Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Gluten Free Disney Vacation: Part 2

For the second part of our vacation, we continued in the magic, and headed off for a short visit to Walt Disney World! Let the magic continue....
Day 1:
We literally dropped our bags and headed off to Disney Springs formerly known as Downtown Disney.  As soon as we arrived at Disney Springs, we filled our bellies with goodness at Splitsville.  This was our first visit to Splitsville to eat, and no doubt won't be our last!  My husband thoroughly enjoyed the Fantasy Roll; which is Gluten Free!  For me, I thoroughly enjoyed the Fiesta bowl, and Miss J had a burger with fruit since they don't have a dedicated fryer for French fries.  


After a quick visit to Disney Springs, and filling our bellies with gluten free goodness, we headed for our annual stop at Erin McKenna NYC before heading off to Magic Kingdom!  At Erin McKenna NYC, we all enjoyed sharing a Kitchen Sink; which is a cup full of donuts, brownie bites, and frosting!  We also, stopped back for a  2nd visit before our trip ended, to get our Donut fix, and also tried a Cinnamon Roll.  During our 2nd visit, we stopped right at the calm before the storm, which gave us the pleasure of chatting to the employes for a bit, too!  Erin McKenna NYC is truly a dream since everything is Gluten Free!  



Since the parks were a little crazy due to it being the last night for Trick or Treating, we headed back to our resort to eat dinner, and have a relaxing evening!  Since our bellies were still full from lunch, I decided to have Buffalo Chicken Dip, and a Salad.  However, I forgot to take a picture of the food...but, did remember to take a picture of the Allergy-Friendly menu for The Turf Club Bar & Grill at Saratoga Springs. 


Day 2:
Every morning, we typically enjoyed breakfast at our resort.  Our fav is simply Bacon, Eggs, and...Mickey Waffles, of course!!  


After breakfast, off to Hollywood Studios we went!!


Since we had planned on an early dinner, we didn't eat at Hollywood Studios.  Instead we had a snack lunch of fruit, and granola bars I packed.  After much fun at Hollywood Studios, we took the boat over to the Boardwalk area to eat at Beaches & Cream before heading to Epcot.  


While waiting for our seat at Beaches & Cream, we had a blast at the arcade next door!  The wait for Beaches & Cream was well worth it...we had an amazing experience!  We had counter seats; which Miss J loved being able to see all the action of sundae making, and the chef cooking on the grill!  Ironically, my hubby and I both orders the Beaches Chef Salad, and enjoyed every bit of it!!  You can't go to Beaches & Cream and not have dessert!!  Miss J and I enjoyed every spoonful of the Brownie A La Mode made with a Gluten Free brownie.  Needless to say, we left with very happy bellies, and ready to venture to Epcot!  


Since the heat was kicking our butts (it was in the 90's during our stay), and we were still so full from our dinner, we didn't eat anything during our Epcot visit either. 

Day 3:  
It was another HOT day, and we were off to Animal Kingdom...after quick granola bars for breakfast.  For a morning snack, we sure didn't go with a healthy option:  Dole Whip and a GF Rice Crispy Treat from Starbucks.  Guess you can say the heat was starting to affect my brain -but, then again, anything goes in Disney, right?!?!


Once again, we didn't have much of an appetite for lunch, and planned to have an early dinner at Yak & Yeti...so, we were all saving room!  We headed off to the Rainforest Cafe; where we ran into friends from home!  It's truly a Small World after all!!  We love the Rain Forest Lava Nachos for Two; which is perfect since we didn't want to have a big lunch to save room for dinner!  Since they don't have a dedicated fryer, they substitute the corn chips with Potato Chips...oh so yummy!! 


Our animal lover, little girl was in her glory with all the animals, and continuing to soak in all the Disney magic!

After lots of Animal Kingdom adventures, we took a break to enjoy dinner at Yak & Yeti where were seated upstairs and enjoyed the view...and people watch!  Not only did we have a great view at Yak & Yeti, we also had a delicious appetizer, dinner, and dessert:  Lettuce Cups to Two, Lo Mein, and New York Cheesecake.  Once again, our bellies were very happy, and full to the brim!


Day 4:
Our last day of vacation had arrived, and heading for home in the morning!  We of course had to get our fix of Mickey waffles for breakfast before heading off to Magic Kindgom!  For our last day at the park, I had made reservations to do the Family Magic Tour; which I highly recommend.  So I don't give away any of the surprises, I'll simply say that the tour is a scavenger hunt around the park guided by a Cast Member!  

