Walt Disney World

Thursday

D-LUXE Burger: Review




Disney Springs

Owned and operated by Disney, you can find D-LUXE Burger in Disney Springs. Though you may want to grab a map to help locate it. The complex is large and can easily require a full day to tour. Side tip - Go early in the morning and avoid the evenings if your not one for crowds.

Formerly known as Downtown Disney, the entertainment destination has transformed into a not to be missed dining and shopping mecca. 


Disney Springs
Order Area




D-LUXE Burger is a Quick Service restaurant and currently participates in the Disney Dining Plan program. Keep in mind, that participating restaurants are updated and sometimes changed out yearly. The vibe inside the restaurant is pretty chill and laid back. It's actually bigger than it looks on the outside as well.


Gluten-Free Options 




Disney Springs



As we were on the dining plan, I was able to get the regular fries as a snack credit. If you are paying out of pocket, the regular fries will set you back about $4.99 and the large,  about $7.49.

The fries are gluten-free, hand cut and fried in a dedicated fryer. I would say they are similar in texture to the ones you would find at 5 Guys Burgers and Fries. 


I could not get enough of them. Seriously, the fries alone are worth the trip to Disney Springs! Even though they were a "snack" portion, the size was enough to fill me up. 

The fries come with your choice of SIX complimentary dipping sauces...and they're all gluten-free! I tried all of them and WOW are they ever good!

  • chipotle mayo
  • curry ketchup
  • 3 mustard honey
  • garlic ranch
  • buffalo blue cheese
  • horseradish sauce

Although I haven't tried it, you can also order a gluten-free burger with either a gluten-free bun or lettuce wrap. This is definitely on my list for next time though!



Disney Springs


Things can get a little messy so, you will no doubt appreciate the paper towel rolls located on each table. I also loved that no rush atmosphere. We really took our time, enjoyed the food and just soaked up the vibe.



Have you visited D-LUXE Burger? Share your thoughts below!



Monday

Review: Boatwright's Dining Hall

Located in the picturesque Port Orleans Riverside resort, Boatwright's Dining Hall is a southern gem waiting to be discovered. The resort theming brilliantly mimics the bayou. It's a peaceful escape from the intense action of park touring. With top notch landscaping that is both relaxing and mesmerizing, it's easy to sit back and enjoy the lush surroundings. 

In all fairness, having vacationed here twice, I have a deep fondness for Port Orleans Riverside. No matter how long we stay, it never seems to be a long enough visit in this treasure of a resort.


Alligator Bayou
Aligator Bayou Rooms


Although Boatwright's is only open for dinner, it never seems to be overflowing with patrons. That's not a bad thing and part of what makes the experience so charming. Sure, peak times are loud and bustling, but it in no way feels crowded or rushed.



Boatwright's Dining Hall
Boatwright's Dining Hall

After being seated our waitress promptly greeted us. She was kind, patient and funny - a real delight! Boatwright's now has allergy menus, which simplifies things nicely! Though we were given the option to have the Chef come out before we ordered. As I'm Celiac and my little guy was recently diagnosed with Lactose Intolerance, I opted for a visit from the Chef. This enabled us to ensure both dietary restrictions were understood and would be accommodated.


Boatwright's Dining Room



The gluten-free rolls used by Boatwright's (and many other Disney restaurants) are made by Deanna's Gluten-Free. As they are both dairy and gluten-free, my son and I were brought a basket-full to share. Together we agreed that they are pretty remarkable and outrageously good. They were soft, not crumbly and heated to perfection. I just wish they were available in Canada.



Boatwright's Dining Hall
Deanna's Gluten-Free Rolls


I decided to go with the Voodoo Chicken and Waffles for dinner. Having read positive reviews on this dish beforehand, I was mighty excited! Guess what? It lived up to my expectations and then some! The chicken was mouthwateringly good - crispy, juicy and seasoned well. The waffles were great as always. I'm a big fan of Disney waffles and you can get enjoy them at most Disney-owned properties, which is great. 

What the below photo doesn't convey is just how big the portion size is. Though you can probably only see one, there are two big pieces of chicken on that plate. I actually ended up sharing some with my family! They loved it just as much as I did.


