Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Celiac in The Magic Kingdom

Happy new year to everyone!
It's been some time since I was able to update this site, but my gluten-free 'adventures' definitely didn't stop.
I apologize for the long hiatus, but one of my resolutions is to become more faithful to you, dear readers.

I thought I'd start the new decade out with a bang, and discuss the fantastic experience I had while eating in Orlando, Florida.
I was able to find tremendous places to eat in the Disney World parks, as well as Universal Studios and the greater Orlando/Kissimmee area thanks to online friends and resources, including @GFLifeIreland and @gfregistry.
Every meal was perfect from start to finish, beginning with well-informed wait staff, visits from the chef, and feeling completely reassured about my choices thanks to specially marked gluten free menus.

I began my family trip with a day in the Magic Kingdom. I hadn't been there for over 10 years, which was way before the word "gluten" even entered my vocabulary. I had been doing some research online about the Celiac Disney experience, and had only heard positive things. My day definitely did not disappoint!
Instead of making a reservation, my family had chosen a more "spontaneous" approach to lunch that day, so I made a call to the Disney Dining hotline for a recommendation. The woman who answered the phone could not have been more helpful in locating information about quick-dining restaurants, and directed me to the Pinocchio Village Haus, located in Fantasyland, directly across from the Peter Pan ride and Dumbo's flying elephants.

The restaurant didn't seem promising as we approached, because it seemed to feature pizza and sandwiches. I approached the young woman at the front entrance and asked her about the gluten free menu. To my surprise, she knew immediately what I was talking about, and informed me that the restaurant served both gluten free mac and cheese and pizza.
We ordered both!
When our order was taken (during a very busy afternoon) the manager came out and personally took it to the kitchen, where she supervised the entire preparation and separation of ingredients, then hand-delivered it to our table. Talk about service!
The macaroni and cheese was hot and melty, just the way it's supposed to be, and the pasta wasn't mushy at all.

The pizza crust was a little bit undercooked, and the cheese wasn't totally melted, but that didn't really interfere with the taste at all.

I felt totally confident about lunch!
Talk about the happiest place on earth.

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