Disneyland is one of the best places to find gluten-free food. For a celiac, it is truly the Happiest Place on Earth.
There are so many gluten-free snack options at the Disneyland resort, that my family often shares treats, so we can pack more goodies into each park visit!
If you don’t have a Disney trip planned, this list will make you want to get one on the calendar.
Before we delve into the best gluten-free snacks and treats for your next trip to the Disneyland Resort, let’s go over the obligatory disclaimers. Disney has one and so do I.
After we get through the intimidating disclaimers, we will talk about why I trust Disney to safely feed me and my daughter (both celiacs who are diligently compliant with the gluten-free diet). Then, we’ll jump into some of the best gluten-free treats that I and my daughter have enjoyed at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
Disneyland’s Gluten Disclaimer
Disney does not call its products gluten-free. Instead, it uses the term, “wheat/gluten allergy friendly”. A “gluten-free” claim is a higher standard set by the FDA and requires testing showing levels of gluten below 20 parts per million. Like most dining establishments with shared kitchens, Disney is not making a gluten-free claim. Instead, here is its food allergy disclaimer:
We use reasonable efforts in our food preparation and handling procedures to avoid the introduction of the most common allergens into your menu choices. While we take steps to prevent cross-contact, we do not have separate allergy-friendly kitchens and are unable to guarantee that a menu item is completely free of allergens.
Additionally, allergy-friendly offerings are reliant on supplier ingredient labels, and we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the contents of each food item. Allergen advisory statements (e.g., “may contain”) are not regulated and therefore not taken into consideration when developing allergy-friendly meals. It is ultimately up to your discretion to make an informed choice based upon your individual dietary needs.Disneyland Allergy Disclaimer
Some food items are pre-packaged and carry a gluten-free label. In those cases, the FDA gluten-free labeling requirements apply, and those products would be considered gluten-free, not merely “wheat/gluten allergy friendly”. Some examples of this are the chocolate-covered bananas, gluten-free brownies, and the marshmallow dream bar. Always look for gluten-free on the label.
Here is my disclaimer, the following recommendations are based on my personal experience at specific points in time. Menu items change. Always discuss your gluten-free needs with a cast member (a chef or manager in restaurants) and double-check labels on packaged items before eating anything at Disneyland. I personally do not rely on past experience and communicate directly with cast members every time I visit the parks.
Disney has a great reputation for food allergy education and protocols in its theme parks. When you speak to a cast member at a snack cart, you can expect an awareness of the gluten-free diet and cross-contamination. When you talk to a chef or manager, you should expect expertise in these areas.
Disneyland has an FAQ for Food Allergies and Special Dietary Needs. You can also email Special Diets directly with any questions regarding eating gluten-free at Disneyland and any other dietary restrictions you may have.
One more word of caution, candy and bakery items stored “under the glass” at locations like the Candy Palace are at very high risk of cross-contamination, both during preparation and after. I do not eat them. Ever.
With those “mouse-keeping” items wrapped up, let’s get to the good part. Here are the best gluten-free snacks and treats at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure!
Mickey Ice Cream Bar
Hands down, Mickey Ice Cream Bars are Disneyland’s most popular gluten-free treat. With a Mickey Mouse shape, they are classically Disney.
The best part about the Mickey Ice Cream Bar is that you can find it at the ice cream carts located all over Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. This means you and your child on the verge of a meltdown (yes, this happens at the Happiest Place on Earth) are never far from a gluten-free treat.
Be sure not to order the Mickey Ice Cream Sandwiches, as those are not gluten-free. You are looking for Mickey Mouse-shaped vanilla ice cream on a stick, covered with chocolate.
Chili-Lime Corn on the Cob
In California Adventure, across from Toy Story Mania and the Incredicoaster, is Poultry Palace which sells gluten-free chili-lime (or buttered) corn on the cob.
When you are in the mood for more than a snack, the Poultry Palace also sells the “poultry pack” with 3 legs of coated and baked, gluten-free, crispy chicken and coleslaw.
While the chicken, coleslaw, and corn (and jumbo turkey legs!) are all gluten-free, there is often only one cast member serving the food, including the gluten-containing chimichangas, at this small stand.
If you have celiac disease like me, request a chef consult or ask when they are expecting a fresh order from the kitchen, to avoid cross-contact.
Disneyland Dole Whips are gluten-free and dairy free. You can mobile order the traditional Dole Whip or Dole Whip Float at the Tiki Bar right outside the Tiki Room in Adventureland.
My preference is to head just around the corner to the Tropical Hideaway between the Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise. There are tables where you can relax and enjoy your Dole Whip. You can order the traditional pineapple flavor or ask for a swirl with other flavors like watermelon or mango.
If you want Dole Whip outside of the park, visit Tangaroa Terrace at the Disneyland Hotel.
