We are back with Part 2 of our Paleo at the Parks story featuring our very own Mommy Mouse and Baby Knightly as they experience what it’s like to eat on a diet at a Disney Park! If you read part 1, you’d be surprised how easy and yummy it still all really is!
Below you’ll find part 2 where their Whole30 dieting continues at Disney California Adventure Park.
DAY 2 | DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE PARK
breakfast at Ariel’s Grotto
Ah, the view!
In my entire life, I had never eaten here! The Little Mermaid fan! I was super excited when we made reservations to check out this restaurant and the little girl in me was even more excited that it was an all-Princess character dining experience. (Important Note: You only get a photo with Ariel when you come down the stairs before you dine so take advantage! …I missed it running to get FastPasses *teardrop*)
But baby Knightly got a shot with each of the Disney ladies <3
We were greeted with our own plate of yummy-we-can-actually-eat-this breakfast appetizers:
Tri-Tip with Scrambled Eggs with a Delicious Vegetable Medley
Spinach-Artichoke and Egg White Frittata with Avocado Relish and a Vegetable Medley
Knightly LOVED this one. Totally gobbled it down.
Afterwards, Knightly showed his great appreciation to the Assistant Chef Nancy who made such an amazing meal for us – best breakfast at Disneyland we’ve had.
Pre-Made Paleo lunch: pre-packed meals are a Good SURVIVAL Technique
Sometimes, your family will want to eat at spots where you won’t be able to eat. So it’s good to come prepared with a pre-packed meal. While on the Whole30, we’ve fallen in love with Pre-Made Paleo, the flavors, all-organic produce and sustainable meats, with the ease of use and timesaving it gives us. So whilst our family dined away on burgers at Flo’s V8 Cafe at Disneyland California Adventure (DCA), we pulled out our two Pre-Made Paleo meals from the cooler.
So where can you heat up your food at the Disneyland Resort?
Ah, the benefit of being a parent of a baby
We headed to the Baby Care Center (one at each park, more info here) and used their microwave! We simply asked for plates/utensils from Flo’s V8, heated up our food in the microwave. In 5 minutes, we were sitting next to our family eating alongside them with our own delicious meals.
Coffee Braised Beef Brisket with Butternut Hash
Spaghetti Squash and Meatballs
For Mommy + baby Knightly
dinner at Carthay Circle Restaurant
Now for the creme de la creme, our best dining experience hands down for any Disneyland foodie with a special dietary needs – Carthay Circle Restaurant.
Headed by Executive Chef Andrew Sutton who was unavailable that night, we were delighted to meet his talented Sous Chef Clint Chin.
He explained that Carthay Circle differs from Napa Rose in its emphasis on Californian style dining with less butter, lighter meals. Napa Rose emphasized its wine in how they designed their menu.
We were drooling over the menu and watched as the rest of our family ordered other dishes we only dared to dream of having. But Sous Chef Clint insisted that we could have whatever item we wanted and he would customize it for us. So we ordered away using the special World of Color Dining Package (so we could get this great view of the show with our family later that night).
Tropical Spicy Tomato Soup with Fresh Coriander Grilled Chicken and Jicama
Carthay Winter Salad with Butternut Squash, Baby Spinach, Red Endive Dried Cranberries
Thick Cut Pork Chop with Thyme Roasted Pears and Brussel Sprouts
Barbacoa of California Quail with Spanish Style Roasted Cauliflower, Chorizo, Hazelnut and Mint
Hands-down. Best meal at Disneyland ever. By no means am I a food expert, but we’ve flown to London to dine at Gordon Ramsay’s 3-star Michelin restaurant and enjoyed his quail, but this quail was better. It was mouthwatering – amazing.
For dessert, the team customized this:
Blood Orange Gazpacho with a confit of Granny Smith Apple Skins and a Blood Orange Puree, all cooked in Clarified Butter
Yum. The way they cooked the apple in the butter – it literally tasted like the apple was coated in a light layer of caramel – it was so good.
Honestly, if you have ANY kind of dietary restriction or allergy (or heck even if you don’t), the one stop restaurant out of the rest of the parks would be Carthay Circle. Love <3
Quick Service Stops
Now for quick snacks at DCA, there are options out there.
You can stop by City Hall for the latest list of gluten-free eats.
But there are also sugar-free, dairy-free, etc. options for people with special diets at the Quick Service stops. But they’re slim pickin’s for a meal.
Still we were able to find great snacks even for baby Knightly around the park to nibble on between rides and restaurants.
NOW here’s the Survival Guide list for you Disneyland foodies with special diets or allergies!
how to plan for delicious dining at Disneyland when you have special dietary needs
- (optional before/after #3) Select the restaurants you’d love to try through Disney Dining online here or at (714) 781-DINE
- Make reservations to the table service restaurants
- Prepare your list of allergy/dietary restrictions and all the details the chef will need to know prior to your visit so that they will be ready for you.
- Contact Chef Bill Orton at 714.817.4000 or email Bill.Orton@disney.com with your reservations, restaurant choices, and dietary restrictions.
- (personal recommendation) Print a copy of your dietary restrictions to have on hand as a just-in-case or for when you make a stop at a restaurant where you didn’t have reservations.
what happens next?
- Chef Bill Orton will get in contact with the chefs at your restaurants and forward them your dietary details.
- Once you arrive at the restaurant, tell the server you need to speak with the chef. Especially if you have reservations, you’ll already see that your reservation is marked with a special allergy/diet marker so they’re aware that they’ll be customizing a meal for you.
- The chef will actually come right to your table to go over the menu with you and what options they can customize for you specifically.
- Be sure to double check with the chef before and after the meal is served to guarantee the ingredients used were safe for your dietary needs. They can get pretty busy so sometimes things can get missed (like at Napa Rose *teardrop*)
For more information on special dietary restrictions at the Disneyland Resort, read here
So do NOT give up on fabulous dining at Disneyland just because you’ve got a special dietary need. The magic of Disney is not just in the rides, the characters, and shows – it’s in the dining. And when it comes to dining with a diet, Disney is all about letting you…
Be their guest.
‘Til our next adventure!
Mommy Mouse + baby Knightly
We this story opened your eyes (and mouths) to what it’s like eating on a diet even at a place that’s not even known for dieting! As you’ve read, our friends at the Disneyland Resort will be more than accommodating to your special dietary needs and restrictions to make sure that your magical time on vacation (or day-cation) won’t be ruined because you couldn’t eat the Disney way.
– – –
Our very special thanks to all the culinary teams at all the restaurants around the Disneyland Resort for being so hospitable and kind during our visits, as well as all the yummy food!
Now that you know that places like Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park are willing to meet your dietary needs, will you be asking the same of the other amusement places you’ll be going to when you visit? Will you just even customize your food to be your “own diet” version of that dish you saw on the menu? Comment below!