Sunday, November 2, 2014

Best Disney Resorts for Special Diets - Port Orleans French Quarter

I was recently asked by one of my blog readers what are the best resorts at Disney World to stay at for gluten free dining.  I am teaming up with Dana Zificsak from Magical Moments Vacations to answer that question in my new series called Best Disney Resorts for Special Diets.  First up, we will look at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter.  My commentary will be in blue.  

Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter
Resort Type: Moderate
Location: Downtown Disney Resort Area
Transportation: Busses to all theme parks and water parks, boat transportation to Downtown Disney, shares busses with Port Orleans Riverside

Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter brings New Orleans charm into Walt Disney World. As an added bonus for the gluten-free crowd, it offers us the opportunity to taste some of its cuisine safely! This resort is the smallest of the moderate category and has an extremely intimate feel.

Port Orleans French Quarter is a quaint moderate-level resort. Its walkways are cobblestone streets, and the buildings make you feel like you are right in the beautiful French Quarter of New Orleans. When you check-in, you are greeted with Mardi Gras beads by a colorfully-dressed cast member, and Mardi Gras theming can be found throughout the resort.  

At 314-square feet, the rooms at this resort offer either two queen beds or one king bed. (Please note: the King Bed rooms cost a little extra) Each room has a split bathroom: the toilet and tub are behind a door, and the 2-sink vanity is outside that door with a privacy curtain.  This layout makes it possible for multiple people to get ready at the same time. There is a small table and chairs, a dresser and nightstand, a coffee maker, a safe, a closet rod next to the vanity, and an iron and ironing board. There is a refrigerator, so bringing perishables and keeping them in your room is possible. 

The rooms have exterior walkways but do not feel like motel rooms. From your window and walkway, you have the choice of three views. A Standard View is the least expensive, and these rooms often require a 5 to 10 minute walk to the main building/ bus station.  Pool Views are convenient for those families who want quick access to the pool. For a view of the river that passes by next to the resort, you can book a River View room. 

There is a fun pool with a sea serpent slide and a playground close to the pool. Guests here can also use the pool facilities at Port Orleans Riverside. The two resorts are connected to each other by bridge and boat. 

There is only one restaurant at Port Orleans French Quarter, Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory, a quick-service restaurant themed after one of the Mardi Gras float-making group's workshop and warehouse. At any food station, just ask to speak to a chef, who will take your order and prepare it in a safe environment.  Port Orleans has one of the best teams of chefs on Disney property.  They are committed to keeping people with special diets safe, and there are plenty of gluten free options to choose from at all of their restaurants. The best part about this food court is the gluten-free beignets. They are quite the treat and rare to be able to get something so out-of-the-ordinary from the usual dessert options of gluten-free cookies or brownies. I have come out of my way to eat here just for the beignets. 

Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory has plenty of gluten free options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Besides the amazing gluten, dairy, egg and soy free beignets, which are available all day, we love to order the Mickey waffles made with Cup4Cup Pancake & Waffle Mix for breakfast.  Another great option at breakfast are the new breakfast bowls. You can create your own, or order the ham & cheese or the Western breakfast bowls.  

For lunch, several of the burgers and Po' Boys are safe options with gluten free bread, or you can order gluten free pizza made with Udi's pizza crust, stuffed baked potatoes, or allergy friendly chicken tenders.  

For dinner, you can enjoy jambalaya, burgers and a hot dog on a gluten free bun, a chicken sandwich, a house-made veggie burger, grilled fish sandwich, chicken salad or tuna salad sandwiches, allergy friendly chicken tenders, stuffed baked potatoes, or cheese or pepperoni pizza.  You can view all of the gluten free options for breakfast, lunch and dinner here.  Be sure to ask for a chef at one of the food stations.  

Another amenity that is convenient is the boat that takes you to either Port Orleans Riverside or to Downtown Disney, soon to be renamed Disney Springs. The boat is driven by dedicated cast members who enjoy sharing their love of Disney during your time on the river. Downtown Disney opens up a lot of different gluten-free dining opportunities such as Raglan Road, Cookes of Dublin, Splitsville, Rainforest Cafe, T-Rex Cafe, Bongos Cuban Cafe, and Wolfgang Puck. For gluten free treats, head to Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC.  Port Orleans Riverside has its own accommodating quick-service restaurant, and a table-service restaurant as well, both of which have very nice options for gluten-free diners.  

Boatwright's Dining Hall at Port Orleans Riverside is one of our favorite table service restaurants at Disney World.  You can read my review here.  I recently ate at Riverside Mill Food Court, and was impressed with all of their gluten free options as well.   Port Orleans Riverside is a short walk from Port Orleans French Quarter, so you can easily enjoy the restaurants at both resorts.  

Port Orleans - French Quarter's small size, river boat ride, and its now-famous gluten-free beignets make it a very easy and popular option among gluten-free Disney fans. 

Dana is a Disney fan with Celiac disease. She is also a travel agent for Magical Moments Vacations, Authorized Disney Vacation Planners. She specializes in gluten-free travel, and can help you book a perfect gluten-free Disney vacation. Her services are 100% free to you - you pay the same price you would if you booked directly with Disney, but when you book with Dana, you get one-on-one help from a frequent Disney visitor who knows the ins and outs of gluten-free dining at Disney World. To learn more about Dana and stay up-to-date on Disney specials, like her Facebook page:, or you can request a free, no-obligation quote by clicking here:

Dana Zificsak, Agent
Magical Moments Vacations
(484) 886-9225

June 10, 2015 Update

Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory has adopted a new allergy-friendly menu.  You can view the gluten free options on this menu in my blog post about Disney's Port Orleans Resort Allergy-Friendly Menus.


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