For 8 years the Scott family has traveled extensively after being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. We've spent countless happy hours dining Table Service, Quick Service, frequent Snacks and during special events at Epcot and we have formed definite opinions on the best (and worst!) places to dine. Do you dine gluten free, too? Here is what we recommend for the Magic Kingdom!*
The Magic Kingdom is full of Mickey Shaped Treats! You may have to bypass the cupcakes and cookies in the bakery displays, but there is enough for gluten free travelers to enjoy to more than make up for it!
- You'll encounter the wonderful smell of popcorn as you enter under the train station and first view Cinderella's Castle. And guess what? That popcorn is gluten free!
- Also at carts scattered around the main entrance and as you venture towards different lands are chips, Mickey ice cream bars (always gluten free!) and other frozen treats. Check the ingredients lists - they are all subject to change.
- A great place to wander and stock up on snacks in the confectionary. They sometimes have a list.
- And here is where it gets sketchy. We are as careful as they come, so we watched them make some of the candy apples. They were not cross contaminated as we watched, so we bought one immediately! And we've enjoyed one per trip, ever since. Once you see how adorable they are, you'll see why we took this small chance. It's honestly the only chance we've taken in all our Disney trips. Hannah and Joshua have embarrassingly immediate results if they get glutened and neither of them have had an issue, but of course you need to do what's best for you and yours.
- Dole Whips are gluten free. I repeat! Dole Whips are gluten free! Proceed to Adventureland and stop by Aloha Isle for this signature treat!
- We never manage to find counter service in Adventureland when we visit. Tortuga Tavern is open seasonally but we think when they see us coming, they close! Let me know if you have had a good or bad experience there and I'll update this post.
- When we visit the Magic Kingdom, nearly all the counter service gluten free options are pretty much glorified fast food. We also get the same cookies and brownies as dessert options when we're on the dining plan. Don't get me wrong, having someone else feed us and a dedicated fryer can be a thrill, but it wears thin for longer trips. We find ourselves heading back to our favorite food courts at Pop Century or Art of Animation for at least one meal a day. The restaurants I'm referring to are:
- Be Our Guest
- Pesos Bill's
- Columbia Harbour House
- Casey's Corner
- Lunching Pad
- There are two things you can eat here that are not burgers, fries, pizza and chicken nuggets. You can get Turkey Legs at the Turkey Leg Cart in Frontierland. Turkey legs at Walt Disney World ARE gluten free! Also, you can get a rotisserie chicken and sometimes ribs at Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe & even have vegetables on the side!
- Crystal Palace is a lovely option for dinner for everyone and includes many, many options for the gluten free diner! The chef will tour you through the buffet. You can also have them prepare food separately in the back. We can tell by looking at the setup if we need to do that or not. If the gluten is right there on the buffet next to our food, we ask for them to prepare it separately. Sometimes there is no gluten as far as the eye can see, so we can hop up and down and fill our plates without wait.
- Be Our Guest would be worth dining in just for the atmosphere. Thankfully, the food is quite good, as well! There aren't as many "kid" options, but you could easily feed them from any of the counter service locations afterwards, since that is most of what they have. (HA!)
- Liberty Tree Tavern is where David is happiest. Imagine Thanksgiving dinner, complete with gluten free options for nearly everything and they just keep bringing you fresh bowls and cuts of meat until you explode. Oh, so good!
- Plaza Restaurant is a good go-to for a gluten free family who craves some real food and isn't on the dining plan. They're not expensive for theme park food table service and it's a pleasant, cool and quite place to dine. A hidden gem, really!
- Tony's Town Square. Gluten free pasta CAN be had! I love spicing my food at home and live for African, Thai and spicy Cuban food when I can, so take this with a grain of heavily spiced salt when I say that the sauces are a small step above Chef Boyardee. Still - you're dining in Tony's restaurant from Lady & the Tramp. The cute factor is over the top!