Walt Disney World is famous for its themed attractions, magical rides, and delicious food. And let me tell you, we are all about that food!
Mickey bars, cheesy fries, giant cookies…we’re not ashamed to say that we love them all. But sometimes we’re looking for something a little healthier in the parks or a lighter snack to break up all the sugar and carbs we’re eating.
We’re going to explore if it’s possible to eat healthy in Disney World!
We’re going to divide the question “Can you eat healthy in Disney World?” into two parts! First, we’ll go over some general tips to healthy eating in the Disney parks. Then, we’ll look at some specific options for healthier meals in Disney World!
Before we dive in, we just wanted to remind you that this is not professional medical advice. Everyone’s diet, health, and nutrition is personal to them, and we are not trying to say that eating healthy is required in the Disney parks! In fact, we all had to work together to come up with these tips because all our writers and reporters eat differently in the parks. Your “food budget” (what you do and don’t want to eat in Disney World) is totally up to you! These tips are meant to help you along the way if eating healthy is your goal during your Disney vacation!
So let’s get started!
- Portions: Portions are a big deal when it comes to healthy eating! Some dishes at Disney give you huge portions (we’re looking at you, giant cinnamon rolls!). Places to watch out for with big portions are those big snacks, buffets, and family-style meals.
Some solutions include getting meals off the kid’s menu (servers will usually let you order off the kid’s menu!) and sharing dishes! Remember, you don’t have to eat the whole thing! Share with people around you, order snacks instead of meals, bring storage containers to carry our your leftovers, get kid’s meals…just eat ‘til you’re full, not ’til it’s gone!
Even though we’re used to having three meals a day, in Disney World it’s possible to snack throughout the day or share a full meal. This is especially true at Festivals in EPCOT, when you might rather try several smaller snacks around the park instead of having a full sit-down meal.
- Eat when you’re hungry: This might sound obvious, but there are so many good things around Disney that it’s tempting to be eating all the time! If you have a big breakfast, you might want to wait until later in the day to have lunch, and that’s OK! Prioritize which Disney snacks are a must-try for you, and then get those when you’re hungry instead of grabbing everything that looks tasty along the way.
This might actually save you some time, too, because eating at not-normal times of the day often means shorter lines at Quick Service restaurants. There might also be more Dining Reservations available at off-meal times.
- Skip Dessert (or share it): We know you don’t really want to know this…but a lot of Disney desserts are 500 to 1000 calories of pure butter, flour, and sugar! (That’s why they taste so darn good!) If you’re willing to skip dessert or just have a couple of bites, it’s a fast way to save calories(and save on those empty ingredients).
If Disney desserts are too good to pass up, maybe just eat part of one and share the rest with friends! As a general rule of thumb, pastries and really creamy things are usually pretty bad when it comes to calories and fat, so consider planning ahead for which desserts you want to splurge on — and which you are willing to skip.
- Skip Sugary Drinks: Instead of sugary drinks, drink a LOT of water! This is actually a double-whammy. Sugary beverages are a big source of empty calories. And if you’re drinking soda all day you might forget to stay hydrated with lots of water. Soda, milkshakes (big time), creamy drinks, cocktails…all of these have a lot of empty calories and won’t be great for hydration!
On the other hand, if you’re drinking water throughout the day, you’re going to feel more full and stay hydrated so you’ll be happier and healthier in the parks! Ask any Quick Service location in the park for water, and you can get it for free!
- Go for Grilled: If possible, get grilled food over fried food. Look for grilled chicken and seafood! Fried foods generally have far more calories than their grilled counterparts.
Speaking of meat, chicken and fish are the healthiest options; pork and red meats are the least healthy.
- Run Away from Mac and Cheese: We’re sorry to tell you this, but mac and cheese is always unhealthy. It’s calorie-dense and full of fat — that’s just part of what makes it delicious and also very unhealthy.
And there’s a LOT of mac and cheese in the Disney parks. We get it — it’s delicious and comforting. If you really love mac and cheese, you don’t have to avoid it altogether to be a little healthier. You could share with someone, plan to save some for another day, or opt for a small portion.
- Get Cuties Instead of Fries: At several Quick Service locations, there’s an option to get a Cutie Mandarin orange instead of French fries! French fries are one of the worst snacks as far as calories go, so if you don’t absolutely love them, try eating fruit instead!
This will also help you stay hydrated in the parks, and it’s still a sweet and delicious option!
- Bring Your Own Breakfast: Like all of these suggestions, this one is optional! You can ignore it if you love Disney breakfast, but if it’s not high on your list of Disney food then it’s a good area to save on calories!
Instead of going to a breakfast buffet or getting a giant cinnamon roll, you can buy groceries for your hotel room and instead have fruit or snack bars. That’s one healthy meal in the day taken care of (and some money saved)!
Now we’ll get into some specific dishes and restaurants that have good, healthy options!
- Satu’li Canteen: Combination Bowl: Grilled Beef & Chicken — Slow-Roasted Sliced Grilled Beef marinated in a blend of Garlic, Herbs, Red Pepper Spice and Red Wine Vinegar, paired with Wood-Grilled Chicken Thighs marinated in Garlic and Olive Oil, topped with crunchy Vegetable Slaw and Boba Balls served with your choice of Base and Sauce.
For bonus healthy points, try it with the hearty salad base!
