deluxe plan. It includes a LOT of food. Like so much that we were pretty much not hungry for half of our meals since the previous meals had filled us up and when we left we still had 11 snack credits on our account. We bought a lot of Paleo-friendly snacks at Whole Foods prior to leaving thinking we'd need them during our trip and we ate none of them since snacks were the last thing on our minds while at the parks. Seriously, I could probably have gone a few days without eating after some of the meals. The snack credits that we did use were used mainly on bottled water. So I can't really speak to what sort of gluten-free snack options are available at the park other than the Dole Whip at Aloha Isle is gluten-free and dairy-free, and that there is a beautiful looking fruit stand in Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom.
Also, if you have other allergies do not be afraid to let the chefs know. I heard someone talking to an allergy chef that had gluten, dairy, soy, and sesame allergies and the allergy chef didn't hesitate before explaining options for that guest. The allergy chefs really seem to enjoy their jobs and helping people, and Disney really goes the extra mile to make us feel comfortable and welcomed. It really adds to the magic of Disney. Now I just wish everywhere I went was like this!
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