Boatwright's Dining Hall
 Voodoo Chicken and Waffles



Dinner was followed by a round of dessert. The butterscotch creme brulee I was presented with was marvelous! How a dessert can be both light and decadent, I've no idea but Boatwright's pulls it off nicely. Needless to say, I wasted no time polishing off this beauty of a treat.



Boatwright's Dining Hall
Butterscotch Creme Brulee

Overall I was thoroughly impressed with our dining experience. Everyone we encountered was happy and helpful. The ambiance of Boatwright's is just so darn warm and inviting. And of course, the food, which everyone at our table collectively agreed was terrific.


Have you dined at Boatwright's Dining Hall? Tell me about your experience below!



Sprinkles Cupcakes

We need to talk about Sprinkles Cupcakes


You probably know the name from Food Network's "Cupcake Wars" where Sprinkles founder Candace Nelson is a judge. Full disclosure, I love the show and watch it regularly. Who doesn't love a good cupcake competition?!


If you are not familiar with Sprinkles Cupcakes, they can be found in a handful of States. Currently, only one gluten-free cupcake is available on their menu, but it's a start, right? They also have a nifty little rewards program which is full of perks. Think of them as a thank-you gift for being a loyal customer. My favorite perk? Definitely the free cupcake on your birthday. Being in Orlando the week of my birthday allowed me to take advantage of that perk. 

As always when I try a new to me gluten-free item, I do so with little expectation. This allows for even more excitement when something is wonderful. It also makes the experience less disappointing when letdowns are going on.


Sprinkles Gets Gluten-Free Right


 Sprinkles keeps the gluten-free red velvet cupcakes behind the counter and out of the display case to avoid cross contamination. That's getting gluten-free right and taking it seriously! Be aware that they do make a non-gluten-free red velvet cupcake as well. That being said the gluten-free red velvet is easily noted by the red "G" on top of the frosting. Sprinkles is on a roll with their safety measures.




Taste Test


To say that I am a fan is simply not enough. I've had my fair share of tasty gluten-free cupcakes and the gluten-free red velvet takes the top spot. It's pretty darn dreamy. You should probably drop everything and head to your nearest location. It's. That. Good. Hopefully, we will get a Toronto location in the future. Until then a girl can dream!

The cupcake is moist, pillowy and decadent. Imagine a heavenly cupcake that is sweet, but no overly so. Topping things off is the most gorgeous frosting. As a frosting nerd and self-appointed connoisseur of the stuff, I am smitten with it. Brilliantly creamy with a zip of tang, it's a major delight. 




Keep Up With Sprinkles


Visit the Sprinkles website for more information

You can also keep up via Twitter and Instagram

Saturday

10 Tips For A Magical Quick Service Experience

Walt Disney World handles special dietary needs such as gluten-free, allergens and kosher, etc. with extreme care. Navigating meal times can be overwhelming so it is important to have a plan of action before you head to the world.

Check out the tips below, to ensure that you have a magical quick service experience.




Magic Kingdom


10 Tips For A Magical Quick Service Experience



1) Be Prepared 



  • Contact Disney's Special Diets team to get a reference list of what gluten-free and other dietary items are available and where to find them in the world. 
  • Plan your meals in advance.
  • Visit Disney's dining page to become familiar with dining options such as price point, theme and cuisine type.






2) Time It Wisely


  • Dining at non-traditional times will help you avoid the mealtime rush. Try having lunch before 11:30 am and dinner somewhere around 4:00 pm or 7:00 pm.
  • Special dietary meals can take an extra 10-15 minutes to prepare, so order these first.



3) Try Something New


  • Epcot is a great place to be adventurous. With eleven different countries providing Quick Service fare, you can pretty much eat your way around the World here.
  • Want a French-inspired meal, with a Table Service feel? Try Be Our Guest in the Magic Kingdom. This Beauty and the Beast themed restaurant offers Quick Service dining at lunchtime. It also commands long lines, so try to get a Fast Pass, if you can.









