Managing Paleo, SCD or Grain Free at Disney World

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Being Grain Free or Grain Modified is challenging when going on vacation. While Paleo and Standard Carbohydrate Diets and Grain Free are all different diets, they do have some similar themes and below you’ll find a starting point for your Disney World Vacation.

You might not find everything you need here, and I encourage you to bring food into the parks. Here’s the blog post on the details for bringing food into the parks.

For more on finding ingredients, see examples of the allergen binders at Disney World.

Looking for more specific details on ingredients? See Soy Free Disney, Gluten Free Disney or Dairy Free Disney for more information on those.

***As Always, this is my personal experience. You should check with Restaurant Staff to see if these items are available for You and Your food needs.

Paleo, Standard Carbohydrate Diet and Grain Free- is actually ‘Friendly’ as this diet is hard to do 100%

Just to clarify for realistic expectations, it’s hard to be 100% at Disney World. (and I would argue that the Disney Cruise line is actually a better option if you need to be 100% strict on your diet!)

One of my kids needs this diet for another issue (FPIES+healing damage from those allergic reactions) so while at home, we have no issue following this diet 100% at Disney World it’s harder.

I like to say that we are 90% grain free at Disney World since there are some areas we ‘cheat’. And in this post you’ll find ‘friendly’ options that you can use to make your vacation your own.

Likewise, we are 90% avoidant on refined sugar, and 90% strict on ultra processed foods. I typically plan 1 meal at the hotel with food I’ve brought, bring all safe snacks, and then do 1 to 2 meals at Table Service or heavily modified Quick Service.

What if you want to be 100% strict on your diet at Disney World?

Understandable, and you can do that with some planning. You’d need to bring in safe snacks, consider meal alternatives, and choose Table Service over Quick Service (we’ll cover the best Quick Service options in a minute).

By picking Table Service locations, especially those with Buffets or informed Chefs, you can have plenty of food!

Consider that you would want to plan meals ahead of time, and then maybe bring sides or ‘desserts’ to balance out your meal.

Finding the right Meat Options at Disney World

It is very easy to find plain meat at Table Service locations (no seasonings or oils or heavily processed ingredients), but not so easy if you have requirements like additive free, organic or grass fed, or without salt seasoning or brining.

For best results stick with items that are close to your requirements, like the Hamburgers at the Quick Service Locations, or Fresh Chicken from Table Service locations. These both have less than 5 ingredients and minimal processing. No Onion or Garlic (Typically Beef, Salt and citric acid). You can ask for fresh herbs and salt, or you can bring your own salt.

Looking for Grass Fed or Organic Meats? or Meats that are totally preservative/additive free? I’ve only found those at Select Signature Dining Table Service Restaurants. The Hollywood Brown Derby at Hollywood Studios is one with a decent priced option that you can also order from the lounge.

For Grass Fed or Organic Meats, I’ll recommended here to use a meal delivery service, have the meals delivered to the resort (or DIY ones you can bring), and then eat those in the parks. (note: you’ll only find microwaves at the resorts, not in the parks) Here’s a full guide for bringing in food to the parks so you know how to plan for that!

Finding Grain Free or Paleo Bread

There is only one that is a ‘light’ version, and that is the Cauliflower Pizza crust that also contains rice flour.

If you want bread while you are here, you will need to bring your own.

Finding Dairy Free alternatives

The two alternatives that are common at Disney World are Almond Milk (you’ll also find Soy) and Earth Balance Soy Free/Dairy Free Butter. These are both prepackaged brands that contain preservatives. Brands typically include Blue Diamond and Silk.

Olive Oil is common at Table Service locations, and many Quick Serve locations have canola oil with Olive Oil available for request.

We typically opt for the Butter Here, as it has less than 5 ingredients (the Table Service options have fresh real butter)

Contacting Special Diets

Disney has a department called, “Special Diets”, to help with premade Table Service Reservations. They may have some suggestions for quick serve or snacks, but this is generally not the case. Once you’ve made Table Serve reservations, contact Special Diets and ask about modifications.

Sample Email:

Hi Special Diets Team!
I have a diet request for my Table Service Reservations. I eat a (Paleo/SCD/Grain Free) Diet and want to make sure there’s options for me at the following locations.

Reservation One: Restaurant Name/Date/Time/Reservation Number

Reservation Two: Restaurant Name/Date/Time/Reservation Number

Appreciate the help with those meals,

Your Name.

