Leave your cooler at home. You are about to experience gluten-free Disney magic with this list of celiac-recommended Table Service Restaurants at the Disneyland Resort in California.
Going to a theme park with celiac disease or gluten intolerance often means packing your food or settling for limited and plain options while watching others power down the food you used to enjoy. Not so at the Happiest Place on Earth. Disney absolutely stands out when it comes to accommodating celiac disease and gluten intolerance.
You are in the best of hands with Disneyland Chefs and Special Diets. Disney values inclusion and that stretches to those of us with food allergies or special dietary restrictions and needs.
Disney does not have separate allergy-friendly kitchens and has a food allergy disclaimer, which you can read here. Note, Disney uses the term “wheat/gluten allergy friendly” rather than gluten-free.
My personal disclaimer is that my recommendations are based on my experiences and information provided by Disneyland within the parks at specific points in time. Ingredients and offerings change regularly. Always speak to a chef at any Disneyland Resort restaurant for the latest and most accurate information.
That said, I have always found the Disneyland chefs to be amazing and invested in my daughter and me having a wonderful and safe gluten-free experience. After a quick explanation of Disneyland Dining, we will get right into my favorite Disneyland Resort Table Service Restaurants with the best gluten-free dining experiences.
Quick Service vs Table Service Restaurants
Disneyland has two categories of restaurants.
There are Quick Service Restaurants, where you order fast-food style directly with a cast member, or in nearly all cases, you also have the option to order via the Disneyland Mobile app.
There are also Table Service Restaurants. These are traditional, sit-down restaurants, where an advanced dining reservation is highly recommended and a server will take your order.
This article is focused on the latter, but both types of restaurants can accommodate your gluten-free diet.
Advanced Dining Reservations
Make your dining reservation up to 60 days prior to your visit. The earlier the better.
Dining reservations frequently fill up, and there is very limited walk-up ability. You can sometimes snag a last-minute reservation a day or two before your visit, as other guests let go of reservations to avoid a no-show fee.
Be sure to note your gluten allergy when making your reservation. When you are reserving your spot online, there is a place to select all applicable special dietary requests for your party.
Now to the fun part! These are my favorite gluten-free meals:
The Best Gluten-Free Dining in Disneyland Park
Escape to a quiet evening on the bayou, where it is nighttime whether you are there for lunch or dinner, as you are sharing the setting with the beginning of the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride.
Disneyland does not publicize its gluten-free menu for the Blue Bayou, as it can change, but we have found that most of the menu can be made gluten-free from jambalaya to fish.
Here’s the best gluten-free insider tip for Disneyland!
You can have a gluten-free Monte Cristo sandwich, a battered and fried turkey, ham, and swiss sandwich IF you email your request to Disneyland Special Diets 1-2 weeks prior to your visit. It cannot otherwise be ordered on the spot.
No worries if you didn’t manage to snag a hard-to-get Blue Bayou reservation!
Cafe Orleans is a little easier to get into and offers two versions of the gluten-free Monte Cristo: three cheese or turkey, ham, and swiss, for a more affordable price than at the Blue Bayou.
Again, email Disneyland Special Diets 1-2 weeks ahead of time to request a gluten-free Monte Cristo.
For a breakfast in the park, gluten-free or not, you can’t beat the Plaza Inn on Main Street. It is currently the only character breakfast behind the ticket booths.
This location offers character dining for breakfast only, but not for other meals. The character interaction is plentiful. As this is a “Minnie Mouse” event, she is guaranteed to be there, and a photo pass with Minnie is included.
The other characters may change. On our most recent visit, we saw Minnie, Daisy, Tigger, Pooh, Captain Hook (who was met with a dirty look from the two-year-old in my party), Chip, Dale, and the Fairy Godmother.
This is a breakfast buffet, which is highly subject to cross-contamination. As with every buffet at Disney, simply ask to meet with a chef, who will bring you a wonderful selection of gluten-free items from the kitchen, including the much-loved gluten-free Mickey waffles!
