Hidden Gluten at Disney World

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We are no strangers to Hidden Gluten in everyday life, but vacations present a new opportunity for exposure.

This guide is for people who are careful with gluten exposure and cannot tolerate small amounts. For my family, that is my two FPIES kids, my Celiac Husband, and myself (undiagnosed, Gluten gives me severe migraines). We have a 100% gluten free home, so it was surprising and frustrating to run into gluten so often at Disney World.

Here’s 5 places to watch out for if you need to avoid Gluten.

***As Always, please speak to a qualified restaurant employee when ordering food. In order to see the most accurate ingredients and risk assessment, you will need to confirm allergy safety in real-time. This is my personal experience, I am not employed or endorsed by companies or brands mentioned.***

5 places to watch out for Gluten at Disney World

Straws

Disney World switched to paper straws, and while a few of them disclose ingredients, many of them don’t. Wheat/Gluten is commonly used as a fiber on these paper/eco friendly items (even Target has labeled some of their eco plates as gluten free, and others aren’t).

The issue with the straws is that, without a gluten free disclosure, and with the straws breaking apart in your drink, you could easily suck up some gluten.

We bring our own straws, but in a pinch, there’s several places to get straws.

  • Agave Straws at Joffrey’s Coffee
  • Some restaurants still have plastic for those that need it
  • Purchase a reusable one at the gift shops
We brought our own reusable straw (the blue bendy one) and they actually had plastic on hand for “those that need it”

Shampoo

Disney World (and other Disney Properties) feature the h2o brand of personal care products.

The Shampoo made by h2O contains Wheat Protein. The real issue is that these bottles are often ‘bolted’ to the wall covering up the ingredient lists at the resorts.

Confectionary Items

There are too many to list, but Disney World has many bakeries and confectionery items available for purchase all over the resort.

These items are all made in a shared facility, and I’ve personally watched rice krispies being decorated next to pretzel sticks. BUT Disney often lists these as ‘gluten friendly’. That’s a hard pass my friends.

Allergen Menus

Disney World has ‘Friendly’ menus, which is a great option for us. Here’s why… I know where to start, but I also know that Friendly is not the same as Free From. We need to *double check* everytime.

The Menus leave off cross contact warnings/may contain warnings when making their menu recommendations.

Here’s a visual example of why I don’t recommend Mobile Order, but also how Disney leaves off cross contact warnings/may contain warnings when making their menu recommendations.

May Contain Warnings on Snack

Most Disney products are great about labeling shared facilities. These are totally voluntary, leading many people to believe that they do it to ‘save themselves from litigation’.

I’ve checked every Disney Product line, and when there is a ‘may contain wheat/gluten’ warning, there is another product in that line with wheat in it. As far as I know, Disney is legit when they say an item does or does not have a shared facility with another allergen.

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