Dining Gluten-free at Restaurant Marrakesh in Epcot, Disney World
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Mar 30 2011

Dining Gluten-free at Restaurant Marrakesh in Epcot, Disney World

For our daughter’s birthday dinner in Epcot, we choose to dine in the Morocco section at Restaurant Marrakesh.  When I had called prior to our trip to make all of our dining reservations, and made sure all of our reservations clearly stated there was a gluten-free guest and a birthday, I was told that the restaurants in Epcot’s World Showcase were separate from the rest of the Disney restaurants. They are all run by Disney, but they may or may not be as accommodating as some of the eateries in the park and hotels. At least this is what I took away from the conversation.  I had such great memories eating in Morocco when I was younger, and after doing some research I figured I would give it to a go.

The set-up of Restaurant Marrakesh is lovely, and set deep inside the old medina of the Moroccan section of Epcot in the World Showcase.  I know, in reality, we are in Orlando, Florida, but Disney knows just how to make you feel like you are really there, transporting you thousands of miles with authentic and clever architecture and details and full of people actually from the country in which they staff.

As soon as we arrived at the height of dinner, at 7pm, we were seated, right next to the center stage so we could enjoy the Moroccan music and belly dancing.  The server came out to greet us, and unlike our other Disney dinning experiences, he didn’t get the chef for me, yet went over the menu himself.  I supposed I had become so used the chef coming out to review everything, it made me a bit weary, but I guess when I dine anywhere else in the world, it is usually the server helping me out, so this should be no different.  And honestly, there was very little choice for me (being that I also did not want to order red meat or poultry), a lot of dishes came with couscous, and when I asked if I could have the vegetable couscous, but with rice instead of the couscous, I was told that was not possible.  I believe this is because it was all made mixed together beforehand, but I can not be exactly sure.  I was a bit shocked since it seems Disney really will go out of its way to make it easy for people who are challenged with dietary needs.  Maybe I could have asked them to make something special with the safe items I noticed on the menu, but I didn’t.  Instead I went with the fish tagine as my main course, and hummus to start.

Once again, the Ener-G rolls were brought out for me, and while I was incredibly appreciative to be able to have a bread option, I was starting to get pretty jealous when I could smell just how fresh and tasty the homemade Moroccan bread seemed.  Regardless, I enjoyed my hummus, and when I tried the fish tagine, I thought it had to be my favorite dish at Disney so far.  It was full of such unique and interesting flavors. I literally wanted to lick the bowl when I was finished, and I did try the best as I could with pieces of my Ener-G bread.

My daughter, who is not gluten-free, had pasta, which was not exactly Moroccan, but she enjoyed it nonetheless.  Besides the amazing fish tagine, the favorite part of the dining experience was the belly dancing and my daughter getting up in the center of the room with other children and the dancer to test their belly dancing skills.

For more reviews on Disney read my introduction to gluten-free eating at Disney World,  my review on Kouzzina by Cat Cora, dinner at Kona Cafe at the Polynesian resort, Disney’s quick service gluten-free options, dinner at Epcot’s Restaurant Marrakesh, our character breakfast at the 1900 Park Faire at the Grand Floridian, and my review of BabyCakesNYC at Downtown Disney.

Article Written by:

Anne is a self-proclaimed foodie who loves eating out as much as cooking for friends. Since being diagnosed with celiac, she has been determined to not let it put a damper on her food adventures, and to raise awareness among the general public. Anne recently moved from Chicago to Atlanta and is enjoying exploring the gluten-free wonders in her new city. Follow Anne on Twitter and Google+!

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  • http://www.glutenfreemusings.com Anne Steib

    Please note, I did not mean all of Epcot, or Epcot at all, what I meant was that the restaurant in the International Showcase section of Epcot are run independently and may or may not be as easy, or have as many options, as the rest of Disney. Some may be easier, as I have heard great reviews of China and Japan. It just depends, but it is easy to find out that information beforehand. I think at any restaurant, there will be something.

  • http://www.glutenfreepromotions.com Tiffany Janes

    Thanks for the clarification ;) But actually, I’ve heard the same thing about other Epcot places from others several times over the last couple of years. Either way, ALL the places down there seem to be better informed about serving food allergic and intolerant customers than about 99% of the rest of the places in the U.S.

  • http://www.glutenfreepromotions.com Tiffany Janes

    I find it very interesting that Epcot dining places are not as accommodating as the other Disney options. When outside the U.S., almost every place (at least in Europe) is better about serving gluten-free patrons not only safe, but interesting gluten-free meals.