Sunday, December 13, 2015

Backlot Express - Disney's Hollywood Studios

Yesterday, we headed to Hollywood Studios to immerse ourselves in everything Star Wars.  We rode Star Tours twice, so we could experience some of the new adventures inspired by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  We also checked out "Star Wars: Path of the Jedi" and the Star Wars Launch Bay, where Disney Visa cardmembers can feel the power of the force at a private Star Wars Imperial Meet 'N" Greet.

The Backlot Express, a quick service restaurant at Disney's Hollywood Studios, recently updated their menu with Star Wars themed food options, so we headed there for lunch.

An allergy-friendly menu was not available yesterday, probably because of the recent menu changes, but the cast member who took my order was able to look on her computer screen and tell me gluten free options.  I remember her mentioning two burgers/sandwiches, the Galactic Chicken Salad, chicken tenders and fries, and something with chili, which is probably the chili hotdog they offer on the menu.

For the past two months, the AllergyFree Foods chicken tenders that Disney has used as long as I have lived in Orlando have slowly disappeared, being replaced by Saffron Road or Ian's chicken tenders.

You can read my review of the Saffron Road chicken tenders I tried at Gasparilla Island Grill at Disney's Grand Floridian Resort here.  With ketchup, the two new options are just as good as the AllergyFree Foods chicken tenders Disney used to carry.  Without ketchup, you can taste that the Saffron Road chicken tenders have a lot more seasoning than Disney's previous option, and the Ian's chicken tenders, which I would have added salt to if I was not eating them with ketchup.  Both the Ian's and Saffron Road chicken tenders were crispy on the outside, and had tender pieces of whole breast meat on the inside.

May 21, 2016 Update - AllergyFree Foods chicken tenders should be at all Disney restaurants that serve them again.  You can read about the gluten free chicken tenders at Disney World here.

I asked for my chicken tenders without fries, because I wanted to order a side of the Corellian Spice Fries with Parmesan, garlic, and parsley.  I first tried them earlier this year at the Rebel Hangar, a temporary table service dining experience set up inside the Backlot Express during Star Wars Weekends.  They were just as amazing as I remembered, and I love that they are served in Star Wars themed paper.  My meal was brought out from the back by a manager, and it was served on a different color tray.

May 21, 2016 Update - The Corellian Spice Fries have been taken off the menu.  A manager told me that there were too many customer complaints.  People were expecting gourmet fries at a quick service restaurant.  This makes me so sad, because they were the best quick service fries at the Disney theme parks.

My gluten-eating husband and daughters ordered the Dark Side Chicken and Waffles served with barbeque sauce and maple syrup.  My family tried my gluten free chicken tenders to compare them to the chicken breast nuggets that were served with their meals.  My daughter Kate liked the gluten free chicken tenders better, while Mitch and Emma said they liked them both the same.  I hope that gluten free Vader waffles will be available in the future, because this is a meal I would love to order.

I did not ask about dessert, because we were considering going to Epcot to see the Candlelight Processional, and stopping at the Japan Pavilion for gluten free mochi ice cream bonbons, but we ended up eating soft serve at Dinosaur Gertie's before we left Hollywood Studios.

May 21, 2016 Update

Earlier today, we stopped at the Backlot Express to check out their allergy-friendly menu, which includes options for people with gluten/wheat, milk, egg, soy, fish/shellish, and peanut/tree nut allergies.

Gluten free options include a 1/3 lb Angus bacon cheeseburger, hot dog or chicken breast nuggets served with your choice or carrot sticks or french fries, and the Southwest Salad.  For dessert, they have gluten free chocolate chip cookies and brownies.  Kids ages 9 and under can order chicken breast nuggets or grilled cheese.  Kids' Meals are served with GoGo squeeZ Applesauce and carrot sticks, and choice of small lowfat milk or small Dasani water.  French fries may be substituted upon request for gluten/wheat, egg, fish/shellfish, milk, and peanut/tree nut allergies.

You can read more about the Backlot Express, and view their menu and hours on Disney's website here.

What are your favorite gluten free options at the Backlot Express?


  1. The the Corellian Spice Fries are now on my must try list! They look and probably smell wonderful! It would really be amazing if Disney could work some magic and offer a gluten free version of the Darth Vader waffles.

  2. Do they still have the vegetarian sandwich with the portobello mushrooms? I don't see it on the menu you posted... sigh.... They were always able to make it for me with GF bread...

  3. I really enjoy your site and I am so glad I read this....I had no idea they had been changing the allergy-free chicken tenders. I am bummed as both of the new options now have corn and I can't do corn (or gluten or egg). That stinks that they changed it, but I'm glad to have read that now instead of discovering that when ordering this spring on our trip!

  4. Do you know if the BBQ sauce is GF?