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Celiac + Disney Dining

chimchimcheree

Member
Original Poster
Hi all!

So I found out last week (yes, last week - it has been a rough few days) that I have celiac disease. I'm still in a learning phase with the what I can/can't eat, and I realized that I'm going to Disney World in September for MNSSHP and I am used to eating whatever I want. I've been looking at gluten free menus but there are so MANY, and I'm already a bit overwhelmed, so if there's anyone out there with experience to help streamline my planning and point me in the right direction(s), I would *really* appreciate the help, particularly in these areas: MNSSHP, character dining (since those are buffets), and quick-service (we're grab-and-go people for breakfast and lunch).

Thanks!!
 

M:SpilotISTC12

Well-Known Member
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I feel your pain! I also am Gluten Free and let me tell you not to worry! Any dish you may see on a menu (sit down and quick service) you'll be able to get a gluten free variation of it. Sandwiches (out in the real world are not going to be as easily gluten free for you) will have gluten free bread/buns. Just let your server or CM taking your order that you are gluten free. Sometimes a chef will come out and talk to you to help put your mind at ease. Being gluten free in Disney is just as normal as it would be as if you weren't. Just definitely make it known to your server and you'll be in great hands!

Since this is new to you its good to know (in WDW and in the real world) what naturally gluten free foods you can eat. Rice and potatoes will be your new carb replacement for wheat. Stay away from beer at the bars. If you need any help feel free to ask!
 

HouCuseChickie

Well-Known Member
I went gluten free and dairy free back in 2018. I recently got back from WDW and they did such a great job with things. There were a few times at the buffets where I felt like I wish there was a bit more I could have, but you won't be as limited since you don't cut dairy. I also had a lot of special things they brought to me so that I still had good stuff to eat.

Gluten Free Mickey Waffles are an option at most spots...



Most places that served some kind of complimentary bread had a gluten free option...





I had a whole plate of safe desserts at the HEA party...



Cape May had both waffles and donuts I could have...



Storybook made me a nice little dessert plate...



Erin McKenna's is a must...


I didn't take pics of the special stuff brought to me at Boma (really good GF bread there too), but Sanaa has house made GF naan. It's not as good as the regular stuff, but it's not bad either...since bread service is a MUST.



I know this isn't all what you're looking for, but just to give you an idea of how good they will be. My only word of caution with buffets is cross contamination. I saw several things I could eat that were no longer safe because someone dropped other food in it that I couldn't. So, be on the lookout and tell your server or someone up at the buffet if you need to.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Also, California Grill actually has a full separate allergy menu -- my GF and I both have shellfish allergies so the server gave us the special menu. It's all the same items (I think, there may have been a few additional things) but it has them specifically labeled by allergy. For instance, it will list the dish and ingredients, then underneath it would say something like "Not safe for shellfish or tree nut allergies".

I don't remember if gluten was part of it, but I would assume it was.
 

Chip Chipperson

New Member
I'm sorry to hear that! I was diagnosed about 3 years ago and have found that dining at Disney is easier than dining out at home. Someone else already mention Erin McKenna's Bakery in Disney Springs, and I agree that it's a must. The last time I stayed at Animal Kingdom Lodge, the Mara had mini brownie cupcakes available in the refrigerated case. There were 6 (I think) per package with different flavors of icing. The full-size ones from the bakery in Disney Springs are great, too.

Make sure you note your dietary restriction on your reservations - "Gluten/Wheat" will be one of the options available under Food Allergies. If you already have reservations made without that noted, just let the restaurant staff know about it when you arrive and they'll be able to help you. Do know that some of the restaurants not owned by Disney may not be able to accommodate you as safely as Disney's restaurants can, but I had a good experience at Blaze in Disney Springs (just ask for fresh sauce, cheese, etc. to avoid cross-contamination).

A lot of the family-style meals will bring you your own platter (albeit smaller than the one the rest of your group will share). If you stay at Poly, you can even get an in-room feast that is the same meal you get at Ohana without the stress of trying to get a reservation. When you call, just request the gluten-free version and they'll bring it with white rice instead of noodles and the glaze on the meat will be gluten-free as well.

The only buffet I've had since being diagnosed has been breakfast at Boma, and I can say that they will take great care of you there. The only thing I get directly from the buffet line is an omelet. I recommend doing that at any breakfast buffet instead of the scrambled eggs on the buffet line to avoid potential cross-contamination from other guests who aren't aware that they could be causing problems for the rest of us (plus fresh eggs cooked to order beat watery chafing dish eggs any day no matter where you're dining). Everything else I get is brought to me from the kitchen, but mainly I get the waffles and a donut (they have Kinnikinnick donuts that I really enjoy). If you're not sure of anything, you can ask for a chef to come to your table to go over your needs.

Many restaurants have a separate kitchen for allergy orders while others will have a manager prepare the food to ensure it is safe, so there is sometimes a longer wait for your food at the Quick Service restaurants compared to everyone else but the wait isn't always longer. There have even been a few times where my food came out before my wife's, but generally your will take a little longer. Sometimes we compensate for this by having me order first. Unfortunately, mobile ordering doesn't always list the allergy-friendly options so ordering ahead hasn't been an option for us other than lunch at Be Our Guest.

The Halloween Party options were a little different this year than the last time we went. They used to just have snack-size bags of Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies at various locations along the trick-or-treat map. This year, they just gave out tokens that you then brought back to the Town Square Theater to redeem for treats, which took longer but did allow them to offer more options than just the cookies. The only Party-exclusive snack I tried this year was the Sally cake pop, which was made with gluten-free cake but was more icing than cake. I know they also offered worms and dirt with gluten-free cake, but I haven't had that yet. Unfortunately, the snack options are usually limited for me. I haven't been to the Christmas Party in a few years, but they also were giving out the Enjoy Life cookies the last time we were there.
 
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