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Anaheim / Disneyland Gluten Free Restaurants / Products?
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Hello,

We will be visting the US from Australia in September. Our first stop is Anaheim where we will be visiting Disneyland. I am aware there are many options for gluten free eating within the park though recommendations would be appreciated.

Can anyone suggest what restaurants there are outside the park which understand gluten free and perhaps have a gluten free menu. I am aware of PF Changs which we plan to visit. Also is there anywhere at all to purchase gluten free foods within walking distance of Disneyland. We won't have a car when we are there. If there are no supermarkets or heatlh food stores nearby do you think they would deliver to our hotel? We will probably stay somewhere with a kitchen so we can at least cook breakfast in the room.

Thanks :)

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When I visited Disneyland four years ago, I wanted to stay and live there permanently. It was like living in a gluten-free city--it was wonderful! When you arrive, simply walk up to the information booth and request the gluten-free food list. Almost every single restaurant offers gluten-free meals (pasta, pizza, hamburger buns--you name it!). I have never felt safer! Their staff is extremely well educated, and when you order a gluten-free meal, the head chef will appear at your table to discuss your needs very thoroughly. Even at the ice cream parlors, I was treated in a very special manner--they used clean scoopers and opened new vats of the ice cream flavors I'd chosen.

However, as far as gluten-free food at the nearby restaurants, I don't really know what to say. I live in California, but in the Northern part....and when I stayed in Anaheim near Disneyland, I ate all of my meals at the park. Hopefully, someone lives in Anaheim and will be able to answer your questions about restaurants and markets nearby.

By the way, I've been to Australia twice (my daughter lives there), and I'm very, very impressed with the way your country handles the whole gluten-free issue. A recent private poll that was taken on this forum indicated that many people agree that Australia is the best country to visit when it comes to eating gluten free. Truthfully, I wish I could emigrate there....but, alas, because I have a history of recurrent breast cancer, I could never pass the health exam to become a permanent resident. However, I plan to visit often! You're so very fortunate to live in such a wonderful country!

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When I visited Disneyland four years ago, I wanted to stay and live there permanently. It was like living in a gluten-free city--it was wonderful! When you arrive, simply walk up to the information booth and request the gluten-free food list. Almost every single restaurant offers gluten-free meals (pasta, pizza, hamburger buns--you name it!). I have never felt safer! Their staff is extremely well educated, and when you order a gluten-free meal, the head chef will appear at your table to discuss your needs very thoroughly. Even at the ice cream parlors, I was treated in a very special manner--they used clean scoopers and opened new vats of the ice cream flavors I'd chosen.

However, as far as gluten-free food at the nearby restaurants, I don't really know what to say. I live in California, but in the Northern part....and when I stayed in Anaheim near Disneyland, I ate all of my meals at the park. Hopefully, someone lives in Anaheim and will be able to answer your questions about restaurants and markets nearby.

By the way, I've been to Australia twice (my daughter lives there), and I'm very, very impressed with the way your country handles the whole gluten-free issue. A recent private poll that was taken on this forum indicated that many people agree that Australia is the best country to visit when it comes to eating gluten free. Truthfully, I wish I could emigrate there....but, alas, because I have a history of recurrent breast cancer, I could never pass the health exam to become a permanent resident. However, I plan to visit often! You're so very fortunate to live in such a wonderful country!

Thank you so much for your reply and for the nice things you said about my country :) It will be our first visit to the US though my husband and I went to Hawaii for our honeymooon 20 years ago. It sounds like Disneyland will be a wonderful gluten free experience from what you have described. It is my 15 year old daughter who is the celiac and she will be loving it I am sure. It is great to be able to go somewhere and not have to stress about food and whether people understand what gluten actually is. Well done to Disneyland! We are also going to New York which apparently is very good for gluten free then on a cruise on Royal Caribbean. We are really looking forward to it. Where does you daughter live in Australia? Thanks again :) :)

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I was just in the Florida Disney World and the accommodations for gluten-free were spectacular. I haven't been to Disneyland in the past few years but it was pretty good five or six years ago and it's probably better now. Be sure to write and get the most recent gluten-free list.

One really neat place is the Blue Bayou restaurant inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. You have to make reservations or the wait is really unpleasant. http://disneyland.disney.go.com/disneyland/blue-bayou-restaurant/

I always drive up to Disneyland for the day so I eat in the park. I find it easier eating in Disney than in nearby restaurants. They have a better understanding of CC and can do really neat stuff if you make reservations in advance and talk to the chef.

Google Maps is showing a supermarket called Food4Less at 1616 W. Katella. It depends on where your hotel is as to whether it's a reasonable walk, but it certainly wouldn't be too expensive to take a cab there from anywhere near Disney. They may not have much as far as specialty gluten-free foods but you'll be able to get produce, yogurt, nuts, and so forth.