The email is: Special.Diets@DisneyWorld.com , just remember to have reservations made or a very specific question in order to get the fastest answer (or any answer at all!)!

Before you Order your food, chat with Staff about Modifications

Disney has options to note Food Allergies, and if this is a medical diet you should hit the ‘other’ button.

Talk to your Server when you are seated and let them know that you have a Special Diet. Then ask to speak to a Chef or Manager ( I say, ” Can I speak to Someone who can help more?”), but most times the Server will get the Chef without you asking.

Let the Chef know if this is a medical need (have a list of safe foods or foods you can’t have), as they might not know that this is a serious request. I typically list my childs allergens, then say, ” He also needs a modified Paleo Diet with few seasonings”

Chefs are very helpful, but can sometimes get confused with technical diets. For example, they understand what gluten is, but get hung up on grain free or legume free options. Have a list of items you can have, and have some ideas based on the menu to help things move quickly.

You can ask to see ingredients, and I’d recommend this as hidden ingredients are common. The Chefs are very good and some can rattle off every detail. But when it comes to small ingredients, or preservatives, or lesser known restrictions, they can make mistakes. Ask to see ingredients as a way to double check your meal.

Clearly State ‘no’ or ‘yes’ on dessert before you order your main course. To tell you in the most loving way possible, you will be very tempted with all of the dessert options. Clearly state in the beginning where you are with dessert so your Server will respect your choice.

Options to Consider

again, these are ‘Friendly’ so judge these based on your comfort level! There’s so many food spectrums under the SCD and Paleo type diets (especially when you add in medical needs and allergies) so please confirm with qualified staff.

QS= Quick Serve. This is a Fast Food Style option.

TS= Table Service. This is a Sit Down option.

Snacks

  • Candied Roasted Nuts found at Popcorn Stands
  • Kakagori (shaved ice) with or without flavoring. In EPCOT in Japan, or Caravan Road in Animal Kingdom

Grab and Go fruit (may require you to remove certain cheeses or dips)

  • Hollywood Studios, Cart on Sunset Blvd by Rosie’s All American QS
  • EPCOT, The Land Cart in World Nature by Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • EPCOT, grab and go in Sunshine Seasons QS
  • Animal Kingdom, Fruit Cart in Africa
  • Magic Kingdom, The Liberty Tree Market in FrontierLand

Breakfast Meals

Focus on Eggs, Fruits and supplements you bring from home (like bread or meat). The Bacon does have nitrates and preservatives, as does the Sausage. Beyond Sausage and Turkey Bacon are found in some random locations around the resorts.

Yogurt is available for those that have dairy, but you will only find plain yogurt at Table Serve Locations and not Quick Serve options.

Lunch and Dinner Meals

Magic Kingdom

  • Crystal Palace Restaurant TS for all you care to eat Prime Rib with veggies and salad.
  • Columbia Harbour House QS- Grilled Fish and Fries
  • Cosmic Rays Starlight Cafe QS- for Burgers no Bun with Carrots and Oranges.
  • Be Our Guest TS for custom made meals. Decline the Bread Service and Dessert.

Animal Kingdom

  • Satuli Canteen QS. Get the Protein Bowl without Rice, you can add extra Beans and Extra Slaw. Hold the Sauce.
  • Flame Tree Barbeque QS. Get the Half Chicken with Coleslaw (comes pre seasoned with Adobo)
  • Tusker House. Plain Chicken, Plain Beef, Plain Shrimp and lots of fruits and veggies to choose from. Legume based bread service.
  • Tiffins TS. Speak to a Chef about a Protein based meal. This is a Signature Dining Restaurant with several options.

EPCOT

  • Regal Eagle QS. BBQ platter with Watermelon (one option, the kids chicken leg, comes without seasoning).
  • Coral Reef TS. Fish with Lentil Rice and Veggie Stir Fry.

Hollywood Studios

  • Hollywood Brown Derby TS- Organic Chicken with veggies, roasted potatoes and salad.
  • Rosie’s All American Cafe QS- for Burgers no Bun with Carrots and Oranges.
  • Backlot Express QS- for Burgers no Bun with Carrots and Oranges.

That’s all for Grain Modified Diets at Disney!

Hopefully this gives you a good starting point on your food journey. If you have questions, please reach out on social media or leave a comment below.

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