Our family has always enjoyed visiting Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in the Smokey Mountains. We also enjoy going to some of the dinner shows located in Pigeon Forge. After my daughter's diagnosis of Celiac Disease in late December, 2007, we wondered how we would deal with her diet requirements while in Gatlinburg during Spring Break this year. We were already planning to stay in a cabin, so I knew breakfasts would be easy enough, but what about eating out and going to the shows? A couple phone calls were all it took to alleviate our worries! Both Dixie Stampede and Black Bear Jamboree were able to look up their menus and tell us right away which foods they serve contain gluten. All we needed to do was call ahead the day of/or the day before we planned to attend the shows and tell them one of our party would need a gluten-free dinner.
At the Black Bear Jamboree, the server was very helpful and even went back to double-check the food for our daughter to make sure it was safe. She wasn't able to eat the bread or the dessert. And the server brought out a very nice cup of fresh fruit for her during dessert.
At the Dixie Stampede, she again was unable to eat the bread or dessert. Due to the nature of the show and service, I didn't feel our server was as attentive as the server at Black Bear Jamboree, but she was very understanding. There was no substitute at Dixie Stampede for the dessert. That wasn't a big deal to my daughter though, after all you are really there for the great show! A pleasant surprise at both places was that the creamy vegetable soups they serve are gluten-free. My daughter loves the soups, so that was great! I would love to find the mix for these soups to fix here at home...we all know how hard it is to find a good creamy, gluten-free soup!
Our experience in the Smokey Mountains was that eating GF was not too hard. There are so many restaurants and everyone is so nice that we were able to find good meals for her without too much trouble. An interesting fact...when we mentioned to the servers at the various restaurants that one of us had to avoid gluten, many of them knew what we were talking about or knew someone with CD. It makes things soooo much easier when people understand the problem!