While Disney Springs is known for it’s shopping, it’s also known for its food! But what about for those that have allergies or food limitations? Is there only one place to eat?
It’s hard when people don’t really get food allergies. While many can empathize, unless they have allergies, or know someone who has them, they won’t understand just how impactful this hidden allergy is!
And that makes it hard for those with allergies to eat out. Worry about cross contamination, worry about if they are being lied to or not taken seriously, worry that they will be served the wrong food.
Sometimes just building up the courage to even eat out is scary in itself!
Thankfully, we have Disney World, which does it’s best to make sure that there is a safe meal, for all limitation (those in the top 8 and out of the top 8, vegetarian, vegan, kosher and halal) and you can learn more about doing the Disney World Resort and Parks while gluten free.
But that leaves us with Disney Springs which has a major hiccup…
most of the dining facilities are NOT owned by Disney… but some are owned by Disney!
So they may not have the FARE training that Disney has made sure its Chefs have, and they may not have a dedicated space to prepare allergy-friendly food.
While each situation needs to be evaluated in the moment (like that cashier who made a snide remark, oh, we don’t have brownies, do you want Cookies? Well are they gluten free? no… they are regular cookies! FACEPALM!!!!)Disney Springs does have some favorites!
And as far as cookies that are allergy friendly, I can’t recommend this dedicated bakery enough!
Let’s talk food at Disney Springs!
What is it, Where is it at, and is it Free? Disney Springs Info
Disney Springs is in the same area as the previous Downtown Disney.
In fact, it’s just the downtown reimagined, with more restaurants and shops! Fun right!
Disney Transportation will bring you to the springs, you can still have things shipped home from the Disney Store and there are several Disney character spots for pictures.
Best of all, it’s free admittance, no park ticket required (and free parking if you are one that drives!).
It’s a super fun place for shopping or a late night with a fine dinner and getting some drinks.
For those that are familiar with the layout of the resorts, it’s across from Typhoon Lagoon and not too far from Epcot.
AND there’s quite a few things you can do with kiddos that are free at Disney Springs. Sure it has a bar scene at night, but during the day it’s 100% family friendly fun!
Eating Gluten Free at Disney World Guidelines
For one, when you reserve dining, make sure to list your allergies (they don’t have options for all, so pick what you can!) Then CLARIFY at check in that you have allergies, get an allergen menu and ask to speak to a chef or manager.
Please consider talking to a manager or chef- especially if you have more than one allergy and ESPECIALLY if you have a cashier that might seem like they don’t know what they are doing.
For me, the times I’ve had exposure was when the cashier/server didn’t understand/didn’t properly list the allergies/gave me incorrect information. In their defense, they aren’t necessarily trained in allergies- so talk to a chef or manager if you are concerned.
You know those gut feelings that something isn’t right. Speak up! They have never (ok once at a quick serve place did a cashier give me grief) given me any problems.
What’s available at Disney Springs?
Disney Springs does have restaurants that participate in the Disney Dining plan, which is great if you’ve signed up for that and plan to grab a bite at the Springs one day!
Places to Eat that have Gluten Free Options
Here’s the thing. I’m local. We go to Disney Springs frequently. But I’m also a chicken when it comes to places not owned by Disney. I’m breastfeeding an allergy babe and my kids are little, so a reaction is pretty severe in kids.
That said- I haven’t eaten at all of these places, but I have eaten at many.
You just know if they are going to take you seriously by how they act and what kind of menu they have. Use your discretion!
Here’s a mix of quick serve and table restaurants you’ll find throughout Disney Springs (many of them take the dining plan!)
Frontera Cocina Mexican – get the corn tortillias!
Blaze Pizza- used to have a yummy gluten free pizza, but switched to a gluten free cauliflower pizza. Not sure yet if its any good.
Chicken Guy- Chicken Fingers and Fries
Terralina- Antipasta Tower and other italian options
Raglan Road- Fish and chips and onion rings! And the Shepards Pie. Very much homestyle heavier foods. They share a kitchen with cookes of dublin.
Cookes of Dublin– the quick service version of Raglan Road. Sometimes they have the onion rings sometimes they dont. But you can get the fish and chips!
The Boathouse– apparently they have a delicious dessert. It’s signature dining! I’ve heard it’s hit or miss, but I haven’t been.
Morimotos- yummy rice bowls that you need in your life!
TREX– sandwiches and allergy strips and meat and veggie options. We’ve been a few times and the ambience is nice but the food was bland.
Rainforest Cafe- sandwiches, allergy strips and meat/veggie options. Last time we went it was a bad experience (after like 5 good experiences)
D-Luxe Burgers– the burger bun was pretty yummy! Fries and shakes good too.
Polite Pig– had a really good brisket. Traditional BBQ.
My oh my! I’ve saved the best for last!
There are a few places you can go to for desserts at Disney Springs. I’ve personally EATEN at all of them, with no reaction what so ever and with proper allergy measures taken. However, only one is 100% gluten free with no risk of CC, so let’s talk about that first. We’ll also go over the other items so you can make an informed decision about the best course for your health.
Erin Mckenna’s Bakery NYC (formerly Babycakes)
Well, let me rephrase that. There is another place to eat that has a sweet treat. Head over to Starbucks and grab one of their prepackaged marshmallow dream bars.
If you would like a cupcake that is a bit more moist, you’d head over to Sprinkles. Last time I went they also had a GF cookie. It was very buttery and chewy. It was a veryyyy good cookie!
Interested in fun Disney Themed Desserts? Check out Ammorrettes Pattesiries.
These are labeled “gluten friendly” but I did have a chat with the head baker. She assured me that they did make these in the mornings before other things were produced after the night time clean up.
Just to be safe, only my husband and I ate these desserts, and we did not have a reaction (three different times now). We have not offered it to the kids who are somewhat sensitive to cross contamination.
Goofy’s Candy Company
Need a cool snack on a hot day? Goofy’s Candy Company is where it’s at! We love to grab a snack here. They have some delicious chocolates, and a fun icee station. They have some great Enjoy Life options that are top 14 allergen friendly!
You can also grab a Rice Krispie here is you are comfortable with those. (check out the ingredient list for Disney’s Rice Krispies here!)
What about at the Restaurants?
Well, most restaurants at Disney Springs don’t have elaborate desserts. It seems that dessert can be hit or miss! Often times it involves fruit, some donuts or brownies from Erin Mckennas, or enjoy life products.
I have not had any dessert options that were memorable at Disney Springs Restaurants.
I hope you have a great time on your next trip to Disney Springs!