A Gluten-Free & Sensory Review of Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom 

A Gluten-Free Review of Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

We were incredibly curious about this delicious restaurant, but a little nervous at what our gluten-free options would be. Luckily, Tiffins is captivating, gratifying, and accommodating.

Follow along to learn more about your options in our gluten-free review of Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

A Gluten-Free Review of Tiffins at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Is waiting for a table at Tiffins sensory-friendly?

Tiffin is an Indian English word that means “meal enjoyed midday.”  In Disney speak, it means a signature dining jewel among the other culinary offerings at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Tiffins exterior welcomes you in to enjoy a delicious meal at any time of day.  First, the rustic, sculpted front doors welcome you to dive into the eclectic restaurant.  The gorgeous carvings on the door frame and panelsshow off a variety of animals and trees.  You could gaze at the magnificent entryway for hours and discover more creatures.

Animal Kingdom, Tiffins, Rustic Carved Doors, Walt Disney World

The details continue beyond the entryway.  Most of us fell in love with Walt Disney World because of the little things sprinkled throughout the parks.   For example, I fell in love with restrooms labeled Princes and Princesses, instead of men and women,  in the Magic Kingdom.

At Tiffins, the pavement has a slew of animal paw prints out front.  Our son with autism loved to admire the tracks.  It does sometimes block foot traffic, but it is worthwhile if your child is okay with stepping away from the area and moving back.  Our child loves this.  Speaking of animal hoofs and claws- which ones do you see?

The animal tracks mingle, seemingly representing a combination of a celebration and nature.  As a result, Tiffins celebrates life!

Tiffins, Pawprints, Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World

What is the theme inside Tiffins?

Tiffins celebrates international travel specific to Africa, Asia, and South America and is an excellent showcase of what influenced the design of the Animal Kingdom.  This signature restaurant divides into dining rooms that resemble art galleries.

There are three distinct dining rooms called the Safari Gallery, the Trek Gallery, and the Grand Gallery.  These galleries house interesting items like stories, sketches, and photographs from the journals of the Disney Imagineers.

We sat in the fabulous Trek Gallery and had an up-close view of the Tibetan prayer flags hanging over a corner booth.  The best part about this restaurant from a sensory perspective is the dim lighting.  With headphones, a child with autism or other sensory needs may do well- at least our son did.

Tiffins Gluten-Free Menu

A Gluten-Free Review of Tiffins at Disney's Animal Kingdom, gluten-free menu, leather

Lobster popcorn Thai curry soup $11

Black-eyed pea fritters $11

Marinated Grilled Octopus $16

Apple Walnut Salad $13

Tiffins Signature Bread Service $10

Selection of Artisanal Cheeses $14

Flash-Fried Icy Blue Mussels $15

Sustainable Fish Causa $15

Watermelon and Barrel-Aged Feta $13

A Gluten-Free Review of Tiffins at Disney's Animal Kingdom, gluten-free menu, leather

The leather-bound book was the perfect decorative touch to present the gluten-free menu.  You flip through the book, as opposed to a single piece of paper like many other restaurants.  My children really enjoyed this.  Tiffins has an extensive wine and beer list by the glass or by the bottle.

Tiffins Cocktail Menu

As we ordered, the hallmark Disney touches continued.  At Tiffins, the food is flavorful and unique.  Its presentation is as gorgeous as the artwork in the galleries.  Our gluten-free review of Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom would not be complete without discussing the carefully crafted cocktails.

Tiffins features an extensive list of craft cocktails that are also present at the Nomad Lounge. Our top two were the Mustang Coffee (left) and the Boto-Rita (right). For those occasional chilly days or cold nights at Disney, the Mustang Coffee adds a cozy touch. If you crave fancy piping hot coffee, the Mustang Coffee contains brown sugar, butter, and Crown Royal that is creamy and soothing. The piping hot beverage is best suited for cold nights.

Now, the Boto-Rita is as pretty as it is delicious.  This citrus and guava margarita contains Zignum Reposado Mezcal, Combier Grapefruit Liqueur, Guava Puree, and lime juice. You can find a full review of the Boto-Rita when we ate at the Nomad Lounge.

