Sunday, July 14, 2019

Disneyland Paris Gluten Free

Last month, we spent three nights at Disneyland Paris, which has been on my bucket list for a long time. We decided to splurge and book the Disneyland Hotel, which is right at the entrance to Disneyland Park, one of two theme parks at Disneyland Paris. Our bags were scanned when we entered the hotel, so we never had to go through security, because the two theme parks are both connected to Disney Village, which was also right outside our hotel.


Last summer, I booked a Summer Super Early Booker Package online, and received 2 nights and 2 days free, with 5 days of park tickets. We booked four nights, but did not use the last night of our stay. I did this, because the cost difference was only about $25, and we could keep our luggage in our room until our Airbnb was ready in Paris, which was several hours past check-out time at the Disneyland Hotel.


We requested a room with two beds, and to be close to my aunt and uncle, who ended up in the room next to ours.


The trip we booked at Disneyland Paris was definitely less expensive than staying at Disney World or Disneyland in a comparable hotel with park hopper tickets.


I knew eating at Disneyland Paris would not be as easy as dining at Disney World or Disneyland, but I was able to find safe meals. The Facebook group Gluten Free Disneyland Paris was very helpful in my planning.


Aside from dining, we loved our stay at the Disneyland Hotel, and we enjoyed both theme parks. If you love Disney, I highly recommend a trip to Disneyland Paris if you are in France.


The night we arrived, we decided to dine at Planet Hollywood in Disney Village, because it was the first restaurant on my list that we ran into, and I knew they had a gluten free menu. I was given an allergens guide when we were seated, but I did not use it, because the regular menu had several pages of gluten free options.


I specifically asked for a server who spoke English well, because my French is very limited.


I was going to order the steak & chips, but our server recommended the prime sirloin steak, because he said it was a much better cut of meat with less fat.


Sadly, the dedicated fryer was not heated up, maybe because the restaurant was pretty empty when we went in for an early dinner, so I had mashed potatoes instead of fries.


I am not a fan of ratatouille, so I did not even try it, but the steak and mashed potatoes were good. My steak was seasoned well, and the mashed potatoes were nice and creamy.


My uncle ordered the teriyaki salmon from the gluten free menu, which he said was pretty average.


My gluten-eating daughters had chicken tenders and fries, but did not like the chicken tenders. Overall, I was happy to have a safe meal the first night of our trip, but we all agreed that we did not want to dine at Planet Hollywood again while we were at Disneyland Paris.


The next day, we had lunch at Rainforest Cafe in Disney Village. I brought my Landry's Select Club card with me just in case the restaurant was busy, but again, we had no problem getting a table, and the restaurant was pretty empty when we were seated.


Rainforest Cafe does not have a gluten free menu, but the manager talked to me about gluten free options, and she had an allergen binder with her to double check ingredients.


The salads and the main courses in this photo can be modified to be gluten free, or are naturally gluten free. Rainforest Cafe does not have gluten free buns or a dedicated fryer, but they can make substitutions for fries.


I considered ordering the Siva's Curry, but decided to go with the Caribbean Mahi Mahi with seasonal vegetables, basmati rice, and mango & pineapple salsa.


The mango and pineapple salsa really made this dish. The portion size was large, and it was very filling with all the vegetables and rice. We all ordered the same entree, and everyone enjoyed it.


Oddly enough, the Toblerone Tart was the only menu item actually labeled gluten free on the regular menu. I have heard that it is available at some American grocery stores in the freezer section, but I have never found it in California.


The  Toblerone Tart was very good, especially with ice cream and whipped cream.


I thought we would end up going back to Rainforest Cafe for lunch again the third day of our trip, but we were excited to find that Walt's on Main Street U.S.A. was open in Disneyland Park when we walked by.


Disneyland Paris' website recommends making a reservation to dine at Walt's, but we had no trouble getting a table when they first opened. The hostess showed us a binder with information about allergens in their food, and told me that dishes could be modified to be gluten free.


She said that they cannot guarantee there will be no cross contamination, because they do not have a dedicated kitchen, but when I asked if they take precautions to prevent it, I was told that they do. Every allergy-friendly menu at Disney World and Disneyland says the same thing, so we decided to have lunch at Walt's, which had been recommended by two of my blog readers.


The restaurant was beautiful, with themed rooms reflecting the Disneyland Hotel and various lands at Disneyland Park.


We specifically asked for a server who spoke English well, because of our dietary restrictions, and were told by the hostess that it is a requirement to work there.


Sadly, our server did not speak English well, which made ordering a challenge with me needing to eat gluten free, and my aunt and uncle asking about dairy free options. She did check with the chef about modifications to some of the dishes we ordered, and to made sure that they were safe.


