Little known fact: The Magic Maker (that would be me) is gluten-free. Yes. I am a recovering churro addict. I am only recovering because my body has decided to forbid me from eating them. Otherwise, I would happily dive into the churro cart and enjoy my happily ever after.
I’ve successfully kept gluten at bay for the past four years, due to a severe intolerance. When I found out that I could not no longer enjoy the delectable Disneyland Churros or cupcakes and ice cream cones from Gibson Girl on Main Street, my eyes welled with tears. Prior to my diagnosis, I was a glutenous, sweet toothed, carb freak. I loved cakes, cookies, waffle cones, sugar cones… basically anything sweet. I’m pretty sure nothing has changed, except that now I love gluten-free sweets!
So, you might be wondering now how in the world do I enjoy my happy place without the temptation of a churro? What does a gluten-free person eat and enjoy at the parks? I am happy to report – PLENTY! To name a quick few, Dole Whip, Hot Chocolate, there are fruit and snack carts throughout both Parks, and plenty of popcorn to go around (Although I am still waiting for Disney to roll out gluten-free churros)!
My top five spots to get eats and sweets!
Cheeseburger & Sweet Potato fries from Hungry Bear (Frontierland)
There’s just something about a really good burger. While it’s nice to get my fill of protein-style, lettuce-wrapped meals, sometimes I really want to have some bread. Select restaurants at Disneyland and DCA offer gluten-free breads, rolls, and even hot dog buns. One of my favorite eats is the cheeseburger from Hungry Bear, in Frontierland. Couple it with an amazing basket of sweet potato fries and I’m good for the day!
Monte Cristo at Cafe Orleans (New Orleans Square)
The Monte Cristo is a yummy, battered, and deep-fried sandwich at the Blue Bayou. Sadly my photos inside the Blue Bayou, but you can also get this sandwich at Cafe Orleans. This is my husband’s favorite sandwich, and I couldn’t resist ordering a gluten-free version just to see what he was raving about. Inside the Blue Bayou, the chef was wonderful and happily concocted my dish. It was the perfect combination of crispy, sweet, and salty. The dipping sauces were equally as delicious, my favorite was the vanilla custard. (*This meal took at least 30 minutes to prepare. They use a different fryer and have to wash everything out for cross contamination)
Mint Julep from the Julep Bar in Disneyland (New Orleans Square)
Water is the best way to go everyday. HOWEVER, when you’re submerged in the magic, it is always appropriate to have a mint julep. This is totally gluten free (and alcohol free), and can be found at the Mint Julep Bar on the backside of New Orleans Square, just near the Train Station. It’s super refreshing on summer days and helps pass the time as you wander the park or stand in line for The Haunted Mansion or Pirates of the Caribbean! I am still waiting for gluten free Mickey beignets. I do hear that Walt Disney World now offers gluten free beignets, which is on my bucket list to try! One day…
Custom Hand-Dipped Ice Cream Bar at Clarabelle’s Ice Cream & Starbucks Coffee at Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe in DCA (Buena Vista Street)
Gratefully, I am not allergic to dairy… or chocolate. I love ice cream, especially these hand-dipped vanilla bean ice cream bars, milk chocolate, that are then rolled in adorable Mickey sprinkles that taste delicious. Writing this is making my mouth water.
There are other options that you can try, like a sundae, or yummy ice cream on a cone, or in a cup!
Want something sweet that will give you a pick-me-up? Then go next door to Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe and grab a Starbucks coffee, made your way!
Breakfast at Carnation Cafe (Main Street, U.S.A.)
Ahhh, Wine Country Trattoria is one of my newer favorites. We enjoyed reservations for World of Color (which was AMAZING), and the meal was on point! The chef happily created something that wasn’t on the menu due to my allergy. I had a gluten-free penne pasta tossed with tomatoes, spinach, and a light buttery sauce, topped with grated parmesan, of course! I enjoyed the red sangria which complemented my meal well. I was served a warm, delectable chocolate chip cookie, complete with a chocolate swirl and strawberry accent!
Have a gluten allergy or new to being gluten free? Quick Tips for your Trip!
Be patient. When ordering gluten-free foods, they are prepared and handled only by the chef, and it may take some time to prepare your meal.
If you have reservations, alert them that you have a gluten allergy or any type of allergy and they will make sure to accommodate your request speedily
You can bring in your own snacks to hold you over (I often carry granola bars and fruit in my purse to keep from lunging towards my children and their churros)
Look at the glass as half full. I try to see everything that I CAN eat, and not what I cannot.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, or would like more information on eating gluten-free at the Parks! I am not a food blogger, so many times I eat and don’t document. But I am working on that and would like have more offerings of gluten-free goodness here on the blog!
In the meantime, here are some great posts on Disney foods:
Disney Babies Blog – F & W Perfect Meal
Home is Where the Mouse Is – Duffy’s International Food Festival
Rolling with the Magic – Food & Wine Fun Outside of Epcot
Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere – Art of Entertaining