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We were ther 3 years ago. There are groceries and " quick" shops around. You can get yogurt, milk, chips and nuts at the 7/11 or Quick Trip. You might ask the hotel you are staying at about local grocery stores. I think there is a Whole Foods not too far. Some hotels have shuttles that will take you places. There is a sort of bus line ( trolley) that goes around, too. Ask your hotel.

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We were ther 3 years ago. There are groceries and " quick" shops around. You can get yogurt, milk, chips and nuts at the 7/11 or Quick Trip. You might ask the hotel you are staying at about local grocery stores. I think there is a Whole Foods not too far. Some hotels have shuttles that will take you places. There is a sort of bus line ( trolley) that goes around, too. Ask your hotel.

Thanks Karen :) I think we will bring some cereal from home just in case we can't find any. I have heard about wholefoods but I don't think it is walking distance. I will get a cab if its not too far.

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Definitely call your hotel and ask about transportation to a grocery store as well as a fridge in your room. SoCal is not generally walking- friendly and the area around Disney is a veritable zoo.

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The area around Disney is full of people walking. Some of it depends on which side of the park you stay at. It's so big. If you stay at one of the parks hotels, I have heard they have gluten-free pancakes, etc if you ask ahead.

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The area around Disney is full of people walking. Some of it depends on which side of the park you stay at. It's so big. If you stay at one of the parks hotels, I have heard they have gluten-free pancakes, etc if you ask ahead.

But if you try to leave the park area and go to a store, etc. it is not. Unless they've built a store in the immediate zone it won't be easy or pleasant.

Sorry, lived SoCal too long to be optimistic.

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We were there in December. My kids went crazy for the giant turkey legs. One of those around 11 and those kids were good to go until 7-8pm!! Lots of little stands with fruit, chips, giant pickles, snacks, etc... Plus all the restaurants. It was a great experience! (well food-wise.... :rolleyes: )

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We were there in December. My kids went crazy for the giant turkey legs. One of those around 11 and those kids were good to go until 7-8pm!! Lots of little stands with fruit, chips, giant pickles, snacks, etc... Plus all the restaurants. It was a great experience! (well food-wise.... :rolleyes: )

Those turkey legs sound like something out of the Flinstones :D Well it sounds like my daughter will definately not be starving. THanks!

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Definitely call your hotel and ask about transportation to a grocery store as well as a fridge in your room. SoCal is not generally walking- friendly and the area around Disney is a veritable zoo.

When you say it is not walking friendly what do you mean? I have heard that Californians generally don't walk and if you were to go for a walk in your suburb people would look at you strangely or even suspiciously. Is that true? Friends of ours lived in Florida for 6 months and they said that nobody walked anywhere where they lived and that the kids didn't even walk to school. They didn't know why that's just the way it was.

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No, it's not true that Californians don't walk or view people on foot suspiciously. :lol: Things are pretty spread out in SoCal though, so we tend to jump in our cars out of habit. The terrain is also hilly. I could walk to my local grocery store but the steep uphill slog home with my groceries wouldn't be any fun so I tend to hop in the car.

There are usually a lot of people on foot right around Disney because it's also where the Anaheim Convention Center is. I've never been uncomfortable walking in that area of Anaheim and you will find a lot of restaurants and hotels clumped right around Disney. As I mentioned, there looks to be a Food4Less on Katella that may be convenient depending on where you're staying.

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No, it's not true that Californians don't walk or view people on foot suspiciously. :lol: Things are pretty spread out in SoCal though, so we tend to jump in our cars out of habit. The terrain is also hilly. I could walk to my local grocery store but the steep uphill slog home with my groceries wouldn't be any fun so I tend to hop in the car.

There are usually a lot of people on foot right around Disney because it's also where the Anaheim Convention Center is. I've never been uncomfortable walking in that area of Anaheim and you will find a lot of restaurants and hotels clumped right around Disney. As I mentioned, there looks to be a Food4Less on Katella that may be convenient depending on where you're staying.

I thought it might have been a bit of an exaggeration. :rolleyes: Mind you these people lived in a wealthy gated community so it probably was true there. I am pretty lazy myself when it comes to walking and tend to get in the car when I could actually walk. I am not at all concerned about walking in Anaheim but was wondering why it was considered not walking friendly. Thanks, I will check out the Food4less.

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I thought it might have been a bit of an exaggeration. :rolleyes: Mind you these people lived in a wealthy gated community so it probably was true there. I am pretty lazy myself when it comes to walking and tend to get in the car when I could actually walk. I am not at all concerned about walking in Anaheim but was wondering why it was considered not walking friendly. Thanks, I will check out the Food4less.

