I visited Disneyland Paris for the second time post diagnosis in August this year. I planned on being more prepared this year as last year I really struggled to find much to eat.
Disneyland Paris are well-known in the food allergy and intolerance community as not being great at catering. Rather than offering the option to adapt meals for your specific needs, they prefer to take a “one option for all” stance, providing a menu of “Natama” meals which are free of 16 allergens…WOW! You can view details of these on the Disneyland Paris website.
Reviews of these meals are mixed, but I read enough online to know that I definitely DID NOT want my meals to be limited in such a way while I visited. Many reviews claim the meals to be completely lacking in flavour, and served to you like you would have food on a plane. Is that how I want to dine while visiting a Disney park? I don’t think so! The worst part is that these “meals” cost the same as the regular meal costs – for far less food!
Knowing that I wouldn’t be eating these Natama meals, I planned to eat mainly in the Disney Village area, and to pop to the supermarket in Val d’Europe for snacks to keep me going throughout the day. The supermarket was excellent – I have never seen so many gluten free goodies in all my life. I picked up some cereal bars, cookies, and some snacks to carry around with me and for breakfast in the hotels.
So what did I eat?
Planet Hollywood (Disney Village)
I had eaten here on my previous trip so I was fairly confident in Planet Hollywood. They have a dedicated gluten free menu with lots of choice so no doubt you can find something for everyone. I could happily have eaten here every day.
Pictured: Pepperoni Pizza
I ate here on my last trip as well and remember that my waiter didn’t speak any English! My friends translated for me and I had a bunless burger, with vegetables instead of fries. This time, my server was actually from the UK and was really helpful. He told me I could have the Siva’s Curry which is chicken, shrimp and pineapple in a light, creamy sauce served with rice. I don’t like shrimp so I was able to have it on the side – which was great for my dining buddy who does like it! The curry was really tasty and I probably would have it again, but this is the only completely safe option that requires no modifications so I wouldn’t want to eat it too much.
King Ludwig’s Castle (Disney Village)
Honestly I found everything quite confusing here as there are a few different menu options and it was hard to figure out what I could have. I ended up with a steak but the fries aren’t safe so I had green beans instead. As a result, I had a lot of green on my plate. Although tasty, my meal was actually quite disappointing as it was fairly cold and my friends didn’t have a great meal either. I wouldn’t rush back.
My one and only park meal!! As you can see, this was very exciting. As this was a quick service location, I didn’t ask about the allergy meals as I knew they would only be able to offer the Namata meals and there would be no room for adapting anything.
I wasn’t going to eat here and was going to grab something from Five Guys later but I was excited to see they were advertising gluten free salad options. Earl was always a place I had to miss out on when I lived in Orlando. I ordered a gluten free Caesar salad and it was amazing! I’d definitely eat here again and it was nice to be able to eat in the same place as my friends.
I’d love to hear your stories of how you survive at Disneyland Paris, and any recommendations. I did speak to the staff at California Grill in the Disneyland Hotel who said they could adapt a lot of their menu but this was a bit out of my budget on this trip. Having been absolutely spoiled in the past by the restaurants in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Anaheim, and on board the Disney Cruise Line ships, I’ve felt so disheartened by the lack of effort made by Disneyland Paris and it really puts me off going, as the food is one of the massive appeals of Disney for me. I’m hoping that as things change with the Walt Disney Company obtaining full ownership of the Paris parks then special diet options will improve, but I’m not sure how long this will take. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.