Are you heading on a Disney Cruise and have food allergies or dietary restrictions? Find out the best Disney Cruise gluten free dining options, scroll down for our complete guide!
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Guest post by Adriane of Put on Your Party Pants
Disney Cruise Line is gluttony at its finest. The vast majority of the food is included in your cruise fare, which leads to a level of indulgence in which one may not normally engage.
Disney Cruise Line’s slogan should be “where the skinny get fat and the fat get fatter.”
Since a cruise is only a few days here and there, and you can always lose weight when you get home, you might as well go to town.
But what about people with food allergies? Will Disney Cruise Line have good options for them?
As someone with a gluten intolerance, I can state with confidence that eating out is a whole lot less fun when your options are limited to salad or salad. It is hard to justify the exorbitant cost of a Disney cruise if your food choices will be slim.
Are there enough gluten free choices to make the trip worthwhile? The answer is a resounding yes.
A Complete Guide to Disney Cruise Gluten Free Options
Notify Disney Cruise Line of Your Dietary Restrictions Before You Sail
Regardless of your particular dietary restriction, it is best to notify Disney Cruise Line before you sail. They will accommodate just about anything.
It is easy to do this during your online check-in.
Giving them a heads up ahead of time makes the process smoother, but regardless of whether you remember to do this, they will work with you. You will definitely not go hungry.
Find out what else to do before your Disney Cruise
What is Included?
Disney Cruise Line offers several dining options, most of which are included in your fare.
Each ship has different restaurants, but they all offer both buffet and sit down options for breakfast and lunch, sit down dinners in the main dining rooms and a less formal dining room, quick services, self serve ice cream, and room service.
Soft drinks at self serve drink stations and in the dining rooms, as well as most non alcoholic beverages, are included.
You will pay extra for specialty, adult only restaurants. There is also a charge for alcoholic beverages, soft drinks directly from a bar, concessions sold outside the theater, and some room service items.
The buffets, although chaotic, have a lot of gluten free options.
If you are concerned about cross contamination, ask for an employee to walk with you around the buffet to answer questions.
They will also bring you safe food from the back and make things for you gluten free that normally are not, but be prepared for this to take a considerable amount of time.
Disney Cruise Line takes allergies VERY seriously. They don’t let just anyone write down your allergy order or hand you a cup of yogurt. Only the managers with years of experience grasping things in their hands can do that.
For the breakfast buffet, they have all the typical breakfast foods you would expect like eggs, omelets, fruit, and breakfast meats. There were great smoothies and cheese options.
The chef will make gluten free pancakes and Mickey waffles. There is also gluten free bread available.
For lunch, there are some decent seafood and salad options. Again, the cheese (God’s gift to middle-aged women).
Like Disney World, Disney Cruise Line loves its Udi’s products. Pretty much every prepared Udi’s treat is on the ship somewhere. If all else fails, the cookies and brownies will be there.
Main Dining Rooms
The main dining rooms vary by the ship, but each ship has three.
Disney Cruise Line offers breakfast and lunch at one of the main dining rooms each day. Items on the menu are marked as gluten free, and they can work with you to try to get you what you want.
For dinner, you will rotate between the three main dining rooms throughout their cruise. The serving staff comes with you. You will have the same server each night.
Your serving team will know about your dietary restrictions before you are seated the first night if you notified Disney ahead of time. If you didn’t do that, you can discuss it with them the first night.
Taking the serving team with you to each night is awesome. The servers are great about remembering your likes and catering to your needs.
After the first night, I had gluten free rolls and a Diet Coke waiting for me each night when I arrived.
You can review the dinner menu for the following day with your server each night and request that certain items be made gluten free. You can also request they bring you something from a different main dining restaurant.
You are encouraged in the main dining rooms, more than anywhere else, to eat as much as you want. If you want to order multiple entrees, have at it. You can ask for something else if you don’t like what you get the first time.