What Skylark said....generally stuff is spread out. So, unless you know you can get what you need within a few blocks don't bet on walking it. Just call the hotel and ask, and request a fridge in your room so you can keep stuff cold.

I don't think there's a public transport system there that will get you where you need to go (grocery stores) in a timely manner. You can always can it, though. You may be surprised at what the hotel can do for you if you ask - transport, shopping for you, etc. they could probably tell you if the Food4Less has the types of food you're looking for. I've found grocery stores in tourist areas tend to be different than grocery stores out of the zone, that's why I'd ask someone who has been in that store.

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I'm Australian and I'm used to walking a lot (and Sydney is really hilly) and I had no problem walking around Anaheim, it's flat as a pancake. I felt safe wandering around, it was all families. I even walked alone from the park to my hotel around closing time (there were crowds of families walking to their hotels too and my friends were at a hotel on a different shuttle route to me). I stayed at the Sheraton Park Hotel on South Harbor. Disneyland itself is awesome for gluten free, and there is a PF Changs on Katella and a McDonalds on South Harbor but beyond that, I think options were going to be a bit limited.

That said, while I was happy walking around, food4less looks like a long walk, the blocks are really big. And you're walking away from the main park area on a busy road. I had a look on google maps and it looks like a nice suburban area so the supermarket is probably decent sized but I personally wouldn't walk there.

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Amber,

I hadn't realized that you'd responded personally to my posting...until now. My daughter lives four blocks from Bondi Beach. Whenever I visit her, I'm always astounded that the neighborhood bakeries offer gluten-free pastries, muffins, and breads.

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I'm Australian and I'm used to walking a lot (and Sydney is really hilly) and I had no problem walking around Anaheim, it's flat as a pancake. I felt safe wandering around, it was all families. I even walked alone from the park to my hotel around closing time (there were crowds of families walking to their hotels too and my friends were at a hotel on a different shuttle route to me). I stayed at the Sheraton Park Hotel on South Harbor. Disneyland itself is awesome for gluten free, and there is a PF Changs on Katella and a McDonalds on South Harbor but beyond that, I think options were going to be a bit limited.

That said, while I was happy walking around, food4less looks like a long walk, the blocks are really big. And you're walking away from the main park area on a busy road. I had a look on google maps and it looks like a nice suburban area so the supermarket is probably decent sized but I personally wouldn't walk there.

Thanks for your reply. I'm sure it will be fine walking around. I think I will just get a cab to one of the health food stores to get some gluten-free supplies for my daughters breakfast. The rest of the meals we will eat at Disney and places like PF changs. We are only there 3 nights then off to New York which seems to be the best city for gluten-free in the USA from what I have read.

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Amber,

I hadn't realized that you'd responded personally to my posting...until now. My daughter lives four blocks from Bondi Beach. Whenever I visit her, I'm always astounded that the neighborhood bakeries offer gluten-free pastries, muffins, and breads.

:) Bondi Beach would be an interesting place to live. The beach is a great people watching place on a hot summers day. We really enjoy watching Bondi Rescue. Have you seen it? It is a reality show based on the day to day activities of the lifeguards at Bondi Beach. We have been to Bondi once and I remember their being a pizza place somewhere where they did a very nice gluten free pizza. I don't know how long it has been since you were last here but I have noticed more and more gluten free everywhere (well here in Melbourne at least). We just back from dinner at a local restaurant and my daughter had a delicious gluten free spaghetti with calamari and prawns. They told us they could do any of the pastas gluten free and most of the main meals were gluten free also. We could have gone to at least 6 or 7 other restaurants very close by that had gluten free options so yes, gluten free is definately booming here.

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I actually visited my daughter last November, and the next time I visit, we plan to fly to Melbourne for a few days. My daughter says it reminds her of Europe.

Yes, Australia is far superior to the US when it comes to restaurants that are willing to accommodate people with gluten sensitivity. In Cairnes, I was able to order hamburgers with gluten-free buns, and there's a Brazilian barbecue place in Sydney where almost everything on the menu is automatically gluten free (including the cheesy bread and the pasta). I'm also amazed at how well educated and aware most Australians are. Sometimes when I'd order a gluten-free meal, another customer would turn to me and ask, "Oh, do you have celiac?" Here in the States, hardly anyone has even heard of celiac. Funny thing--when I went on a snorkeling trip to the Great Barrier Reef in Cairnes, four out of the 23 passengers on the boat had celiac disease. The crew told me, "There's always at least one of you blokes on every trip we make!"

Oh, yeah, I LOVE Australia! So, just be careful at restaurants outside of Disneyland--the servers and cooks aren't very well educated. You'll find that a lot of the restaurant workers in Southern California are immigrants, and they possess a low level of education. I usually just buy fresh food at a supermarket rather than risk eating in any of the restaurants there. That's why I just eat at Disneyland exclusively--no reason to go elsewhere.

