This is an old blog post from an earlier website version but as people may be starting to weigh up getting a new car versus, having those home improvements versus a holiday of a life time, then this may help them to decide. Is Disney what dreams or nightmares are made of? This was July 2015 so disclaimer: things may have changed….but I’ll bet it’s for the better!
I’d researched, documented, researched some more and sought advice of fellow parents of children with Coeliac’s on social media. To clarify we were not staying on resort but just outside Kissimmee in a self catering villa. We were pleasantly surprised across all the parks in Disney, the staff were either knowledgeable of gluten free or immediately got a supervisor to speak with us about Beth’s requirements and likes/dislikes. Admittedly Beth ate enough pizza to start to look like one by the end of our stay but everywhere we went there was choice, laminated gluten free menus proudly presented to you from behind the counter and staff willing to alter the dish according to Bethany’s tastes.
You’ll be please to hear that it wan’t just Disney that catered for Beth, Gatorland Park also came up trumps with a choice of gluten free dishes, on this occasion Beth opted for pulled pork on Nachos.
Drum roll please…… there was one place we visited that beat everyone else hands down – Blizzard Beach.
I’m not the outward emotional type, my cuddles are reserved only for my children and maybe my hubby if he behaves (!) but I wanted to squeeze the assistant on the till when I asked her what on the boards above her head were gluten free and she responded with a grin – EVERYTHING! You heard me! Anything could and would be made gluten free if my daughter wanted it. Now if I were a Coeliac myself I’d have taken up residence in the food seating area until I’d tried everything on the menu and my bikini when ping under the pressure! Beth on the other hand chose chicken nuggets and chips. The chips were fresh cut potatoes fried in non-contaminated oil, the nuggets were strips of chicken breast coated in corn breadcrumbs – I had one, they were juicy and mouthwatering!
I think Universal Studios was Bethany’s first ever experience of a burger WITH a bun, we’d begun to forget that these two food items go together!, the chips (or fries) were gluten free too so the meal meant we could all eat the same dinner together – wonderful!
One last attraction worth a shout out was Medieval Times, I emailed them a few days before and asked if they could cater for Bethany and got a lovely email back advising us on what Beth could have and what they would give her as alternatives. The only substitutes necessary was the bread to go with her tomato broth and instead of an apple turnover she had an icecream which suited her just fine as she’s not keen on baked fruit. The main course was roast chicken with sweet potato and corn on the cob, so not need for any changes. It was a great meal, eaten with our fingers between screaming support for our knight (the black and white knight on this occasion).
Back at the villa, gluten free food was plentiful as we had driven to Walmart, there was so much to choose from and we did get a bit carried away, as Bethany is also Type 1 Diabetic I did feel we needed to be stocked up on snack to take into the parks and on our journeys, the weather was terribly hot and humid and this plays havoc with Beth’s blood sugars so I made sure that Brett and I took turns in carrying the snack pack. There was plenty of ice cream and fruit to buy at snack hubs but we didn’t really try out the hot food snacks as it was too hot to think about anything other than ice and water!
So there you have it, a very brief (sorry about that, we were too busy for me to make actual notes on the holiday) account of our time in Disney and surrounding parks and attractions that catered brilliantly for Bethany. I’d love to know about your experiences too so please feel free to comment below. Did you go self catering like us, did you stay in a resort hotel and what was the gluten free catering like?