GF in Disney World: Sunshine Seasons at Epcot

Now, for the second addition to the Disney World series, we'll focus on my family's first excursion into the Disney World Parks. We started in Epcot

We actually stumbled upon this gem by accident. Now, I'd like to say that I planned all of our food out perfectly and that we never had a snag. On our first day, though, we wasted an hour running from one restaurant with possible gluten free options to another, abandoning them because of price, popularity or taste. Finally, we ended up at Sunshine Seasons


Our saving grace!
We didn't enter with high expectations. It was rush hour, we were tired and hungry and a quick service restaurant didn't sound promising. Boy were we wrong! Sunshine Seasons is set up cafeteria style, with different food in each section. Mom and I wandered over to an empty area and asked to speak to the chef. Surprisingly, he appeared right away and told us we were in the perfect place! The entire grilled section we were standing in front of was gluten free, prepared without a chance of contamination. 

A plethora of home cooked options greeted us. By the time I scanned the rows of pork chops, turkey, salmon, mashed potatoes, green beans, saffron rice and saffron potatoes, I was standing in a puddle of drool. Mom and I ended up with salmon, saffron rice and potatoes. Ironically, because this section appeared so tasty, my entire family ended up with gluten free plates. 

The grill section...
As soon as I bit into the salmon, my taste buds rocketed up in Disney-style fireworks. It fell apart inside my mouth, the perfect combination of tender and juicy, even as the skin crunched between my teeth. Even better, it avoided the typical GF meat misfire through the chef's liberal use of spices. While not requiring an oral fire extinguisher, the mix of herbs and spices created a savory heat. Without a doubt, this was the best salmon I've ever eaten. 

Our mouthwatering meal…(rice not pictured)
The saffron rice and potatoes followed the salmon's lead with their spicy, but not overwhelming flavor. Surprisingly, though, the green beans were my favorite side!  Rather than serving them plain, the chef cooked them with onions and seasoning, infusing some Disney World magic into the traditionally avoided veggie.

According to my sister, the gluten free pork chops tasted equally delicious. While cooked through, they were extremely tender. The mashed potatoes dominated the dish, though, with their smooth and fluffy texture. 

Gluten free treats!
As if Sunshine Seasons isn't awesome enough, they also offer a stack of allergen-free desserts next to the gluten free section. Pre-packaged brownies, cookies and chocolates tempted us, but mom and I decided on the caramel popcorn. Ever since I was glutened in the movie theatre, I haven't been a fan of popcorn, but this treat converted me. It tasted just like the gluten version that I remember - the perfect mix of sugary crunch and airy fluffiness

Perfect for a light, sweet snack!
As a whole, this was perhaps the best overall meal we had in Disney. My parents and I raved about fish and sides for days after that lunch, and the salmon hooked us so badly, went back two days later. Unbelievably, it was even better the second time! The best part, though? We scored a gourmet meal for the quick-service Disney World price

In my mind, Sunshine Seasons is the number one place to go for less expensive, quality gluten free food in all of Disney World. I give it a magical 15/10

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