4) Variety, The Key To Happiness


  • Look for locations which offer a wide range of food choices. My personal favourites include Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe (Magic Kingdom) and Landscape of Flavors (Art of Animation).
  • Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe has various order "bays", with each offering varying food selection. Be sure to check out the menu board so you know which bay to order from. This place is huge! With lot's of seating, both indoors and out finding a table should be easy peasy. 
  • Landscape of Flavors has several stations which provide both international and American style food. I love how fresh everything is here! You actually get to see your meal being made, fresh. Another plus to this Quick Service location, is the personal customization available for many dishes.








5) Sit Back And Relax


  • Take time to slow down. Enjoy your meal, along with the beautiful Disney atmosphere. Not only will you feel refreshed, you will have a new found appreciation for the detail which surrounds you. Your feet will thank you for the extra downtime as well.

Landscape of Flavors



6) Know Before You Go



  • Familiarize yourself with the open and close times Quick Service locations. Operating times vary throughout the parks and resorts.This is especially important during the offseason.
  • Pepper Market in the Coronado Springs hotel automatically adds a 10% gratuity, even though it is a Quick Service location. You can avoid this extra charge by ordering your meal to go.



7) Save Money


  • Quick Service items can be ordered a la carte. If you don't want something that is part of a combo, skip it and save the difference in cost. 
  • Ghirardelli in Down Town Disney to enjoy some offers free chocolate samples.
  • Club Cool in Epcot provides a free sampling of 8 different soft drinks from around the world.
  • Not sure about a certain menu item? Ask for a sample. Many Quick Service locations will happily provide a tasting size sample, free of charge.
  • All Quick Service locations can provide you with a free cup of ice water


8) Snack Wisely


  • If you opt for the dining plan, avoid using snack credits for drinks. Instead, use your refillable mug at the resort. No dining plan? Consider purchasing a Rapid Fill Refillable Mug.
  • Having a muffin or a bowl of fruit for breakfast will allow you to save money and time in the morning.
  • Some snacks are even big enough to share...if you want to, that is.


Babycakes Gluten Free Brownies



9) Enjoy A Meal Off The Beaten Path

  • Consider a ride on the monorail, to one of resort hotels for lunch or dinner. It's a great opportunity to get away from the parks, during peak hours. These Quick Service locations are also much quieter, which is a bonus.
  • If you are renting a car, head over to BoardWalk or Downtown Disney for a meal. Both destinations offer outside seating, with beautiful views of the water.



Boardwalk Bakery


10) Thanks For The Magic


  • Disney is light years ahead of the curve when it comes to accommodating dietary restrictions. Make a cast member’s day magical by saying thanks! 

  • Stop by Guest Relations at the parks and let them know how thankful you are for all of their hard work. Be sure to bring up anyone who has given your vacation an extra sprinkling of pixie dust!

  • You can also email wdw.guest.communications@disneyworld.com  to voice your appreciation.


Special Notes To Remember

  • Bring Disney's dietary reference list with you to the parks
  • Gluten Free meals are made to order so allow an extra 10-15 minute wait
  • When in doubt, ask questions
  • Consider sharing a meal. Disney portions are quite big



If you will be in the Orlando area in November, drop by the Food Allergy and Celiac Convention at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort. This is a ticketed event and takes place on Saturday, November 22nd, 2014.

You can stay up to date with this celebration of awareness by connecting with the event on social media.


Thursday

Food Allergy And Celiac Convention

Looking for a Celiac safe, vacation destination? Want variety and amazing flavour at every meal? Walt Disney World is where its at. I mean it. When it comes to safe Gluten Free dining, Disney does it best. I can say so from personal experience!



This November brings us the Food Allergy and Celiac Convention at Disney. I am happy to share that I am a member of the blogger street team for this great event. Being part of the team means that I will be sharing information related to both the event itself and all things Disney gluten free.






The event will be hosted on Disney property at the Coronado Springs Resort on November 22nd 2014. 


