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  1. #1

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    Proper Food at DLR?

    No doubt this subject has been raised before but the issue is seriously hampering a possible return visit to Disneyland by the Detroit clan.

    When we visited in 2011, we really struggled to find anywhere to eat 'proper' food. We stayed at Disneyland Hotel for six days and with the exception of a couple of trips to Food 4 Less to buy water and fruit, ate exclusively within the resort.

    Man cannot live by churro and turkey leg alone and as my son and wife both have complicated dietry needs (Gluten? No. Diary? Not really. Refined sugar? Try and avoid it. Basically they can't eat anything!) we had problems getting fed. The odd burger and fries can be tolerated, but the eat even remotely healthily at DLP seems mission:impossible.

    We resorted to visiting Goofy's Kitchen twice just so that we had access to some (limited) vegetables and unprocessed meat. I even walked from the hotel to Adventureland and back one night just to buy some pineapple!

    Was I missing something? Can someone stay at DLR for nearly a week without gaining 20lbs?

    (Oh and all of this is was made worse by my son having an intolerence to corn - which you Americans seem to put in everything!)
    WDW - 1987 & 1991
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  2. #2

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    Re: Proper Food at DLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by nathan detroit View Post
    No doubt this subject has been raised before but the issue is seriously hampering a possible return visit to Disneyland by the Detroit clan.

    When we visited in 2011, we really struggled to find anywhere to eat 'proper' food. We stayed at Disneyland Hotel for six days and with the exception of a couple of trips to Food 4 Less to buy water and fruit, ate exclusively within the resort.

    Man cannot live by churro and turkey leg alone and as my son and wife both have complicated dietry needs (Gluten? No. Diary? Not really. Refined sugar? Try and avoid it. Basically they can't eat anything!) we had problems getting fed. The odd burger and fries can be tolerated, but the eat even remotely healthily at DLP seems mission:impossible.

    We resorted to visiting Goofy's Kitchen twice just so that we had access to some (limited) vegetables and unprocessed meat. I even walked from the hotel to Adventureland and back one night just to buy some pineapple!

    Was I missing something? Can someone stay at DLR for nearly a week without gaining 20lbs?

    (Oh and all of this is was made worse by my son having an intolerence to corn - which you Americans seem to put in everything!)

    We had not problems finding "proper" food at DLR. White water snacks, Carthay (although poorly cooked), C33, blue Bayou, Storytellers, Plaza Inn, just to name a few.

  3. #3

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    Re: Proper Food at DLR?

    I ate inside the parks for a week and I didn't gain 20lbs. I hardly gained 5lbs.

    When you go to a restaurant request to speak with a lead CM or a chef. Let your server know that you have dietary needs and they will help you find something to eat that better suits you, if they can. I witnessed this while eating at Blue Bayou when a woman told her server she had food allergies and a chef came out and discussed her options. He offered to personally make her something that she could eat.
    There are also healthier options at various spots in the parks. Most of the time you can choose sliced apples instead of fries or chips and several places do offer salads and vegetables. Not to mention the fruit cart on Main Street. There are also restaurants in Downtown Disney that offer food that isn't so "unhealthy." One place I would recommend checking out is Earl of Sandwich. They offer salads, wraps, sandwiches, and soups. It's also cheaper than eating inside the park and is close to the DTD monorail station.

    Another option, although it may not be preferred, is to bring your own food. I have seen CMs at the bag checks allow people in with full lunch coolers containing sandwiches and drinks.


    I would suggest writing Disney and email or calling the guest services phone number to get direct answers from them. Explain the dietary issues and see what they tell you. They should be able to give you information on specific foods that would be better for your wife and son to eat along with where to find them.
    Please... put Guardians of the Galaxy in Tomorrowland.













  4. #4

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    Re: Proper Food at DLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by whoever View Post
    We had not problems finding "proper" food at DLR. White water snacks, Carthay (although poorly cooked), C33, blue Bayou, Storytellers, Plaza Inn, just to name a few.
    Club 33? Most people are going to have problems getting any type of food there. The fact that people are starting to lump this in with all of the other DLR restaurants is a sad testament to how it has long since slipped since the glory days when it was so exclusive to where hardly anybody knew a about it, and when dining at the Club was an event in and of itself.

    Anyway, back to the topic. DLR food is not all that healthy but there are some options here and there. Why don't you go outside of the resort area and explore some other restaurants throughout the LA/OC area? There are some pretty fine vegetarian and other healthy options if you know where to go. I know most of them are outside the resort district, but if you are willing to go through the hassle of going from your hotel to Adventureland just for pineapple, you probably would be able to tolerate the relative hassle of having to travel to a restaurant a few miles away.

  5. #5

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    Re: Proper Food at DLR?

    When I made our reservation for Blue Bayou, 60 days before our July trip, I was asked if there were any food allergies in the party. I declared, yes, one is allergic to any type of fish, particularly shellfish.

    Our server then stated, when handing us our menus, that he was aware there was an allergy to fish, and pointed out the non-fish items on the menu. He also stated that the chef would be made aware and keep everything separate. As a result, it took a little longer to get our food, but we were fine with that as we were enjoying the atmosphere.

    So, yes, tell your server. BTW, besides the ones mentioned, there is also a lovely fruit cart in Tomorrowland.


    Donna
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  6. #6

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    Re: Proper Food at DLR?

    Disney is getting better at it (Carnation Cafe has the first vegan plate that I've seen), it's going to be very tough. You might have better luck at Downtown Disney or some of the hotels. Otherwise, you'll need to go off-site. In general, cruise lines are the absolute best at accommodating special dietary needs, so if you have the budget, maybe try a Disney Cruise next time instead of going to Disneyland.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Proper Food at DLR?

