Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Grand Floridian Cafe Breakfast - Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

This morning, I had breakfast at the Grand Floridian Cafe with my friend and fellow celiac Jennifer.   The Grand Floridian Cafe has one of the best burgers at Disney World, which you can read about in my dinner review, so I was really excited to see what kind of gluten free options they had for breakfast.  

The chef we spoke to told us that most of the entrees on the menu could be made gluten free, including the three that I was interested in - seasonal pancakes, Mickey waffles, and the lobster hash.  It was a hard decision, but I ended up ordering Mickey waffles with the seasonal butter and syrup that is usually served with the pancakes.  The Grand Floridian Cafe uses Bob's Red Mill to make their waffles, which were very good.  

What took these waffles from being good to earning a spot on my list of best Disney-themed waffles was the seasonal butter and syrup.  

The maple syrup contained Grand Marnier, orange marmalade, orange blossom honey, pecans, and cranberries.  There were also cranberries and pecans in the butter.  Topped with the seasonal butter and a little bit of syrup, my waffles were incredibly delicious.  Sadly, the pancakes are not served this way all the time, so if you go at a different time of the year, the seasonal toppings will be different, and they might not be gluten free.  Our server Kara told us that that last year, the seasonal pancakes were pumpkin in the fall, and gingerbread around Christmas.  

After eating my four waffles, I turned to my bacon, which was plentiful, and nice and thick, just like I like it.

Jennifer ordered the frittata with egg whites, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, tomatoes and basil.  She found it to be a little bland, and later regretted not ordering it with some cheese.  

November 13, 2015 Update

Earlier this year, the Grand Floridian Cafe adopted allergy-friendly menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner that list options for people with gluten/wheat, milk, egg , soy, fish/shellfish, and peanut/tree nut allergies.  

Gluten free breakfast options include the following entrees and sides:  
  • Frittata - egg whites, onions, mushrooms, asparagus, tomatoes, basil, and fresh fruit
  • Three-egg garden omelet - spinach, feta, and roasted tomato omelet served with Lyonnaise potatoes or fresh fruit
  • The Benedict - soft poached organic eggs, allergy friendly toast, applewood-smoked bacon, Hollandaise, and marinated tomato salad
  • Steak and eggs - flat iron steak with Lyonnaise potatoes with two eggs - any style
  • The Grand Floridian Breakfast - two eggs served with allergy friendly toast, bacon, sausage, and breakfast potatoes
  • Pancakes served with bacon or sausage
  • Mickey waffles served with bacon or sausage 
  • Accompaniments - bacon, sausage links, turkey sausage, fruit-flavored yogurt, bagel and cream cheese, and steel-cut oatmeal (always double check to make sure they are using certified gluten free oats)
  • Kids' options - vegetable omelet (spinach, tomato, and cheese omelet served with sliced apples, strawberry yogurt, and allergy-friendly toast), Eggsceptional Morning (one scrambled egg with bacon, turkey sausage, and allergy-friendly toast), Mickey's Ears to You (two Mickey waffles), Minnie's Grand Cakes (mouse-shaped pancake with sprinkles)

Earlier this week, I met a friend at the Grand Floridian Cafe for breakfast.  The seasonal pancakes with house made butter are no longer listed as an option on the allergy-friendly breakfast menu, but I asked if the seasonal butter and syrup were gluten free, which they were.  I was told that they will soon be switching to pumpkin, then to gingerbread for the holidays.  I really wanted the waffles again, but decided to try pancakes at Disney for the first time in six years, which I regretted for several reasons.  The Grand Floridian Cafe uses Bob's Red Mill gluten free pancake mix, which can make decent pancakes and waffles if the chefs are a little creative with the mix.  For a couple of years after my celiac diagnosis, we used Bob's pancake mix at home, but always blended in one banana per recipe to improve the texture and taste.  The taste of the pancakes at the Grand Floridian Cafe was average, so I will sticking with Mickey waffles at Disney World in the future.

I was not happy when my plate arrived with my pancakes swimming in syrup.  I use syrup very sparingly, because I find it to be too sweet, so I never pour it on top of pancakes or waffles, preferring to dip my food in it instead.  When I was done eating a good portion of my pancakes, our server stopped at the table, and I asked why the seasonal presentation was so different than the last time I had it, then we all realized that the chefs left the seasonal butter off my pancakes and my friend's waffles.  The final problem with my breakfast is that my bacon was very overcooked.  If this had been my first experience eating breakfast at the Grand Floridian Cafe, I might never have returned.

The Grand Floridian Cafe serves American classics for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  You can view their menus, and make advance dining reservations on Disney's website here.  

You can check out my friend Sarah's review, which finally convinced me that I needed to try the Grand Floridian Cafe for breakfast, on her blog Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW.  

What are your favorite gluten free dishes at the Grand Floridian Cafe?  


  1. Hi! Thanks for the great info! We are headed to the Grand Floridian with our celiac daughter. The waffles seem great, they are made with a very reliable brand, but do they use the same waffle maker as the regular gluten waffles??????? Or do they assure everything is made separately?