*This gluten free dining experience took place in October 2018. It includes notes about dairy free modifications and options too.
Lunch at Cookie’s BBQ
Cookies’s BBQ is a buffet style BBQ restaurant located on Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island. On our October 2018 3-day cruise on the Disney Dream, Castaway Cay was one of our ports of call. Both Brandon and I adore Castaway Cay, so we were so thrilled to be heading there again. On our previous cruise, we had a rather mediocre lunch at Serenity Bay BBQ at the adults only beach area. And, this cruise, we decided to go to Cookie’s BBQ for additional options and better handling of special dietary needs.
Somehow I managed to forget to take a photo of the entrance and sign for Cookie’s BBQ. We had run the Castaway Cay 5K that morning and were definitely a bit tired and hungry and missed photos.
One of the things that Brandon and I liked most about Cookie’s BBQ is that it’s fairly large. There was a lot of picnic bench seating, and it was shaded too, which helps on a very sunny day. On our visit, we sat in the back area of the covered seating as it was a bit quieter and calm back there.
On a side note, Cookie’s BBQ does open at 11:30 a.m. for lunch. We expected it to be really busy like Serenity Bay BBQ was on our last cruise. But, we found it to be pretty low-key. But, we may have just been lucky that day with an easy-going lunch. So your mileage may vary on crowds and busy times.
The last time I went to Cookie’s BBQ back in 2014 with my mom, I had an OK experience. I had a decent meal with a good amount of options though I did end up waiting a bit for my food because I did not pre-order it. I had friends on the same cruise who had pre-ordered food and received very bland, boring options. So, when our server Jude recommended that I pre-order on this trip, I was a little nervous.
I ended up asking for specific items that I knew they had at Cookie’s BBQ, like the mahi mahi, chicken, and a cheeseburger. Jude also recommended adding fries to that pre-order too.
When we arrived at Cookie’s BBQ, I asked a cast member where I needed to go for pre-orders. She directed me to a spot where two cast members would assist me. From there, they found my pre-order sheet and told me that they would begin preparing my food then. I was given a table marker and told I could sit anywhere that I liked and that they would bring me my lunch. With that, I went to go get a drink and some fresh fruit.
Getting fresh fruit is a must-do anytime I’m at Castaway Cay. I absolutely love the fresh pineapple, papaya, grapes, and other fruit offered there.
While I waited for my food, Brandon went to the buffet to get his lunch. I have to admit that I expected a long wait. But, my food came out in about 10 minutes, which was great.
I was so happy to have a Cheeseburger with French Fries. The fries are made in a dedicated fryer. And, I believe only pre-orders get these as I’ve never seen French fries anywhere else on Castaway Cay. The burger was served on an Ener-G bun, which was a bit dry, but worked OK. The burger itself was nothing special. But, there’s just something about ordering one on Castaway Cay. If you’re dairy free, you can simply order without the cheese to make it gluten free and dairy free.
In the background of the photo above, you can also see the roasted chicken they served me. Super flavorful and really delicious, it’s another must-do when I’m eating on Castaway Cay. I also got the Mahi Mahi with fresh salsa on it. I would say it was good, but not as good as it has been on previous visits. Still, it’s another must-do for any Castaway Cay lunch.
While my lunch wasn’t anything fancy, I was really pleased with what I ate and how efficient the pre-order option was. It was fairly quick, and I had a good amount of options. I could have also had items like potato chips, coleslaw, and potato salad too upon request. After this experience, both Brandon and I agreed that we would go to Cookie’s BBQ instead of the other restaurant options on the island for variety and the ability to pre-order there. It was the perfect spot to fuel us for the rest of the day chilling on Castaway Cay.
Have you been to Castaway Cay? Where do you dine when you visit?