Traveling when you’re on a special diet can be nerve-wracking — will you find anything that you can actually eat?!
Thankfully, Disney World is more than accommodating for special diets, with a wide variety of food options for vegans, vegetarians, dairy-free, gluten-free, and MORE. And if you’re planning a trip to the parks as a gluten-free eater, we’re about to make your life even easier!
First of all, you’ll want to check out our page with all the details on gluten-free dining in Disney World. We’ve also written guides to gluten-free dining in Magic Kingdom and EPCOT, so make sure to read those before your visit.
Now, let’s dive into the specifics of how you can eat gluten-free in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park!
Quick Service Dining
For starters, we need to talk about quick service dining. These are the restaurants in the park where you order at a register, then move to the counter to pick up your food. When dining here, the gluten-free options might not be obvious on the menu board, but you can ask a Cast Member at the restaurant to see the allergy menus or you can check the My Disney Experience app beforehand.
To find the allergy options at each restaurant in the app, you’ll want to go to the map section (it’s the second icon from the left at the bottom of the screen), then click on the arrow next to “Wait Times” at the top of the screen. From there, you can select “Dining” to see all the dining options on the map.
At the top left of the screen, you can filter by location, and at the top right, you can switch between a list view and a map view.
Once you’ve got your list of nearby restaurants up, simply click on one to see the page for that restaurant. From there, you can view the menu.
In this example, we took a look at Flame Tree Barbecue. The restaurant’s allergy-friendly menu was listed at the bottom of the screen when we scrolled down.
If you’re placing a Mobile Order, you’ll need to scroll down to the bottom and select the category for “Gluten/Wheat Allergy-Friendly.”
Now that you know how to view the menus ahead of time, let’s talk about the restaurants with the best options! Flame Tree Barbecue has a St. Louis Rib Dinner, a Ribs and Chicken Combo, a 1/2 Chicken, and a Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich that are all gluten-free if you’ve got a hankering for barbecue.
Satu’li Canteen is perhaps the option with the most variety, serving multiple different bowls that accommodate gluten allergies. You can get a combination bowl (beef and chicken), a Chili-Garlic Shrimp Bowl, a Slow-Roasted Sliced Grilled Beef Bowl, a Chili-Spiced Crispy Fried Tofu Bowl, or a Chopped Wood-Grilled Chicken Bowl. With each, you can pick your base and sauce.
Harambe Market in Africa also has a number of rice-based bowl options for those eating gluten-free. However, we wouldn’t typically recommend that restaurant over the other options above.
Table Service Dining
Moving on to table service dining, things get a bit more personal. First of all, you’ll want to note that someone in your group has a gluten allergy when making your reservation ahead of your visit. It’s also good practice to mention it when checking in at the restaurant podium. If you’re checking in for your reservation in the My Disney Experience app, there will be a section to note any allergies.
Once you’re seated, your waiter will either bring you an allergy-friendly menu or a chef will come to the table to discuss your dining options. (If neither of those things happen, make sure to notify your server of the allergy.) Disney is usually quite accommodating about modifying items on the menu for those with allergies or food preferences.
If you’re dining at a buffet, you should also be able to speak with a chef about which items are safe for you to eat. And family-style restaurants typically have alternate platters available for those with dietary restrictions.
So which table service spots are best for those avoiding gluten? If you have a slightly higher meal budget, you could try Tiffins for lunch or dinner. There, you can order gluten-free dishes from the allergy menu like the Surf & Turf, North African-spiced Tofu, Shrimp and Grits, Tamarind-braised Short Rib, or Butter Chicken. They also have a number of gluten-free appetizers, enhancements, and desserts.
For a character meal, you can head to Tusker House in the Africa section of the park. This restaurant serves food buffet-style, but they have quite a few things you can try if you’re eating gluten-free. The African-Inspired Salads are gluten-free, as are multiple entrees — the Berbere Marinated Pork, the Spit-roasted Tandoori Chicken, and the Cape Malay Green Curry Shrimp. They also have rice, potatoes, and vegetables for sides that will work.
On top of the food, you’ll also get to see Donald, Goofy, Mickey, and Daisy while you dine — how fun!
Finally, we need to mention Yak & Yeti. This restaurant is a fave here at DFB, but since it’s run by a third party, the allergy-friendly dining process is slightly different from that of Disney-owned spots. You can still make your reservations through Disney, but we suggest making your allergy known to your server and when you check in at the restaurant.
The allergy-friendly menu is not currently available through the My Disney Experience app, but there is a paper version that your server can bring to your table when you dine at the restaurant.
Finally, we have to talk about the SNACKS. There are several great options in the park, starting with the delicious churros at Nomad Lounge! These are some of the BEST churros you can get in Disney World, and it makes us so happy that those on gluten-free diets can enjoy them as well.
A popular gluten-free treat in Disney World is Dole Whip, and you can find it in Animal Kingdom at Tamu Tamu Refreshments. Yep, that’s right — it’s available there all year round!
Over at Harambe Fruit Market, there’s a very unique Animal Kingdom exclusive. The Grilled Corn is served on the cob and covered in delicious spices, and it’s definitely underrated.
So there’s your full guide to eating gluten-free in Animal Kingdom. We’ll make sure to update this list if the. menus change or new must-have gluten-free snacks come to the park.
With DOZENS of places to eat at Disney World, we know it can be tough to plan your meals. That’s why we wrote the DFB Guide to Dining at Walt Disney World. We have reviews, pictures and details about every restaurant all in one digital download – along with ALL of our best tips and strategies from decades of Disney World trips. We’ve got a special discount code for DFB readers, too! Use WDW2023 at checkout for 25% off!
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What’s your go-to gluten-free snack in Animal Kingdom?
The post Animal Kingdom Gluten Free Ultimate Guide for 2023 first appeared on the disney food blog.