Disney does their very best to accommodate guests with food allergies and/or medical conditions requiring special diets. We will be highlighting much of Disney’s efforts in future articles here at TKI. Recently, a request came in asking for some favorite gluten free quick service dining options and we are more than happy to share!
As a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist, I am always paying attention to what options my clients have when dining out at Walt Disney World. There are plenty of tasty options available – I know because I’ve tried many of them! *It is important to note that the allergy-friendly offerings are reliant on supplier ingredient labels, and Disney cannot guarantee the accuracy of the contents of each food item. Allergen advisory statements (e.g., “may contain”) are not regulated and therefore not taken into consideration when developing allergy-friendly meals. You will also find an allergy disclaimer in the My Disney Experience App (see below).
While menus are always subject to change, you will find some Allergy-friendly menus on the My Disney Experience app under the dining tab, as well as on the Disney World website. If you’re physically present in a quick-service location on Disney property, immediately request to see the Allergy-Friendly menu from a cast member at the counter or ordering stand. Most places will have one ready to show you immediately. If you need to inspect the ingredient labels further for any item used in the meal you’d like to order, you can do so at the counter. Many kitchens on property will have a binder ready to show you the labels of current ingredient items used in the allergy-friendly menu offerings. Since the supply chain can change at any time, it is always a good idea to review this information even if you’ve had success ordering the same menu item before.
If you’re looking for gluten free goodies while you shop til you drop at Disney Springs, head straight over to Erin McKenna’s NYC Bakery where everything is gluten-free, vegan, soy free and kosher! We had the best donuts here. We loved them so much, we hunted them down in New York City weeks after we returned home from our Disney trip.
A favorite quick service of mine is Pecos Bills Tall Tale Inn and Cafe. Here you’ll find the Southwest Salad with Chicken- mixed greens topped with seasoned chicken, roasted corn and bean salsa, tomatoes and gluten-free tortilla chips. You can ask for fresh salsa to avoid cross contamination from the buffet style Toppings Bar or for a packet of gluten-free dressing from the kitchen. If you’re grabbing a late lunch, plan your eating time an hour before the Festival of Fantasy parade – you’ll be able to grab a front row seat right outside the restaurant! Over in Tomorrowland, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café serves a delicious Grilled Chicken Club sandwich on gluten-free allergy-friendly bun with your choice of French fries or mandarin oranges.
At the ABC Commissary you’ll find more allergy-friendly offerings. Don’t forget, the kid’s menus can be allergy-friendly too! My daughter loved the Kids Carved Turkey Sandwich on an allergy-friendly bun with carrots, apple slices and a milk box. She was thrilled to have some familiar fixings available to grab for lunch on our busy day in the park. Speaking of healthy choices, don’t forget spots like Anaheim Produce where you’ll find fresh fruits, vegetables and gluten-free beverages like bottled juice, water and iced tea for a quick pick-me-up between rides on a hot day! The gluten-free Chicken Strips with French fries from the Backlot Express was also a big hit! The kids actually prefer these to the regular chicken tenders on property.
The Electric Umbrella has two amazing salad options on their Gluten/Wheat allergy-friendly menu. Check out the Vegetable Quinoa Salad drizzled with agave lime dressing and the Energy Salad with Roasted Chicken, seasonal fruit and feta cheese. Both are sure to satisfy! I also love the Oak-Grilled Salmon with Cheese Grits and Andouille Corn Succotash as well as the Power Salad from Sunshine Seasons. While it might be challenging to find Allergy-friendly menus to review ahead of your trip in the World Showcase area of the park, you may be pleased to see suitable options in Mexico, Morocco and Japan. You’ll notice these cultural cuisines use rice and non-gluten grains more frequently than wheat, barely and rye. However, you should still exercise the same caution as you would with any food allergy ordering process and always speak to a cast member about cross contamination.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
At Flame Tree Barbecue, not only will you find the perfect view of Everest, but you’ll also find delicious gluten-free options for every meat lover such as the Ribs, Chicken and Pulled pork dishes served with baked beans and fruit. Looking for something more plant-based? Head over to Harambe Market for their Roasted Vegetable Bowl with cilantro rice and salad greens, or Gluten-free cheese pizza and mac and cheese from Pizzafari.
You will find many of the resorts quick service dining spots will also have Allergy-friendly menus where you’ll discover even more gluten-free selections to choose from. Here are some of my favorites:
The Gluten Free Chocolate Cake from the Contempo Café at the Contemporary Resort.
The Cobb Salad, Smoked Turkey with Brie Cheese Sandwich and NGA Cheesecake from Artist’s Palette at Saratoga Springs Resort.
The Asian Style Grilled Chicken Salad and Thai Coconut Meatballs with rice from Captain Cooks at the Polynesian Resort.
Please note that this list is not all-inclusive and you will find many more gluten-free options on your Disney World vacation. Wherever you find yourself hungry on Walt Disney World property, you will find options for allergy-friendly meals. The allergy-friendly menus at WDW are quite impressive compared to many other travel destinations. Be prepared to enjoy your food and options! Disclaimer: This article is not intended as a personalized plan. Individual needs will vary. Speak with your healthcare provider about dining out with food allergies and special dietary needs. Always remember to do your due diligence in asking questions and reviewing your food allergy and dietary needs with the helpful cast members before placing your order for safety and peace of mind when dining at Disney! Read up on our other articles with tips for Disney travel for guests with food allergies linked below.