Event Details



  • Expo Area (featuring vendors, sponsors & non-profit organizations)
  • Welcome Breakfast (ticketed event for guests)
  • Non-dairy Ice Cream Buffet (ticketed event for guests)
  • Kids Corner
  • Speakers, panels, & workshops focusing on all aspects of celiac disease & food allergies
  • Culinary demonstrations, featuring Disney chefs
  • 15 Minutes of Fame Stage where vendors & sponsors can highlight their unique brands & products
  • Raffle baskets & giveaways (before & during the event weekend)
  • Pre-event recipe booklets where vendors & sponsors can highlight their unique brands and products with recipes
  • And more!

Tickets


You can purchase tickets here

Adult tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door*

Kids' tickets are $5 in advance as well as at the door*

*Door tickets will only be available, if there are any left for purchase


Follow event updates via Facebook and Twitter:  


The proceeds from ticket sales will go to food allergy & non-profit organizations.




***This event is not affiliated with the Walt Disney company***


Wednesday

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe

 Dinner in Frontier Land


To our surprise, this area was packed. Bottlenecked, jammed, crazy. You name it. This was the only area of Magic Kingdom where we experienced any sort of congestion. I still don't know why, as we did not stay long enough after eating to find out.

Pecos Bills is a big quick service restaurant. Lots of seating and lots of people. A downside here is that when it's busy, us special order peeps are really in the way. We had to stand next to the cashier and wait for the chef while having the regular order people try to squeeze by us to place their orders.

After what seemed to be forever, the Chef came out and took our orders.

Not much Gluten Free here. I ordered nachos with ground beef  and cheese. Not very Disney yum in my opinion. Desert was the amazing "OMG It's Gluten Free Fudge Brownie". My mom ordered a chicken salad (no dressing) which came with a side of corn on the cob and no desert.


This was the only time we ever ran into a slightly frazzled Chef. Maybe even annoyed. When he came out to take our order, he didn't really have that Disney joy. I felt like a bother to him and he really did not seem interested in offering us anything other than what ended up ordering.


After taking our orders, the Chef gave us a pager to take back to our table with us. For those unfamiliar, pagers are given to those who order food with special dietary requests or other types of food that takes longer to prepare. Instead of hanging around the line, you are free to take the pager to a table and wait. When it buzzes that means it's time to go meet the chef to receive the order.


The wait was around 20 minutes for our food.

After giving me my order, the Chef pointed out the condiment bar for toppings. I had to quickly tell him that it was not a safe option for me. I didn't feel like waiting another 20 minutes for condiments so  I just asked him to grab me some safe grated cheese from the kitchen.


All in all, it was filling, fresh and tasted okay. Just so very plain. I would have preferred to have more toppings for my nachos ie salsa or sour cream, as just beef and cheese makes it a bit dry. I don't think I would go back here in the future. There far better options around the park, which are also less chaotic.

Tuesday

Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe



After being in the park since the wee hours of the morning, we decided to hit up Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe around 11:30 am. This turned out to be a stellar lunch choice. Barely anyone was there! It was great to sit down and enjoy the atmosphere without feeling rushed. This is a very big place so I imagine that when it gets busy, it also gets quite loud as well.

We really loved the entertainment of Sonny Eclipse! In case you are not familiar with him, he is a Jazz singer from somewhere far away in the galaxy. Sonny's shows are about a half an hour long and he even cracks some funny jokes between songs.

The set up of Cosmic Ray's takes a moment or two to grasp. There are 3 "Bays" from which you can place your order. Each bay has its very own menu, line ups, and cash registers.


Bay 1 : Chicken and Pork
Bay 2 : Burgers and Hot Dogs
Bay 3 : Sandwiches, Wraps, Soups


Make sure you are at the Bay you want as they will not make you anything that is offered at the alternate Bays. I suggest anyone who will be eating here with children, scope out the menu beforehand (online before you get to the park) and go in with a plan.

 We ordered from the Burger Bay. As per Disney protocol, we advised the cashier that we would need to order Gluten Free. Within minutes a super bubbly and charming manager came by to take our order. It's a good thing it was not busy as we had to wait at the Burger Bay for our order. Thankfully it was only about a ten-minute wait.

Also worth noting,Cosmic rays has the infamous condiment station that has been known to produce a salad or two. Thankfully they also carry packets of Ketchup, Mayo ect.. which have the ingredients listed right on them.

