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Gluten free at wdw

Discussion in 'WDW Restaurants and Dining' started by Pan, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. Pan

    Pan Member

    Dec 12, 2001
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    My 11 yo daughter was diagnosed with Celiac Disease a little over a year ago, and as anyone with this diagnosis knows, finding safe things to eat when going out to restaurants can be a challenge. I'm happy to report that our experience at Disney was fantastic. I want to share some of the things we learned from our recent trip.

    First, after making any reservations at any Full Service restaurants, contact specialdiets@disneyworld.com . There you can tell them any specific dietary needs and at every restaurant a manager will come to your table to review options. At the buffets, a chef will take you around the table and point out what you can and cannot have. At the Cape May Cafe, the chef made a special sauteed plate of non breaded shrimp just for my daughter without us asking and it tasted even better than what was at the buffet table.

    If you eat at a counter service restaurant, let the cashier know you have an allergy before you order anything and she will call over a manager who will assume responsibility for the order. It may take an extra 10-15 min to get your food as it is all special made.

    The following are the table service restaurants we ate at for dinner and the experiences we had.

    Cape May Cafe-Buffet style, plenty to choose from, the chef took her around the buffet and made special items for her as above.

    Boma-the best restaurant I've been to at WDW. Again the chef came out and showed her all the things she could eat. Plenty of choices.

    Les Chefs de France-waiter was very knowledgable about menu. She enjoyed the escargot and beef tenderloin.

    Beaches and Cream- able to make burger with gluten free bun and fries.

    Teppan Edo- They had gluten free soy sauce. The tepinyaki chef made my daughters meal first at the table before cooking everybody elses.

    The bottom line. Eating gluten free in Table service restaurants is a breeze. I'm told any restaurant should be able to accomodate any dietary need. Just let them know in advance.

    Counter service is a bit more challenging, but here is what we experienced:

    Cosmic Rays has gluten free buns for burgers,hot dogs, and chicken sandwiches. Also rotisserie chicken. All the counter service placces have gluten free fries

    Pinocchio Village Haus- Amy's gluten free cheese pizza

    Pecos Bill's-gluten free burgers

    Main St Bakery-Gluten free brownie and cookies

    Boulangerie Patisserie-nothing gluten free:(
    Crepes des Chefs de France- nothing gluten free:(
    Liberty Inn- gluten free burgers and chicken tenders and brownies
    Sunshine Seasons Food Fair-turkey sandwich on gluten free bun

    Flame Tree BBQ-excellent ribs
    Restaurantasaurus-gluten free burgers

    Disney Studios-
    Backlot Express- gluten free burgers and chicken tenders
    Pizza Planet-Amy's gluten free cheese pizza

    The only place they were a bit clueless was at the Marketplace at the Beach Club Resort where we stayed, but even there they sold prepackaged gluten free brownies and cookies.

    If there are any other gluten questions someone has, please feel free to contact me.
  2. Courtney1188

    Courtney1188 New Member

    Feb 3, 2007
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    I think it's awesome that they were able to accommodate her so well! It's nice that the chefs take the time to come out and talk to her and everything.
  3. partyoffour

    partyoffour New Member

    Jan 22, 2008
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    has nothing to do with staying at WDW with celiac but i was wondering if u have any easy cheap recipes that kids love? My cousin and his wife and 2 kids are coming to visit and their son suffers from this. I have found recipes but they dont seem kid friendly. Mac and cheese? chicken nuggets? or even french fries? Maybe some kind of pizza I can make for him? I am totally new to this so any help is appreciated :) Thanks
  4. Pan

    Pan Member Original Poster

    Dec 12, 2001
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    gluten free ideas

    Hi partyoffour!

    Mrs. Pan here with some ideas for you. Bell and Evans makes frozen gluten free (GF) chicken nuggets that are awesome. My supermarket doesn't carry them but my mom's does so maybe ask at yours. Another brand of frozen chicken nuggets is Ian's. Most of the Ore-Ida french fries are GF (they even say it on the label down below the ingredients).

    Amy's makes a boxed mac & cheese mix and a frozen mac & cheese. They also have a frozen GF cheese pizza.

    If he likes tacos, you can use the McCormick's original taco seasoning mix and corn taco shells (both Ortega and Old El Paso are GF).

    DeBole's and Glutino are two brands of GF pasta noodles. I know Prego traditional sauce is GF. Ragu probably is too but I'm not 100% sure.

    In a pinch, several types of Chex cereal are GF, as are both Cocoa and Fruity Pebbles. McDonald's french fries are safe too.

    If I think of anything else, I'll post again. Good luck! :)
  5. partyoffour

    partyoffour New Member

    Jan 22, 2008
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    thank you !!!!!!!!!!!
  6. JillC LI

    JillC LI Well-Known Member

    Jan 24, 2007
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    I once sent the below article to a friend whose daughter has celiac disease. She said that Disney even baked her daughter a gluten-free cake. They were extremely accommodating.

    Wheat-Free Walt Disney World: Traveling with Celiac Disease
    Christina Tallini, PassPorter Guest Contributor

    [FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]
    Traveling when you have Celiac Disease (a wheat/gluten allergy) can be difficult. Luckily, traveling to Walt Disney World is a pleasure. For those of us who have this disease, we know how stressful it is to eat out. If you want a vacation with minimal worry about what to eat, Disney is the place to go!

    Planning is the key to everything. The first thing is to contact Disney. Go to DisneyWorld.com, and using the Contact Us form, note your food allergy. I did this and was emailed lists of safe food, drink and snacks for each park. In addition to this they ask for your dining reservation numbers, to alert the chefs at each restaurant what your allergy is. I also recommend checking out AllEars.net, which has all of the menus for Walt Disney World. I look to get an idea of what to eat before I go so that I can ask questions online or to the chef.

