Review: Babycakes Treats and Tofutti Ice Cream at the Gardens “Allergy” Kiosk in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

It’s been just over a year now since the Gardens Kiosk opened in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

This kiosk (found not too far from Flame Tree Barbecue) is unique in that its focus is on providing snack options for guests with special dietary needs or restrictions. You might know it by its unofficial name: the “Allergy Kiosk,” earned not only for having treats that are free of the most common food allergens, but also because guests can receive information from the friendly and knowledgeable Cast Members about dining all over Animal Kingdom in light of restrictions.

(Oh, and also because of the “Allergy Dining Tips” sign above the menu ;) ).

Along with various pre-packaged food items, this is the main location at Disney World where you can find Babycakes items since the Babycakes store in Downtown Disney closed in order to accommodate construction for Disney Springs.

I grabbed two Babycakes treats, though you’ll just see them labeled as Gluten-Free Vegan Doughnuts and Gluten-Free Cupcakes on the menu.

Gardens Kiosk Menu

Gardens Kiosk Menu

The Gluten-Free Cupcakes come in packages of four minis, and they are not unique to Animal Kingdom. You can still find these in several Resort Quick Service locations, including (but not limited to) Art of Animation’s Landscape of Flavors and Beach Club’s Marketplace.

Babycakes Brownie Cupcakes

Babycakes Brownie Cupcakes

The full name of “Brownie Cupcakes” is what you’ll find on the underside of the package.

Brownie Cupcakes info on package

Brownie Cupcakes info on package

And ultimately, as you can tell, the texture and chocolate flavor (along with the mini chocolate chips) much more closely resemble brownies than cake.

Brownie Cupcake

Brownie Cupcake

So, that may come as a small surprise to some who see only the item name on the menu. The other surprise is the nice, subtle hint of mint that compliments the chocolate in the brownie.

For the Gluten-Free Vegan Donuts, choices are chocolate-covered and – the one I went with — cinnamon sugar.

Cinnamon Sugar Donut

Cinnamon Sugar Donut

Cinnamon Sugar Donut package info

Cinnamon Sugar Donut package info

This donut was pleasantly flavorful with a great coating of cinnamon sugar that also offered a nice bit of crunch. I was most curious about the texture, since I wasn’t sure how being gluten-free would affect it.

Cinnamon Sugar donut texture

Cinnamon Sugar donut texture

As it turns out, not much at all :). I found it to be a little denser than your typical cake-style doughnut, and that’s the only difference I could note.

But the best indicator might not come from me… My husband is the beneficiary of much of what I can’t finish in the parks. When he tried the doughnut, he didn’t know it was gluten-free, and was really surprised when I told him. He just thought it was a great cake doughnut.

I made a return trip a few days later to give their cold treat a try: “Tofutti” Dairy-Free Ice Cream. When I placed my order, I was expecting one of those mini ice cream cups. You know, like the old school kind that come in packs of ten or so, with a little wooden spoon attached to the peel-off lid?

When the Cast Member placed it in front of me, I just said, “Whoa… it’s a whole PINT?”

Good thing I had a friend with me!

Pint (!) of Tofutti

Pint (!) of Tofutti

Honestly, this really doesn’t seem realistic for a family visiting the park unless they’re all ready to share the pint right then and there. This obviously isn’t a treat that you’re going to stash away in your bag and carry with you throughout the day; I imagine a lot of partially-eaten Tofutti containers get tossed regularly.

That said, at $4.29 a pint, it’s probably not too far off the cost of an ice cream sundae elsewhere in the parks. So if you DO have a couple of kiddos or family members who are able to share, it’s an option.

Nutritional info on Tofutti carton

Nutritional info on Tofutti carton

Tofutti is its own brand and by no means unique to Disney World, but for those who haven’t tried it (I hadn’t prior to this trip), it’s pretty much what you’d hope it would be: a cool, creamy way to scratch a chocolate itch.  From a consistency standpoint, I thought it was just about on par with regular ice cream made with milk.

Tofutti chocolate ice cream

Tofutti chocolate ice cream

I must admit that ever since the Gardens Kiosk opened, I’ve been hoping to see other locations like this open in the other parks. But so far, it remains an anomaly.

Still, Disney World continues to make efforts towards providing options and ease for guests with special dietary needs (like those test menus in Hollywood Studios), and we’ll look forward to seeing how these efforts continue to expand in the future.

Looking for the biggest bang for your snack buck while you’re in Animal Kingdom?

Check out the newly updated for 2014/15 DFB Guide to Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios Snacks e-Book for the low-down on all the treats and snack eats in these two parks!

The hot off the presses Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios guide to everything snacks is full of over 250 reviews and color photos to make sure you make the best use of your dollars in Disney world. Get yours today! Or, opt to get our specially-priced bundle of snack guides for all four parks, along with the 2013 DFB Guide to WDW Dining.

Have you made a stop at the Gardens Kiosk? Please let us know about your experience with a comment!

Comments

  1. Megan says

    I wish they would consider those of us vegans as an “allergy.” That said, there NEEDS to be more of these kiosks and there aren’t. There are options out there, but not nearly enough.

  2. Amy says

    I am going to Disney World in November with my 2 year old daughter, who is allergic to eggs. I have really been looking forward to trying some treats at this kiosk, and now I’m even more excited! My daughter has never been able to try a doughnut, so I think we will try the cinnamon doughnut. Thank you for the great review and pictures.

  3. Sheri says

    Amy,
    Due to allergies my daughter’s first doughnut was also at WDW! She was thrilled to go into babycakes and be told she could eat anything in the shop. That had never happened before.
    We found that most places selling ice cream in the parks also sell tofutti and rice dream. And yes, the pint is the standard serving. We will get it once per trip. And it takes three people to finish it!

  4. Laura says

    My son is gluten and dairy free and it always makes my day when he can eat things “all the other kids” get to eat, like his sister. We have been to Disney World before and found the food experiences amazing. I couldn’t believe how many choices we had that weren’t salads. Usually my son only eats that well at home, where I can make popular foods allergy free for him. We had never heard of, or tried, the Babycakes options. I learned about the company’s existence on this site ( thanks!). I can’t wait to stop by this kiosk in November when we return.

  5. Ashley says

    Although no one in our family has food allergies, I’m always up for a pastry so we tried Babycakes cupcakes on our trip to WDW 2 years ago. We ended up getting an assorted half dozen and taking them to my cousin’s house for dessert, then we cut them in quarters so we could each try all the flavors. She lives down there & even works at AK but hadn’t heard of them. We found them to be quite good although the texture was much denser than typical cake (even denser than pound cake). Our favorite flavors were the blondie cupcake with chocolate frosting and the chocolate cupcake with mint frosting.

  6. Dana says

    I have a gluten allergy, and we have stopped several times at the kiosk to get the Babycakes cupcakes. (Psst – the mint one is the best!) I haven’t tried the donut, yet, but it looks delicious! My only issue with the kiosk is that is closes pretty early – we’ve gone there early in the afternoon to find it’s already closed for the day. Now we know to go there right after lunch at Flame Tree Barbecue to pick up some cupcakes, and we just carry them until we’re ready to eat them.

  7. Essie says

    I’ve always been the kind that always wanted ‘the real thing’ in foods….calories and all. But WDW gets so many guests that it is important to meet the many common allergy needs; everyone has to eat. These actually sound good and I would try them if I had the chance even without any allergies (especially since cocoa and chocolate chips are involved :)).

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