Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dining at Disneyland

I know it's been a while but I'm in the mood to write again and I figured I would start again by sharing one thing I get asked all the time. How do you eat at Disneyland while being gluten-free? The answer is simple - a lot.

Anyone who gets to know me, learns that I LOVE Disneyland and would live there if I could. If I could ever get a job at Disneyland, it would be a dream come true. When I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 11 years ago, it was very difficult to adjust. Then a few years later we visited Disneyland and California Adventures. The first day, most of my meals consisted of salad with no dressing, very salty potato chips, a turkey leg and popcorn. By the time dinner rolled around I watched my family go anywhere they wanted and got a meal they didn't have to worry about what was in it. I looked at all the menus and realized that I couldn't eat anything. I got frustrated and started crying. We ended up walking quite a ways outside the park and having a discusting meal at a restaurant.

The next day, my cousin told me to go into City Hall and ask. Disneyland had thousands of guests a day walk through their gates and I know I'm not the only one with dietary issues. I was greated by a lady with a great smile and asked how she could help me. I told her that I wasn't sure and that I have Celiac Disease. Before I could explain to her what it was, she pulled out a huge binder and handed me a sheet of paper. I was looking at a list of all the foods I could eat that were gluten-free. The biggest thing I learned that day was it's ok to ask for help.

That night, I chose to go to Redd Rocket's Pizza Port and had spaghetti. I was treated to well and I was amazed at how focused the chefs were about making my food and making sure there would be no cross-contamination. Every time I eat at the restaurants, I spend about 20 minutes waiting for my food, but it's worth it. Now, all I have to do is say that I need gluten-free and the cashier excuses themselves to get the chef. I talk to the person who will be making my food.

I will be visiting Disneyland in two weeks and I cannot wait. My family and I will be there for a whole week. My plan is to walk all of you readers through my dining experience while I'm there.

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