Cast members have always been willing to split the Dole Whip into two or three cups when I have asked, leaving more room to get other snacks in the park, such as…
Available at nearly every turn is freshly made popcorn, which is gluten-free and dairy-free. You will see popcorn carts throughout Disneyland and California Adventure, where cast members are constantly popping and selling this warm “buttery” treat.
Off-topic observation, my son noticed that cast members push all the popcorn to the front of the glass giving the cart a full appearance, which has the added benefit of making my photo better!
Popcorn is sold in smaller disposable cardboard buckets or in special, souvenir buckets, celebrating everything Disneyland can think of from characters to Christmas. These are very popular with Disney Fans. They often sell out in the park and reappear later on eBay.
If you have had your fill of freshly made popcorn, Kat Saka’s Kettle in Galaxy’s Edge (Disneyland) and Cozy Cone Motel 5 – Popcone in Cars Land (Disney California Adventure) let you choose your own gluten-free popcorn flavor. Flavors typically include pickle, buffalo ranch, and cheddar cheese at the Cozy Cone Motel and the Outpost Mix (caramel and chocolate) at Kat Saka’s.
The standard flavors are gluten-free but always verify with a cast member. Holiday and seasonal flavors may contain gluten and increase the risk of cross-contamination.
While enjoying popcorn in Galaxy’s Edge, it may be tempting to try Blue Milk. Unfortunately, the Blue and Green Milk contain oats and are not celiac safe. Instead, if you are thirsty and craving something sweet, grab a…
Galaxy’s Edge Thermal Detonator Soda
The Thermal Detonator Soda is unique packaging for Coca-Cola beverages: Coke, Diet Coke, and Sprite, which are all gluten-free.
While it is just a soda, this orb-shaped bottle provides a very immersive way to drink a Coke on the Planet Batuu. If you want to take it home with you as a souvenir, here’s the TSA statement on whether and how you can take it on the plane.
Outshine Strawberry Fruit Bar
The Outshine Strawberry fruit bar is gluten-free.
You can buy the strawberry fruit bar, with an option for mobile ordering in the Disneyland App, at Galactic Grill, Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor, and Hungry Bear Restaurant in Disneyland Park or at Tangaroa Terrace Tropical Bar & Grill at the Disneyland Hotel.
It is also readily available at ice cream carts throughout both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
Another delicious, gluten-free treat from the ubiquitous ice cream carts is the chocolate-covered banana. You will breathe easy when you see the words “gluten-free” right on the back of the package.
According to Minute Maid, “all of (its) Minute Maid Frozen Novelties are gluten-free, dairy-free, and fat-free.”
Italian Ice is such a popular treat that my daughter’s school has taken to selling it weekly as a fundraiser. Whether at school or Disneyland, my daughter is happy to line up for “lemonade Italian ice”.
The pre-packaged Minute Maid Frozen Lemonade is available at the easy-to-find ice cream carts throughout the parks.
Hand-Scooped Ice cream with Sprinkles
Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream in Disney California Adventure and Gibson Girl Ice Cream Parlor in Disneyland both offer gluten-free ice cream flavors, and the sprinkles are gluten-free!
Allergy orders will have a slightly longer wait time because they need to be prepared by a Special Diets-trained cast member. This cast member will answer your questions regarding which flavors are gluten-free, scoop your ice cream from a fresh container in the back, and follow allergy protocols to reduce the risk of cross-contamination with flavors that do contain gluten.
The cones are not gluten-free. Your gluten-free ice cream or sundae can be served in a cup or you can order a sundae in an adorable souvenir Mickey Ear Hat Bowl or Mickey Mouse Kitchen Sink.
Hand-scooped ice cream is the perfect gluten-free seasonal treat at Disneyland when you or your child is looking for something festive. This is covered in the Go GLuten Freely blog post on Gluten-Free Disneyland Halloween. Disney historically changes the sprinkles with each holiday!
Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats on Pixar Pier sells lemon and mango soft serve, which is gluten-free, as well as dairy-free.
For chocolate, vanilla or chocolate-vanilla twist soft serve, head to Cozy Cone Motel 2 in Cars Land.
Ask to see the latest ingredients. At either location, order your soft serve in a cup, as the cones are not gluten-free.
Route Beer Float at Cozy Cones
As if you need one more reason to visit Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land, which is admittedly an adorably themed stop, Cone 2 also sells gluten-free Route Beer Floats.
You can dress up your Route Beer Float and “feed the mouse” with the upcharge, by ordering it in an optional souvenir glass.
Stop by Jack Jack Num-Nums next to the IncrediCoaster on Pixar Pier for the gluten-free IncrediCookie. It is a large sugar cookie filled with blackberry jam.
These gluten-free cookies can sell out by the afternoon, so get one early if it’s on your hit list. You can always buy it in the morning and enjoy it later during nighttime entertainment like World of Color or fireworks!
