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January 2014 GF/DF at WDW Newsletter

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Welcome...

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Happy New Year! The January issue of the Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW newsletter marks the beginning of 2014. This new year promises to bring lots of new and exciting Disney dining adventures -- from the grand opening of a new restaurant in the Morocco Pavilion to my travel plans that include not only Disneyland but also the Disney Cruise Line. There will definitely be no shortage of special diets Disney dining news.

There are also many other exciting new things to share on the horizon. I'm pleased to be transitioning to a new website and will be announcing the official launch in the coming weeks. I hope this new platform will improve your experience on the blog, and I can't wait to hear what you all think. In addition to a new look, I have lots of ideas in the works for special events and meet-ups you'll be sure to love.

2014 is set to be a great year at Disney! Krista Joy from Disneyways gives us the scoop on all the latest happenings and why visiting the parks and resorts in 2014 is a must do! She even covers some new excitement found on the Disney Cruise Line. Want to find out more Disney news for 2014? Head over to Krista's site at Disneyways.com for the latest scoop!

Looking for tips as a gluten free & vegan diner? Laurie at the Allergy-Free Cook answers some Disney trip planning questions. And if you have specific questions for her, head on over to her website lauriesadowski.com where she provides some terrific reviews from her trips to WDW.

Looking to recap the year on the blog? Check out my Top 10 Posts of 2013.

As always, this newsletter features our Disney GF/DF food photo of the month, updates on special events and meetups, and guest articles. Of course, you’ll always find the latest reviews, tips, and tricks on Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW! If you have a great idea for a series or feature you'd like to see in the newsletter, let us know by emailing: gfdf.wdw@gmail.com


 

Sarah, Owner
Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW Blog

Photo of a Sarah at the 2013 Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party with the Country Bears
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Photo of the Month
Bell & Evans chicken from California Grill!

Submit your GF/DF food photos to gfdf.wdw@gmail.com


Catch up on the most popular posts of 2013! Click on the photo above to read them!
 



For all your Disney travel needs, contact Amanda from Mouseketrips!
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Laurie Sadowski

Laurie Sadowski is a cookbook author and writer who really loves food. After being diagnosed with Celiac Disease, and hearing the words, "what DO you eat?" one too many times, she decided to author a series of cookbooks entitled The Allergy-Free Cook, which address other food allergies, as well. Visit her at lauriesadowski.com and theallergyfreecook.com



One of the greatest things about Walt Disney World is that having dietary needs—whether you have celiac disease, a peanut allergy, or are a vegan—is that you can be accommodated. In some cases, you have to make a few accommodations of your own: you can’t eat everything, some places are more risky (or impossible) than others, and you might not have the most variety when it comes to desserts.

But trust me: 90 percent of the time, the chefs go above and beyond what is necessary.

I understand, though. I have celiac disease, and I get very sick from dairy. These, of course, aren’t my choice, but I do choose to be a vegan (which can inevitably sometimes make things more difficult). My mom (and number one travel companion to WDW) has to follow a strict gluten, dairy, egg, and soy-free diet (though she eats meat). Surprisingly, sometimes it is the soy that is a little more limiting.

So here’s the deal: I’m here to help. Send Sarah and I all your gluten-free, vegan, allergy-related dining questions, and I’ll answer them all as detailed as I can. But first, I’ll get you started off with the most frequently asked questions.

What will I eat if I’m gluten-free AND vegan?
A lot. Next? (Just kidding). Every restaurant can accommodate gluten-free diets, and most restaurants have a good vegan option. Often, they can combine the two (or vary it). If you’re gluten-free (and not by choice, but necessity), then seek out the best gluten-free restaurants first, and then worry about the vegan options. You want to ensure you eat safely, foremost. There are options for every price range, diet, location, park, and resort. Tell me your plans, and I’ll help you choose!

Does Quick Service accommodate all Special Diets?
For the most part, yes. Sometimes it will be slim pickings—like a salad—whereas other times you’ll eat a lot better. If you’re in a resort, you should have no problem, but some of the parts have better options than others. I can list the best options per restaurant and park—ask me your specifics!