Disclosure: We may receive a small commission for any affiliate link that you click. It will not increase your cost, and we remain unbiased.  If we suggest an item, it’s because we adore it!

What “bread” comes with the gluten-free cheeseboard?

We ordered the Selection of Artisanal Cheeses ($14).   The four kinds of cheese on the board came with cardamom Marcona almonds, Manjar Blanco, and Cape Gooseberry on the side.  Instead of bread, the cheeseboard featured a gluten-free substitute known as papadum.

We now have a love affair with papadum and love to make papadum, also known as papad, pappadum, and poppadum, at home!)

Papadum is a thin, crisp cracker made with gluten-free flour.  It tastes fabulous with the delicious cheese ranging from soft and sweet to hard and pungent.  Also, if you opt for the bread service at Tiffins, you can request papadum as the substitute.

Our son doesn’t like the crispy texture of the papadum when he is expecting bread.  If your child has sensory preferences, it’s important to set up proper expectations.

How was the food at Tiffins?

The gluten-free black-eyed pea fritters ($11) came with zhough, yogurt, and peppadew purée. Zhough is a chili paste with the consistency of a pesto sauce, while the peppadew purée is a sweet pepper sauce. Both sauces featured peppers and were flavorful and a nice touch.

Fortunately, the intense flavors of the sauce paired well with the cooling yogurt to create a delightful combination.  The outside of the black-eyed pea patty was crisp, but the inside was overly dry and chewy.  However, if you use enough delicious sauce, the texture becomes a minor complaint.

Tiffins Black-eyed pea fritters, Disney, Animal Kingdom

None of the kids were fans of these fritters, even when we told them that they were pancakes.  We stuffed ourselves full of the two appetizers!

However, we could not walk away without at least sampling an entrée.  We split the Pomegranate-lacquered Chicken ($36) with sweet potato pap, Thumbelina carrots, citrus-fennel salad.

We were pleasantly surprised that the kitchen plated each part separately.  The chicken was perfectly cooked, and the sweet potato pap provided a rich and savory base that married nicely with the sweet undertones of the pomegranate.

What did you think of the entire experience?

I say experience- because dining at Disney always is.  Tiffins restaurant is pricey but worth the splurge- every dish combined flavors, ingredients, and garnish for stunning creations.

Disney does an excellent job of incorporating the atmosphere at the Animal Kingdom with the decor before you even step foot inside the establishment.  Travel to Asia and Africa influences the flavor of the cuisine and the ambiance of the dining experience.

The menu frequently changes at Tiffins, but the Walt Disney World website provides an up to date look at the current menu.

Most importantly, the wait staff anticipated our needs, and the service was impeccable.  The server constantly refreshed our water glasses and was incredibly attentive.  She was very knowledgeable about gluten-free options and crafted satisfying meals such as the cheese plate with the Papadum.

What are sensory considerations at Tiffins?

The paw prints out front gave our son something to look at before we entered the restaurant.  If your child loves animals, it’s a fun game to identify the tracks before getting seated.  The game works especially well if you already rode the Kilimanjaro Safaris.

The restaurant has dim lighting, which we found to be less stimulating.  There is an allergy kids menu for all special diets, which was beneficial with our gluten-free diet.  Our chef was pretty helpful at accomodating other sensory needs regarding texture or specific foods.

With headphones and an iPad as back-up, this restaurant was an amazing experience for us!

What’s the final verdict on Tiffins?

If you are looking for a beautiful and elegant meal in the Animal Kingdom, Tiffins is an excellent choice.  Arrive early to enjoy a drink in the Nomad Lounge before dinner.  Or stay late and snag some gluten-free churros.  That place is magic, I swear.

As night falls, you can take a short walk to the illuminated world of Pandora: World of Avatar.

Finally, if you enjoyed the gluten-free review of Tiffins at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, check out our other gluten-free Disney World restaurant reviews.

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