Gluten Free Disney Dining

by Christene

Eating gluten-free at Walt Disney World.

If you have an intolerance to gluten you know how hard it can be to find gluten-free options when eating out.

You'll be happy to know you won't have to resort to salad for every meal when you are vacationing at Disney World. They are very accommodating to people with food allergies and dietary restrictions.

Our Experience

My family's been to Walt Disney World many times, but this past trip (2/25/12 - 3/1/12) was our first since my husband has become gluten-free. Unlike most on a gluten free diet, he has not been diagnosed with celiac disease or a wheat allergy. He gave it a try to help with his psoriatic arthritis and found that it really has been amazing at relieving the pain. It was very important that he kept up with eating gluten free foods while we were away on vacation.

Before we left he was worried about finding meals that included more than just salad. I searched online for information but didn't find much. I did read a post from someone who had a gluten-free lunch and dinner while at Disneyland in California so I was feeling like this wasn't going to be as difficult as he thought. I asked him if he wanted to call ahead to make sure the restaurants we had reservations for could accommodate him, but he chose not to. We'd have to take it one meal at a time.

At every table service restaurant we went to the server had a chef come out to our table to talk to my husband. At every counter service restaurant we went to the cashier had a manager come out to talk to my husband. They knew right away what would be ok for him as is, and what substitutions they could make. Below I'll tell you where we ate, what substitutions were offered, and what my husband chose.

Disney World Table Service Restaurants

Our first night there we went to Downtown Disney and gave the restaurant T-Rex a try. It's fun to do once but we probably won't go again. Think Rainforest Cafe, it's cute, but loud and crazy with few options on the menu. This being the first restaurant on our Disney trip we were very impressed though that our waitress had the head chef come out to our table to talk to my husband. That ended up being the first of many. He ordered the Woolly Mammoth Chicken- seasoned grilled chicken breast sauteed with spinach, onions, roasted red bell peppers, zucchini and mushrooms in a light tomato and roasted red bell pepper broth served over garlic mashed potatoes.

View the T-Rex MENU

The first park we visited was Animal Kingdom. We had dinner at Yak and Yeti in Asia. He ordered the Sweet & Sour Chicken- chicken, ginger, garlic, bell peppers, and pineapple with jasmine rice. Instead of tempura (battered & fried) chicken it was grilled, and they had a gluten-free sauce. It was really good and we will definitely go back.

View the Yak and Yeti MENU

Our next dinner was at the Magic Kingdom at Liberty Tree Tavern in Liberty Square. We've eaten here a few times before so we new that it was a family style dinner of turkey, pork, beef, and sides. They gave my husband gluten-free bread and gravy. He had to avoid the stuffing, mac & cheese, and dessert (Johnny Appleseed Cake) but everything else was ok for him to eat. I'm sure we will eat here again.

View the Liberty Tree Tavern MENU

The following night we ate in Hollywood Studios at Hollywood and Vine by Echo Lake. This is a buffet with a selection of salads, appetizers, entrees, sides, and desserts. Here instead of the chef just coming over to our table, he walked my husband around every station showing him was was gluten-free. I'm not even sure what he ate to be honest, it was such a free for all. I do know he was given gluten-free bread and a brownie for desert. We loved both the chef and our waiter here. We will be going back.

View the Hollywood and Vine MENU

The last dinner of our trip was in Epcot at Via Napoli in Italy. My poor husband laughed as he told our waiter about his needing to eat gluten-free food at this Italian restaurant filled with breads and pastas. We now assumed they'd have a bread substitution available but to his amazement they did have gluten free pasta too! He got Linguini Frutti di Mare- shrimp, clams, mussels and squid with linguini tossed in marinara piccante. This has been one of our favorite restaurants since it opened so we're glad they have gluten free options.

View the Via Napoli MENU

Disney World Counter Service Restaurants

Our first lunch was at Animal Kingdom's Restaurantosaurus in DinoLand U.S.A. This used to be a themed McDonalds but for some reason it's no longer operated by McDs. This is where we usually have lunch when we're in this park but we weren't sure if my husband would be able to eat here. We asked at the register and sure enough, the manager came out and let us know they had gluten free hamburger buns, as well as gluten free chicken nuggets and french fries. He ordered the Dino-Sized Double Cheeseburger with fries.

View the Restaurantosaurus MENU

The next day's lunch was it the Magic Kingdom at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe in Tomorrowland. This was the same story, we usually have lunch here asked at the register, and they had the same options. My husband got the Angus Bacon Cheeseburger with fries. He also had a gluten free chocolate chip cookie.

View the Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe MENU

Day 3 was at Hollywood Studios and we had lunch at Backlot Express. He got the grilled turkey & cheese sandwich with arugula and red peppers on gluten free bread, and french fries.

View the Backlot Express MENU

Our last lunch at Epcot's Sunshine Season Food Fair in The Land was the least gluten friendly. Instead of a fast food counter service this is cafeteria style. We asked someone behind one of the stations about getting a gluten-free meal and a chef did come out, but he told us there were no gluten free substitutions here. Our best bet was to order from the grill station. He got the grilled salmon with sides.

View the Sunshine Season MENU

Birnbaum's Walt Disney World Dining Guide 2012

Birnbaum's Walt Disney World Dining Guide 2012

Birnbaum’s Walt Disney World Dining Guide is a complete diner’s guide to what’s where in the World. What do they serve? How good is it? How much will it cost? It’s all here. ...

Disney Editions  / $12.99  $9.00

View on Amazon

Disney GlutenFree Passport

Since returning from our trip I've found an app to help you on your (and us on our) next trip to Walt Disney World. It's called GF Disney - Gluten and Allergen Free Disney World by GlutenFree Passport and is available at iTunes. Find safe meal options at 130-plus table service restaurants, quick service restaurants, food stands and food courts throughout Walt Disney World in Florida.

GF Disney - Gluten and Allergen Free Disney World - GlutenFree Passport

Poll: Reason You Follow a Gluten Free Diet?

Related Links

Where to Eat at Walt Disney World
You'll find my favorite places to eat, how to get there, the type of food, price range, and links to each restaurants' menu. I've also added pictures, maps and info on the Disney Dining Plan.

Walt Disney World on a Budget
I'm a big fan of Disney, but not of spending a fortune to go. On this lens I'll share what we do traveling as a family to Walt Disney World on a budget.

Updated: 07/28/2012, Christene
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

What is your favorite gluten free meal at Disney?

Dave on 04/14/2015

Check out the app called Gluten Free Disney Dining available in iTunes and Google Play. Or for to for there Facebook page or for their web page. Awesome app. I believe the Passport app is not on iTunes any more.

katiem2 on 03/05/2012

Disney is such a magical place the last thing any parent wants is for their child to experience difficulties and illness, that's not what we want our kids to remember. Thanks for the review of the dining at Disney.

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