First, we only had a few counter service experiences because I find between the extra wait time, higher chance of cross contamination usually, and sometimes extra cost for allergy foods, it’s just nicer to sit down with A/C and talk to a chef. However, sometimes you just have to have something or can’t get reservations, so here’s what I found for gluten free (and peanut and pork free) counter service or snacks in the parks in June 2013:
In Magic Kingdom, we ate in Tomorrowland at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe. It was intimidating at first because it’s divided into different “bays” depending if you want chicken, burger, or soups/sandwiches/salads. I didn’t know what I could have, so I didn’t know which bay to enter (we had not planned to be here for dinner, but plans change and I wasn’t ready. “Even the best laid plans of mice and men…”). I actually walked away and wasn’t going to eat and just told my non GF husband to get the burger he wanted. However, sweet as he is, he asked about gluten free and got me a safe meal. Here, the manager was knowledgeable but we did have a long 25-minute wait for a burger with gluten free bun and fries (in a dedicated fryer of canola oil). The burger meat was good, but the bun taste and texture were terrible! I just ate the meat from the middle. The fries were also good. Important tip here, they have a condiment bar which is ripe for cross contamination, but they have individual condiment packages (with ingredient labels), if you do not see them, just ask.
For dessert, we went next door to Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies. They serve soft serve ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, twist) that is gluten free. Obviously no cone and most syrups had gluten (although since you pay first, you are holding up the line to read the allergy book which is at the register not the counter!?!, so I didn’t look at each syrup). I do know that strawberry had gluten in it. But the ice cream in a cup was very good.
In Animal Kingdom, we got too hungry to skip lunch and so we made an unplanned stop at Pizzafari. The cashier and manager were excellent and said they had gluten free pizzas (with regular or dairy-free cheese), but there is a very small cc nut possibility that the manager mentioned. For me, this was acceptable risk as nuts are less likely reactive for me with cross contamination than gluten). There is only one set price whether adult or child allergy pizza (about $9.75-ish) and it is thinner crust and a bit smaller than the adult regular pizza but larger than the child regular pizza. It is supposed to come with a nice-sized caesar salad which they offered to make without croutons, but I didn’t get the feeling they would be mixes somewhere different from the other salads, so I was told I could instead have the packages of carrots and grapes that come with the kid’s menu, which worked out. I had no problems after eating this and was very happy with their service.
At Hollywood Studios, it was too difficult to get to the few options for quick service, so I relied on the fact that the mickey ice cream bars at gluten free. Our sit down dinner at Mama Melrose was fantastic though! Below is an unnamed person who shall remain innocent indulging in one of Mickey’s ice cream ears (it’s me 🙂 ).
In Epcot, the one snack I wanted was Werther’s caramel popcorn in Germany, however there is a great debate as to if it is gluten free or not with the official word saying it is not. Some others who are sensitive said they have eaten it without getting sick, but I did not want to chance it. So I only had a Kaki gori (snow cone basically) in Japan and a mickey bar until we had our sit down dinner at Coral Reef.
(As usual, I was not compensated in any way for my review unfortunately! I would love to be compensated to check out all the lovely Disney gluten free restaurants! But, these are just my honest thoughts to help others gluten free or with food allergies! It’s also not medical advice.)