    Quote Originally Posted by nathan detroit View Post
    Was I missing something? Can someone stay at DLR for nearly a week without gaining 20lbs?

    (Oh and all of this is was made worse by my son having an intolerence to corn - which you Americans seem to put in everything!)
    Others have already helped ya out on the other questions you asked, so I won't touch on it again. However, this particuliarly stood out to me. I've spent many week long trips at Disneyland, at the very least once a year, ever since moving out of California 13 years ago. Each trip we always eat inside the park. However, the most I've ever gained on one single trip is just a little more than 2.5 pounds, and that was a rarity as I usually just maintain my weight. Don't know why you think it's 20... I know you were probably exaggerating, but still, 20 isn't even close. You don't realize how much walking you do when you spend ALL day in the park for a week. Get a pedometer, it's fun and interesting to see! We always get a pedometer on our trips and put them in our backpacks.
    Last edited by Serendie; 07-31-2013 at 12:50 PM.

  8. #8

  9. #9

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    Re: Proper Food at DLR?

    I understand your frustration. I was a vegetarian for 10 years, and although I now do eat meat, I eat it very little of it. It is definitely harder to find good food that also accommodates your dietary needs.

    I would have to first agree with many of the previous posters and tell you to contact Disney about your dietary needs and to let your server know as soon as you arrive at a restaurant.

    I do a lot of pre-planning on food before I go anywhere. Go on allears.net and check out menus. If I know which restaurants have foods I can eat, then I know where to head when I'm hungry. It's going to be easier to accommodate your needs at sit down restaurants than at counter service, but they can help too. Rancho Del Zocalo has some really good salads (my favorite is the caesar) and almost of all the burger places offer a veggie burger alternative. I'm sure you could ask for it to be served without the bun.

    Also, check out many of the restaurants in both Downtown Disney and Garden Walk. Garden Walk isn't too far away and it has both PF Changs (another favorite of mine) and Cheesecake Factory, both of which make accommodations for dietary needs.

    For snacks, I bring in all my own. It not only saves money, but allows us to eat what works for us. Did you know that you can ship boxes of food to the hotel so that it's waiting for you and you can have local grocery stores deliver food to the hotel? We do this when we travel to Disney World, but you can also do it at Disneyland. Vons delivers food and I believe there are others. You could have water and other drinks delivered along with some food.

    If there are items that we eat regularly that come from a specialty grocery (like Whole Foods) I buy it at home and ship it ahead of my trip. I buy large bags of snacks and take zip lock baggies to pack up small snacks to take with me in the park. Also, they have mini-fridges in the rooms where I stock both drinks as well as some fruits and easy to eat veggies like carrot sticks.

    Again, it is possible to eat well at the parks, it just takes a lot more planning. I think if you put in this effort ahead of the trip, you will be pleasantly surprised at how well you can eat at Disney.

    Good luck and enjoy your next trip.

  10. #10

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    Re: Proper Food at DLR?

    There are several gluten free options. If you do a web search some bloggers have lists of these items.

  11. #11

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    Re: Proper Food at DLR?

    I was at the park all of last week and actually lost weight. All dining place now have healthy choices for both adult and child. They have really done a great job at this.

  12. #12

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    Re: Proper Food at DLR?

    I have also lost weight during a trip. You do so much walking and standing around I would think it would be impossible to gain more than 5lbs during a week long visit if you gain at all.

    Then again, if you eat nothing but bacon cheeseburgers and fries from Tomorrowland Terrace 3-4 times a day for 5 days I'm sure you would gain some weight.
    Please... put Guardians of the Galaxy in Tomorrowland.













  13. #13

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    Re: Proper Food at DLR?

    Celiac, here. Eating just GF at DLR is pretty easy, adding in your family's multiple intolerances makes it a bit harder, but still doable. I totally understand how frustrating it is dealing with dietary restrictions! Adding to that trying to eat more fresh fruit & veg now you're juggling 3 things, right? I've managed to visit for 4-5 days & not gain weight, but it's more common for me to gain around 3-5 lbs. But then again, I understand at the get-go that I'm throwing my calorie count to the wind & fully expect to diet to lose that extra weight when I get home!

    Anyway, before you write off DLR completely, try emailing ahead of time. The head chef & his CMs have always been helpful and courteous in answering any questions I've had. They know how frustrating and frightening it can be to try to cope with finding foods for people with dietary needs. I'm sure they'd be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding a future visit.


    Here is Disneyland's special diets page:

    https://disneyland.disney.go.com/gue...tary-requests/


    The part that may be of most interest to you:

    Guests with requests associated with the list below should contact the Disneyland Resort at[email protected] at least 14 days prior to arrival and after booking all dining arrangements for their entire visit:


    • Allergy or intolerance not listed above under common food allergies
    • Phenylketonuria (PKU)
    • Metabolic disorders
    • A single Guest with multiple allergies/intolerances or multiple Guests with allergies/intolerances within the same party.



    Last edited by Stormy; 07-31-2013 at 02:10 PM.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Proper Food at DLR?

    Thanks for all of the responses. They make me as hopeful of returning as they do depressed for not knowing all of this prior to going the last time.


    Oh, and gaining 20lbs was me exaggerating ever so slightly!
    WDW - 1987 & 1991
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  15. #15

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    Re: Proper Food at DLR?

    You also might consider staying at an extended stay hotel. There's a Mariott Residence Inn very close by. The rooms have nice kitchens. Yes, it would be a bit time consuming but health and food safety are more important. And it would be less money spent on Disneyland food.

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