Downtown Disney boots McDonald's, replaces with healthier fare and BabyCakes gluten-free bakery

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Pollo Campero is the largest fast food chain in Latin America, serving chicken in various forms: fried, grilled, sandwiched, wrapped in a burrito, etc. Now, you may be saying to yourself, "Hey, they serve fried chicken just like Mickey D's did; that's healthier?" Yes, while Pollo Campero does have some fried items, like a few of the chicken dishes and the yuca fries, they offer many grilled choices and healthier sides (than French fries) like rice and beans. That way, the people who still want to eat greasy food can do so and those who like their meals without as much saturated fat and calories can be sated as well.

As for Fresh Apeel, says they'll be featuring, "a nutritious and delicious array of hot-off-the-grill items and chef-prepared salads and wraps."

The web has been buzzing about BabyCakes Bakery being a part of this project for a few months, and now fans of the specialty bakery can enjoy their gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, vegan, etc., options at the spot they share with Pollo and Apeel. When you think of cupcakes, the word "healthy" doesn't automatically enter your mind, but these babies are healthier options and can be enjoyed by those with dietary issues who normally never get this kind of indulgence. According to BabyCakes' blog, you can order a birthday cake, donuts, cookies, brownies and cupcakes at this location and their hours of operation are 8am until 11pm daily. Follow them on Twitter: @DTDBabyCakesNYC.

Information via BabyCakes, Disney Food Blog and; photo: disneyandy via Flickr.

When I visited Downtown Disney in Lake Buena Vista a few months ago, I noticed something was missing in the Marketplace area: McDonald's. There was a high fence around the perimeter and the sign had been stripped off. Obviously, I was curious to see what would take the fast food giant's place in this area that sees millions of visitors a year.

It turns out, Disney has booted McDonald's from Downtown Disney Marketplace and has put Pollo Campero, Fresh Apeel and NYC's BabyCakes gluten-free bakery (as seen on The Food Network) in its place. This project was headed by the Spiaggia restaurant group — helmed by Chef Tonu Mantuano (yes, you've seen him on Top Chef Masters) — who wanted to put healthier fare in the parks. I've also heard (much to the dismay of some) that the famous McDonald's French fry wagon located in Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom park is no more, though I have not yet found out what, if anything, will be replacing it.

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