What is your favourite restaurant?
Sigh… so hard! I’ll narrow it down by saying both Kouzzina and Citricos, since the latter is Signature Dining. I could write you a novel why! Instead, I will update my site soon with the details.

Be sure to contact me or Sarah with your questions! I will also compile them all into my website: http://www.lauriesadowski.com/.

 
You can learn more and check out my blog here, get the details on my books here, and contact me with questions, comments, and answers to the question of the month here!
 
Have a magical month!
Laurie
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The Allergy-Free Cook at the Walt Disney World Resort. Can you guess what restaurant she is in?

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Krista Joy is a former Disney cast member and current head author at Disneyways.com. Krista was born and raised in the heart of Orlando, Florida – where she still lives – with her husband Chris and two wonderful teenage sons, Bradley and Scott. Never knowing what it’s like to be away from Disney for very long – the magic has truly become a part of who she is.


Disney fans don't really need another reason to come back to Walt Disney World. We already know it's awesome and new every single time! But just in case you have someone in your life that needs some convincing, (because maybe they think they have seen it all) here’s at least 9 new reasons that the magic will be non-stop in 2014! Just for good measure, we added one for Disney Cruise Line too!


 
1. New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom adds its crowning centerpiece in spring 2014 with the opening of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, completing the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history. Nothing sleepy about it! The lovable world of Sleepy, Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Sneezy, Happy and Dopey comes to life when the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train takes New Fantasyland guests on a rollicking, musical ride into the mine “where a million diamonds shine.” Inspired by the 1937 Disney animated film classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the fun starts as guests cross a stone bridge and walk through a beautiful forest with the Dwarfs’ cottage in the distance, leading to the entrance to the attraction — and immersion into the endearing story of the radiant and kindhearted Snow White and her forest friends led by the lovable Dwarfs.

2. Also this spring, Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade will bring the magical stories of New Fantasyland to Main Street U.S.A. through fantastic and innovative parade floats, vibrant costumes and an original soundtrack that will feature beloved songs from favorite Disney films, plus a new parade theme song. There will be no shortage of fantasy, either, according to the float-makers. Ariel and friends will grace a larger-than-life music box showcasing a colorful musical party “Under the Sea” while Scottish dancers and a float shaped like an enormous bagpipe announce the arrival of Merida. Other floats celebrate Disney Princesses; Peter Pan and Wendy soar above a pirate galleon; Rapunzel and Flynn Rider appear on a longship in search of another “Best Day. Ever.”

3. Fit2Run, the Marketplace Co-Op, new Starbucks and more kick off the multi-year transformation of Downtown Disney into Disney Springs. While Downtown Disney in 2014 continues its multi-year transformation into Disney Springs, there are exciting changes guests can experience now. Newly opened in Downtown Disney West Side: Fit2Run serves both recreational runners and athletes. In 2014, Starbucks will add two locations: a storefront at Downtown Disney West Side and a kiosk near World of Disney at Downtown Disney Marketplace. Also in 2014: new retail–from women’s accessories to electronics, sportswear to girl’s fashions, home design accents to salon products–will open as the Marketplace Co Op (replacing Team Disney). And there’s plenty of valet and self-parking as the Disney Springs expansion continues. Disney Springs will be a unique and vibrant shopping/dining/entertainment destination to be set amid beautiful open-air promenades, meandering springs and waterfront charm. Anchored by a signature water tower and grand entry, it will boast four interconnected outdoor neighborhoods and be home to everything from shopping boutiques to flagship stores to great new restaurants and entertainment venues. With a planned completion in 2016, Disney Springs expects to double the number of venues, to more than 150.

4. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts opens a luxury resort hotel within the Golden Oak community. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts plans a 2014 opening for a luxury resort hotel at Walt Disney World Resort. Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort will feature several dining venues including a rooftop restaurant with views to the Magic Kingdom, a 14,000 square foot spa, fitness center, three pools and a “lazy river” sports and recreational area, as well as meeting and event space, and a business center.

