Gluten Free Dining at Theme Parks

Our family recently returned from a week in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. We have family out there and therefore are fortunate to visit every so often. As with any trip, we look forward to the chance to discover new "gluten-free friendly" restaurants we haven't tried -- including chain restaurants with Gluten Free Menus that don't have locations on the East Coast where we live. It's a funny thing about Los would think (and I also hear from many people living there) that it's rare to find a restaurant that can't prepare a gluten free meal. However, as you and I both know, catering to the "trend" of gluten free dining choices is very different from being properly trained in providing safe gluten free meals for those with Celiac or gluten sensitivity. So it's almost more of a challenge dining in this land of celebrities and health-conscious folks, since so many are opting to eat gluten choice, not out of necessity. So the onus is on us to find the truly safe restaurants. Before every trip, I do a fair amount of research on restaurants. Before this trip, as with past trips to Southern California, I found... Read more →

I have a friend and neighbor whose son is gluten free -- and has mulitple food allergies. He cannot eat gluten, eggs, nuts, sesame, fish, or red meat. They recently returned from a trip to Orlando, where they visited Disney World and Universal Studios. I thought I'd start by sharing the email they received from Bob Burdick, the head chef at Universal, upon inquiring about dietary issues in advance of their trip. Here it is: Hi, in Universal Studios, we have fruit stands in the parks with apples, oranges, grapes, and watermelon on them. We also have lemon and strawberry slush carts which will be ok. Turkey legs just smoked are ok. We have a full service is Lombard's Landing and Finnegan’s. We have a chef in each unit. Have the server bring the chef to the table and he can go over all the things he can do for you. In Islands of Adventure, we have two full service units. One is called Confisco's and one is Mytho's, We have Chefs in both of those units. Have your server bring the Chef to the table, and he can go over the things he can do for you. I... Read more →

Our family just returned from a quick trip to Hershey, Pennsylvania, home of The Hershey Company, Chocolate World, and the very fun amusement park bearing its name: Hershey Park. Although this amusement park is within a couple hours driving distance from our home in Northern Virginia -- a suburb of Washington, DC -- we hadn't been there for almost 5 years. Since we last visited, Hershey Park has added a great water park that promises fun for all ages. There's a large wave pool surrounded by a lazy river. Admission is included with general park admission, so you can enjoy both rides AND the water park all in the same day -- and all for the same price. In fact, we found their rates to be quite reasonable, considering all the park offers: tons of rollercoasters (12 in all), other rides, kiddie rides, shows, and the waterpark's wave pool, lazy river and numerous water slides. In fact, a 2-day pass to Hershey for any two days during the seaons (they don't need to be consecutive) is $75, less than the price of ONE day at any of Disney's parks in Orlando. Daily admission at Hershey Park is $56.95, with substantial... Read more →