The Gluten-Free Guidebook’s Reader Report Contest didn’t get very many entries (there ended up being six in total), but every one was a terrific read and will add lots of valuable information for travelers. I will be publishing them all on the site, starting with the very first entry that came in. Many thanks to Deb for this terrific report!
Debâ€™s Report on Disney World
Last spring my daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease less than a month away from our trip to Florida, including two days at Disney World.Â I learned the folks at Disney are fantastic at accommodating guests with celiac, gluten/wheat sensitivity, or any other food allergies.Â We returned to Disney again this March and had a second wonderful experience.
Contact SpecialDiets@DisneyWorld.com at least two weeks before your trip to Disney.Â We were sent a guest allergy form to fill out and return.Â Â Then we received a confirmation email verifying that the pertinent allergy information was included on our dining reservations.
Here are reviews for the restaurants we dined at.Â To make a reservation at any of the sit down restaurants at Disney World, call 407-WDW-DINE.
Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom)
Crystal Palace provides an upscale buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner.Â Â Weâ€™ve had lunch at Crystal Palace two years running.Â The chef walks the line with you, showing you which foods are safe.Â During our visit, gluten-free foods available on the cold line included several fruit salads, a black bean and corn salad and a spring greens and tomato salad (dressing and croutons were further down the line, so the salad was safe). On the hot line there was flank steak, salmon, and a rice dish â€” all delicious.
The chef also prepared gluten-free chicken fingers and fries for my daughter.Â The gluten-free chicken fingers were rated â€˜amazing.â€™ For dessert there is ice cream, or if you canâ€™t have dairy, Rice Dream.
The culinary team at Crystal Palace was very welcoming. We will continue to dine there on future trips.
Coral Reef (Epcot)
Coral Reef diners order from a menu, so the chef comes out and discusses options with you. Grilled Mahi Mahi and a grilled chicken breast were two of my daughterâ€™s choices. While we waited for our entrees, our server brought out warm gluten-free rolls as an alternative to the bread basket.
The grilled chicken breast served with a side of fries was rated â€˜greatâ€™ by my daughter.Â Fresh fruit, Rice Dream or a gluten-free brownie were offered for dessert. If you do not have an issue with dairy, regular ice cream would also be an option.
Weâ€™ve eaten at Coral Reef twice and will return again.
Brown Derby (Hollywood Studios)
Like Coral Reef, the chef comes out and discusses options with you. Disney menus at the sit-down restaurants feature a fair number of grilled meat and fish dishes, which are easy to modify. Warm gluten-free rolls are provided here as well.Â My daughter had a delicious flank steak, new potatoes with olive oil and herbs and steamed broccoli. Fruit, Rice Dream and gluten-free brownies were again available for dessert.Â While service was a bit slow, weâ€™d dine there again if we ever return to Hollywood Studios.