5. The Orlando City Soccer Club makes ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex its home for 2014 regular season games. As anticipation for the 2014 World Cup builds around the world, soccer fans vacationing at Walt Disney World Resort will be treated to more professional soccer options at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in 2014. In addition to the Disney Pro Soccer Classic and the Disney Soccer Academy, which both feature pro soccer players, the Orlando City Soccer Club will play its 2014 regular-season home games at Disney in the spring. The team will play its 14-game home schedule inside a soon-to-be expanded soccer venue at the sports complex, providing fans with a more intimate viewing experience than ever before. The Orlando City Soccer Club recently became an official MLS soccer franchise.

6. New races welcome runDisney enthusiasts and first-time runners alike. runDisney is expanding two of its most popular race weekends in 2014. There will be a 10K race added to the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna and the Princess Half Marathon Weekend. The new 10K races mean there will also be new “challenges” – the Dopey Challenge during Marathon Weekend (running the 5K, 10K, half marathon and full marathon) and the Glass Slipper Challenge during Princess Weekend (5K, 10K and half marathon). Both of these new “challenges” come with a special new medal awarded to anyone who completes the challenge.

7. New 2014 itineraries for Disney Cruise Line will include an expanded collection of European sailings. In 2014, Disney Cruise Line will offer new itineraries, including an expanded collection of European cruises highlighting the Greek Isles. Plus, DCL will depart for the first time from homeports in Venice, Italy and San Juan, Puerto Rico. From May to August, the re-imagined Disney Magic returns to the Mediterranean, offering a rich array of itineraries, cruise lengths and ports of call. New for the season, the Magic will homeport in Venice and will call on the Greek Isles and Sicily for the very first time. In fall 2014, Disney Magic will sail out of San Juan for four Southern Caribbean cruises. Disney’s first cruise ship now boasts all-new experiences and re-imagined spaces including AquaDunk, a body slide dropping three decks, and Marvel’s Avengers Academy transporting kids 3-12 into magical worlds of brave superheroes. In summer 2014, the Disney Wonder will sail seven-night cruises from Vancouver to Alaska; a special nine-nighter calls at Sitka, Alaska – a first for DCL. Joined by Disney Magic in January, Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy sail from Port Canaveral, Fla. to the Bahamas including a stop at Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay.

8. Disney Parks is encouraging guests to let their inner selves come out to play during “Show Your Disney Side” in 2014. Disney Side is the exact flip of the everyday, work-centric lives we lead – the more fun-loving, adventurous side that washes over anyone who sets foot inside a Disney Park. In Disney advertising and marketing, Disney Parks will make the call for all guests to “let out the fun” and show their Disney side in 2014. The program got off to a magical start in the fall of 2013 when all-stars in the social media realm showed their Disney side to the delight of millions of followers.

9. New for 2014 will be an exotic — and aromatic — addition to the Morocco Pavilion at Epcot. Inspired by the whitewashed, outdoor cafes found along the Mediterranean, Spice Road Table offers a variety of Moroccan small plates and specialty drinks – along with scenic views of World Showcase Lagoon in front of the Morocco pavilion. A collection of shops arranged “souk” style stretches along the front of the building. There is even a henna tattoo artist on hand to create temporary body art from traditional and modern designs. The space is finished in cozy booths, Moroccan light fixtures, tapestries and art representing Morocco’s indigenous Beber tribes.

10. There is so much more to round out the fun in 2014 for Walt Disney World Resort guests including returning favorites runDisney events led by the Walt Disney World Marathon, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Atlanta Braves Spring Training, Star Wars Weekends, Car Masters Weekend, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival and much more. Another guest favorite, the hugely popular Festival of the Lion King show, relocates by mid-summer to an all-new theater in the Africa section of Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Are you ready for all the new ways to experience the Disney magic in 2014? Wishing you a VERY Happy New Year filled with Disney dreams and so much more! See you in the parks!






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Do you have a question for the newsletter? Want to see a new feature? Interested in submitting your own guest dining review? Send all your comments, questions, and suggestions to Sarah at gfdf.wdw@gmail.com!

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