Saturday, September 6, 2014

Rainforest Cafe at Disney's Animal Kingdom

This afternoon, we had lunch at the Rainforest Cafe at Disney's Animal Kingdom, which is located near the main entrance to the park.  

You do not need to have a park pass to dine at this location, or the Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney.  

I have dined at both restaurants in the past, and ordered the Maya Shrimp, which I really enjoyed.  Sadly, the menu changed last week, and the Maya Shrimp is no longer available.  

When I told our server that I had celiac and cannot eat gluten, he went to get Stan, the kitchen manager.  Stan and I went through the whole menu, and I was surprised at how many gluten free options were available.  There are no gluten free appetizers, but the jungle safari soup (minus the pasta) and several salads, like the Volcanic Cobb and Caesar Salad (with ranch dressing), can be modified to be gluten free.  Udi's buns are available for the sandwiches and burgers on the menu.  

Rainforest Cafe does not offer gluten free pasta, but there are several entrees that can be made gluten free, like the primal steak, mojo bones, flat iron steak, and the ribs, steak & shrimp trio, with the coconut shrimp being replaced with another shrimp option.  

I ordered the flat iron steak with red skinned garlic mashed potatoes, and chose broccoli as my side.  The steak was so tender, cooked to temp, and seasoned well.  My broccoli was also cooked to perfection, and the garlic mashed potatoes were divine.  

For dessert, I chose the gluten free cheesecake.  As soon as I saw the crust on the bottom, I asked our server if this was really gluten free.  He told me that he had checked with the chef before bringing it out, and that the regular cheesecake is served as a slice instead of a round.

After eating half of my cheesecake, and being paranoid the whole time about being given something with gluten, I asked our server if he could find out what was in the crust.  He returned with the news that it is made out of oats.  With my mind at ease, I enjoyed the rest of my cheesecake, which was very tasty with the mango and raspberry sauce on the plate.

Stan, the kitchen manager, was also kind enough to bring me out a small sample of the gluten free flourless chocolate cake, which had a dense, fudgy consistency.  I enjoyed it, but I was worried that I would tire of it quickly without vanilla ice cream.  My daughters absolutely loved it, and would have eaten one for dessert if we had not ordered a sparkling volcano for all the gluten eaters at the table.  

My twins both said they liked the gluten free flourless cake better than the gluten-filled sparkling volcano.  My whole family raved about the Planet Earth Pasta, and I have been asked to recreate the dish with gluten free pasta at home.  It features cavatappi pasta and Italian sausage, lightly tossed with olive oil and garlic in a marinara sauce, and topped with fresh mozzarella cheese.

Rainforest Cafe is always a fun place to dine, because of the animated animals, beautiful fish, and periodic rainstorms, which don't get you wet, like so many Disney attractions. 

We could not use our Tables in Wonderland card, but we did receive a 10% discount for being annual passholders.

You can view menus, and make advance dining reservations for the Rainforest Cafe at Disney's Animal Kingdom here, and the restaurant at Downtown Disney here.

What are you favorite gluten free dishes at Rainforest Cafe?  


  1. Do they have a gluten free kids menu available?

    1. They do not have GF menus for adults or kids but will have gluten free options available.

  2. Hi Alexis, I just firstly want to say thank you for your blog. I am visiting WDW next year from the UK and already planning where to eat as we have the dining plan and your blog had made my decisions so much easier. Any restaurant I am interested in, I check here first to see if you've eaten at it and I think there has only been a couple, (if that!) that haven't been on here. I'd love to have dinner one night at AK before the night show - Would you recommend the Rainforest Café or do you think there are better options? Just thought my Daughter would love the theming here, but not having a dedicated GF menu does put me off a little! Thanks x

    1. They do a great job with special diets, and it is a fun restaurant for kids, so go for it! Have a great trip!

  3. Hi Alexis! Quick question. Since this isn't located at the park and a pass to WDW isn't required, does it get more crowded? Also, how far of a walk from the entrance to the restaurant is it? What are the prices on these entrees? (Is it more in the 30 or 50 dollar range?) Thanks for the post, it is definitely making my search for Gluten free much easier. Would you say the Rainforest Cafe or the Tusker House is a better dinner dining option? Thanks again!

    1. Sorry, I just saw this comment. Tusker House is a way better dining option in my opinion. The restaurant is right outside of the park. Takes about 30 seconds to walk there. Their prices are on Disney's website if you look at their menu. As far as crowds go, I am not sure, but I recommend an advance dining reservation.