Sunday, May 3, 2009

Gluten and Casein Free at Disneyland- April 2009




Well my family took a trip to Disneyland from April 5 through the 9, 2009.  Prior to going I had heard that Disney was very accomidating for food allergies, especially the ones we have which are gluten (AKA wheat) and casein (AKA dairy).  A few months before our trip I started to investigate via search the web and I somehow came across the contact info for Chef Chris.  Chef Chris is the main guy to call to get the 411 on food allergies.  First I emailed him and he told me that once I arrived to get the celiac list and that will tell me all the gluten free options they have.  Unfortunately they do not hand out this list prior to arrivial at the park since the menu selections are often changing.  I did manage to get this celiac list when a friend of mine went to Disney she got it for me.  The choices looked promising. 
 
About 2 weeks before my arrivial to the magical kingdom I called Chef Chris.  He is fast to respond and was much more helpful on the phone than our email a few months earlier.  He told me specific brands of the buns, hotdogs and baking mixes they use which gave me a clear mind that I knew this would be a great trip.  Due to our food allergies we mainly ate all our meals in the park or the hotel restraunts run by Disney, I did take a gamble eatting at the Rainforest Cafe,eventhough the manager assured me items that were safe.  I played it safe with a chicken salad and for my 5 yr old son hamberger with no bun and fresh fruit.
 
Now onto my park dining reviews:  I was pleasantly suprised with the choices of allergy friendly food and the quality of it. Each time I ordered the chef personally came out to talk with me and go over our allergies. We had pizza, pasta, hamburgers on buns, hot dogs on buns, chicken sandwhiches, fries, sorbet and salads. The first hamburger my son got he was certain we gave him someone else's food. He was pleasently suprised when he was allowed to eat the bun.  I have to say my 2 favorite spots to eat were The Red Rocket Pizza Port in Disneyland (this is where I ate pizza and pasta) and The Tastey Pilots (I had chicken sandwhich) in CA Adventure.
 
I did have 1 not so tastey experience on our character breakfast at the Disney Grand Californian Hotel's Storytellers Cafe.  My son and I ordered the kids breakfast which came with pancakes,eggs and bacon.  The chef was great he came to our table to take our order but when the food came out there were potatoes and yogurt on the plate.  I quickly informed the server to take back the yogurt but I kept the potatoes on the plate and just didn't eat them.  The pancakes were horrible tasting and the appearance was very flat, not at all looked like our normal pancakes we make at home.  But the eggs and bacon and entertainment made up for any disapointments I had.
 
When I got home I gathered my thoughts and about a week later gave Chef Chris a call to share my experience.  He was happy to hear overall it was a positive experience and he said I was the first to make comments about the pancakes.  I gave him suggestions on maybe switching the pancake mix to another brand and he seemed willing to see about adjustments that he can make in the future.  Overall it was a safe and positive experience and I deffinately look forward to being able to eat at Disney again.
 
 

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