Chocolate Chip Cookie
While the IncrediCookie is unique to Disney California Adventure, no worries if you don’t have a park hopper ticket. You can buy a pre-packaged, gluten-free chocolate chip cookie at a couple of spots on the Disneyland side: Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe and Refreshment Corner.
Both Jolly Holiday and Refreshment Corner are quick-service restaurants with a mobile order option. I have heard, but have not personally asked, that Jolly Holiday will warm up your cookie upon request. A warm cookie with cold milk sounds like Disney magic.
You can also purchase bags of certified gluten-free cookies (chocolate chip or lemon) at candy shops in both parks, and I have occasionally seen them at snack/fruit stands.. Look for the brand Snacks with Character, a partnership with Disney and WOW Baking Company.
This pre-packaged, yummy, blueberry muffin makes a good dessert or a quick gluten-free breakfast on the go.
Order in person or mobile order your gluten-free blueberry muffin at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe or Refreshment Corner.
Along with the gluten-free chocolate chip cookie and blueberry muffin, you can order this fabulous prepackaged fudge brownie at the Refreshment Corner in Disneyland. Again, mobile order is an option.
Outside of the Disneyland parks, the gluten-free fudge brownie is sold at the Coffee House at the Disneyland Hotel.
In a long list of mostly junk food, fresh fruit deserves to be mentioned. At fruit stands scattered throughout both parks, you will find an assortment of naturally gluten-free fresh fruit, whole and sliced, Babybel cheese, and assorted chips (some are labeled gluten-free).
Disneyland fruit locations: Fantasyland Fruit Cart, Critter Country Fruit Cart, Main Street Fruit Cart, Tomorrowland Fruit Cart, Tropical Imports, and Ship to Store Marketplace
California Adventure fruit locations: Mortimer’s Market, Fairfax Market, and Fillmore’s Taste In
Back to the sweets… you can order a gluten-free, vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry milkshake at Flo’s V8 Cafe. It’s also available in a Cars Land souvenir shake glass.
Smokejumper’s Grill sells gluten-free vanilla and chocolate shakes.
At both restaurants, there are topping options that are not gluten-free. If you mobile order, be sure to order your milkshake off the “gluten/wheat allergy-friendly menu” so it will be treated with the care of an allergy order. If you order your gluten-free shake directly from a cast member, ask for an allergy consult.
The cotton candy suppliers change with the seasons, so always verify on the package before purchasing. Some are labeled gluten-free.
Marshmallow Dream Bar
Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe in Disney California Adventure, Market House in Disneyland, and actual Starbucks in Downtown Disney all carry your usual Starbucks favorites, including the deliciously-chewy Marshmallow Dream Bar, which is labeled gluten-free.
The Disneyland mint julep is non-alcoholic and gluten-free.
As much as I love Disney’s mobile order service, it is a good idea to order your mint julep directly with a special-diets-trained cast member. The Mint Julep Bar does not offer an allergy menu. Ordering directly with a cast member will give you the opportunity to verify current ingredients, including any seasonal flavors.
Plus, you will avoid cross-contamination by cast members serving both drinks and beignets. Sadly, there are no gluten-free beignets at Disneyland, but you can find them at Disney World!
Mint Juleps are also sold at Cafe Orleans and Blue Bayou. Each location has its own recipe, which can change, so always confirm with a chef.
So Many More Gluten-Free Options!
When Miss E was diagnosed at 3 with celiac disease, we would play a game where we named all of the food she could have. It was my attempt to help my preschooler focus on all of the possibilities and not just see a list of don’ts and can’ts. When I was diagnosed a few months later, it was an easy transition because I already knew all the foods I could eat.
This philosophy carries into our Disneyland visits. There is no need for a scarcity mentality here. There is so much you can have that it will be impossible for you to try it all. Plus, this list is by no means exhaustive.
If this is your first gluten-free trip to Disneyland, you will be amazed by the wide variety of gluten-free options. (One caveat, if you have been jaded by a gluten-free trip to Disney World theme parks, you may have to reset your expectations just a bit. Disneyland simply does not have the kitchen space to safely recreate all you have experienced at Disney World.)
We have had wonderful, magical surprises from creative Disney chefs throughout countless visits to Disneyland over the years, including the first time we tentatively made a gluten-free Disneyland trip after Miss E’s celiac diagnosis.
Use this gluten-free Disneyland snack list as a starting point. You can seek out the gluten-free items that look most appealing to you. Check out our articles on The Best Gluten-Free Dining at Disneyland, Tips to Celebrate a Gluten-Free Disneyland Halloween, and Magical Moments for Your Disneyland Christmas.
Or just make your Disney plans without thinking about food. This is nearly impossible for someone with celiac disease or gluten intolerance to imagine, but it’s absolutely possible at Disney. Rest assured that around every corner you will be able to find a Mickey Ice Cream Bar, giant pickle, or popcorn!
Disney as the Happiest Place on Earth will have new meaning for you!