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In the previous post I mentioned how we don't necessarily eat Paleo on vacation but that we for sure eat gluten-free due to our Celiac disease. And that Disney Parks are incredible about accommodating those with food allergies. Here I continue with detailing our experience at each of our meals.
Breakfast at Chef Mickey's in the Contemporary Resort
This is another highly popular character meal where Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto visit your table wearing chef outfits. The allergy chef arrived within 5 minutes of us being seated and was extremely helpful and also apparently extremely popular as when when talking to us she received requests to go to 3 more tables. She offered to make us some GF Mickey Waffles and also brought us out some GF blueberry muffins and glazed donuts. Now I would normally not eat all of these GF baked goods but I was on vacation and heck if I’m going to pass up a glazed donut that I could actually eat!! It was a bit dense and super sweet but I didn’t care. There also is a buffet that features eggs, bacon, frittatas, sausage, potatoes, etc and the allergy chef walked me through it to let us know what we could eat. Again it was most of the items save the obvious gluten-filled ones and a few others. Characters show up throughout the meal and I got to meet Minnie Mouse, so I was super happy!
Lunch at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe in Magic Kingdom (Tomorrowland)
We initially tried to eat at the Tomorrowland Terrace but the very nice manager let us know that because that was a seasonal location the only GF items they had were the lobster roll, burger, and hot dog (with buns) because they didn’t have a separate frier for french fries. So if we wanted fries (we did) we would have to go to one of the 3 bigger quick service locations – Cosmic Ray's, Pinocchio Village Haus in Fantasyland, or Pecos Bill in Frontierland. They apparently are the only quick service places in the Magic Kingdom that have separate allergy friers. So off we went to Cosmic Ray's. This place was a bit more confusing as they initially said they had GF Chicken Nuggets for the kids but when we went to order the manager said they didn’t. So we went with burgers for my husband and I and hot dogs for the kids, all with fries. Just standard fast food fare and again, the buns were so dry that we pretty much wound up eating just the meat, Paleo style.
Dinner at the Spirit of Aloha Luau at the Polynesian
This is a super fun show to watch and we love all things Hawaii, so we always try to include this in our trip. You start off getting a lei and a picture and then proceed to your table where an appetizer waits for you. This one was a bit trickier to navigate since they don’t have an allergy chef consultation BEFORE your appetizer is there, so only one of the 2 plates on the table was GF (everything is served family style). The other one was normal. This was because they thought only 1 of us had an allergy, but I don’t recall a place where I could indicate more than one when I made the reservation. But once they realized all of us had the allergy they called the chef out and she immediately told us she’d get us another platter of GF appetizer and then would bring us out the main course without the sauce on it since the normal sauce had gluten in it. So we got chicken, kalua-style pork, and ribs with no sauce served with white rice and vegetables. A side of sweet and sour sauce was also brought out that was safe for us. To be honest the food was kind of dry and uninspired but I was so stuffed from our other meals that I was ok with it. Dessert options were just the standard packaged chocolate chip cookie and/or brownie. This is another one you go to more for the show and ambiance (there is a fire dancer!) than for the food, at least if you are gluten-free.
Breakfast – Captain Cook’s (Polynesian Resort)
This was our second time here and we got the breakfast platter again. This time it was easy though since all I had to do was go up to the cashier and say “3 Allergy Bounty Breakfast platters – for gluten allergy please”. And she entered it in the computer, handed me the pager and I paid. Easy peasy and the closest thing to “normal, non-GF” eating we’ve had here.
Lunch – Tusker House in Animal Kingdom
This is another character lunch (yeah, we did a lot of these this trip) where you meet Mickey, Donald, Daisy, and Goofy all dressed up in safari gear. We’ve eaten here before, but it was back before we knew were Celiac so I was definitely interested in what it would be like now having to eat gluten-free. They live up to their reputation for being super accommodating though. For some reason our reservation did not indicate our allergy but it wasn’t a problem. We just mentioned to our server that we all had a gluten allergy and she paged the allergy chef. He showed up 4 minutes later and brought me through the buffet to tell me what we could eat. There were very few items that we could not have. A few were not obvious, like a lamb stew and some curries, but other than that there was quite a lot that we could have, plus there was an entire station of just GF breads and muffins, off by itself, far from the gluten-breads. And there was even a chocolate raspberry dessert we could have! They also offered to bring us out the packaged cookies/brownies but we declined.
Dinner – Le Cellier in Epcot (Canada)
The meal at this hard to get into restaurant was definitely my favorite meal of the trip. Once we were seated our server handed us a separate allergy menu that detailed what was gluten, dairy, soy, etc free. The server also offered to call the chef out to discuss any questions we had but we didn’t feel the need to so we just ordered straight off the allergy menu. It is a small thing to be able to do that, but it was a nice touch that really made me feel like we were “normal”. It's hard for me to explain, it's not that having the allergy chefs come out to our table was a problem at all, but every so often I just don't want extra special treatment. I just want to be like everyone else. I guess by this point in our trip as well I trusted the Disney staff completely since they had been so careful up to that point so maybe I wouldn't have felt the same way at the beginning of my trip. Anyway, I got the filet, my husband got the ribeye, and my kids got the steak and chicken kid’s meals and split each. My filet was cooked perfectly and was quite delicious and tender. For dessert I splurged and got the Creme Brulee and it was insanely good. This place sure lives up to the hype for me! (Note, if on a dining plan this takes 2 credits instead of just 1)
See Part 3 that details the final days at the parks and my advice for eating gluten-free at Disney.
Make Paleo easier, faster, less expensive, and way more fun with all the resources in my Freebie Library! Click on the picture to find out how to access it.