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How can I stay paleo and/or gluten-free at Walt Disney World??

by (5768)
Updated about 13 hours ago
Created March 27, 2011 at 8:56 PM

I am taking the kids to Disney in a few weeks and I noticed when making meal reservations there was an option to check Gluten Allergies. Of course I did, however, what should I expect?? Has anyone been to Disney since they went Paleo and if so what was your overall experience?

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7970 · April 04, 2011 at 1:18 PM

I'd definitely watch the oil, though. I've requested that things be sauteed in butter at many restaurants with great success.

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21405 · April 04, 2011 at 1:05 PM

I just got back from a week-long trip at Disneyworld on Saturday. I have to admit, I basically went "meat and tubers" the whole trip, avoided bread and legumes, but didn't really pay much attention otherwise. We used the Disney Dining Plan that gave us 3 deluxe meals a day (as my wife felt having a sit-down meal would be friendlier than choosing the more "snack-heavy" meal options).

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0
21405 · April 04, 2011 at 1:03 PM

I just got back from a week-long trip at Disneyworld on Saturday. I have to admit, I basically went "meat and tubers" the whole trip, avoided bread and legumes, but didn't really pay much attention otherwise.

246ebf68e35743f62e5e187891b9cba0
21405 · April 04, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Except if you are a beer-geek like me, it's really hard to turn down that liter of Hovels. (I just came back from Disneyworld this last Saturday).

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1303 · March 28, 2011 at 3:45 AM

Sometimes I think the gluten free frankenfoods have worse ingredients than a good quality gluten containing food- it's one of the reasons that I recommend trying to do low carb at Disney instead of just GF. What I'd really like to see Disney do is offer more vegetables at the counter service restaurants- not just the awful iceburg lettuce salads with soy dressing or carrots and celery with soy dip.

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25467 · March 28, 2011 at 3:31 AM

any thing that is gluten free is loaded with bad carbs.....so you are trading one bad thing for another evil issue. Be aware of this. Gluten free is totally not paleo because of the carbs they add to offset the flour.

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25467 · March 28, 2011 at 3:30 AM

We have been DVC members from 92......so its pretty easy to go when you got in that early.

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1702 · March 28, 2011 at 2:53 AM

It's easy to do if you have an annual pass and live in Orlando. Personally though, I was done after going to Magic Kingdom TWICE. So glad I got out of Orlando, I hated living there.

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12174 · March 28, 2011 at 1:09 AM

Ooooo! Can't wait to read what folks are reporting.

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1303 · March 27, 2011 at 11:38 PM

I'm jealous! We go about once a year- but skipping this year to kill off the last of our debt. :-)

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15229 · March 27, 2011 at 11:31 PM

SIX times a YEAR??? holy cow.

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18701 · March 27, 2011 at 9:21 PM

I would personally plan to pack a lot of my own snacks. I would do breakfast and lunch with my own food and try to do dinner out with the family. Enjoy your trip, don't worry too much about the food!

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7 Answers

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80 · March 27, 2011 at 10:07 PM

I'm an annual pass holder, nearby resident, and started eating 80-90% paleo a month or two ago. I just discovered the gluten allergy button on the ADR (Advanced Dining Reservations) site not long ago. Saturday I had my first meal after letting Disney know I was "gluten allergic". The chef will come out and talk about how they can accommodate your 'issue'. In my case, I just asked for a bunless burger and double veggies instead of the pasta and veggies that normally came with the meal. I had ordered the same thing the same way previously, but with the gluten 'problem' I got a bigger portion as well as larger variety of veggies. The veggies were cooked in some type of oil, but I didn't ask what. I was happy with what I received size wise and figured a bit of vegetable oil on one day wasn't going to matter much. Mind you this was at a sit down restaurant. Trying to eat paleo at counter service locations will be much trickier depending on which park you are at. I do have some suggestions and particular restaurants that work better than others and would gladly share them if you let me know what parks you're going to be at.

07ca188c8dac3a17f629dd87198d2098
7970 · April 04, 2011 at 1:18 PM

I'd definitely watch the oil, though. I've requested that things be sauteed in butter at many restaurants with great success.

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30 · April 04, 2011 at 11:00 AM

Biergarten at the German pavillion in Epcot. Meat, meat, and more meat. Very paleo friendly.

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21405 · April 04, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Except if you are a beer-geek like me, it's really hard to turn down that liter of Hovels. (I just came back from Disneyworld this last Saturday).

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5232 · March 27, 2011 at 9:11 PM

I haven't been in ages, but I found this food blog that's pretty interesting:

http://www.disneyfoodblog.com/

It's actually pretty comprehensive, from what I've seen, and offers reviews of restaurants that they've dined at while at Disney. :)

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4400 · April 04, 2011 at 7:36 PM

All the above is good. Also don't forget IF: just eat dinner, which is either off-site, or even on-site you can get steak or something.

