Monday, March 29, 2010

Gluten Free Disney World -- Day 3

Our third day at Disney World was spent in the Magic Kingdom and we had no reservations for lunch. We were headed across the park toward Tomorrowland when we were delayed by the 11:00 parade. Unfortunately, we were standing in front of a funnel cake vendor when we were forced to stop, which meant the kids were quickly demanding funnel cake. The little shop only sold funnel cake, waffles, and a creamy chicken and wild rice soup. Seems like an odd menu to me, but we bought the kids soup and funnel cake. There wasn't anything I could eat, but I had a breakfast (yogurt, Shar breadsticks, fruit) at the hotel, so I wasn't too hungry yet; but by 2:00 I was ravenous and nobody else wanted to eat. So while the gang went to ride Space Mountain, I opted to take my niece Lani with me to Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland. One odd thing about this counter-service restaurant is that it is divided into three sections, one for chicken and ribs, one for hamburgers, and one for sandwiches and salads. You have to wait in separate lines to order from each of the three sections. That makes it difficult to order if you have multiple people in your group, but since it was just the two of us, we settled on the chicken and ribs queue. I had the ribs, which came with mashed potatoes and green beans. It was all good, and nice to get some veggies at a theme park restaurant. The kids meals came with a choice of side items including grapes, apples, or carrots, so I got some grapes and carrots into Lani as well. A nice healthy bonus for the day.

We did have reservations for dinner, and again, we had a party of 8. We ate at Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Resort hotel. As far as I'm concerned, no trip to Disney World is complete without a meal at Chef Mickey's. The party atmosphere pumps you up and it's an excellent chance to get photos, hugs, and autographs from the major characters: Donald, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, and the Big Cheese Himself -- Mickey Mouse. This is a buffet restaurant and your meal includes a souvenir photo. The chef took me through the buffet and I chose prime rib, mashed potatoes, green beans, corn, and some potato salad (yes, I know -- mashed potatoes and potato salad. What can I say? I like potatoes.) It was very good, but the real reason to come here is the character interactions. One downside of having a party of 8 is that they seated us in a separate room, away from all the action. The characters did come through and stop at every table, but the parade of characters was not visable to us and we didn't get the same "energy" that you get in the main dining hall. An interesting note, Chef Mickey's now makes their own GF cupcakes! I love cupcakes. They are just plain fun! These were not the best I ever tasted. The chocolate cupcake was a bit gummy and the vanilla cupcake was not very sweet... it almost tasted more like a muffin. The frosting was good and not too sweet, which is the usual problem with cupcakes, so that was nice; and frankly, I think it's great that they were offering something special that you could only get at Chef Mickey's. So, I hope they keep the cupcake idea, but the recipe could use a little work.

One more thing about Chef Mickey's... the girls ordered specialty drinks that came with a glowing Tinkerbell clipped to the straw. They both clipped to their headbands, which was adorable and made a fun souvenir. I myself ordered a Captain's Mai Tai, which was sweet and delicious, but did not come with a glowing Tinkerbell. :(

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