*This gluten free dining experience took place in August 2020. It includes information about dairy free options, as well as fish/shellfish, peanut, hazelnut, cabbage, and chicken & turkey allergies.
Dinner at Topolino’s Terrace
Topolino’s Terrace, located at Disney’s Riviera Resort, reopened in July 2020 after the Disney Parks & Resorts closed temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the parks & resorts closing, we hadn’t had a chance to have dinner or breakfast yet at Topolino’s Terrace since the resort itself has only been open since December 2019. So, when we were able to find a reservation for the restaurant recently, we decided it might be a good time to finally dine there.
COVID-19 & Reopening Notes
On this particular visit, we made our reservation a few days before we dined at Topolino’s Terrace. I used the My Disney Experience app and found that there was a 5:05 p.m. seating, which we decided to book (the restaurant opens at 5 p.m. nightly). The app worked as it normally does, and we were able to add in our special dietary needs in the app and alert cast members of our needs when we arrived at the restaurant. We also utilized online restaurant check-in when we arrived at Topolino’s Terrace. Online check-in includes using your My Disney Experience app to check-in yourself. It’s super easy, and I hope Disney keeps this going forward too.
The Riviera Resort itself featured many mechanisms to provide sanitization, social distancing, and safety for both guests and cast members. All cast members wore facial masks and some cast members also wore protective shields, as well. All servers in the restaurant wore both facial masks and protective shields. In addition, there were many portable hand sanitizer stations for guests to use. We also saw cast members regularly cleaning surfaces and restrooms throughout our visit. The resort itself was moderately busy but social distancing was fairly easy in most places (except the lobby, which is a bit on the smaller side). The restaurant was extremely quiet during our visit and the social distancing for diners made it feel even less crowded, which was great.
As a note, at the time of writing this review, we have been to several of the Disney Resorts, including the Contemporary Resort, Old Key West Resort, and Riviera Resort. All locations have the same protocols, as far as we have observed. Be sure to check with restaurants and the official Disney World website for additional information about current guidelines and recommendations.
The Riviera Resort and Topolino’s Terrace are inspired by the European Riviera. The restaurant is specifically inspired by both the French and Italian Riviera. The most notable aspect of this inspiration is the different food options.
The restaurant is located on the 10th floor of the Riviera Resort. Upon exiting the elevator, you’ll find yourself in front of the restaurant’s entrance. This is currently where cast members will take your temperature prior to you dining in the restaurant. There were also several hand sanitizing stations, as well (and the restrooms are nearby too).
Both Brandon and I were absolutely wowed by the decor in Topolino’s Terrace. We both loved how modern, clean, and bright the restaurant was. Both of us loved the color palette of the chairs, carpet, and lighting.
In addition to plentiful traditional table seating, there were also several cozy booths and ample bar/lounge seating.
We both felt the restaurant was elegant and chic. And, we both felt the ambiance reminded us of the Disney Cruise Line with the music and decor. In short, we both really loved the restaurant’s decor.
Topolino’s Terrace also has a moderately sized terrace with outstanding views of Walt Disney World. This would be the perfect location to watch fireworks when they are restarted again, while enjoying a delicious cocktail.
Like most Disney owned restaurants, Topolino’s Terrace currently offers an allergy-friendly dinner menu. We were also told by our server, Christopher, that we could speak with a chef at any time. As far as protocols and offerings, we found the restaurant to be just as accommodating as they are during normal times.
The menu itself is a bit limited right now. So, it’s a good idea to look at both the allergy-friendly menu and the regular menu too. There are often dishes not listed on the allergy-friendly menu that can be adjusted to fit a special dietary need, if you ask.
As someone who is an unsweetened iced tea fan, I have to do a quick shout-out to Topolino’s Terrace for serving decent iced tea — which is sometimes hard to find on Disney property. If they had used iced tea ice cubes like they do on the Disney Cruise Line at Palo and Remy, that would have made this iced tea perfect!
Their cocktail menu is also not to be missed if you enjoy a cocktail with your meal. Brandon loved the Riviera Resort branded ice cube in his drink, the Modern Fashioned — a take on an Old Fashioned.
For those with special dietary needs, there are a variety of cocktails that can work with your specific needs — whether you’re gluten free, vegan, or have food allergies. We both especially loved that the cocktails available at Topolino’s Terrace were a bit more unique than we’ve seen at some other Disney restaurants that serve standard cocktails.
Prior to our meal, we were served an Amuse Bouche that was safe for both of us to eat. I described it as a fancy loaded baked potato — which is exactly what it looked like. The amuse bouche included a tiny new potato, pickled red onions, cheese, parsley, and creme fraiche. It was made safe for gluten/wheat, fish/shellfish, peanut, hazelnut, cabbage, and chicken & turkey allergies.
