Friday, January 6, 2012

Disney on a Budget

I live on that fine line between sane and crazy, and leaned a little into the crazy when I decided to go to Disneyland on New Year's Eve. The place was packed by 9 AM and it just got busier. It's usually best for gluten free diners to order during a non-rush period, but that was not going to happen at Disneyland this time. I was prepared however.  For starters, pack your bag accordingly. They mainly care about weapons, and didn't say anything when they looked into my bag, but if they have any qualm just tell them you have special dietary needs.  We brought in several small ziplocs of homemade beef jerky, pretzels and peanut butter, a couple protein bars, trail mix, and bottled water. 

Then once you're in the park go over to the kind people at city hall and pick up a current gluten free dining list. They update them fairly often, but in general they have gluten free buns throughout the park, a gluten free pizza option, and so much more. Now here's where the budget comes into play.  We ate responsibly and shared a gigantic turkey leg for $8.99. Add in a soda and lunch was only $6.50 a person; that's less than any hamburger meal costs throughout the park. Hell, it would probably cost you more to buy a combo at Carl's Jr. Plus, the turkey leg was amazing; slow roasted in it's own juices. Tip: grab a fork and knife and a mustard packet and find yourself a seat. This is way easier to eat sitting down, even tough it was amusing to see others walking around eating this giant leg walking around.

In the afternoon we made sure to snack on our brought-in goodies, and for dinner we ended up at Rancho Del Zocalo. We ordered plain chicken tacos off the Celiac Friendly list. It was a huge plate that came with 2 tacos, (they used soft corn tortillas), rice, and beans, all of which came out of separate containers than the average order. And it was nice that the server knew exactly what to do- changed gloves, separate dish stack, separate everything. I wish all places trained their staff that well.  In any case, it was a lot of food, and we shared the meal for $16, which included a beverage, and a coffee. Plus cotton candy for $4.00 for dessert, thus dinner only cost $10 a person.  And truly, it was enough food for each of us; a whole plate each would have been too much.

This plate was probably some of the best Mexican food I have out in a long time. And not a single doubt in my mind...or gut, that it wasn't gluten free.
Now if you've been following along, that means we only spent $33 for 2 people to eat at Disneyland and it's not like we were only there for a little while.  We were at the park from 9 AM to 2 AM. That's less than if we had gone out to your average sit-down restaurant for dinner and we did not feel deprived in the slightest.


Olinda Paul said...

Awesome, and good for anybody to know!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tips. I'd love to do some pre-planning, any way you can post the GF restaurant choices (I realize they are often updated)?