Disneyland — The Happiest Place on Earth — is a place that usually fills those who plan to go there with joy. But, for those of us with food allergies, a twinge of fear comes along with that normally undiluted excitement. The Gatherer and I — having learned from our food court excursion at the mall — brought our own food to the park. However, we decided we were going to try to eat a real meal at Disneyland (mainly because I needed the information for this blog).

Note: All dialog said by the Gatherer will be in Italics, all said by me (the Hunter) will be in normal font.

We got there, parked, jumped through all the hoops to get in and bought an Annual Pass for me (Yeah, I really love Disneyland). We hit the Bathroom, a very important part of the process, and then went on to the most important part of our day: buying Tiaras to wear all day.

Then it was time to start in on the Disneyland Experience by getting on the Indiana Jones Ride! A 30 minute wait later in which I helped the Gatherer study for Marketing, and we were officially on our way.

Our next stop was to get a snack and ride the Jungle Cruise. This could have been the first stumbling block. However, Disneyland was prepared for us allergy kids. “Is it weird that I want a pickle?” “No Gatherer, it isn’t weird. If it was weird they wouldn’t sell them… LOOK! They have the allergens and ingredients listed on the trail mix!” It’s true — they had everything labeled. And I did think eating a pickle is weird, but then again, I don’t like pickles.

From there it was onto the Jungle Cruise. I munched away on my snack, and the Gatherer stole some (well, I guess stole is the wrong word, as I did offer her some: “Would you like a dried Banana?” “Sure. Do you not like bananas?” “I do, but I thought you looked like you needed a banana.”).

From there it was time for another jolly trip to the bathroom followed by lunch at the little food court by Space Mountain; another possible stumbling block in our plan for the day. This particular food court’s main type of food is Italian. If any of you recall from the Buca di Bepo post a few weeks back, Italian food is very dangerous for the Gatherer and I. The butter often has soy in it, and much of the food has tomatoes in it or has tomato sauce on it, making Italian food dangerous for the Gatherer. The wheat in all the bread and crutons is dangerous for me. This was a risky choice.

We walked into the food court confidently. Our snack had turned out very well, and we were hungry — it was 4 pm. Right away, we saw pizza (definitely not going to happen, bread and tomatoes). Then we saw sandwiches (Bread, and meat). Finally we spotted the salads (which were right in front of our noses, of course). Salads were perfect. They made much of their own dressing (which means no nasty preservatives that contain soy), and had all of their ingredients separate (no nasty contamination).

So we got Salads. The Gatherer had them make the pizza salad to her specifications (no tomatoes, crutons please , more cheese, no olives). I got the much cheaper side salad with ranch dressing. We both fed our caffeine addiction with diet coke, and I grabbed a frosted rice crispy for later. Lunch was DELICIOUS! Fabulous. Right after the Gatherer got a churro (one of my former Disneyland Traditions, but no longer an option for me). As she ate that, I ate the rice crispy, each of us eating what the other cannot.

The best thing about lunch was that all the ingredients were listed (for the food they created on the spot) or labeled (for the food created earlier and packaged by Disneyland). Disney really cares about its visitors.

After lunch it was time for Space Mountain! One awesome ride and a fantastic picture later it was time for Big Thunder Mountain, and, you guessed it, the bathroom. Then it was on to Pirates of the Caribbean where we planned out how we want to be proposed to… at Disneyland…on this ride…

We snapped out of our wedding plan session, and tried to get a Mint Julep (“Do those have corn syrup in them?”), but it took too long (we never did find out if Mint Juleps have corn syrup in them), and so we went to (and danced in) the Haunted Mansion instead. After the ride we were still in a dancing mood, and so we joined the Parade down Main Street. We soon tired of dancing, and got some ice cream. There were no big problems there; I avoid the waffle cones and the ice cream with cookies and such in it, and the Gatherer can eat anything without chocolate.

Finally, we went to Space Mountain one more time, and then headed home.

Disneyland is awesome. There is no question about that. But not only is Disneyland the Happiest Place on Earth, but it is also the most Accommodating Place on Earth. Food allergies at Disneyland? No problem, they take care of you.


3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Cecily said,

    Disneyland has always catered to eveyone. I read somewhere that if you call them in advance they will prepare special meals for you in their specialty restaurants. Everyone deserves to have a great experience at Disneyland, and everyone is different and has different needs. I’m glad you and the gatherer had a great experience.

  2. 2

    cmlmcmillan said,

    This was a fun post — I have to admit, I was a little surprised that you guys found food at the Italian hot spot, but that’s great! I will say I was a bit confused at first by the list — it worked once I figured out what you were doing, but I wasn’t on board in the beginning: I thought you were telling me what you were planning and then were going to tell me how it went, but instead, it was a kind of running commentary about what actually happened. In the end, it worked out, but if there’s any way you could clean it up so it’s obvious that the list is actually what’s happening instead of what the plan was, it would make an easier read of this rather long (but fun!) post.

  3. 3

    I enjoyed this post. Again, notes were taken and implemented. I would say a quick edit would solve some of the mechanical errors in the beginning, but overall a good post that had narrative wit — what I consider to be the best part of the Hunter-Gatherer pairing. The bit between Step 9 and 10 had me a little lost, just because of its length and overall flow, but perhaps that’s just because I enjoyed the rest of your unpredictable list so much, I wanted you to get back to it.

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