Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Best Thing I Ever Ate At Disney - Gluten Free Breakfast

Last summer, I wrote a guest blog post for the Food Allergy & Celiac Convention about my favorite restaurants for breakfast at Disney World.  In the past year, I have discovered a couple of new favorites that I wanted to share, so this is my updated list for 2015.  Having breakfast at a Disney restaurant is an experience that should not be missed when traveling to Orlando.  Where else can you be visited by Disney friends while eating gluten free Mickey waffles?  Whether you are in the mood for an all-you-care-to-enjoy dining experience or a more budget-friendly breakfast, characters or no characters, I've got you covered.  You don't even need a Disney park pass to dine at most of the restaurants on this list.

For breakfast, Tusker House Restaurant serves up American and African inspired dishes at an all-you-care-to-enjoy buffet, and you will be visited by Safari Donald Duck and other characters as you dine.  Some of my breakfast favorites include the beef bobotie, Mickey waffles, sweet plantains, and potato & leek frittata.  I love that Tusker House has a gluten free station on their buffet, where you can find gluten free bread, bagels, muffins, and donuts.

Be Our Guest - Magic Kingdom

Until July 18th, Be Our Guest is in a testing phase for breakfast service, that will hopefully continue beyond that date.  As far as atmosphere and theming go, Be Our Guest is one of my favorite restaurants at Disney World.  They have a good number of gluten free options for breakfast, including the open-face bacon and egg sandwich on millet bread with poached eggs, applewood bacon, brie cheese, arugula and tomatoes, that I enjoyed on the opening day of breakfast service.  Be sure to request a plate of gluten free pastries too, because they are included with your price fixed meal.

Boma-Flavors of Africa, has long been one of our favorite restaurants for dinner, and it is one of my top picks for breakfast as well.  Last summer, I was introduced to their bananas foster and pecan praline sauce, two of my favorite toppings for Mickey waffles at Disney World.  I also love their carving station, tater tots, pap (white cornmeal), and their avocado, grapefruit & papaya salad.  Like Tusker House, there are so many gluten free options on the buffet.  If you are worried about cross contamination, don't be afraid to ask for food from the kitchen.

Trattoria al Forno - Disney's BoardWalk

Trattoria al Forno opened on Disney's BoardWalk in December, and quickly became one of our favorite restaurants for both breakfast and dinner.  My two favorite breakfast entrees are the Mickey waffles with espresso-mascarpone cream, which remind my of tiramisu, and the scrambled eggs with tomato, basil, and fresh mozzarella served with breakfast potatoes, and choice of bacon or chicken sausage.  From Trattoria al Forno, you can easily walk to Epcot or Hollywood Studios, so it's a great spot for breakfast before you head to either one of those parks.

Las Ventanas - Coronado Springs Resort 

Just last week, we dined at Las Ventanas at Disney's Coronado Springs Resort.  Their Chorizo Skillet with chorizo, diced potatoes, peppers, onions and garlic, with a Monterey Jack cheese omelet on top is one of the best breakfast entrees I have ever had at Disney.  If breakfast with a Mexican flair is not up your alley, you can order American fare like steak and eggs with breakfast potatoes.

Grand Floridian Cafe - Grand Floridian Resort & Spa

Before December, I had never dined at the Grand Floridian Cafe, but their burger with butter poached lobster and housemade chips will keep me going back for lunch and dinner.  A couple of months ago, I gave them a try for breakfast, ordering Mickey waffles with the seasonal butter and syrup that is usually served with their pancakes.  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 some of the best I have had at Disney.  The seasonal butter and syrup change throughout the year, and might not always be gluten free.

My favorite budget-friendly breakfast spot at Disney World is Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory at Disney's Port Orleans Resort.  I almost always order their amazing gluten free beignets, but they have other great breakfast options, like gluten free Mickey waffles made with Cup4Cup Pancake & Waffle Mix.  To order the beignets, head to the beignet counter, and tell a cast member that you would like to order gluten free beignets, and they will find a chef for you.  I always ask for my beignets lightly cooked, not too brown, with lots of powdered sugar.  Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory serves gluten free beignets all day, so you can enjoy them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. 