I decided to order a starter with a main course and dessert, but you can order menu items a la carte. Walt's was the priciest meal we had at Disneyland Paris, but it was definitely the best food.


For my starter, I chose the Waldorf salad with romaine lettuce, grapes, walnuts, peanuts, and apples, minus the croutons and blue cheese vinaigrette. Our server brought us oil and vinegar to dress our salads. I thought it was a little strange to put peanuts on a salad, but overall, I enjoyed my starter.


I was surprised when our server brought me warm gluten free bread, and that it was really good. My family had already eaten their bread, so I asked for a new tub of salted butter to eat it with, because I did not want to eat butter that had been cross contaminated.


For a main course, I had the pan-fried fish of the day with smoked salted butter, minus the corn tortilla, which was not gluten free, and looked like more of a corn cake. The fish with the butter sauce was heavenly, and there was an interesting assortment of vegetables on my plate that I really enjoyed with some butter I added.


For dessert, I chose the parade of seasonal fresh fruits and sorbets. I usually don't love sorbet, because it tends to be very sweet, but the sorbet with fruit at Walt's was delicious. I have no idea what the flavors were, but the lighter two were amazing.


As far as snacks and treats go, I found a few safe options at Disneyland Paris. We made several stops at the GROM cart in Disney Village. GROM is a 100% gluten free Italian gelateria with stores around the world. Just this year, we have eaten at GROM gelaterias in New York City, Paris, Disneyland Paris, Marsaille, and Genoa. Last summer, we had GROM gelato in Venice and Florence, but skipped it in Rome, because we prefer other 100% gluten free gelaterias there.


I had conversations with several employees at the GROM cart during our stay, and they all told me that everything was gluten free, and one even showed me their allergen menu, which is posted on the inside wall. I always like to ask, because GROM gelato shops in the United States used to have cones with gluten. I think they are all gluten free now, but it is a good idea to ask before ordering in New York City, Los Angeles, and Hollywood.


Flavors at the cart were limited to vanilla, chocolate, pistachio, stracciatella, and lemon and strawberry, their two dairy free options.


Both times I had gelato at GROM, I chose a cup of stracciatella with their corn cookies.


My daughters always order chocolate gelato at GROM, and my aunt and uncle both had dairy free strawberry and lemon sorbetti.


Another easy option if you are looking for something sweet are the almond Magnum ice cream bars, which are sold all over both theme parks, and I found them in Disney Village as well.


I am usually not a fan of ice cream bars, but I was really impressed with how good they were.


The vanilla ice cream was super creamy, and I loved the chocolate and almond coating. I was also happy to see that they were actually labeled gluten free on the ingredients lists, unlike Mickey bars, which were nowhere to be found at Disneyland Paris.


Our last night, I had popcorn from a cart in Disneyland Park. I chose a mix of regular popcorn and sweet popcorn. The regular popcorn was way too salty, so we all preferred the sweet variety, which tasted like kettle corn.


My uncle and daughters had dinner that night at Vapiano in Disney Village. I was content eating one big meal a day, but my kids like to have three meals. I did have a granola bar and dried fruit that I brought from home in our room every day before we headed out to the parks, which would tide me over until lunch. In the evening, I just had ice cream or popcorn, which was all I needed after a big afternoon meal.


Vapiano has a large menu with many gluten free options, but I did not feel comfortable eating there after watching them prepare my daughters' food. I felt that the risk of cross contamination was just too high.


My daughter Emma loved her chicken risotto, which is one of their gluten free dishes, and my uncle and daughter Katie enjoyed their pasta and pizza.


I considered buying some fries at Five Guys next door, but I was not really hungry after our lunch at Walt's, so I decided to skip them.


My aunt and uncle did have breakfast at Inventions at the Disneyland Hotel the first morning of our trip, while we ate in our room. I know they have pre-packaged gluten free options, but it was not worth the cost in my opinion, and my aunt and uncle decided to not go back for the rest of the trip, because they thought they did not eat enough to justify the price. My uncle did pick up french bread with jam and butter for my daughters other mornings from the McDonald's in Disney Village, so I did not have to worry about finding them breakfast. There was a stand off to the side when you entered with pastries and bread, so you do not have to wait in the regular lines. My gluten-eating family all said that the french bread was amazing.

Disneyland Paris does serve microwaved Natama meals that are free of the top 8 allergens and several others at multiple locations, but I was not eating a microwave meal at a restaurant, and I have heard that they are pretty bad. You can read more about visiting Disneyland Paris with special diets on their website here.

Overall, we had a great trip to Disneyland Paris, and enjoyed spending time with my aunt and uncle, who said they had a good time, even though they do not love Disney like we do.

What are your favorite gluten free options at Disneyland Paris?



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