Whether you are escaping frigid cold weather and snow, or you want to shake up your summer, here at Konscious Keto, we believe nothing beats an action-packed Disney vacation.
For anyone on a keto diet, the word “vacation” can cause some anxiety. It always seems a little trickier to stick to keto-friendly meals while away from home.
Although Disney is home to countless restaurants and quick-bite food choices, eating on a low-carb diet can come with challenges.
Vacation food is typically made up of fried foods, sandwiches, burgers, sticky sauces and dressings (which means sugar).
A nifty guide such as this one will help you target the eating options that won’t pull you out of ketosis while at Disney. You'll also learn how to customize your orders at restaurants, turning just about any meal into a keto meal!
This guide is helpful to anyone traveling while on the keto diet, but you may find this especially useful if you’re an annual passholder at one of Disney’s theme park locations.
Don’t worry; you will learn that finding keto-friendly options at Disney World or Disneyland can be simplified!
Remember, you can always pack keto snacks with you, like taking a tasty chocolate Keto Shake to sustain you throughout the day of fun.
Throughout this guide, you can find many helpful tips that can be applied to traveling anywhere while on vacation.
The Basics of the Keto Diet
Before we leave for vacation, let’s take a look back at the basics of the keto diet and what it means to be in ketosis.
Applying the basic understandings of the keto diet will be one of the most useful tools when scanning a menu at any sit-down or quick-service restaurant.
The general rule of thumb for macros on the keto diet is:
- 70% fat
- 20-25% protein
- 10% carbohydrates
In total, your net carbs should stay around 20 to 30 grams per day.
It may seem like 20-30 grams net carbs allows some room, but those net carbs can add up very quickly, depending on what you’re eating!
If you are at the beginning of your keto diet, keeping an eye on your sodium and water intake is very important. During the beginning weeks of the keto diet, your daily calories and the overall amount of food you are eating is reduced.
Sodium is often found within the carbohydrates of your meals, so sodium deficits are common in the keto community!
Salt is essential to include in your keto diet. Sodium is necessary for the body to perform muscle functions, transmit messages from nerves, and to stay hydrated.
When it comes to traveling and your Disney vacation, your body will be expelling water through sweat from walking and standing all day.
It is especially important that at these times you are either adding salt to your meals or choosing sodium-rich foods, as well as drinking plenty of water.
Adding a teaspoon of salt directly to your drinking water can help your body adjust away from utilizing sugar and carbs as a source of energy.
Start your mornings with a salty drink to help your body stay in ketosis!
You may find that you are less hungry throughout the day and have better energy if you are traveling to Disney or any other energy-zapping vacation location.
The first 2-3 weeks of the keto diet makes you susceptible to the “keto flu.”
The keto flu includes fatigue, irritability, and potential nausea, so be sure to supplement well with electrolytes to prevent this from happening to you.
Can I Eat Keto at Walt Disney World?
It is easy to get overwhelmed with the thought of all the non-keto foods you will come across while at a Disney park or on any other vacation. The reality is yes; you can eat keto at Walt Disney World!
First, let’s go over how you can modify existing menu items at restaurants and quick service locations to make them more keto-friendly. As you know, not all the restaurants you visit on vacation will have identifiable keto choices.
You may need to alter made-to-order meals. A quick and polite chat with your server or order-taker should help you make any changes.
Do your research ahead of time. Once you know what parks you will be visiting on your Disney vacation, check out all the restaurants in those parks online.
Make note of which restaurants have keto-friendly menu choices or items that can be altered to be healthier.
You may even consider writing these options down on a notepad or a Disney park map to keep with you.
If you are on a keto diet for weight loss purposes, calories will be another essential part of your dining decisions, aside from your macros.
The food you cook at home will not have the same caloric value as the food you will be purchasing at Disney.
You may be able to find a high-protein and low-carb meal, but it will likely be cooked with fattier oils and more butter than what you use in your kitchen.