- Harambe Market: Harambe Salad with Chicken — Mediterranean-influenced Salad with Pepperoncini, Kalamata Olives, Cucumber, Tomato, and Feta served with Grilled Chicken with Greek-style Vinaigrette Dressing
- Harambe Fruit Market: Bananas, apples, or other whole fruit
- Nomad Lounge: Impossible™ Sliders with Chipotle Aïoli, Yucca Fries; Tiffins Bread Service — Red Pepper Hummus, Spicy Coriander Yogurt, Ginger-Pear Chutney
- Sunshine Seasons: Oak Grilled Salmon and Oak Grilled Rotisserie Chicken
- Japan Pavilion, Kabuki Cafe: Sushi! California Roll, Nigiri Combo, Spicy Roll, and Edamame
- Mexico Pavilion:Guacamole with Totopos —fresh-made guacamole with tortilla chips (Available at La Cantina de San Angel, but you can get chips and guacamole at several spots in the Mexico Pavilion, including La Hacienda de San Angel and San Angel Restaurante)
- Morocco Pavilion, Spice Road Table: There are several good options here, including the House Made Hummus Fries, Spiced Chicken, and Pomegranate-Chili Crispy Cauliflower! As an added bonus, this restaurant has lagoon-side tables, so you can look out on the lagoon (and maybe see some fireworks?) while you eat a healthy meal!
- Hollywood Brown Derby: Our Famous Cobb Salad — Spit-roasted Turkey, Bacon, Egg, Tomatoes, Blue Cheese, Avocado, Classic Dressing.
Add Chicken 7.00, Add Shrimp 9.00, Add Lobster 12.00
- Rosie’s All American Cafe: Plant-based Lobster Roll — Marinated Hearts of Palm, Celery, Sweet Apples, and Creamy Old Bay Dressing served with House-made Crispy Potato Chips
Rosie’s All American Salad — Mojo Pulled Pork, Romaine Lettuce, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Crispy Tajin Tortillas Strips, Pomegranate Pickled Radish, Queso Fresco, and Pumpkin Seeds drizzled with a Tangy and Spicy Ancho-Ranch Dressing
- Docking Bay 7: Takodana Veggie Dippers — Black Bean Hummus, Edible Soil with Nuts, Chilled Dipping Vegetables, and Multigrain Crisps with a side of ‘Ranch’ dressing
This one is actually a kid’s meal, but it’s a good option for a small, healthy snack or meal.
- ABC Commissary: Mediterranean Salad with Chicken — Chicken Breast served over Mixed Greens with Tomatoes, Cucumber, Pepperoncini, Kalamata Olives, and Feta tossed in a Mediterranean Vinaigrette served with Hummus and Grilled Flatbread
California Burger — Seared Farm Fresh Plant-based Burger with Sriracha Mustard and Balsamic-glazed Grilled Peppers and Onions with a “Mayonnaise”-Ketchup blend, Lettuce, and Tomato served with choice of Side
- Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe: Southwest Salad with Chicken — Mixed Greens topped with Seasoned Chicken, Roasted Corn and Bean Salsa, Tomatoes and Tortilla Crisps
Veggie Rice Bowl — Yellow Rice topped with Grilled Peppers and Onions, Black Beans, Lettuce, Tomato, and Salsa
- Skipper Canteen: Curried Vegetable Crew Stew — A favorite of the Crew Stew Crew (especially Stu). Seasonal Vegetables and Pineapple Tofu in a House-made Curry Sauce served with Coconut Rice (Plant-based)
Falls Family Falafel — A secret recipe of Chickpeas, Garlic, Onions, Lemon Juice, and Herbs served with House-made Edamame Hummus and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds (Plant-based)
- Columbia Harbour House: Grilled Salmon — Grilled Salmon served with Vegetable Rice and Green Beans and Carrots
Grilled Shrimp Skewer — served with Vegetable Rice and Green Beans with Carrots
Harbour Salad with Chicken — Mixed Green Salad with Shedded Chedder Cheese, Apples, Cucumber, Onion and Apple Cider Vinaigrette served with Chicken
- Polite Pig: Chipotle Cobb Salad — with Egg, Bacon, Roasted Corn, Tomato, Cheddar and Avocado-chipotle Dressing. Add Crispy or Smoked Chicken $5, Chopped Pork $6, Chopped Brisket $8 or Salmon $9
Crispy Brussel Sprouts — with Whiskey-Caramel
- Blaze Pizza: Pizza is not a bad choice when it comes to fast food! Go with a red sauce instead of a white one for a healthier option, and try to add some veggies on top!
- The BOATHOUSE: Oysters on the Half Shell — Gibsons Bombay Gin Cocktail Sauce and Cucumber Mignonette
The Wedge Salad — Iceberg, Grape Tomatoes, Red Onions, Blue Cheese Dressing, Chopped Bacon (ask to switch out the creamy dressing)
- California Grill: There’s a variety of Sushi and Salad options! Make sure you’re looking for vinaigrettes over creamy dressings in the salads if possible!
- Sanaa: African-inspired Biryani — Fragrant Rice with Seasonal Vegetables influenced from the Cape of Good Hope (Plant-based; but also available with Chicken or Shrimp)
Whatever your plan is for eating in Disney World, you can take a few of these tips and make your meals just a little more healthy! Remember that it’s still a vacation, so a little calorie-splurging is not terrible! But there are some easy ways to make eating in the Disney parks more healthy and rewarding! Keep following AllEars for more Disney World tips!
What’s your favorite healthy snack in Disney World? Let us know so we can try it too!
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