*This gluten free dining experience took place in May 2019. It includes notes about dairy free modifications.
Dinner at Sunshine Seasons
Sunshine Seasons, located in Epcot, is a food court style quick service restaurant in the Land Pavilion in Future World. If you’re looking for quick service options that aren’t burgers and fries, Sunshine Seasons might be a great option for you. It’s been ages since I’ve dined at this restaurant. And, we recently decided to get dinner there on a whim while in the park getting photos from the 2019 Gluten Free & Dairy Free Guide to WDW.
Unfortunately, I somehow managed to not get any photos of the actual seating area of food court area while we were there. But, if you’ve been to the Land Pavilion in Epcot, you’ll recognize the seating area and food court areas too.
For me, the theme is fairly basic. But, I do enjoy that the restaurant has ample seating. I especially love the back area near the Living with the Land attraction. It’s a nice quiet spot to rest and recharge.
Sunshine Seasons is one of the few Disney-owned restaurants in Epcot. Because most of the World Showcase restaurants are owned & operated by outside companies, you won’t usually find allergy-friendly menus. Sunshine Seasons not only has an allergy-friendly menu, but they also have chefs on hand to chat about options.
One of my favorite things about Sunshine Seasons is that their Grill Station has been entirely gluten free for many years now. This means that it’s a really safe bet for guests with celiac disease and for avoiding cross-contamination. Unfortunately, on this visit, I noticed that they have introduced gluten-filled corn bread at the station (they used to make a GF cornbread). So, do be sure to consult with a chef and ask for items from a separate area if you are concerned about cross-contamination.
On this visit, I ordered the Oak-Grilled Salmon with Cheese Grits and Andouille Corn Succotash. This is marked safe for Gluten/Wheat, Egg, Peanut/Tree Nut, and Soy Allergies. The grits do contain dairy and cannot be modified. But, they will let you swap out sides if you ask.
Overall, I really enjoyed the dish. The salmon had a great grill flavor and blackened spices on it, and the grits were really good too. I also was pleasantly surprised by the succotash which was super flavorful and also had a good bit of spice to it thanks to the andouille sausage. Although I thought the presentation was pretty lackluster, I’d definitely get this dish again.
Because Brandon has multiple allergens, including uncommon ones like chicken & turkey, we did ask to speak with a chef. He was interested in getting the Pork Chop and was able to get it safely minus the barbecue sauce. On his plate is Pork Chop with Mashed Potatoes. This entree was safe for Gluten/Wheat, Fish/Shellfish, and Peanut/Tree Nut Allergies. It is also chicken & turkey free.
He really enjoyed this entree and said the pork and mashed potatoes were both very good for a quick service restaurant. The portion was also fairly big, as the pork chop was super thick cut.
We did notice a few grab and go allergy-friendly snacks in Sunshine Seasons on our way out — like these Surf Sweets Fruity Bears. We opted to skip any additional snacks. But, this is a great location for grab and go allergy-friendly options.
While our meal wasn’t anything fancy and was fairly no frills, we both enjoyed the dishes we got. The food court style experience isn’t our favorite, but I am always really glad to find a lot of safe, non-sandwich options when we visit Sunshine Seasons. Add in that you can talk to a Disney chef too, and you have a great quick service location for guests with special dietary needs in Epcot.
Have you been to Sunshine Seasons? What did you think of the special diets options there?