*This dining experience took place in October 2014
Castaway Cay is Disney’s private island, and when you sail on a Disney Cruise Line that is near it, you will get a full day to enjoy this amazing location. It was the highlight of my trip, and I admit, I could have stayed here forever. It was so much fun to rest and relax and enjoy the crystal blue waters. Even as a Florida resident who has access to amazing beaches, I was pretty blown away by the water at Castaway Cay.
One of the things to note at Castaway Cay is that it has 3 dining options – Cookie’s BBQ, Cookie’s Too BBQ, and the Serenity Bay BBQ. Serenity Bay is the adults only beach, and a welcome place to get away from it all. So it was nice to see that they had an adults only restaurant available there.
After an early breakfast at Cabanas, my mom and I got off the ship bright and early around 8:30 a.m. We were one of the first folks off the ship and decided to take advantage of that by taking lots of photos and meandering.
My mom and I took a leisurely stroll from the dock to Serenity Bay (fair warning, it’s a hike). Along the way we took photos of the various meal locations (among other things). We planned on dining at the adults only restaurant since it was easily located at Serenity Bay.
We spent much of the morning at the beach and when the time came for lunch we headed to the Serenity Bay BBQ. I spoke with a cast member there who said they could make up some options but that they recommended we go to one of the other two dining locations as they would be better equipped to handle my requests.
First up, we went to Cookie’s Too BBQ which was closer than Cookie’s BBQ. When we got there the cast member I spoke to told me that they were unable to accommodate there at all (versus Serenity Bay which said they could offer me stuff just reduced options). They told me to head along to Cookie’s BBQ for special diets accommodations. Let’s just say my mom and I worked off our food that day!
Cookie’s BBQ is an open air buffet with a lot of great BBQ type food. I spoke with a cast member who got the manager on duty. They went over some of the options with me that included, mahi mahi, roasted chicken, and burgers. They said they had gluten free and dairy free buns on hand. Unfortunately, they told me the ribs were not gluten free. That’s a bummer since I had heard about them from Gluten Free in Orlando. I was told they contained soy sauce.
While I waited for my plate to be made, I also grabbed a bag of Lay’s plain potato chips which are gluten free. I also caught up with my friends who as luck would have it were dining at the same time and had pre-ordered their food. Unfortunately, they lost my friends pre-order but somehow had her daughter’s. After seeing the pre-order, I was glad I ordered food when I got there. Plain chicken is not particularly a highlight for me culinary-wise.
You’ll notice that her plate was from Animator’s Palate, as that is where they dined the night before.
I was pleased to get my plate which was huge. I had a generous portion of Mahi Mahi, Roasted Chicken, and a Burger. The mahi mahi was OK. It wasn’t my favorite but it wasn’t bad either. The burger was also nothing amazing, but it was good. I did not enjoy the bun, as it was rather dry and not very heated. In hindsight, I’d just get a burger, no bun with all the fixins’. The roasted chicken was the absolute star of this meal. It was insanely delicious! Note to self, skip the mahi and order extra chicken next time!
Cookie’s BBQ also has a huge fresh fruit station, which was awesome! In this photo, they are still setting it up, but during lunch they were carving fresh pineapple and papaya among other things. It was the perfect light dessert, and I loaded up on freshly cut pineapple slices. Delicious!
If you’re just gluten free, you’ll have access to soft serve ice cream too, which I’m told is safe.
Overall, despite being shuffled to three locations, I really enjoyed the lunch at Cookie’s BBQ. The roasted chicken was so amazing, and I will definitely be getting it again on my next cruise. Next time, I might gamble with the Serenity Bay BBQ, as it looked like the menu was mostly the same. I can always go for a burger with no bun!
Have you been to Castaway Cay? What did you get at Cookie’s BBQ?