My family and I just went on a 5 day Disney Cruise followed by three days in Disney World and Universal Studios. If you have kids and are thinking about a holiday, I would highly recommend doing a Disney Cruise Line vacation. There are unbelievable Broadway quality musical shows every night, family dance parties, popular Disney characters roaming around the ship, Disney movies under the stars, water slides on deck, Mickey shaped waffles at breakfast, Mickey ice cream bars at dinner and magic in the air! Cruises are the most accommodating when it comes to dietary restrictions so if your family has food restrictions, they make it really easy to travel and eat well! The Disney motto is “where dreams come true” so they are very eager to please. If you request something gluten free, the chefs will try their hardest to deliver.
Most of my family only eats certified Kosher food, so every night our waiters brought plastic plates and utensils to our table along with a menu with a generous selection of pre-made Kosher meals and desserts. Upon request, they prepared double wrapped salmon and baked potatoes, and cooked omelettes in brand new unused pans. Make sure to place any special orders a day in advance to make sure the kitchen can prepare ahead of time.
Here are some gluten free highlights from the Disney Cruise.
Gluten Free pizza at Luigi’s Pizza on Deck 11 had some of the best gluten free pizza I have ever tasted. They can make any of the pizza flavors offered on regular crust gluten free. All you need to do is let them know 10 min in advance so they can prepare it for you. My personal favorite was the spinach, ricotta and pumpkin pizza. In fact, I thought the gluten free crust was better than the regular crust!
Gluten-free Mickey waffles at breakfast! If you are kosher, these waffles are made in a dedicated waffle maker.
Gluten-free doughnuts and muffins at breakfast- Disney cruises purchases gluten free doughnuts and muffins from Kinnikinnick. The brand Kinnikinnick is certified Kosher and gluten free.
There is always a gluten free dessert option on the dinner menu and you can order a custom dessert for the following day if nothing strikes your fancy. We had the chef prepare a rum infused gluten free chocolate cake that was on the regular menu the night before and it was really yum! There are always Mickey ice cream bars and Eddy’s ice cream flavors available that are gluten-free and kosher.
Any pasta item on the menu can be prepared gluten free as long as it is ordered in advance.
Here are some gluten-free highlights from Disney World in Orlando.
This one is in Universal Studios but I have to share because it’s just so yummy! Butter Beer in Harry Potter world is gluten-free and one of the most delicious drinks I’ve ever tasted. It tastes like a mix between beer and butterscotch but there is no alcohol in it and it’s gluten-free! You can get it from the tap or frozen like a slushy. It’s fun to see people all over Harry Potter World dressed in Wizard garb and drinking large cups of butter beer! I am pictured above drinking it.
Erin McKenna’s in Disney Springs is a dedicated gluten free bakery. Her first location is on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and is a destination for many gluten free travelers from around the world. The bakery is kosher and vegan too.
Cooke’s of Dublin/Raglan Road Irish Pub in Disney Springs- Cooke’s of Dublin is the fast casual and bar section of the restaurant with a more limited menu and outdoor seating. Raglan Road is the sit-down restaurant with waiter service and tablecloths. They are an Irish themed pub/restaurant famous for their gluten free fish and chips and gluten free onion rings. The fish that they use is cod fish and all GF items are fried in a dedicated fryer to eliminate cross contamination. They also offer gluten free burgers and gluten free buns. The chips were thick hand cut fries which are my favorite! The fish coating was nice and crispy on the outside and the onion rings were fresh and delicious (pictured above).
Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory, a quick service restaurant at Disney's Port Orleans Resort - French Quarter offers New Orleans style gluten free beignets! The traditional beignets they serve are Mickey shaped but the gluten free ones are shaped like a rectangle with a puffed center and covered with powdered sugar. You can purchase a side of chocolate or caramel dipping sauce on the side (pictured above). The kitchen uses Bob’s Red Mill pizza dough mix for the beignets, which is why they taste a little bit like fried pizza dough. I have made pizza with Bob’s Red Mill pizza dough mix before and the dough is way too sticky to shape into anything that would resemble Mickey! But it’s nonetheless, it’s really fun to be able to eat fried beignets that are GF and pretty darn close to the real thing!
5. Pizzafari in Animal Kingdom is a casual quick service restaurant that kind of feels like a cafeteria. Papa John’s style personal sized pizzas are baked off and ready to go when you order at the counter. Every pizza comes with a side of caesar salad. The gluten free pizzas take about 10 min to make. The cheese on the GF pizza tastes different than on the regular pizza and I’m not sure if it’s because they use a special allergen free cheese. On the plus side, they put A LOT more cheese on the gluten free pizzas than they do on the conventional pies. They are about the same size but the gluten free crust is thinner and crispier (pictured above).
6. Nomad Lounge at Animal Kingdom is a really cool spot for grabbing a hand crafted cocktail and tapas. Their menu has everything labeled as gluten free, dairy free, vegan so it makes it really easy for customers with allergies to know what is safe. They are famous for their churros which are gluten free for everyone! Served with a vanilla sauce and a spicy raspberry sauce (pictured above). They use Cup4Cup in their churro batter. The churros are delicious and taste like churros but they don’t have the chewy consistency of churros. They are more soft and have a cake consistency. This is because Cup4Cup is meant to be used as an “all purpose” gluten free flour so it doesn’t hold up too well in breads and pastries that are supposed to be chewy. Nonetheless, they were deep fried and covered with cinnamon and sugar so they were delicious!