Another budget-friendly quick service option is Landscape of Flavors at Disney's Art of Animation Resort.  Their Little Mermaid themed waffles are some of the best gluten free waffles at Disney World, and their turkey bacon is amazing too. They have a beautiful selection of fresh fruit, and other gluten free options like pancakes and french toast.

The Mara - Animal Kingdom Lodge

The Mara is a quick service restaurant at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge that serves both African and American cuisine.  We have enjoyed their bounty platter for breakfast with scrambled eggs, Mickey waffles, breakfast potatoes, bacon and sausage, but my new favorite is their bobotie platter with pap and chakalaka.  Whether you stick with traditional American favorites, or take a walk on the wild side with their African breakfast dishes, you will not be disappointed.

Other great quick service options for breakfast are Everything POP at Disney's Pop Century Resort, where they have huge gluten free POP waffles that are the size of a dinner plate, and Roaring Fork at Disney's Wilderness Lodge, which offers Mickey waffles with a variety of toppings .  When you go to any of these quick service restaurants, ask to speak to a chef or manager, who will discuss gluten free options with you.

If you have been missing fresh doughnuts, head to Erin McKenna's Bakery NYC in Downtown Disney, or the Beach Club Marketplace at Disney's Beach Club Resort.  My personal favorite is the cinnamon sugar.

Many of my blog readers love 'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort.  I prefer Boma and Tusker House for an all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast, because they are less crowded and a little more low-key, but I really enjoyed my Island Feast of Stitch juice, fresh fruit, bacon, sausage, fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, and gluten free Mickey waffles last summer.  While we dined, we were visited by Lilo, Stitch, Mickey and Pluto, so if you are looking for a pretty traditional American breakfast with characters on the Magic Kingdom monorail line, 'Ohana is a great option for you.  

If you would like to read my full review of any of the restaurants in this post, or find links to make advance dining reservations, click on the restaurant names highlighted in blue.

My blog readers occasionally ask me for breakfast recommendations off Disney property, but I don't really have any, because I have no interest in dining anywhere else in the morning besides my house or Disney.  Restaurants at Disney World have the best selection, and I don't have to worry about cross contamination, or ask a bizillion questions about the measures they take to keep my food safe.

If you are looking for a list of restaurants where you can order allergy friendly Mickey waffles at Disney, head over to my friend Sarah's blog Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free at WDW.  All of my favorites are listed in my blog post The Best Thing I Eve Ate at Disney - Gluten Free Waffles.

What are your favorite restaurants for dining gluten free for breakfast at Disney World?  


  1. I have been following you for a while as we plan our trip in November. I am an incredibly sensitive celiac. Can you share your experience with cross contamination, especially with the buffet? I think I almost daily dream of the trip because it has now been months where I have not eaten out or at someone's home. Your blog has been the absolute best in my research and has led me to changing/adding reservations based on your recommendations. Thank you!

    1. Hi Michelle,
      You're welcome. I am so glad to hear my blog has been helpful for you! I have never felt sick after eating at a Disney buffet, but I follow these basic rules I wrote about in another post:
      Don't be shy about asking chefs for food from the kitchen if you are concerned about cross contamination. Lately, this has been what I have been doing more and more.
      I make advance dining reservations at restaurants with buffets when they first open (lunch and dinner only because I am not a morning person), and get a little bit of all the food I would like to try as soon as my tour with the chef ends.
      I knock all food off of serving spoons and take food from the back of dishes on the buffet.
      In 7 years of eating at Disney on a weekly basis, I have not felt that I have been glutened at one of their restaurants. For a couple of years I was pretty asymptomatic, but there have been periods of time when I am very sensitive to any kind of cross contamination.
      Hope that helps. Have a great trip!

  2. Hi, first I want to say THANKYOU for creating this blog - it has been such a blessing & gives me hope that I can once again enjoy going to Disney:)
    My question is, do you know of any grab & go breakfast options or anything at any of the quick service restaurants at any of the parks? I would love to enjoy all the sitdown restaurants you mentioned above, they look amazing, but that wont be practical for our trip. I'm worried about what I'm going to be able to eat in the mornings, as most of what I've seen is your typical gluten filled breakfast pastries.
    Thanks again for doing this it's very much appreciated😋

    1. Hi Kim! Message me on my Facebook page - Gluten Free in Orlando. We can better discuss your questions that way.