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I actually visited my daughter last November, and the next time I visit, we plan to fly to Melbourne for a few days. My daughter says it reminds her of Europe.

Yes, Australia is far superior to the US when it comes to restaurants that are willing to accommodate people with gluten sensitivity. In Cairnes, I was able to order hamburgers with gluten-free buns, and there's a Brazilian barbecue place in Sydney where almost everything on the menu is automatically gluten free (including the cheesy bread and the pasta). I'm also amazed at how well educated and aware most Australians are. Sometimes when I'd order a gluten-free meal, another customer would turn to me and ask, "Oh, do you have celiac?" Here in the States, hardly anyone has even heard of celiac. Funny thing--when I went on a snorkeling trip to the Great Barrier Reef in Cairnes, four out of the 23 passengers on the boat had celiac disease. The crew told me, "There's always at least one of you blokes on every trip we make!"

Oh, yeah, I LOVE Australia! So, just be careful at restaurants outside of Disneyland--the servers and cooks aren't very well educated. You'll find that a lot of the restaurant workers in Southern California are immigrants, and they possess a low level of education. I usually just buy fresh food at a supermarket rather than risk eating in any of the restaurants there. That's why I just eat at Disneyland exclusively--no reason to go elsewhere.

Sorry I didn't see your post until now. Great to hear you had such a good experience when you were in Australia with regards to gluten free. That is amazing that 4 out of 23 passengers on the boat tour were celiac! Yes, celiacs seem to be everywhere these days. Thanks for your advice regarding Disneyland. We will probably eat most of our meals in Disneyland as we can trust that they know what they are doing. Did you need to make reservations before you got to Disney or could you just turn up at lunch or dinner? We will be going in September so it is not the busiest time of year.

If you do end up coming to Melbourne let me know and I will tell you about some gluten free friendly places to eat.

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Did you need to make reservations before you got to Disney or could you just turn up at lunch or dinner?

Not Rose but I can answer this one :) I didn't have reservations for lunch and had no problems with that (we went to the Village Haus). It was super crowded (I was there Labor Day weekend) but the person taking my order called over one of the cooks when I said gluten free and he handled it specially. For dinner, we had reservations at Ariel's Grotto because it was part of the package we had for the World of Color. The chef came out to our table to speak to me personally about my order/meal and they substituted some stuff that was on the shared platter.. it was great and I didn't get sick.

Plus the hand out I got from the town hall listed snacks being sold around the place... so I could put myself into a sugar coma on fairy floss and have no way of blaming it on gluten :)

I could live at Disney, so long as I stayed away from the "It's a Small World Ride" *shudders*

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I agree--I could LIVE at Disneyland year round and be a happy camper. I wish I could just move into the Disneyland Hotel and take up residence. The gluten-free food is abundant and tasty--and I've never felt safer.

As for reservations, it's advisable to make reservations for dinner at the nicer restaurants. Then the chef can be alerted to come out and speak to you about your special dietary needs. Lunch isn't so much of a hassle since you can eat anywhere you'd like (as long as you have the information from the customer service desk). Really--all you have to say is that you must eat a gluten-free diet, and a specially-assigned chef will be called forward to help you...even at snack shacks). You're going to have the time of your life!

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Not Rose but I can answer this one :) I didn't have reservations for lunch and had no problems with that (we went to the Village Haus). It was super crowded (I was there Labor Day weekend) but the person taking my order called over one of the cooks when I said gluten free and he handled it specially. For dinner, we had reservations at Ariel's Grotto because it was part of the package we had for the World of Color. The chef came out to our table to speak to me personally about my order/meal and they substituted some stuff that was on the shared platter.. it was great and I didn't get sick.

Plus the hand out I got from the town hall listed snacks being sold around the place... so I could put myself into a sugar coma on fairy floss and have no way of blaming it on gluten :)

I could live at Disney, so long as I stayed away from the "It's a Small World Ride" *shudders*

Thank you for you input - sounds wonderful!

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I agree--I could LIVE at Disneyland year round and be a happy camper. I wish I could just move into the Disneyland Hotel and take up residence. The gluten-free food is abundant and tasty--and I've never felt safer.

As for reservations, it's advisable to make reservations for dinner at the nicer restaurants. Then the chef can be alerted to come out and speak to you about your special dietary needs. Lunch isn't so much of a hassle since you can eat anywhere you'd like (as long as you have the information from the customer service desk). Really--all you have to say is that you must eat a gluten-free diet, and a specially-assigned chef will be called forward to help you...even at snack shacks). You're going to have the time of your life!

That all sounds fabulous! It's great to be able to go somewhere and not have to stress about where to get food. Disney have done a wonderful job in making the Disney experience a good one for everyone.

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