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1303 · March 27, 2011 at 11:58 PM

My last trip to Disney I was only avoiding soy and HFCS. For my next trip, I'm planning on packing a lot of yogurt, sauerkraut, raw cheddar, jerky and so on and having breakfast in the room (we drive and have a big cooler). I'm also planning on packing mini Rubbermaid containers of butter and coconut oil since it's hard to get enough good fats down there, and I want to get some Tanka bars for emergencies, plus some glutenzyme pills to carry with my lactaid. :-)

I've been wondering how to avoid gluten as well, since we don't do much with the sit down dinners, so I've been mapping out ideas. It's almost impossible to get veggies aside from carrots, celery, and salads if you don't go to table service restaurants (though they usually have green beans at the resort food courts), but my back up plan what Dr. K recommended- turkey legs and dill pickles. Also, if you register with Disney ahead of time as Celiac/Gluten Intolerant, you can get Amy's pizza (gluten free) at the pizza counter service restaurants (like Pizza Planet at Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Pinocchio's at Magic Kingdom).

My two best recommendations are: check out the menus before hand, and make a print out for each park of where you'd like to eat and what you'd like to get and take the print out with you. It saves a lot of time even when you don't have special dietary needs, but this could really help to keep you from going crazy once you're there: http://allears.net/menu/menus.htm

And also to read up here: http://allears.net/din/guestceliac.htm It seems that most of Disney's idea of gluten free means gluten-free-frankenfoods, so there may be a way to do GF/low carb to avoid all the GF buns and pastas. At a table service restaurant, they'll probably talk to you personally to discuss what you need, but at counter service, they may just assume that you want rice noodles and gluten free hamburger rolls.

Disney's done away with most of their toppings bars, but you may want to check out Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe (Magic Kingdom, Tomorrowland/Fantasyland border)- a bunless burger or chicken "sandwich" with their toppings bar could net you a really nice meal.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · March 28, 2011 at 3:31 AM

any thing that is gluten free is loaded with bad carbs.....so you are trading one bad thing for another evil issue. Be aware of this. Gluten free is totally not paleo because of the carbs they add to offset the flour.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350
1303 · March 28, 2011 at 3:45 AM

Sometimes I think the gluten free frankenfoods have worse ingredients than a good quality gluten containing food- it's one of the reasons that I recommend trying to do low carb at Disney instead of just GF. What I'd really like to see Disney do is offer more vegetables at the counter service restaurants- not just the awful iceburg lettuce salads with soy dressing or carrots and celery with soy dip.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
1
25467 · March 27, 2011 at 10:00 PM

We go six times a yr...stay in a DVC resort they have full kitchens and you can shop at whole foods off of doctor Phillips road. You can easily paleo. Just rent a car Saves huge time. Old key west resort is a great place to stay. I have my groceries delivered directly to my room by pre offing over the net. Bell services will load it up for. Each DVC resort has a small grocery store built in it. WDW is fun......just don't eat anything there except at France and morocco pavilions in epcot. In the land building where soarin is there is a new healthy food pavilion.....another part of the parks you will need to go for the turkey legs or the dill pickles. Bring a back pack with water bottles and macadamia nuts. Have fun.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051
15229 · March 27, 2011 at 11:31 PM

SIX times a YEAR??? holy cow.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · March 28, 2011 at 3:30 AM

We have been DVC members from 92......so its pretty easy to go when you got in that early.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350
1303 · March 27, 2011 at 11:38 PM

I'm jealous! We go about once a year- but skipping this year to kill off the last of our debt. :-)

9aa2a816c61170cc0183a68be0386ba5
1702 · March 28, 2011 at 2:53 AM

It's easy to do if you have an annual pass and live in Orlando. Personally though, I was done after going to Magic Kingdom TWICE. So glad I got out of Orlando, I hated living there.

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0 · February 22, 2013 at 10:44 PM

Hello... I just wanted to share a website we are currently developing that addresses this very issue: www.PaleoMouse.com. We are a family of four who visit WDW regularly and are trying to adopt a Paleo/Primal style diet. I hope you can find helpful suggestions on our blog, but I will share my best tip: GardenGrocer is a local grocer that delivers to the WDW resorts for a low delivery fee. We find that placing an order before we fly down allows us to eat many meals less expensively and adhere to our diet. I would also say do not be afraid to ask Disney cast members for assistance with any dietary restrictions - they are generally very helpful. Many chefs will even prepare a special dish customized to your requests. Happy travels!

Sarah

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