*This dining experience took place in July 2018.
Dinner at Columbia Harbour House
Columbia Harbour House, located in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom, is a one of my go-to quick service restaurants in the theme parks for allergy-friendly chicken tenders. Even though the allergy-chicken tenders are typically the same across Disney property, for some reason, I just like the way they cook them at Columbia Harbour House. Recently, we stopped by the restaurant for a quick early evening dinner as Brandon and I were both craving allergy-chicken tenders.
There’s something really charming about Columbia Harbour House’s theme. It’s meant to reflect a Colonial era sea-faring town (like Boston).
From the decor to the cast member costumes, everything definitely says Colonial times.
One of my favorite spots in the restaurant is the second floor. It’s a great spot to enjoy a quiet meal and get away from the hustle and bustle of the theme park crowds. Plus, it’s perfect for getting a bird’s eye view of the restaurant and Liberty Square outside.
As you can see by this photo, there is ample seating on the second floor. But, depending on the time of day, you just might have the restaurant seating to yourself. We dined around 4 p.m., and as you can see it was pretty quiet.
Like most restaurants in Disney World, Columbia Harbour House does carry an allergy-friendly menu. Although I didn’t think much of it when we ordered, I did notice that the menu had changed slightly from our most recent visit in March 2018.
We ordered two orders of the allergy-friendly chicken tenders and were given a pager to come back when they were ready.
When we arrived back at the counter, the manager at Columbia Harbour House presented us with our allergy-chicken tenders. But, both Brandon and I noticed immediately that they looked completely different from the Ian’s brand allergy-friendly chicken tenders that Disney has been serving at locations across property. We both asked if this was a new change, and the manager told us he was told that this was a property wide change that would be happening due to issues with supply for the Ian’s brand.
He also offered to show us the packaging for the the chicken tenders, which were Chef’s Line brand. These are gluten free, dairy free, and egg free and may cover some other special dietary needs, as well. They are also certified gluten free. You can find out more about the brand and ingredients on their website.
As we learned from some blog readers, Disney’s Special Diets Department has advised guests that they are testing out several different allergy-friendly chicken tender brands, including those that are top 8 free. Many readers have expressed disappointment that these contain soy. Unfortunately, even when Disney has served soy free allergy-friendly chicken tenders, they have not been an option for soy free guests at some locations due to the oil used to fry them. So, sadly, the allergy-friendly chicken tenders have been hit or miss with those are who soy free. Still, it’s nice to know that Disney is testing a variety of options to ensure the tastiest and safest options for guests.
As you can see, two orders of Allergy-Friendly Chicken Tenders and Fries made in a dedicated fryer is a ton of food. So, if you’re not that hungry or have a small appetite, you can easily split one order. I also always ask for Ken’s Steakhouse Cocktail Sauce, which is gluten free and a nice condiment for the chicken tenders and fries.
Once we were seated, we had to dig in and see how the new allergy-friendly chicken tenders tasted. The verdict? I think they taste very similar to the original AllergyFreeFoods brand of allergy-friendly chicken tenders that Disney used to serve. So, if you had that particular brand and loved them, you will really enjoy these chicken tenders. They do have more breading on them, so under-cooking is a bit more of a potential too (which Brandon noticed).
If you are a fan of the crunchier Ian’s brand allergy-friendly chicken tenders, you might be disappointed by these. Brandon much prefers the Ian’s brand, so he was pretty saddened by the new brand change. He doesn’t mind the new ones, but he loves the Ian’s brand, so this was a bummer for him. Of course, taste is all subjective, so it completely depends whether you will like one version or the other. I like both, and didn’t mind the new version for some different variety.
Columbia Harbour House is still our go-to spot for allergy-friendly chicken tenders at Disney World. We’ll be interested to see how the new allergy-friendly chicken tenders changes continue. And, we’re interested to try some other brands too. In the meantime, we might be at Hollywood Studios at ABC Commissary or the Backlot Express for the Ian’s brand allergy-friendly chicken tenders so that Brandon can get his cravings in before they switch to a new brand.
Have you been to Columbia Harbour House or another location for allergy-friendly chicken tenders? What did you think of the brands served at Disney?