Since the tour lasted until afternoon, and we had a 3 PM dinner reservation, we just had a snack lunch again!  Dinner was at The Plaza.  During our visit last year, I truly enjoyed the Cheese Steak Sandwich, and specifically went back to enjoy it again this trip.  While looking over the Allery-Friendly Menu, I noticed the Cheese Steak Sandwich wasn't noted Gluten Free...and then came the huge disappointment when our waitress informed me that it's no longer Gluten Free.  Here's to hoping our next visit it's back on the menu!  For this visit at The Plaza, I went with the Angus Chuck Cheeseburger, and to drown my sorrows of no Cheese Steak Sandwich, a Banana Split for Dessert!  


When we arrived at Disney, the parks were decorated for Halloween, and the day we left, all was in full swing for Christmas!  Those Disney elves sure work magic!!  


During this trip to Walt Disney World, the majority of the places we dined offered Allergy-Friendly Menus, and we to ordered directly with the our waitress without speaking to the chef.  They still give the option to speak to the chef -but, now that the menus have been ruled out, the chef doesn't automatically come to the table.  Of all the places we ate, the only 2 that the chef automatically came out was Roanforest Cafe, and Yak & Yeti since they are Landry owned not Disney owned.  All the wait staff was very educated, and I felt very confident placing my order with them, and didn't have a single issue.

Once again, we had yet another magical trip to Walt Disney World, and are already excited for our return next year!  See ya real soon, Disney!!  


Monday, November 9, 2015

Gluten Free Disney Vacation: Part 1

As you all know, we are a Disney loving family!  Our slight Disney addiction started when we took our honeymoon there 12 years ago...just weeks after being diagnosed with Celiac.  Disney quickly opened my eyes and showed me gluten free food can be as delicious as gluten filled foods.  During our first visit, numerous times, I double checked to see if the food was safe because it was so amazing...and you bet it was 100% safe! After that first visit, Disney quickly became our second home!!  


This trip, we started our adventure at Disney Vero Beach, and feel in love!  A Disney resort on the beach...what isn't to love?!?!  


We decided to play it safe, and stick to only eating at our resort since we knew it was safe.  Disney Vero Beach has 4 dining options:  Shutters, Sonja's, The Green Cabin Room, and Bleachers Bar & Grill.  We ate at all of them except Sonja's; which is fine dining.  After playing at the beach & pool all day, we weren't up for fine dining -so, maybe we will try it our next visit!  They even offer a character breakfast with Donald Duck and Goofy on Saturday mornings; which was perfect!  

Disney + Beach = Amazing 

Just like when visiting Disney Parks, you mention "allergy" to the hostess, and the chef comes out personally to go over the menu.  We actually had a chef from the Kittanning area, too!!  As always, every chef was amazing -but, I favored the PA chef of course!!  We found touches from home everywhere...even Steelers was already written in the sand dune wall!

Go Steelers!                                      

During our Vero Beach stay we had a lot of Gluten Free goodness: Chicken Tenders, Sandwiches, Burgers, Pasta, French Fries, Salads, Omelet, Grits (corn based, not pictured), and  Toast.  They even have Dole Whip at Bleachers Bar & Grill which is located by the pool.  We truly enjoyed every single meal, and every one simply hit the spot!  In addition, the dining staff were all amazing, and always went above and beyond.  

Gluten Free Vero Beach Goodness 

Disney Vero Beach has much to offer, and truly provides and adventure for the kids.  There is a little miniature golf course by the pool, billiards, ping ping, tennis, and so much more!  They offer a special for miniature golf...$5/person, and you can play unlimited for your stay.  Check out our little friend we met while miniature golfing one evening!

Our Miniature Golf Friend, Mr. Crab
Since the resort isn't as big as the other Disney resorts, and our visit was during an off season, the cast members all quickly got to know us...especially Miss J; which she loved!  

Eb & Flo Schedule for the Week 
We had the perfect mix of relaxation, and fun activity. Check out the is fun filled schedule the resort had to offer for the week of our stay pictured above.  

Enjoying some R & R 
We celebrated Halloween during our stay, and will most likely do it again next year since we had so much fun!  Miss J loved every second...and even went to her first little haunted house.  The cast members put together a perfect Disney Friendly haunted house at one of the cottages on property.   Our little Snow White is still talking about it!  

Snow White at the Haunted House 
Can't say enough how much we love Disney in every aspect, and love it even more that they are so amazing with food allergies.  

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our vacation at Walt Disney World.