We both really loved this little tasting that was brought to our table. And, it definitely got us both really excited for the rest of the meal that we were about to enjoy.
Next up was the complimentary bread service. Because of our special dietary needs, we were each brought our own bread service and bowls of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. For my bread service, I was given Bloomfield Farms Allergy-Friendly Bread which is free of the top 8 common allergens (including gluten and dairy).
While the bread itself was good, it was the extra virgin olive oil that really blew me away. The quality and taste of the olive oil was outstanding. I was so impressed by the flavors. In fact when our server Christopher told us that the Reserve Jean Reno olive oil that they use is also available for purchase for $35 a bottle (you can also get an additional 10% off if you’re an Annual Passholder), I decided to actually buy it. It’s not something that I would normally do, but I was so excited to have this olive oil at home — as it’s perfect for homemade gluten free bread service!
Brandon was served the French Style bread called Epi as his bread service. He was told this was a safe option for his nut allergies. Brandon really enjoyed this bread and said it was an excellent bread option.
As a starter, Brandon and I decided to share the House-Made Ricotta served with Tomato, Aged Balsamic, Cracked Pepper, and Basil. It is marked safe for Egg, Fish/Shellfish, Peanut/Tree Nut, and Soy Allergies on the allergy-friendly menu and can be made gluten free by swapping out the bread accompaniment for a GF alternative (in this case, the Bloomfield Farms bread that I had).
Both of us had minimal expectations for this appetizer, and we were blown really blown away by the flavors. The house-made ricotta itself was super mild in flavor but rich and creamy. The tomato jam, balsamic, and olive oil really brought added depth to the dish and shouldn’t be skipped over.
Both of us said we wouldn’t hesitate to get this again — although I am looking forward to trying some of their other appetizers as their menu re-expands after reopening.
For our entrees, both Brandon and I ordered the exact same dish — the Filet Mignon with Truffle Mashed Potatoes, Charred Torpedo Onion, Forest Mushroom Puree, and Vinaigrette. This dish is marked safe for Gluten/Wheat, Egg, Fish/Shellfish, Peanut, and Soy Allergies. It was also made safe for cabbage, hazelnut, and chicken & turkey allergies.
Both Brandon and I were blown away by this entree. And, without exaggeration, both of us said this might be one of the best steaks that we’ve ever had on Disney property. The steak is grilled on an oak fire, and you can definitely taste this flavor throughout the steak. Cooked perfectly and seasoned perfectly — it was exactly the kind of steak you want and expect from a signature dining experience.
The accompaniments — especially the truffle mashed potatoes — were all fantastic too. Both of us agreed that it would be hard not to get this every time we have dinner at Topolino’s Terrace. It was that good.
While we don’t normally get desserts at restaurants, we both couldn’t resist the ones served at Topolino’s Terrace. I had heard such great things about the Gluten Free Pistachio Mousse from my friend Alexis at Alexis’s Gluten Free Adventures, that I had to try it. If you’re gluten free & dairy free, the Fruits of the Forest dessert modified is an option too (and it’s one that I want to try the next time we visit).
I was particularly wowed by this gluten free dessert. The presentation and flavors were just outstanding. The mousse itself was light and creamy with a pleasant taste of pistachio (which I love). I also loved the Morello Cherries on the side which added a bit of sweet & sour punch to the dish. If you’re gluten free, this is a fantastic dessert option.
For Brandon’s dessert, he opted for the Warm Valrhona Chocolate Cake which was recommended by our server Christopher. It was made safe for Brandon’s nut allergies. As far as flourless chocolate cakes go, Brandon said this was an excellent one. If you are a chocolate fan and can eat gluten, this is going to be a great option for dessert.
If you want to get more information about our visit to Topolino’s Terrace and the Riviera Resort, check out our vlog that we recorded on our YouTube channel.
We were absolutely blown away by our experience at Topolino’s Terrace at Disney’s Riviera Resort. Both Brandon and I agreed that the restaurant might just be our favorite signature restaurant on Disney property right now. From the incredible theming to the outstanding food (and variety of special diets options) — everything about Topolino’s Terrace was excellent. We also would be remiss if we didn’t mention our server Christopher, who was one of the best servers that we’ve ever had at Disney World. He made our meal a really wonderful experience. Both of us can’t wait to go back to Topolino’s Terrace for dinner again — and the character breakfast too!
Have you been to Topolino’s Terrace? What was your experience dining there?