Disney is such a magical place! Being able to be transported and immersed by the different lands and story, there is truly no other place like a Disney Park! A few years ago when I went gluten, dairy and soy free I went to Walt Disney World. This was my first vacation with my food restrictions. I was so nervous about how to navigate traveling with food restrictions, but Disney put all those worries at ease with delicious safe meals for me! I had the coolest meals and never once felt I had a “boring” dish. I still dream about the gluten, dairy and soy free Mickey Mouse waffles during my stay in Orlando, Florida.
Fast forward a year later, my boyfriend Nate and I went to Disneyland together, and the experience was okay. It wasn’t that Disneyland couldn’t accommodate my food restrictions, in my opinion, I felt the variety was limited compared to the other coast. On our most recent trip to The Disneyland Resort this past week (that was completely unexpected), Nate and I prepared ourselves with a variety of snacks and such just to be sure I had food to eat. Knowing the resort had recently gone through some changes, we decided to see what Disney California Adventure could do for me in making something yummy and other than a basic salad.
Let me tell you, I had the most magical experience at Disney’s California Adventure with food! Our food adventure started with the Lamplight Lounge at Pixar Pier. The Lamplight Lounge has a bar where they serve some food, we decided to see if we could potentially eat at the main restaurant. It is highly recommended that you make a reservation, but we had a magical moment when we were able to walk right in! Brunch was being served and the host handed me the allergy friendly menu. One thing I love about Disney’s allergy menus is they all list the food allergies/restrictions that are safe for each entree. As I searched the menu I realized there was not anything that accommodated all three of the things I am free of. Our waiter told us he would bring out the chef and a few moments later the chef came to our table. I explained my food restrictions and he told me he would be happy to make something for me that is free of gluten, dairy and soy! He mentioned that the vegan cheese that Disney uses is Daiya, which I am sure you have heard me talk about a time or two on my blog. Daiya is gluten, dairy and soy free! After finding that information the possibilities became endless for me – I could enjoy the famous lobster nachos. I decided to go with Lamplight Chilaquiles and boy were they delicious! I couldn’t even finish my plate. Not only was the food great, but the atmosphere was wonderful too. It was very relaxing sitting by the water, chatting with friends on their comfy loungers. The indoor decor is just too cute too. It wasn’t overwhelmingly Pixar, it had just the right touches making it a fun, sophisticated place to relax. I highly recommend my allergy friendly friends check out this place.
Dinner time rolled around and feeling confident in Disney California Adventure’s chefs, we decide to grab dinner. Near Pixar Pier they had a special food stand for the Fall Season dedicated to Pixar’s Film, Coco. Mexican food is my favorite, so we wanted to see if this Quick Service stand could accommodate my food restrictions. The chef and her manager came out and were so kind and helpful, but ultimately the best thing they could make for me were basic tacos. I love tacos just as much as the next person, but decided to roll the dice and see if I could get something extra magical for me to eat. We ventured next door to Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta. At the bare minimum, we knew we could order me a salad. We went over to the pizza counter, where a helpful Cast Member gave us the allergy menu and told us she would call over the chef. The chef came out a few moments later and was excited to whip something fun for me to enjoy. We talked about a pasta dish, but in the end I decided to enjoy a gluten, dairy and soy free pizza. Now on the allergy friendly menu it does mention the cheese is soy based. The vegan cheese they use is Daiya, which is gluten, dairy and soy free. The allergy friendly pizza is traditional made with soy based marinara which is why the pizza is listed as Soy Pizza. When you speak to the chef like I did, they can swap out the marinara for one that is gluten, dairy and soy free. It is confusing, but with faith, trust and pixie dust the chefs are able to make your dreams come true. I truly enjoyed my pizza and was impressed by this Quick Service location and highly recommend it.
A food I didn’t enjoy this time around, but I recommend trying at the parks is a classic Dole Whip. The traditional Dole Whips are Top 8 Free, however, the new flavors are different. Be sure to ask a Cast Member to be sure it is safe. Hippeas are now available at the parks, which you might remember me talking about in Don’t Be Salty: A guide to chips, crackers and beyond! Also my other favorite Quick Service restaurant at Disneyland is Rancho Del Zocalo, located in Frontierland. I have not eaten at the Blue Bayou since my food lifestyle changed, but I have eaten there with a friend who was allergic to carrots. The Cast Members at the Blue Bayou were extremely accommodating and made her a special batch of gumbo.
The Disney Parks truly know how to make any trip magical. I am thankful this trip to The Disneyland Resort food wise was better than my previous experience. As a former Cast Member, it makes my heart smile seeing current Cast Members make those of us in the food allergy/restrictive world have a magical experience. Have you eaten at The Disneyland Resort with your food restrictions? What was your experience like during your stay?
Thank you Disney, for making my visit to the Happiest Place on Earth, magical, not only for myself, but for my stomach too.