Deberlee’s Gluten-Free Dining Review – DisneyWorld 2009

Port Orleans Riverside DSC03461Welcome to the first post in the long-anticipated “Gluten-Free Dining Review” by yours truly!  We were so excited to be able to stay onsite and to eat only Disney food for the length of our 9-night stay.  I could say good-bye to carrying my gluten-free food around in a bag on my back like a pack mule.  I had been told that all of the table service restaurants would accommodate the gluten-free meal, as would many of the counter service restaurants.

The biggest thing that I missed about going on vacation was the ability to try new foods and new restaurants.  For the past 13 years that I’ve been a diagnosed celiac, I always had to bring my own food whenever we went on vacation, whether it was a day trip or an extended trip.  Even at home, it’s a risk to eat in a restaurant, even if they boast a gluten-free menu.  Typically, I only eat in a restaurant if I don’t have to be anywhere the next day.  A gluten reaction can occur within 6-24 hours of consuming gluten and the amount of gluten ingested dictates the severity of the reaction.

I received a lot of terrific information from the Dietary Department at Disney that included lists of counter service and food carts that carried gluten-free foods.  Each food place had a list of the types of foods that they offered.  But what did the food taste like?  Did other celiacs like the food that they were served?

I was able to locate a couple dining reviews from other celiacs who had visited DisneyWorld.  These helped me to know what types of gluten-free meals were offered at various restaurants at the World and this helped me in making my dining reservations.  Still, there weren’t enough reviews for all of the table service restaurants that we had to choose from, so I started choosing restaurants based on the type of food that they served, and what I’d like to try.  I chose restaurants that I’d never be able to choose in the outside world.  Places like Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge….their speciality is African food.  I also chose Mama Melrose’s at Hollywood Studios, a world-class Italian restaurant.

So, please join me as I take you through my dining adventure at DisneyWorld.  I’ve written reviews for every place that I’ve eaten, ranging from resort food courts to fine dining table service restaurants.  The food at every place was absolutely fabulous and the service was excellent.  They really took good care of us at Disney.  It made our vacation even more magical!  No one does it like Disney!

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