*This gluten free dining experience took place in September 2018. It includes notes about dairy free options.
Dinner at Beaches and Cream Soda Shop
Beaches and Cream Soda Shop, located at Disney’s Beach Club Resort, is a charming table service restaurant that serves up classic soda shop fare like burgers, fries, and ice cream sundaes. Both Brandon and I love the sundaes at Beaches and Cream. Recently, we took Brandon’s parents there for dinner and ice cream sundaes and to celebrate Brandon’s mom’s birthday.
One of the things we love most about Beaches and Cream is the 1950s soda shop theme. It’s kitschy and retro in such a delightful way.
The only big downside we have found to Beaches and Cream is the size. It’s a very tiny restaurant, so wait times to be seated can be pretty intense. On this particular visit, we waited 30 minutes past our time. And, I swear we only got seated because we asked about it several times.
As you can see from the photo, the restaurant is very popular. Do make sure to make ADRs for Beaches and Cream if you’re interested in dining there or be prepared for either a long wait or to go to the to-go counter.
There are so many fun details in Beaches and Cream. I love the retro jukebox and bright colorful decor.
Beaches and Cream does have an allergy-friendly lunch and dinner menu. But, I do highly recommend speaking to a manager or coordinator about options. That’s because I have found that Beaches and Cream can accommodate with a lot of additional options or easy modifications if you ask.
On this visit, we started off with an odd interaction with our server. He asked about my special dietary need, and I noted that I had celiac disease. He asked me if I was OK with cross-contamination. Um, no. With that question, I immediately asked to speak with a manager and was brought a server who is noted as the coordinator. Because of the small space in Beaches and Cream, typically a cast member designated to assist with special dietary needs will work with you instead of a chef. Overall, I’ve not had any issues with this in the past. But, this visit would prove to be a challenge overall.
I asked the coordinator if I could get the gluten free reuben (which I ordered on our last visit) with fries. I was told this would not be an issue. Everyone else placed their order. Then our server came back and asked if he could bring everyone else’s food out since mine was not ready. And, then I waited. And waited. And waited. A full 30 minutes later my food arrived, only after I asked our server and manager about my food.
As you can see by this photo, everyone in our party had already finished their main meal by the time mine arrived. My gluten free Reuben sandwich was soggy and cold as were my French Fries. The fries come from a dedicated fryer at Hurricane Hannas — the restaurant at the pool area of the Beach Club. While I loved this sandwich on our last visit, this time it was pretty mediocre at best.
When my food arrived, I asked if I ordered my dessert then if it would take this long as everyone else was going to order sundaes. I was advised that it wouldn’t. But, I still ordered it anyway. The coordinator told me that the sandwich took so long because that’s how special diets orders work there. I did note that we have eaten there multiple times and never had this issue. However, it seemed like no one working that day was very concerned about the length of the wait or the quality of the meal.
Funnily enough, my gluten free and dairy free version of the No Way Jose Sundae arrived before everyone else’s did and while I was only halfway through eating my sandwich. So, sadly, timing was a major issue at Beaches and Cream that day. My sundae, which contained chocolate and vanilla Tofutti, Hershey’s Chocolate Sauce, and peanut butter sauce was delicious as always. But, the overall experience at the restaurant was just pretty disappointing. In fact, we all agreed that next time we would just order ice cream and that was it.
I have had pretty good experiences at Beaches and Cream over the years, but this one was not good. So much so that I did contact Disney Guest Services about it. My main meal was not great — mostly due to the temperature and condition of the food when it arrived. My sundae was outstanding. But, it’s also pretty hard to mess a sundae up. I would recommend being prepared for waits when you dine at Beaches and Cream if you order food besides the sundae. This is definitely a restaurant that we would skip for a while based on the service and food quality.
Have you been to Beaches and Cream Soda Shop? What was your dining experience there?