    Walt Disney World is the one place that, when I say I have a gluten allergy, no one asks, "What kind of glue are you allergic to?"(Yes, I have been asked this.) So here are some of my personal favorite places to eat while at the "World."

    The best place for a burger is Pecos Bill's in Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom. I already know what I can have, since I have gone there for years. The manager still comes out to make sure that nothing has changed, and that my food is carefully prepared. Bacon cheeseburger and fries on a toasted gluten-free bun, with a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie for dessert. Yum! The fixings can't be beat, with sautéed mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and condiments. Try to get that at another fast food place – it'll never happen!

    Epcot has many, many choices and we have eaten at just about every restaurant in the World Showcase. Teppan Edo in Japan is different and fun. The shrimp sauce with the filet mignon is delicious. (Beware of cross contamination with the butter. They use a brick of butter that is constantly being touched with a soy sauce-laden spatula.) In Future World, Sunshine Seasons Food Fair in The Land pavilion is a good pick. There are many choices here, and the chefs are very helpful. I had the roasted pork, mashed potatoes, and a green salad. This could have easily been dinner. Dinner at the Garden Grill (also in The Land) is a wonderful thing. The floor rotates and circles the restaurant once every hour, providing an ever-changing view. The food is family style, all you can eat. With the exception of the bread, macaroni & cheese, and stuffing I could have just about everything.

    Animal Kingdom has some surprisingly good places to eat, thanks to the availability of gluten-free pizza dough. (This is also available at Pizza Planet, Mama Melrose's, and a few other places at WDW!) Pizzafari is the best place to get something different. The managers on duty are the nicest by far. I recognized the female manager immediately from last year. I wish I had her name because she goes out of her way to really try to make sure you're happy. Yes, you can get pizza here, but that's not the best part. They make a sandwich out of two gluten-free pizza crusts with turkey, ham, Swiss, provolone, and Caesar salad that was delicious. The Caesar dressing had caramel in it, but I took my chances and didn't get sick. I don't think I've had a sandwich out in at least five years, and this one was bigger than the sandwiches my family ordered. This is a definite treat. Dinner at Yak and Yeti was very good. The chef suggested chicken with rice noodles, which was delicious. It's a little easier for this restaurant to accommodate a Celiac, as they use a lot of rice products and they have gluten-free soy sauce. Dessert was three different sorbets, which was very good.

    Disney's Hollywood Studios has some good food choices (including Pizza Planet and Mama Melrose's, which I mentioned previously). This time I tried the chicken bleu and fries for a change of pace at the ABC Commissary. Not too bad, but a little dry. The fruit cup for dessert was a good ending. The Backlot Express has gluten-free fried chicken fingers and fries, which was good and the portion was too large to finish. Dinner at Hollywood & Vine gives you many choices and the chefs are eager to make you anything you might like. Since it is a buffet, they have the ingredients to make almost anything. The Sci-Fi Dine-In restaurant is great for the kids but, even though the chef is very accommodating, it is back to standard fare of the old steak standby.

    Some of my favorite restaurants are located at Walt Disney World resorts. We have eaten at Boma in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and found this to be excellent. This buffet has many dishes that are naturally gluten-free, like fu fu, and potatoes with afritude. The Chef walks you through the buffet and if there is something they can make you, they will.

    I could, go on forever with minute details of all the restaurants we have ever been to in Walt Disney World, but I must be sure to include my two favorites - ‘Ohana and Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Resort. A trip is just not complete without a stop at these restaurants. ‘Ohana for dinner is an all you can eat paradise with a chef from heaven. TJ (this is his nickname) goes out of his way to delight the eye and the palate. TJ's creations make everyone else at the table want to be gluten-free. The appetizer consisted of chicken wings, drenched in a special sauce on a bed of delicious mashed potatoes and a decoration of cheese doodles. My main meal was a staircase of fried noodles, rice, and tender skewered pieces of chicken, beef, and pork. Dessert was a pyramid of brownie, banana, pineapple, and chocolate sauce-so good! The only problem is the food for the rest of the family comes out so fast, by the time your food comes out, they are already done. Just ask the waitress to hold off a short while.

    Kona Cafe is also a great place to eat. The chef, Noah, came to the table and victoriously announced that he had mastered every item on the menu to be gluten-free. Choices were abundant. The macadamia nut and honey butter is scrumptious on a warm tapioca roll. The coconut almond chicken was very good, not too heavy. Dessert was the banana-chocolate crème brulee, which is decadent.

    Even at Walt Disney World, those of us with Celiac Disease or other food allergies, take a chance when eating out. But if there is anywhere in this country where we have a fighting chance, it's Walt Disney World!

    About the Author: Christina is a daycare provider/homemaker from Long Island, NY. She is married to Damian and has three children - Arielle, Michael and Anthony. She looks forward to planning her next Walt Disney World vacation with new experiences and never before seen events in 2010.

  7. Minnietoo

    Minnietoo New Member

    May 24, 2005
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    So glad you had a great Gluten free experience at WDW! My daughter (10) was dx'd a few yrs ago and has been to WDW 3 times since her dx and every time we are amazed! It is the one place we go and not worry about her!
  8. DizneyPryncess

    DizneyPryncess Well-Known Member

    Nov 25, 2004
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    Pan - I read your whole trip report, and I'll say it again, I am thrilled to hear that Disney was so accommodating for your family. Your information will be really helpful to anybody else who goes there & needs similar help. Thanks for posting such great details! :)

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