Gluten Free at Ariel’s Grotto!

Princess Collage

Last week, I had the absolute BEST time spending the day with Mike’s boss & his family at Disney’s California Adventure. While it was little 4-year-old Ryan’s day to have fun & celebrate, Mary, here, did an awfully good job of having fun too! We had lunch at the gorgeous Ariel’s Grotto on the pier. Overlooking California Screamin’ & Mickey’s Fun Wheel, this is also a wonderful restaurant to purchase a World of Color dining package.

With reservations required for Ariel’s Grotto, your journey to head ‘Under the Sea’ begins with an exciting meet & greet with The Little Mermaid herself that includes a photo opp. You’re then seated & this is when I began to nerd out: being gluten-free, this may sound silly, but, I am always sad that I cannot indulge in the bread basket usually served at fine dining restaurants. Here? THEY BROUGHT ME GLUTEN FREE BREAD! (Yes, I am screaming). That easily could have been my entire meal, & I would have been a happy princess, but, I was just getting started.

Crusted Mahi.
Crusted Mahi.

They provide you with a great Allergen-Friendly menu that lists what is suitable for you should you have a gluten, dairy or nut allergy. For my starter, I was able to select from the salad or soup of the day, which was tomato & was great. While sometimes I dis-like the creamy-ness to a tomato soup, this recipe actually had a chili-like taste to it that was perfect fr me. Mike even was convinced there was meat in it, but nope. It was the perfect companion to my bread, just sayin’ 😉

Gluten free entrée options that intrigued me were the corn cakes, lobster salad & the catch of the day, which was a crusted Mahi Mahi. I chose the latter & while the portion size was similar to my evening at Club 33, it was prepared to perfection. I just wish that I had a little more to enjoy as Disney food should not end!

Michael's Tri Tip
Michael’s Tri Tip

During your lunch, the highlight is, of course, that this is indeed a character dining restaurant & you’re guaranteed a minimum of 5 characters to stop by. Along with the lovely Ariel, we also had visits from Belle, Rapunzel, Tiana & Cinderella. Guys? I felt like a kid again as all my favorite princesses came by!

For dessert, they offer you a sample plate of 3 decadent offerings: A chocolate covered strawberry, s’more & creme brule. Mike said the s’more was out of this world. For allergy kids like myself, you get the choice of a brownie or sherbet. I chose the sherbet which was a berry flavor with fruit toppings. If I had not been so stuffed, I would have had every last bite.

Dessert Time.
Dessert Time.

Ariel’s Grotto is a great choice if you’re at California Adventure & are looking for an up-scale experience with all your favorite Disney princesses. Just remember: They’re reservations only so definitely call ahead or head over as soon as you get to the park. It is only $45 per person for a 3 course meal & a non-alcoholic beverage (they do have cocktails though, too).

Thank you, Disney Dining, for having bread just for me! xo

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