Don’t let this information discourage you! You need to be aware of your food choices. For meals with high protein, ask your server or cashier about the spices, rubs, or sauces used to prepare the meal.
Many sauces and rubs can have sneaky sugar additives. You can request your protein be cooked without its sauce. Even more ideal, you can ask for sauces on the side.
The same information from rule #3 can be applied to salad dressings. Ask if you can substitute your salad dressing for a non-sugar option or request it be on the side. Substitutions are also crucial for side dishes.
Sides at Disney restaurants are typically french fries, potato chips, bread, pasta, etc. Look for a healthy substitution such as fresh or cooked vegetables with butter.
You can also remove the side dish from your meal completely, which can also save you dollars for more souvenirs!
Request any sandwiches or burgers without their buns. Chicken and beef are great sources of protein on your keto diet, but they should either be eaten without a bun or substituted with a lettuce leaf wrap.
Remember, these rules don’t apply exclusively. You can use these guidelines to any restaurant, theme park, or vacation you go to!
Before You Go to Disney
Before you plan your Disney vacation, there are a few more things you can do to ensure you have the most enjoyable trip possible while maintaining your keto diet.
After you scope out all the restaurants in the parks you'll be visiting, follow these guidelines so you stay full, maintain your energy, and don’t resort to any binge eating:
- Pack keto-friendly snacks in your backpack. Make sure the parks you are visiting allow this so you don’t end up throwing all your snacks out at the gates!
- Plan ahead of time what bags or purses you will be carrying at Disney. Plan what shoes you will be wearing also.
- Staying comfortable is important to avoid an energy crash in the middle of the day.
- You would be surprised to learn how much a 5lb bag on your shoulders hurts by the end of a long afternoon!
- Carry water with a teaspoon of sea salt added with you at all times. The sodium will help you stay hydrated and alert.
- You can also choose a drink with added electrolytes, but make sure this is a zero-sugar drink.
- Bring a refillable water bottle with you to the parks, so you can refill your water throughout the day. This is another money saver!
- Stay at an Airbnb or hotel with built-in kitchens. This way, you can prepare some of your own meals and will be less likely to hit the first fast food restaurant you see for breakfast.
- Hit a grocery store before you reach your Airbnb or hotel to stock up on keto snacks and ingredients for cooking meals.
- Make sure you also pick up keto snacks for bringing into the Disney parks.
- Make sure that any theme park you are entering allows sealed snacks and water to be brought into the park.
Healthy and Quick Keto Options at Disney
Oops! You forgot to pack some keto snacks for your day at a Disney park!
Don’t worry, there are many kiosks speckled throughout all of Disney’s parks that have quick and healthy choices.
You can find Starbucks locations throughout the Disney theme parks. Here, you can purchase keto snacks like boiled eggs, nuts, and deli snacks.
For coffee, choose sugar-free syrups or you can add packets of stevia to your drinks at the self-service bars.
Disney has a partnership with the Babybel brand. You can find the keto cheese snacks all over the theme parks!
Chip & Dale Snack Co.
You can find a flavorful nut and seed snack here, such as the Crunchy Spicy Mix or the Roasted Nut Mix.
The jumbo turkey legs are another iconic Disney staple that can be found at many locations throughout all the theme parks.
These can be pretty high in calories, so it may be wise to share a turkey leg with a friend or family member. Don’t worry - they are huge!
A common hot dog can be purchased at many Disney kiosks. Simply ask for no bun, and enjoy it with a little mustard.
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe Menu
The Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe are located at the Disney World Magic Kingdom Park in Frontierland.
Here, you can find a Southwest-themed food menu in a saloon-style restaurant. Items include chicken and beef fajitas, burgers, and tacos.
This restaurant is well-liked among those on the keto diet for this reason: there is a self-service condiment bar that has everything you need to make a low-carb, high-fat and protein-rich meal.
Follow these steps to make your own keto fajita salad at Pecos Bill:
- Order the side fajita chicken or side fajita beef from the gluten-free menu. You can also order both for a combo!
