Being Gluten Intolerant In Disney World
Alrighty time to get real guys. I am gluten and lactose intolerant. I’m also allergic to shellfish and tuna… so life is rough when all ya want is some gluten filled cake or a heaping scoop of ice cream. Being from New England, especially a small beach town, means avoiding shellfish almost impossible. But Disney does something glorious. A glorious, glorious thing. I call this the saving grace of dining: The Allergy Friendly Menus. Although to be fair before I dive right in, clearly in my past posts, you have all seen that I had various cheat days that were filled with gluten and dairy. My stomach punished me later don’t worry. But for those days where I just wasn’t feeling like feeling sick later on in the day, these Allergy Friendly Menus are magic in themselves.
I decided to create this post to help all my other allergy pals out there who just want to enjoy Disney food like all those non-allergy happy go lucky Disney goers. I wanna be where the Disney Food is. Ahem. ANYWAYS. Where was I? Yes, ok, so for those of you that might not be well versed in all things Disney or you’re new to the Disney scene, Disney is obviously full of different food places. These places range from Quick Service to Fine Dining and almost all the food locations have a nifty hidden menu. If you have an allergy simply ask your cashier or greeting Cast Member for an Allergy Friendly Menu. Then, like magic, they pull out a nice shortened menu that lists (categorized by common allergies) all the options available to you! It doesn’t matter how severe your allergy might be because cross contamination is almost never an issue! I say this because most allergy friendly orders are prepared in a separate kitchen in order to keep food items from mixing! Now this might cause your food to take a little longer of a time to be prepared and make it out to you, but it’s really worth the wait!
Now this post is going to focus mainly on some great Allergy Friendly meals I was able to eat while during my program! This post is based SOLELY on Disney World, but for those Allergy pals out in CA don’t fret! I will be doing a Disneyland version of this article very soon! I will be honest, CA had much more options in my opinion when it came to allergy friendly and/or healthier food.
Once again before I start, there are SO MANY MORE PLACES in all of the Disney Parks food locations that have Allergy Friendly Menus beyond what I am going to show you now! I am just showing you places where I specifically got Allergy Friendly food (some do not have pictures unfortunately) and places I found the Allergy Friendly meals to be the most appetizing! ALSO many of the items I have discussed in previous food posts have indeed been gluten or dairy free but were not found specifically on the Allergy Friendly Menu! Since the possibility of cross contamination luckily doesn’t bother me, it does not phase my stomach whether or not the meal was prepared in the normal kitchen or the allergy one! Obviously I have not tried all the allergy friendly options from every single restaurant so I do not have complete knowledge but here are a few of my favorites!
Lets start things off with breakfast, shall we? Kona Cafe. Polynesian. They have a fabulous selection of Allergy Friendly breakfast options! I have heard of people getting dairy free Tonga Toast and Gluten Free Pancakes! Although I did not get the chance to try to pancakes, I did try their gluten free waffles! They were a little crustier than their normal fluffy delights, but they were shaped like Mickey all the same!I also got a side of scrambled eggs that were so fluffy they made up for the crunch in my waffle!
Fast forward to lunch. Epcot, The Electric Umbrella. This always use to be one of my favorite eats in Epcot as a child. Considering how picky I was when it came to food from around the world and my fascination for neon lights, Electric Umbrella was always my top pick. When I first started the program and really started coming to the realization that most Disney locations had these amazing Allergy menus, I was in slight heaven. So who wouldn’t want to add some comfort food to that feeling? Gluten Free Mac n Cheese caught my eye in about two second. I knew my stomach would have to handle the price of dairy, but I told myself it was okay considering gluten usually makes it hurt more. Less of two evils ya know? Anyways apparently the allergy kitchen is slightly farther away from the normal kitchen so it did take about 20 minutes to receive my meal but man was it worth it! Gooey and warm and DELICIOUS. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures to let you understand the beauty of it, but just trust my word. Have I ever lied about delicious food to you guys before???
The only item I wanted to point out that once again I unfortunately don’t have a picture of was from good ol’ Cosmic Rays. Bless the hard working CP souls who work there. You guys are the real MVPs. Anyways! I got a chicken sandwich on a gluten free bun! It was basically a giant piece of grilled chicken and a few toppings. I put honey mustard on it and dove it! Did I mention it came with a side of mashed potatoes? Goofy combo, I know, but it was a side offering on the allergy friendly menu and I figured why not? They were garlic mashed potatoes. Very fluffy. Can’t go wrong really!
Now time to move on to dinner. Lets take a short stroll from Magic Kingdom over to the Contemporary. Inside, there is a restaurant that I have already brought up countless times with you all, The Wave. The Wave has plenty of gluten and dairy filled delicacies, but they also have plenty of allergy friendly offerings as well! I got what I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) a braised short-rib topped with a maple brown sugar crushed nuts glaze! Already a great start am I right? Then to side the entree, it came with mushroom polenta (to die for), so fancily assorted carrots, and brussels sprouts! Although this would not be for all my nut allergy friends out there, it was gluten and dairy free!
That’s all the meals I can truly remember purchasing from the Allergy Friendly menus. Clearly I bought more, but clearly these stuck to me for a reason! Now one more disclaimer before I go, many of Disney’s food menus including their Allergy Friendly ones are seasonal! Meaning some of these foods or entree and side pairings may not be available when you go. This is simply due to their constantly changing menu and the change of seasons! Either way do not worry! You’ll always find a delicious meal wherever you go! Enjoy!