The Best Gluten-Free Dining in Disney California Adventure
As an Italian food lover, the Wine Country Trattoria is one of my favorite restaurants at the Disneyland Resort. As the menu changes and the gluten-free options are not currently posted online, you will have to check with the chef when you arrive.
In the past, my family has successfully had gluten-free: Osso Bucco (sadly not currently on the menu), salmon, spaghetti bolognese, spaghetti shrimp alfredo, a warm brownie with ice cream, and sorbet.
You will love the gluten-free potato skins, lobster nachos, and al pastor pork chop. Watch out for that last one. The sauce definitely has a kick!
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, the gluten-free menu is not available online, so speak to a chef when you arrive regarding current gluten-free offerings.
The Lamplight Lounge really shines when it comes to ambiance. If it’s not cold, try to sit outside by the water. It’s spectacular at night.
The Best Character Dining at a Disneyland Resort Hotel
Aside from the Disney characters, one of the best things about character meals is the wide variety of gluten-free food, especially at the buffets. For the table service restaurants listed above (except the Plaza Inn Minnie & Friends buffet), the full menu is already limited. The gluten-free menus are even more so. If you want lots of choices, then a character meal or buffet is the way to go.
The one downside to the buffets is that the gluten-free guest will have a bit of a wait time while the chef carefully prepares the food. If your child is the one on a gluten-free diet, this could lead to a hangry meltdown, so have a plan. For my family, my daughter is content to visit with me while we wait, since we both have celiac disease. The guys head straight to the buffet and often end up waiting for us at the end. You could all wait and eat together or ask the chef to bring out a tray of fruit before preparing everything else.
You save valuable in-park time by having a table service character meal at one of the Disneyland Resort Hotels on one of your non-park days.
There are three options, and any of the three will wow you with the wide variety of dishes that are already or can be easily modified to be gluten-free. Always ask for a chef!
Napa Rose Princess Breakfast Adventure (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa)
The fanciest of the three character meals at a hotel, this three-course Princess breakfast (starters, main courses, desserts) is a truly over-the-top Disney experience.
Disney beautifully accommodates gluten-free at this breakfast. When you select the gluten allergy option during the online reservation, the chef will have a wide variety of options ready for you.
However, at this price point, to make sure you are fully satisfied with the gluten-free accommodations, I highly recommend following up with an email to special diets requesting a chef consult about a week or two before your Princess Breakfast.
A princess photo opp is included.
Napa Rose offers upscale dining for dinner, without the princesses.
Storyteller’s Cafe: Mickey’s Tales of Adventure Breakfast/Brunch Buffet (Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa)
Storyteller’s Cafe has a great character dining experience with an amazing buffet full of food
Ask for a chef, who will go through the buffet with you and point out the gluten-free options. With celiac, I never eat directly off the buffet. The chefs are happy to bring food straight from the kitchen to avoid cross-contamination on the buffet and sometimes will prepare off-menu options.
Storyteller’s Cafe also serves dinner, but Disney characters only appear at breakfast.
Goofy’s Kitchen: Good Morning Giggles and Disney Dinnertime Magic (Disneyland Hotel)
Goofy’s Kitchen has character dining for breakfast/brunch and dinner. If you want a character dining dinner, then Goofy’s Kitchen is the winner, as it is the only option at the Disneyland Resort.
Goofy’s Kitchen is comparable to Storyteller’s Cafe, in food, characters, and price.
If you are staying at either the Grand Californian (home to Storyteller’s Cafe) or the Disneyland Hotel (home to Goofy’s Kitchen), book the character dining experience at your hotel and you will have a gluten-free blast!
There is such a wonderful variety of gluten-free food at the Disneyland table service restaurants, you will never go hungry or feel like you are missing out!
Disney parks are my favorite place for stress-free, hassle-free, and gluten-free. For on-the-go gluten-free snacks, check out this list of the Best Gluten-Free Disneyland Snacks & Treats.