I have been trying to write this for a couple of days now, and keep hitting a brick wall when it comes to the best way to organize my thoughts. I finally decided that I am going to lump the things together and pray that it makes sense.
1) Guest Relations will no longer give out a list of the Gluten Free options available in the park. This is because ALL restaurants will have GF options and sometimes they change so frequently it is difficult to keep that list up to date. While I applaud the fact that all dining establishments will have GF options, sometimes that option is a plain old, run of the mill, boring, garden salad. At least, that was my experience at The Golden Horseshoe where all of the food options were deep fried. YUCK.
2) If all restaurants are going to have GF options available, there needs to be signage available so that people know what options are available GF. When I was there in February (not a busy season), the line at Jolly Holiday was still 10 minutes. If I had been able to know what I could eat in advance, then I could have used the time I stood in line to make up my mind. Instead, I had to wait until a manager came out (not complaining about that, in fact, that is one of the things I greatly appreciate) to let me know, then decide between my options. When I asked about desserts (because it is a bakery and there were many baked goods on display), I was asked if I saw their sign. I hunted and I finally saw, in about a 2×2 square: “Gluten Free Options Available.” TINY SIGN! IN A CORNER! And it did not say what was available.
3) This is something I experienced at WDW and I think DL needs to incorporate it. At counter service locations at WDW, when you mention you have a food allergy they bring out a binder. This binder has a copy of the ingredient label from EVERYTHING you may be eating. That way, you can look for other allergens and make an informed decision. This is especially important and necessary when people have multiple food allergies.
4) I liked that the staff took the time to prepare my food in a safe environment. If it was warmed up, they ensured that it was in something clean and not contaminated. That level of care and concern is amazing and hard to find.
5) Ok. Peeve of peeve. The incident that irritated and pissed me off like no other. First off, knowledge. The fact that the chef in charge did not know everything that was available GF, but acted like he did, therefore putting my health into danger — not cool. It is important that you know everything, and if you do not know everything admit it and find the answer. The fact that he blamed his delay in getting to me on it being busy in the kitchen? Not good because I know that park will be much busier during the Summer and over Christmas. Another part of this peeve is that the chef with the knowledge was at another location. I do not know if it was scheduling because someone was out/on vacation, something being done because of budget cuts, or what, but it would be nice to have someone on hand to answer guests questions/concerns at all locations.
6) It was a pleasant surprise when I was in the Marceline’s Confectionery and wondered out loud if any of them were GF. The cast member who heard me stepped right up and let me know that, unfortunately, I could not have any of their treats as the pans are coated in flour. I stood there, torturing myself for a couple of minutes, when she returned and let me know that I COULD have the chocolate dipped pineapple wedge. AWHA!?!??! What is this?? My mouth had never heard of this. OF COURSE my chocolate craving, pineapple loving self was going to try it. SO GOOD!!!! And bonus points to the Cast Member who made the recommendation!
I am trying to think if there was anything else that I really wanted to say. Overall, I would say that if I were to rank my Theme Park Dining Experiences, WDW would be first (those binders seal the deal), DL would be a close second, and Universal Studios Florida would be a so far distant third it is 3 states over stuck in traffic.
Thanks for reading!