Wednesday, June 15, 2011

California Adventure Gluten Free Menu

The first time we went to Disneyland and California Adventure after going on the gluten free diet, I couldn't find any information online about what to expect.  If you're on a gluten free diet, you know how scary it is to just "wing it" when it comes to eating.  You can pick up a gluten free menu at Guest Services when you arrive (which I recommend, since the menus change a little each year).  But for those who are like me and prefer to plan their meals ahead of time, I'm posting the menu from 2009, along with changes we observed in 2010 (and the 2010 prices).  Scroll to the bottom for World Of Color picnic box information, and to find other theme park GF menus.

GF Ordering Tips at California Adventure
Always mention that you’re ordering gluten free items first, since the person taking your order will promptly go back and tell the manager or chef so that your order receives special attention.  In the more upscale restaurants, the chef will come to the table to discuss your gluten free options.  You’ll need to allow an extra 15 minutes or more for your food to cook, so if you’re traveling with others who don’t require GF foods, consider ordering your food before the rest of the group arrives.  There are more gluten free options available than what is listed below, but  only restaurants that offer gluten free alternatives are listed.  When you’re used to forgoing the bun or bread on a regular basis, part of the fun of gluten free dining at Disney parks is getting to have your bread and eat it too!

Taste Pilots’ Grill:
Tip: This is the only GF burger place, but its central location makes it a great place to eat.  The portion sizes are big enough that 2 kids can easily split an adult meal (around $7-$8). 
  • Hamburger or cheeseburger with fries – request gluten free bun
  • Chicken salad – request grilled chicken breast in place of the chicken tenders, no cucumber sticks
  • Grilled chicken sandwich with fries – request a gluten free bun and ask for a fresh pan to be used

Pizza Oom Mow Mow:
Tip: At $6.50 for a decent sized GF pizza, this is a great value.  We ate pizza 3 times on our last trip!
  • Pepperoni or cheese pizza – request gluten free crust
Ariel’s Grotto:
  • Ask to speak to the chef or manager to find out what gluten free offerings are available. 

Cocina Cucamonga:
  • Child’s chicken taco with corn tortilla
    • Sides available – beans, peppers, onions, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, tomato
    Golden Vine Winery – Trattoria:
    • Request gluten free pasta with marinara sauce, butter or olive oil – (allow 15-30 minutes)
    • Chicken Bruschetta Salad, Pizzetta Salad, or Tuscan salad without the bread or croutons

    Award Wieners:
    Tip: Another great value at under $6 for a hot dog and chips (they have Lays potato chips).
    • John Morrel, 100% beef hot dogs – request gluten free bun

    Burr-r-r Bank cones:
    • All ice cream is Dreyers (only Cookies & Cream and Tollhouse Swirl are not GF)
    Outdoor Vending Carts:
    • Turkey Legs
    • Popcorn
    • Cotton Candy (made with a combination of vegetable and coconut oils)
    • Mickey faced premium ice cream bars on a stick
      • Nestle novelty ice cream bars are made in a plant that produces nut & wheat products.

    There aren't any GF World of Color picnic boxes, but since we were with a mixed group of GF and non-GF friends, we ordered two different kinds and gave the GF options to those who needed GF food, and the folks who could eat gluten ate the rest - including all the desserts!  Since ordering picnic boxes in advance guarantees you a seat for this amazing show, and saves you from having to show up before the park opens to stand in line for a ticket, it's worth the work of juggling the different boxes and trading food.  Tip: If you're with a big group, ordering picnic boxes is a must if you want to all be at the same show.  Picnic boxes must be ordered online at least 48 hrs. in advance (as of 2010).  Pack a blanket to sit on because that will mark the area for your group and keep others from pressing in on you as the show starts.
    • The GF folks ordered the European Antipasto picnic boxes and ate the meat, veggies and cheese, but gave away the crackers and dessert.  All picnic boxes come with a drink.  
    • The non-GF folks ordered the All American picnic boxes and ate the fried chicken and coleslaw (and dessert), but gave their potato salad to the GF folks.  
    • For the 2 GF little girls, we got a couple of the Little Squirts kids picnic boxes that came with yogurt, a cheese stick, apples and a bracelet (it's all about the bracelet).  They gave the crackers and cupcake away, so we brought some GF crackers with us to round it out.  
    • Dessert:  We also discovered that the Greetings from California shop near the entrance to California Adventure carries gluten free chocolate chip cookies.  They were expensive ($7), but it was worth it to have a dessert for the kids that was "official," with a picture of Minnie Mouse on the front.  
    Check the "Theme Park GF Menus" section to the left for past and future posts on menus at other parks like Disneyland, Sea World, Legoland, and Lagoon.

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