 Both my mom and I ordered bacon cheeseburgers with a side or fries and an Enjoy Life cookie for dessert. Holy yum batman! I'm not sure what brand of Gluten-Free buns Disney uses, but they were soft and could not be more perfect. The burger itself was a welcome treat as well. The meat patty was nice and thin, quite the decent change from the ones I'm used to buying in the grocery store. I saved my cookie for later on in the day. When I got to it, I was so impressed that I was actually a bit sad. Why? Well, because I was hooked and we don't have these cookies at home.



Monday

A Gluten Free Mammoth Of A Sandwich At Disney's Boardwalk Bakery


After checking into our Little Mermaid room at the Art of Animation resort, we decided to hit up Disney's Boardwalk.  By this point both my mom and I were excited and ready for our first real taste of Gluten Free Disney.


A little bit about Boardwalk Bakery - It's super tiny inside. Like 4 people in line makes this place jam packed kind of tiny. Seating is located outside along the store front as per the top left photo with my family eating away. The style and setting of Boardwalk Bakery reminds me of something you would see in France. Not that I've been, but that's just the feeling it gave me.



While waiting for our order we had to shuffle around quite a bit as there is no real waiting area for us special diet peeps. This made for an awkward dance. After about 15 minutes, we were presented with mammoth Turkey sandwiches. The photo doesn't do my words justice. These things were HUGE. We were on the Disney Quick Service dining plan which included a drink, side and dessert with this meal. I was so full after only half of my sandwich that I took my chips and blueberry muffin back to the hotel. My mom had the vanilla frosted cupcake to the left of my muffin.She took that back to the hotel to keep in the fridge as well. When we did get to our desserts they were heavenly!

I would recommend Boardwalk Bakery to anyone on a Gluten Free diet. Keep in mind that options here are pretty much limited to what we ate. Great tasting and  satisfying portions trump variety in my book though. If you are going to check out this lovely little bakery, I would suggest hitting it during off peak meal times. I would also recommend checking with Disney ahead of time to verify that they are still serving Gluten Free food as things can and do change.


Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday - BabyCakes For My BabyCake

Lincoln enjoying a Gluten Free doughnut at BabyCakes in Downtown Disney

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party

H A P P Y   H A L L O W E E N !



Recently my family had the most wonderful Disney vacation. During that time, we attended Mickeys Not So Scary Halloween Party. This event requires a separate ticket as the park closes to non event ticket holders at 7pm.

We arrived at the park around 5:30pm ( I believe they start allowing party guests in at 4pm) and I proceeded to City Hall to get my much anticipated Gluten Free candy bag. Alas they had none left. The gal taking care of us radioed around to see if someone could bring up some GF treats to her. She then told me to come back by 7pm when the party officially starts to see if there was any candy left. She took my name and said she would hold a bag for me. We headed back just before 7 and thankfully there was small bag of Celiac safe treats set aside!


I should tell you that cast members are not shy about handing out candy. We each got handfuls at every candy location around Magic Kingdom. Candy hunting aside, this was a spectacular event! Disney caps the attendance so lines never get out of hand. The only time we ever encountered huge line was for character meet and greets.                                     

We were at the party for about 5 hours when we decided that it was time to call it a night. Aside from a couple of things, I think we pretty much conquered everything we set out to do this night. There were no meltdowns and Lincoln actually fell asleep before we got back to the hotel. although he didn't spend a lot of time in the stroller, it was handy to have! 

Official gluten-free candy stash





My candy stash is obviously much smaller than that of everyone else's  In all honesty it really doesn't bother me. The event in itself was worth the price. I cannot begin to tell you how much fun we had. Do take note that mixed into the "regular" candy collected throughout the night, were a few that stated "gluten free" under the ingredient list. There were also some that although did not state GF, a quick check with the manufacturer proved they were safe.So keep those eyes peeled.


Regular Candy Pile (3 bags!)


If you can make it out to this event which runs on select nights In September and October, I highly recommend it! Even if you do not like candy, there is so so much fun to be had throughout the evening! 

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