Disclosure: Legoland California provided me with two free blogger tickets to Legoland and the Sea Life Aquarium. The remaining tickets, hotel stay, and food were paid for by yours truly. As always, this is my honest review, based on my personal experience eating gluten-free at Legoland
Table of Contents:
- The Legoland Hotel
- Gluten-Free at the Legoland Hotel Bricks Family Restaurant (breakfast buffet)
- Gluten-Free at Everything Is Ramen Restaurant
- Gluten-Free at the Pizza & Pasta Buffet
- Gluten-Free at Granny’s Apple Fries
- Gluten-Free at the Burger Stop
- Gluten-Free at Legoland: Wrap-up
I have sweet memories of my kiddos having a blast during our last Legoland visit (pre-celiac diagnosis); but as I planned our upcoming mini overnight vacation, I was dreading the extra food preparation required to cater to two of us with celiac disease. Would we be able to eat gluten-free at Legoland?
Then, I found Legoland’s dietary guide online, and it includes many gluten-free options at almost every restaurant in the park. Whoo hoo! This will be a real vacation! I do not have to lug tons of food in my bag nor carefully plan when, where and what we’ll eat.
There is also an interactive allergy menu that is more up-to-date.
In an effort to simplify, I just packed water, and healthy & filling snacks (Kind bars, fruit, nuts), then relied on Legoland for the rest of our meals. Since we were also staying at the Legoland Hotel, I called ahead and confirmed that the included breakfast buffet at the Bricks Family Restaurant would be able to safely accommodate our gluten-free diet.
The Legoland Hotel
The Legoland Hotel is genuinely my favorite kid-friendly hotel. They have thought of everything… a pirate show, lego building contest, disco party in the elevator, giant floating legos in the pool, scavenger hunt, separate sleeping areas for children and adults with a bunk bed and trundle for the littles, toddler-level peephole, and stepstools in the bathroom. Legoland earned bonus points for the built-in toddler potty seat.
Gluten-Free at the Legoland Hotel Bricks Family Restaurant (Breakfast Buffet)
Bricks Family Restaurant is extremely accommodating to the needs of celiac guests. A chef came out and took our order from a list of gluten-free options. He even cut up fresh fruit for us, so that it would not be contaminated from the buffet line.
Miss E and I ordered eggs, sausage, fruit, tomatoes, tater tots, and a chocolate muffin to share, with the latter being fabulous. The muffin aside, the taste was what you would expect from a typical breakfast buffet, not a gourmet brunch. It was convenient (since we got to breakfast around 7:30am before the line got long) and had a fun atmosphere with Lego statues, characters, and a balloon artist.
Inside the park…
Gluten-Free at Everything Is Ramen (in Lego Friends Heartland)
Everything Is Ramen, in the Lego Friends Heartlake City was a hit with both Miss E and me. The gluten-free menu offers chicken stir fry without sauce, over rice. I brought Tamari to-go packets, just in case, but it turns out they had gluten-free soy sauce on hand.
Miss E had a smaller size kid version served with apple and juice, but the chef kindly added veggies to hers (which do not normally come with the kid’s meal). These kinds of meals are ideal because, except for the soy sauce and handling cross-contamination, they are naturally gluten-free.
Wok ‘N’ Bowl Ramen is my favorite restaurant in the park for a gluten-free meal at Legoland. The food is fresh, and there are a couple of nearby options for your kids to play while you savor your meal, including a splash pad with Lego Friends show and a playground.
Gluten-Free at the Pizza & Pasta Buffet (in the Imagination Zone)
The “kids eat free” sign outside the Pizza & Pasta Buffet caught my attention. This deal comes and goes, so keep an eye out for future promotions.
Tip for eating gluten-free at Legoland buffets: stop by the restaurant to pre-order your food at least 15-20 minutes before you plan to eat, so your gluten-free food is ready when your gluten-eating family members are ready to hit the buffet!
Having learned a lesson at the breakfast buffet, where our special order of gluten-free food was out of sync with the timing of the rest of the family’s ready-to-eat buffet food, I stopped by the buffet, placed our order directly with the chef, and then joined the family in Miniland USA for 15-20 minutes. When we returned to the Pizza & Pasta Buffet, we were all able to eat together.
Miss E and I shared a freshly made salad (not contaminated on the buffet line), gluten-free pizza, and gluten-free pasta (marinara sauce was the only option). The chef even brought us grated parmesan cheese from the kitchen. The service was friendly and knowledgeable regarding cross-contamination and we all left more than satisfied with the value for our money.
Gluten-Free at Granny’s Apple Fries (in Castle Hill)
We have been to Legoland several times, and I had never tried Granny’s famous apple fries…. until now. Everywhere we go, most treats are full of gluten… Something about knowing there is a special and already gluten-free treat in Legoland, just made me want to have them. These gluten-free apple fries get my vote as the best treat when eating gluten-free at Legoland!
Granny’s apple fries taste like apple pie with whipped cream… but in a french fry form. They were absolutely worth indulging. I recommend sharing.
Gluten-Free at the Burger Stop (in Fun Town)
It was inevitable that my burger-loving CJ would get us to the Burger Stop. We saw this lovely sign out front and the folks at the Burger Stop were so nice. They apologized (unnecessarily) for the delay in preparing safely gluten-free food and shared the Burger Stop food allergy binder, which made me all the more comfortable eating gluten-free at Legoland.
Miss E and I enjoyed fries from a dedicated fryer and a cheeseburger on a gluten-free bun.
Gluten-free at Legoland Wrap Up
My only disappointment was a crepe stand in the middle of Lego Friends Heartlake City. Oh, the bitter temptation! If you are reading this, my Legoland Friends, please, oh, please, offer a gluten-free crepe prepared on a dedicated cooking surface. Here is a crepe recipe that I have used successfully, or send one of your “Master” Chefs on a mission to uncover an authentically French, buckwheat crepe. We celiacs will only love you all the more!
Legoland itself is family-friendly… Lego play areas to help little ones handle the wait in line, plus in my experience (we have not gone on peak days), the lines have been reasonably quick.
Tip: if you are there on a peak day, start at the back of the park or work your way in a counterclockwise circle to beat the crowds.
Throw in the many gluten-free options to all of the fun already there, and Legoland is a favorite for our family. Sign up below for our Go Gluten Freely newsletter and get more ideas for your own gluten-free adventures!