I love Disney. My husband and i are 26, without kids and after our trip to Orlando last year to Universal and Disney we both fell in love with this particular ‘theme park’ holiday. We’re both kids at heart and love good rides, entertainment and appreciate the level of enthusiasm cast members have to make your visit special. I personally love Disney because i can pretty much eat anywhere and not have to worry about whether something is gluten free or not. Now that i’ve done my research i can now happily whizz around the parks and resorts enjoying myself without suffering from a ‘glutening’ (then missing a day of holiday due to pain) and just, relax and have fun. I rarely relax, i’m a stress/worry pot so although some people may see a Disney holiday as a stressful one, i feel quite the opposite.
If you’re against beating the queues, following touring plans and guides when you’re at Disney, then i suggest you find a great resort to set up camp! Our resort- Disney’s Yacht Club (connected also to Beach Club) offers arguably the best pool on Disney property- Stormalong Bay – featuring a lengthy waterslide, lazy river, activities and a wonderful and unusual sand floor to make you feel like you’re in the sea! There’s a running trail, adult pool, arcade, tennis courts, boat hire and it’s a five minute walk to Epcot… i could go on for days. Despite the abundance of amenities we didn’t feel it was too crowded and if you’re looking for a more adult, quiet base, then this or the recently renovated Polynesian resort were our favourites for this.
But let’s get on to the gluten free disney food!
It’s tradition for us on a long haul holiday to order room service on our arrival, we’re normally knackered by the time we get there! We picked up the phone and simply requested to hear the gluten free options, i ordered a Cheeseburger and Fries with an ice cream sundae – the staff were so helpful on the phone and on arrival of the food it was noted to us what items were gluten free.
We booked a last minute table here and i was worried that the gluten free note (you can make a dietary note on any reservation on the My Disney Experience App), hadn’t been transferred to the wait staff. I needn’t have worried.
The allergy menu was clear and the waiter offered to bring the chef out to discuss my needs in more detail. The service was a bit slow due to a fully booked restaurant but the food did justify the wait. Perfectly cooked Steak, one of the best meals we had but at an expense…
Excellent (Although costly!)
See the allergy menu here.
Captains Grille was our breakfast destination. Most days we visited the parks bright and early and i brought along some gluten free biscuits to have with coffee. On the days with the worst jet lag though, we woke up early and headed here. Captains Grille offers a quick buffet option as well as a la carte, and the chef is happy to take you around the buffet to show you which things are gluten free.
I decided on this occasion to opt out of the tour, as in a sleepy state i was worried i’d forget which items were gluten free! So whilst my husband opted for the buffet, i ordered gluten free blueberry pancakes. Other options are gluten free waffles, omelettes, gluten free toast – pretty much anything can be made on request. Although my order did take a while to arrive and the pancakes were quite hard and stodgy, i was thankful to have that option.
If you’re in a rush to the parks i would suggest bringing something with you for a quick breakfast. I recommend a small snack with coffee in the parks then going to an early lunch to beat the crowds, it worked every time!
Good (for a lazy morning)
See the allergy menu here.
Hurricane Hanna’s is the Stormalong Bay pool bar, this is shared with the partner resort Beach Club and it offers a very good gluten free lunch offering.
The Allergy Chicken Tenders can be found all over the Disney parks but it was great to see them on offer here too; i’ve only had chicken nuggets 6 times in my gluten free life and only at Disney! They are plentiful, tasty and affordable -one meal fed us both. Other gluten free offerings include cheeseburgers, salads, chicken sandwiches and cocktails of course!
Excellent (Gluten Free Quick Service heaven!)
The best ice cream sundae i’ve ever had was at Beaches and Cream. This colourful restaurant/diner is technically at Disney’s Beach Club resort but as it was a 5 min walk (It’s located at the Stormalong bay pool) i felt compelled to place it in this gluten free round up as a positive for staying at the Yacht Club.
The waitress was helpful and immediately noticed the dietary note attached to the reservation, she kindly asked how severe my intolerance was and guided me through the menu. I could have most things easily replaced with gluten free bun or bread. I really wish all restaurants would pick up on this in the UK.
Rob and i ordered the Chicken Sandwich: Grilled Herb Chicken Breast topped with Brie Cheese, Cucumber, and Frisée tossed with Raspberry Vinaigrette with fries to share as we had our eyes set on dessert, it really was tasty.
When ordering a sundae here it’s best to speak to a staff member on what they could make you off-menu, some of the statement sundaes like No Way Jose (Peanut Butter sauce, Hot Fudge, Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Morsels, Whipped Cream, and a Cherry) are not on the gluten free menu but they can be adapted to be made gluten free.
Excellent (Ambience, entertainment and ice cream madness!)
View the Beaches and Cream allergy menu here
A special mention here goes to Sarah at the Gluten free and Dairy Free WDW blog, her links were invaluable to be before this holiday- check it out!
I’ll be writing up more for my gluten free disney series soon so please subscribe to the blog or follow on Twitter to stay tuned.