Eating healthy at Walt Disney World Resorts and theme parks is easier than you might think! Over the years Disney has gone to great lengths to expand its dining options, and the availability of healthy choices has become a central feature of its restaurants. Today we have rounded up ten of our best tips and tricks for healthy dining options to share with you!
Grocery Delivery- For a $14 delivery fee Garden Grocer will deliver essential items and groceries to your resort which you can then take into the parks with you. This is the perfect way to stock up on snacks (see our next tip), breakfast food and other items so that you don’t have to pack them in your suitcase.
Pack Snacks– Whether you bring them with you or have them delivered, it is always a good idea to bring snacks into the park. Doing so will often give you healthy options to ensure that you are better able to avoid the temptation of candy and ice cream, and it can also provide a great distraction while you stand in the queue for your next attraction. Some of our favorite snack suggestions are hummus packs, nuts, granola, dried fruit and sliced apples. If you forget to bring your snack along, don’t worry- many of our favorite suggestions are available throughout the parks!
Stay Hydrated With Water– Water is always free throughout the four theme parks of Walt Disney World, and all of the Quick Service locations will provide you with a complimentary glass of water anytime you request it. Additionally, you can carry a water bottle with a built in filter to avoid soda temptation. You can transport it easily, and the filter will help with the unique taste of Florida’s water.
Consider Having Breakfast In Bed– Ok, maybe not necessarily in your bed, but definitely in your room! Your body needs a great deal of fuel to walk through the various parks of Walt Disney World, so be sure to start you day off right with a healthy breakfast. Using the grocery service we mentioned above, you can stock up on healthy morning options like yogurt with honey, granola, low-fat milk and whole grain cereals. By keeping this important first meal of the day healthy, you will save a ton of calories versus choosing a heavy start of bacon and potatoes.
Look For the Mickey Check Program– Part of the Disney Magic of Healthy Living Initiative, the Mickey Check Symbol makes it easy to identify nutritious meal options. The goal of the program is to offer children appropriate portions alongside healthy food selections. Recent offerings from Be Our Guest Restaurant include: whole grain macaroni with marinara and seasonal vegetables, seared Mahi Mahi with finger salad and peach applesauce, as well as a carved turkey sandwich on multigrain bread with sweet potato wedges. Meals in the Mickey Check Program are served with low-fat milk or water.
Go Vegetarian– This might seem like a completely unexpected suggestion, but it is actually a really great way to eat healthy while visiting Disney! The number of vegetarian options at Disney Resorts and theme parks has soared in the last decade, and many of them have been created by world class chefs. If going vegetarian makes you think of eating only carrots and celery, we can assure that there is plenty to explore in this dining genre! Consider these amazing options straight from the menus of your favorite Disney restaurant: Sonoma Goat Cheese Ravioli with Tomato-Fennel Broth; Seared Tofu with Zucchini and Eggplant Ratatouille, Roasted Mushrooms, Lentils, and Sun-dried Tomato Purée; and Butternut Squash Soup! With options like these we guarantee that just because you may be missing the meat, you won’t be missing amazing flavors!
Plan Ahead– Research dining options before you go and try to have a plan of action for your meals. If you make your dining choices ahead of time, you will be far more likely to add healthy options into your daily itinerary than if you follow the trail to the nearest cheeseburger. Planning your trip with an experienced agency like Moments of Magic Travel will help lead you in the right direction for healthy dining. We often suggest locations such as Katsura Grill in EPCOT where you will find sushi and edamame, or ABC Commissary in HS where you can find a delicious quinoa salad with chicken or salmon! Another great option is Sunshine Seasons next to Soarin’ in EPCOT where they serve a delicious pumpkin squash soup alongside oak-grilled rotisserie chicken with black beans and yellow rice. The list of healthy options in Walt Disney World is truly incredible!
Live With the Land– Another fun and healthy option for dining at Disney can be found at The Garden Grill. Here you will find dinner platters that include turkey and sustainable fish alongside a variety of vegetables such as cucumbers, Swiss chard, eggplant and sweet potatoes that are grown on site by horticulturalists from ‘Living with the Land’!
To Buffet, or Not to Buffet– It goes without saying that when faced with a never ending variety of food choices, many of us have the tendency to over-indulge. Buffet meals can be a valuable and healthy option of your Disney dining experience, provided you make the right choices. When dining at a buffet, try to fill your plate with the healthiest options such as fish, vegetables, salads and fruit, and save the extra side items and desserts for last when you are already feeling full. Additionally, know when to say when at a buffet meal. It can be easy to fall into the trap of cleaning your plate in a quest to get your money’s worth out of your dining choices. Try to resist the urge to eat more simply because you don’t want to leave anything on your plate.
Keep it Magical– After all of these tips, be sure to remember why you are in Disney in the first place! Keep in mind that for all of the healthy dining options available to you, it’s still your vacation and it’s ok to have a treat! Just try keep a good balance during your stay and you may find that you will return home not only with magical memories, but also with a whole new way to look at how your family views mealtime!