Our server always asked if anyone wanted another entree after the first round was served, and he always seemed a little surprised when we declined. Freshmen Cruising fifteen is real.
I had a lot of good food from the main dining rooms. There were always soup, salad, entree, and dessert options that could be made gluten free.
Some of the highlights for me on the Disney Dream were iced lobster and jumbo shrimp from Royal Palace, dill and lemon marinated shrimp from Animator’s Palate, and caramelized sea scallops from Enchanted Garden.
If you didn’t like your dinner in the main dining room, or it is 4:00 p.m. and you cannot possibly make it to dinner at 5:30 p.m. without ingesting more calories, hit the quick service option on the pool deck.
On the Disney Dream, the gluten free pizzas at the quick service are actually really good.
Like the buffet, it takes longer to order things gluten free. A skilled manager has to be called to write down “Gluten Free Cheese Pizza” on a piece of paper before they can make it, but at least you know it’s really gluten free.
With all the precautions in place, I cannot imagine you will ever have an issue.
There are also self serve ice cream machines located near the quick service on the pool decks. The ice cream cones are not gluten free, but you can get a cup to use from the soft drink machine (also located nearby).
Room service is available twenty-four hours per day. Most items on the menu are included, so it won’t cost you anything except a couple of dollars to tip the person who drops it off.
Some of the items have an extra charge. The charges are clearly marked.
Gluten free items like salad, fruit, cheese plates, and Mickey Mouse ice cream bars are included.
Specialty Dining on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy
Palo is an Italian, specialty restaurant for adults only. No children are allowed.
In other words, this is where you go to regain your sanity after cruising with 2,000,000 children for days on end. It serves dinner nightly and brunch on sea days only. At the time of this writing, the charge is $40 per person.
The wait staff at Palo is amazing. They encourage you to take your time. Our server was awesome about suggesting gluten free items and bringing me special food from the back.
Palo has a buffet with cheese, fruit, meats, and seafood, including king crab legs (thanks, Sig).
There were several gluten free desserts on the buffet that were quite tasty. Most were a variation of creme brulee. Our server brought me some desserts from the back with slight modifications (like omitting a cookie), so I had several choices.
In addition to the buffet, you are encouraged to order from a menu. Gluten free options include gluten free pizzas and some pasta. The food we ordered was fine, but honestly, it just got in the way of the king crab legs.
Palo is definitely worth a try if you are gluten free. $40 for this meal is a steal if you eat the seafood.
Remy is a French restaurant. It is also for adults only. At the time of this writing, the cost is $125 per person. The meal comes with several courses, and gluten allergies can be accommodated.
Read the complete guide to Disney Fantasy Dining Options
Gluten Free Options on Castaway Cay
Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island in the Bahamas. Most Caribbean sailings on Disney Cruise Lines stop here.
A basic barbecue lunch is served on Castaway Cay.
You can get back on the ship to eat if you want, but it isn’t necessary. You can preorder food the night before from your server at dinner to ensure you have gluten free food.
In fact, your server will probably offer to do this without you even making the request.
They offer gluten free buns for burgers, and will make your food separately to avoid cross contamination.
Final Thoughts on Disney Cruise Gluten Free Food
Disney Cruise Line is a perfect option for people traveling with any dietary restriction. It goes above and beyond to make everyone feel safe, comfortable and happy.
Disney Cruise Line has no shortage of food. There are tons of gluten free options from which to choose.
They will make special food for you upon request, both in the buffets and sit down dining areas. Extreme measures are taken to ensure the food meets the dietary needs of each guest.
Do not let your fear of traveling with food allergies stop you from trying it.
Make sure you notify them of your needs when completing your online check-in so you can enjoy your vacation without worrying about addressing these issues onboard.
If you have additional questions or concerns, you can talk to your travel agent or call Disney directly.
Try Disney Cruise Line. You will not regret it.
Adriane runs the travel site Put on Your Party Pants. Her blog focuses on her travel experiences with her family, money saving tips, information on points and miles, and gluten free dining while traveling.