- Head to the condiment bar and load your plate with lettuce, cheese, guacamole, and any other low-carb salad ingredient you wish to add.
- At your table, assemble your salad.
Disney suggests that the average price per person at Pecos Bill is less than $15, but creating your own keto salad in this way costs you less than $10!
For other vacations, this is a great way to stay keto! Look for restaurants with salad bars or self-serve condiment bars.
Sometimes, eating keto takes just a little creativity!
Keto Choices at Liberty Square
Liberty Square in Disney’s Magic Kingdom is one of the park’s most popular spots. Styled from colonial America, you can see the Liberty Bell replica, the Liberty Tree replica, and the Hall of Presidents. The Haunted Mansion is also located here.
The most popular snack and overall choice for keto dieters at Liberty Square are the gigantic dill pickles.
The crunchy and salty snack is not only healthy and keto but a popular treat as well that doesn’t leave you feeling left out of the classic Disney traditions.
There are not many restaurants located in Liberty Square, but there are plenty of snack stands and kiosks. Aside from dill pickles, you can find:
- Jumbo turkey legs
- Salted and roasted nuts
- Beef hot dogs (without the bun)
Low Carb and Keto Quick Service
If you are looking for something more substantial, and you want more customizable options than turkey legs and salted snacks, you can stop in many of the quick service restaurants in the Disney parks!
Search for menus that have high-protein entrees with options for side dishes.
In general, you can apply many of the guidelines already listed to the menu items at quick-service restaurants.
Make sure you ask for sandwiches and burgers without the bread, substitute side dishes high in carbohydrates with buttered vegetables, and ask for any condiments, sauces, and dressings on the side.
The most important thing you can do at any quick-service restaurant (on any vacation), speak to your server or cashier.
Depending on the type of restaurant, you may even be able to speak to the chef cooking your meal.
Ask any questions you may have about the menu items to avoid pulling yourself out of ketosis.
Listed below are some of the notable restaurants throughout the Disney theme parks with keto-friendly and low carb options:
- Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian Resort has unveiled a Chicken Wing menu option with a variety of sauces to choose from. Buffalo is always a safe keto choice!
- Flame Tree Barbecue in the Animal Kingdom is well-known for its selection of BBQ meats. Choose from their smoked meats without the sugary sauces. You can also substitute sides for low-carb ones.
- Satu’li Canteen, also in the Animal Kingdom, has customizable bowls that start with a leafy greens base. Add a protein and ask for the sauce on the side!
- Disney Springs has multiple quick-service locations like D-Luxe Burger, Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza, and The Polite Pig, all with customizable menu options.
- Sunshine Seasons in Epcot Futureworld has protein-heavy entrees. Ask for sauces on the side and substitute side dishes.
Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Resorts all have a plethora of restaurants to choose from.
Rest assured that you will find keto meals on a daily basis. In fact, you should be able to enjoy your vacation with a variety of flavors and options without ruining your keto diet!
Before planning your Disney vacation, make sure you are already well into your keto or low carb diet.
If you have not yet reached ketosis, you are more susceptible to experiencing keto flu symptoms. This can leave you exhausted and unable to fully enjoy your vacation.
Plan your Disney vacation strategically by scoping out all the restaurants in the parks you will be visiting before you get there.
Planning ahead can save you plenty of time and frustration spent on finding a keto meal you can enjoy.
Prepare for your vacation by bringing comfortable shoes and bags. If the parks allow it, bring sealed water and keto snacks or meal replacements so you don’t have to search for and purchase these things later.
There are many quick service and sit-down restaurants at Disney with customizable menu items. Look for protein-centric meals and side dish substitutions.
Always ask for sauces and dressings on the side. Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe is a favorite spot among keto dieters!
Finally, remember that the guidelines posted here are applicable to any vacation you take. It’s easy to go keto if you look in the right places and use a little creativity!