My daughter suffers from a life-threatening wheat allergy (one of many allergies) so must be gluten free at all times. We have always found Walt Disney World to be the best place to vacation because of her food allergies. For Celiacs and others who refrain from consuming gluten there are few better vacation destinations than Walt Disney World. The Cast members are well informed and understanding. If you have a reservation at a table service restaurant, note that you have a gluten restriction on the reservation. Even if you don’t, the chef will happily address your concerns before preparing your meal. There are few substitutions that can’t be made. Many surprising dishes are made gluten free by request, including fried foods and pasta.
Within Walt Disney World there are some places that for one reason or another, you should definitely pay a visit to if you are on a gluten free diet:
Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC
This is a gluten free, vegan and kosher bakery located in Disney Springs. This is the place for gluten free/sensitive guests to get their fix of a variety of baked goods, including donuts, cupcakes, cookies and brownies. Erin McKenna’s Bakery also distributes goods to Animal Kingdom and resorts around Disney World including Beach Club, Art of Animation and Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Raglan Road and Cookes of Dublin
Also in Disney Springs is Raglan Road, an Irish pub that is very accommodating. They also have an attached quick service spot, Cookes of Dublin. Some of the best gluten free substitutions in Disney World are right here. Among them are the fish and chips and the most amazing onion rings. No trip is complete for my daughter without a trip to “Cookes!”
Yak and Yeti
It’s Probably no surprise that Animal Kingdom is one of the best places to find food that is just naturally gluten free. The menu is extensive. They’ve got Salmon, Sweet and Sour Chicken, Tofu Tikka Masala, just to give an idea of range. The most popular item among the majority of guests is probably the Kobe burger. You don’t have to worry about eating a burger patty wrapped in lettuce, either. They use Udi’s buns.
Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen
In-keeping with a similar cuisine type as Yak and Yeti Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen has a versatile allergy friendly menu. While most items on the menu are gluten friendly, be sure to note what allergies are listed below each menu item just to be sure. Virtually every entree is free of gluten except for the Crew Stew, but the must try is the ‘”Tastes Like Chicken” Because it Is!’ It’s breaded in a gluten free batter and fried to crispy perfection.
Back at Animal Kingdom there is one special spot. The Nomad lounge has a very gluten friendly menu and can easily make the minor substitutions necessary in some cases. For example their cheese plate is phenomenal. There is a very small bread component that can be easily done away with. Nomad Lounge is not on this list because of it’s fantastic cheese (or the Tempting Tigris). It made the list because you can actually get Churros here. That’s right, Churros! I saved the best for last. No more salivating at every cart you pass and wishing upon a star, because the biggest staple in Disney snack history is finally available sans gluten!
Do you follow a special diet? What are your favorite “go to safe” special diet snacks at Walt Disney World? My daughter’s is the popcorn!