Sunday, December 16, 2012

Disneyland with Food Allergies

Adventures in eating out at Disneyland....I had major anxiety about Disneyland this time around.  It's not like we haven't been there before.  We have.  Plenty of times.  In fact, my husband and I are annual passholders, and now so is my oldest daughter.  We haven't, however, ventured to the happiest place on earth since our discovery of the girls' allergies.  My initial thought was, it's hard enough to eat out for dinner, how on earth are we going to get through four days at Disneyland?!

Fortunately it wasn't as difficult as I had anticipated.  I am very lucky that my mother in law lives in Southern California, and was more than happy to make a shopping trip for me ahead of time.  I also have learned from experience that having some of our tried-and-true snacks on hand makes life bearable in the worst of situations.  So, I packed some bagels, cookies, and bread that I had baked ahead of time.  I also am an junkie, and get good use out of my prime account.  Whenever we travel, I order ahead diapers, wipes, and other various snacks such as Betty Lou's fruit bars and Mish Mash squeeze packs, to be sent to our hotel.

This was our first experience flying Jet Blue, and I was impressed right off the bat.  When I asked if peanuts were to be served on the plane (which they are not, I don't think anyone serves them anymore), our flight attendant immediately took interest in Grace's allergy and made it a priority to inform those in the rows in front of and behind us that we had a peanut allergy.  Cool!  When we landed in rainy Long Beach, we headed straight to In n Out, where we again lucked out.  The famous burger joint has a "Not So Secret Menu," and their patties consist of 100% beef - no fillers, no soy, no eggs, no allergens!  And, for those of you that aren't privy to the "Secret Menu," it does consist of several choices including the protein burger in which lettuce replaces the bun - perfect for us!

In n Out also makes ordering easy with this:

Next it was time to hit Disneyland.  Well, after checking in at the hotel and letting (forcing) the kids have a nap.  Off to the park we went.  For our first dinner at the park we ate at Racho del Zocalo.  We talked with Bill, a chef at the restaurant, and he made some recommendations to us as well as prepared our food without butter or special seasoning (containing soy).  This pretty much set the tone for the rest of our trip.  What I learned is that while many menu items in the park do include ingredients we avoid, every chef we met (four!) was more than willing to do a special order for us.  This included meals like chicken and rice (minus the cheesy Mexican seasoning), rice noodles and stir fry (minus the soy sauce), and salad with dressing on the side (easy!).  

The biggest hit of all, was Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue.  Now, my kids love "chicken on the bone" as it is - but throw in some corn on the cob (ordered just steamed, minus the butter), and some tasty sausage and baked beans, boy we were happy campers.  So happy that we went back for a second night.  I will say that while the food here is good, the wait can be painful, so be prepared!  We learned that there are soy ingredients in the ribs, so our chef separated all our meat into their own buckets rather than serve then all together.  They have a gluten free roll, but it does contain eggs, so we skipped them all together.  However, they are transitioning to a gluten-free, egg-free roll in the coming months.  Way to go Disneyland!  Thanks for getting on board, and thanks for serving up some delicious food that my whole family could enjoy!


  1. Stephanie! I love your new blog space! And this is a great site! I avoid eggs strictly and also limit my GMO corn intake (organic doesn't seem to bother me), and bananas (one a week seems to be okay.)Getting allergy tested has been on such a blessing and I'm glad your family has found a way enjoy life to its fullest!

  2. Thank you, very helpful. Our daughter is allergic to eggs, peanuts, soy, and high sensitivity to sunflower. Do you know if the chips at the restaurant are fried in sunflower? Thanks.

  3. Thank you, very helpful. Our daughter is allergic to eggs, peanuts, soy, and high sensitivity to sunflower. Do you know if the chips at the restaurant are fried in sunflower? Thanks.