I just returned from Disney World, and I was AMAZED at the gluten-free options. As with any trip, I do a LOT of research on where I can get a meal that involves something other than the gluten-free bars I have in my purse.
Disney did food allergies in true Disney style . . . to infinity and beyond! Disney World offers some helpful tips on their website for those that have food allergies. The first step was to make reservations for sit down dinners and place an allergy alert on your reservation. They guarantee that if you do this at least two weeks in advance, you will have options that accommodate your allergy. They also list several quick service stands that always have gluten-free options.
Our first meal was at the Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios. This is a reservation only restaurant and is not cheap.
They were running behind, so we ended up waiting a long time to get in (despite our reservation), but it was worth the wait. They brought tapioca rolls to the table, and the chef came out to talk to us about our options. There were a lot. I had the amazing lobster bisque soup and the grouper dish, followed by a flourless chocolate cake. My sister swapped the grouper dish for the salmon. It was fantastic! The food was delicious.
The next day was lunch at Sunshine Seasons in Epcot. The Chef came out and walked us to the different food stations and told us what we could have.
The only station he told us to avoid was the Chinese Food station. The grill station is specifically designated as gluten-free. They even had Red Bridge beer. I had rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes and a gluten-free (pre-packed) brownie. My sister opted for a salad. The food was great!!!
Dinner was at Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It is a buffet of African food. Once again, the Chef came out and walked us through the entire buffet and told us all our options. There was more food we could eat than what we could not eat. Once again, the food was DELICIOUS! So many options, including several desserts. The Chef brought gluten free crackers- they were amazing.
The third day we had lunch at the Backlot Express in Hollywood Studios. It was a quick service meal: gluten-free chicken tenders and French fries, with the pre-packaged brownie. I was rather excited to eat chicken tenders that did not come from my freezer. Dinner on the third night was in Japan in Epcot. It was ok. They brought out LaChoy soy sauce to have on the side, but I have reacted to that in the past. The food was not bad, but I stayed on the safe side. In Epcot the staff is from the country they represent, so English is not their first language. That makes me a bit nervous when discussing allergy issues.
Lunch on the last day was at Flame Tree Barbecue in the Animal Kingdom. Once again the manager met with us to ensure we had food we could eat. Ribs, with a great rub, coleslaw and baked beans. It was really great!
I was really impressed with the gluten-free options. If you noticed, no breakfast is listed. I am not big on breakfast, so I brought my own cereal and pastries. Most of the breakfast options at the hotels are not gluten-free, so it was just easier. A minor inconvenience for an otherwise amazing gluten-free Disney experience.
Wishing you great food and happy tummies.