Each day, amusement parks provide effortless fun for the whole family — that is, until someone gets hungry. Something as simple as finding gluten-free fare at an amusement park can quickly escalate into a stressful challenge for even the most patient guest.
But as information about living a gluten-free lifestyle has spread, theme parks have increased the number of gluten-free options they provide their guests. As you plan your next trip to an amusement park, follow New Planet Beer’s simple steps to ensuring a fun, gluten-free day:
- Check the amusement park’s website for information about food allergies and special dietary needs. Some theme parks, such as Elitch Gardens and Hersheypark, list comprehensive guides on their website that note allergen information for specific foods sold at each restaurant or stand within their park.
- Make reservations in advance. Many theme parks offer gluten-free dining options, but suggest that you call in advance to reserve a table. Disneyland will take reservations up to 60 days before your trip, and Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando accept them up to 180 days in advance. When you call, be sure to mention your gluten intolerance so that the person taking your reservation can note it accordingly. It’s also a good idea to ask for the name of the person who takes your reservation and/or a reservation confirmation via email.
- Ask to speak with a manager and/or chef once you arrive at a restaurant within the park. Once you have informed the manager/chef of your gluten intolerance, they’ll usually provide you with a gluten-free menu and answer any questions you might have before preparing your gluten-free meal.
- Ask about cross-contamination. While an amusement park may provide gluten-free fare, ensure that the meal your getting isn’t contaminated by gluten as its being prepared. Don’t hesitate to ask the chef specific questions about whether or not he prepares the meal using clean surfaces, pans and utensils that haven’t come into contact with gluten.
- Bring your own food if the amusement park allows it. Check the theme park’s website to see if they specify whether or not you can bring your own gluten-free meal with you; some permit this, provided that you inform security of your gluten intolerance as you enter the park.
And above all else, remember to have fun!