Sunday, November 26, 2017

Disney World Gluten Free Holiday 2017

When we moved to California last year, we talked about what time of the year we would return to Disney World, and decided that Thanksgiving Break would be perfect, because we would not miss any work or school, Orlando would not be too hot, and we would get to see all the Christmas decorations. 

This year, we stayed at Disney's BoardWalk Villas, one of our Disney Vacation Club home resorts.

We have always loved this resort, because you can walk to Epcot and Disney's Hollywood Studios.

I picked up a Holiday Passport for the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays, and was disappointed to see that there were only two gluten free options listed for the Holiday Kitchens.

I did not try the shredded beef tamale or the roasted pork at the Feast of the Three Kings Holiday Kitchen, which is located on the walkway between the Canada Pavilion and Journey Into Imagination.

We did try the traditional holiday rice cream from Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe in the Norway Pavilion. This dish is not listed as gluten-friendly in the Holiday Passport, but I spoke to Chef Tony, the new head chef at Norway, and he told me that it is safe. I had this dessert minus the topping at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall a few years ago.  If you like rice pudding, you will enjoy this dessert. My daughters loved it so much, they kept asking to go back every time we were in Epcot. This dessert is available year-round at Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe.

After having breakfast at Kona Cafe on Monday, we walked to the Grand Floridian to check out their Gingerbread House.

They no longer sell Erin McKenna's Bakery baked goods, but they do offer a nice selection of Paleo treats from Base Culture.

I bought three of the gingerbread man cookies, which contain raw cane sugar, cassava flour, golden flaxseed meal, water, non-hydrogenated palm oil, molasses, baking soda, psyllium husks, sea salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. They are manufactured in a facility that also processes egg, almond, cashew, pecan, and coconut. They are gluten free, soy free, dairy free, grain free, vegan, and non-GMO.

The Grand Floridian Gingerbread House menu also lists the following gluten free items from Base Culture: tiger oatmeal cookies, chocolate espresso muffins, almond butter brownies, mini nutty pumpkin bread, and mini sweet banana bread.

 The cast member who helped me recommended the chocolate espresso muffin, but I did not buy one, which I now regret.

We did stop at Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC in Disney Springs, where I purchased a gluten free gingerbread man cookie. It was less expensive than the Base Culture cookie, costing $3.25 versus $5.50, and I was able to use my passholder discount at Erin McKenna's Bakery. The Base Culture cookie was a little bit smaller than the Erin McKenna's gingerbread man. I taste-tested them both at the same time with my mom and my aunt, and we all agreed that we liked them both, but preferred the cookie from Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC. The day I visited Erin McKenna's, their cookies were all nice and thick, and looked to be cooked perfectly. In the past, I have found some of their baked goods to be very inconsistent, which is supposedly why Disney is no longer selling them at their gingerbread displays. This year, Base Culture gingerbread man cookies are also available at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party and at the gingerbread display at Disney's Contemporary Resort.

At several stores in the theme parks and at the resorts, I spotted Disney's Countdown to Christmas Calendars, which do not contain gluten.

I have purchased these calendars for my daughters in the past, and the chocolate is very good.

The first time we had breakfast at Disney's Port Orleans - French Quarter, we tried their pumpkin spice beignets. The recipe is the same as the traditional gluten free beignets, but they add pumpkin pie spice to the powdered sugar. I don't know how long this fall treat will be around, but they are definitely worth trying.

Overall, we had a great vacation, and look forward to yearly trips to Disney World over Thanksgiving Break.

What are your favorite gluten free holiday offerings at Disney World?


  1. We were there for Thanksgiving also. I love the doughnuts at Erin McKenna's bakery, and my husband and I both enjoy the brownie cupcakes with mint frosting. In the parks I enjoy the GF chicken strips but I wish they offered more veggies, even coleslaw. On Thanksgiving we ate at the Coral Reef and I enjoyed the Mahi and rice with coconut cream and lime sauce and mango salsa. No veggies again.

    1. We had our Thanksgiving meal at Sanaa. My turkey dinner was so good! I feel I get enough veggies at Disney, but I miss fruit when I am there.