*This dining experience took place in February 2016. This is a gluten free only review.
When it comes to unique dining experiences at Disney World, one of the highlights is afternoon tea. Having been offered at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa for many years, the afternoon tea has been a tradition among many Disney guests. Back in February, Disney announced that another resort location would also offer afternoon tea on select dates throughout the year.
Disney’s Beach Club Resort is home to the Solarium, a small area that has been used as a spot to rest and recharge. But, in the announcement, we learned that the Solarium would be the location for another afternoon tea spot. Well, once I heard about this, you know I just had to make a reservation to check it out!
The afternoon tea for the Crescent Solarium is currently offered on the following dates in 2016:
- February 11-14
- February 18-21
- March 24-29
- May 5-8
- June 16-19
- September 1-5
I chose February 21st, and invited my family along for the experience. I noted my special dietary needs on the reservation, and I also planned on checking with a chef upon arrival.
Once we checked in, we were seated in a very open and bright room. I loved the relaxing vibe and the beach decor. Everyone in my group agreed that it seemed more low-key and relaxing than the afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian.
I have to do a major shoutout to our server Tyrone! He was amazing. So personable and just a shining example of an amazing Disney cast member. If you go to the Crescent Solarium, definitely request to be in Tryone’s section!
Shortly after being seated, I was greeted by the chef to discuss options. Because I have been re-introducing a bit of dairy into my diet on occasion, I asked the chef what options were available. They can easily accommodate both gluten free & dairy free, though I found the options for just gluten free to be a bit better. If you’re gluten free & dairy free, you will likely get a lot of Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC items.
I chose to get the following tea service with special dietary needs modifications:
Sea Side Park Tea: First course featuring a selection of Artisan cheeses and seasonal accompaniments, second course petit sandwiches and canapés on house-made breads, third course scones served with clotted cream, lemon curd and seasonal jam, finale of house-made pastries and tea cookies. Accompanied by your choice of loose-leaf tea.
Photo Taken by Gluten Free & Dairy Free at WDW
For the cheese and fruit course, the chef and I spoke at length about options, and she said she could give me an entire cheese course that was served with goat cheese. Because I do well with goat and sheep milk cheese, I opted for this.
I thought the cheese course was great, especially with the fresh fruit, honey, and other accompaniments. I liked that I was also served toasted Udi’s Gluten Free Bread with it.
The sandwich course was another nice treat. The salmon salad does contain heavy cream but can be made without it. My favorites were the curry chicken salad and the crab salad with Old Bay Seasoning in it. I found all of the sandwiches to be light and fresh and not overly heavy. These were also served on Udi’s Gluten Free bread.
When the chef told me that the scone course included gluten free scones, I was intrigued. They were made with Cup4Cup flour blend (which contains dairy), and were lemon blueberry and cranberry orange flavored.
Limiting dairy, I didn’t eat too much of these but what bites I did were amazing. I was really impressed by the flavors and texture. You’d swear with Cup4Cup that the baked goods are gluten-filled!
I would love to see them experiment with the Cup4Cup Wholesome Flour Blend and maybe try a dairy free version too.
The last course included gluten free profiteroles filled with a raspberry filling, also made with Cup4Cup. I thought these tasted just OK. They weren’t my preference, and if I were to go again, I would just ask for something from Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC or fresh fruit.
Overall, I found the afternoon tea at the Crescent Solarium to be really charming, relaxing, and delicious. Though I opted for gluten free only items on this trip, after speaking with the chef, I know that getting dairy free options would also be really easy. The Beach Club always has a nice variety of Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC products on hand too, so that’s a nice substitution in a pinch.
I would highly recommend the afternoon tea at the Crescent Solarium if you’re looking for something special to do while on your next visit to Disney.
Have you been to the Crescent Solarium afternoon tea? What would you most like to try if you went there?