50's Prime Time Cafe Gluten Free Fried Chicken
50s Prime Time Cafe Fried Chicken
One of my 1st photos in 2013 – Gluten Free & Dairy Free Fried Chicken from 50’s Prime Time Cafe

I can hardly believe that 2013 is almost over. It’s been a really exciting year, and it’s been so amazing meeting so many other Disney fans who also have special diets. From the 2nd Annual Dessert Party to my bi-monthly meetups, I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many of you, and it’s been a pleasure. On top of that I’ve gotten to know so many Disney bloggers this past year. You can see a list of some of my friends on my Thanksgiving Day Reflection post (see HERE).

As we look back on 2013, I thought it would be really fun to list some of the most popular posts of the year from the blog. Without further ado, here are the top 10 most popular posts from Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW in 2013:

10. Review of 2013 Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party: Who doesn’t love a Halloween party and trick or treating? Guests with special diets visiting the Magic Kingdom’s annual Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party have some options when it comes to candy. In this post, I reported my experience at the event, and after hearing from all of you, it seems there were a lot of inconsistencies this year. Thankfully, I had some options and a great time at the event.

9. Ohana dinner review with a vegan perspective: Ohana is always a really popular choice for guests dining at Disney gluten free & dairy free, but I frequently get asked about vegan & vegetarian options. This post offers guests a look into getting gluten free & vegan options at Ohana. My friend Laurie Sadowksi offers her thoughts on her gluten free & vegan meal in this tag-team review.

sushi Ohana

8. Be Our Guest Restaurant Quick Service Lunch Review Take #2: This summer, I managed to get to Be Our Guest Restaurant several times for lunch. In this review, I list several of the options available to me as a gluten free & dairy free diner, as well as review their Tuna Nicoise Salad.

Be Our Guest Restaurant Lunch

7. New Ingredients for Dole Whips: This was one of my very first posts in 2013, and let’s just say it got a lot of attention. Dole Whips, which have long been gluten free, have contained casein in the past and were not therefore dairy free or vegan. However, early in 2013, rumors were circulating that these frozen delights were now dairy free too. Though it has been confirmed that they are now vegan and dairy free (with the exception of the vanilla flavor which still contains casein), there is still a risk of cross contamination at the Aloha Isle location due to the vanilla flavor. Still, it’s a big improvement for Dole Whip fans.

6. Be Our Guest Restaurant Quick Service Lunch Review Take #1: Be Our Guest Restaurant was a popular dining spot this year. This was my first visit to the location for lunch, and boy did I enjoy the turkey sandwich I had here. Disney guests agreed, making this a very popular blog post this year.

5. Columbia Harbour House Unveils New Special Diets Menu: This was huge in Disney dining news for those of us with special diets. This summer guests were surprised to see a new special diets menu being handed out to guests when they arrived at Columbia Harbour House. Offering guests with some special dietary needs a chance to see the options available to them while they waited for a manager, this really helped streamline the process at the quick service for special diets guests. To date, this is the only quick service location that carries such a menu, despite news that other locations in the parks would also be getting them too.

Columbia Harbour House Magic Kingdom

4. 2013 Epcot Food & Wine Festival Gluten Free & Dairy Free Options: The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is hugely popular with those visiting Disney World in the fall, and it’s certainly very popular with guests who have special diets. Last year WDW released an “official” gluten free map for the festival; however, this year, they chose not to release one due to liability issues. But that didn’t stop us from finding out that info! Along with my friend Alexis from Gluten Free in Orlando and blog readers, we were able to crowd-source some information about what booths might offer safe options. Judging by its popularity, this was a big help to WDW GF/DF travelers.

3. Allergy friendly Beignets at Port Orleans French Quarter: This my friends was a revelation! I had been hearing rumors that gluten free beignets were to be found at Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory at Port Orleans French Quarter. Imagine my great surprise and joy to find out that not only did these exist but that they also covered many special dietary needs. Previously, you had to request these beauties in advance in order to enjoy them; however, due to popularity, they are now available all the time! Go ahead, you know you want to indulge in this deep fried, powdered sugar covered deliciousness!

food allergy beignets

2. Food Allergy Information Kiosk Opens at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park: Talk about big news! This summer saw the grand opening of a food allergy information kiosk. This kiosk offers not only a variety of gluten free & food allergy friendly snacks — including baked goods from Babycakes NYC — but also allows guests a one stop shop for special dietary needs related questions. Cast members are on hand to go over the special diets ingredients binders, as well as assist with specific dining related questions. So far, this kiosk is going strong, and perhaps we’ll see others in 2014!

Disney Animal Kingdom Info Kiosk
Me with Chef Michael Thompson and CMs Alex and Brandon on opening day of the food allergy info kiosk!

And the #1 spot goes to…

1. Around the ‘World’ in 80 Restaurants Series: I started this dining series after many requests from you, the readers. I think it’s fair to say, you really liked this idea, and are still sending me lots of places you’d like to see me review. This blog post is a one stop shop for all of the dining options you’ve sent me and the links to the reviews I’ve completed so far. It’s been a fun adventure, and I’m looking forward to completing it in 2014!

So there you have it. The most popular blog posts in 2013. I hope you get a chance to re-read your favorites and catch up on the ones you missed. It’s exciting to think about what posts will be the most popular in 2014. Yesir, I think there’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow ahead!

Happy New Year everyone!!