Tips from the DFB Guide: Healthier Options in Walt Disney World

Many of us regard a trip to Walt Disney World as an opportunity to take a break from healthy eating and counting calories, carbs, etc.

 

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But sometimes, you don’t necessarily want to check nutritional discipline at the Purple Gates.

You may think that healthy eating at Walt Disney World is an oxymoron. But more and more, that’s simply not so.

Sure, you can indulge to your heart’s content. But whether you’re looking to sub out just one meal or snack a day for a health-savvy option, or you plan to stick to your guns in the nutrition department while you’re amidst the magic, we have some great tips for finding healthy and tasty options at Walt Disney World!

They come courtesy of the DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining 2017! And if you find these tips to be helpful, pick up your copy of the Guide today!

Head for the Grab and Go

Not too long ago, Walt Disney World was a sea of hamburgers, fries, and soda pop. And some people think that’s what it STILL is.

But, honestly, things have changed.

Disney Grab and Go Healthy Options

Disney Grab and Go Healthy Options

Sure, you still have lots and lots of choices in the burger genre. But they’ve definitely expanded beyond the fast food mentality when it comes to quick eating options.

My best tip for eating healthy — and this goes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack time — is to head for the Grab and Go section.

Sunshine Seasons Fruit and Cheese Plate

Sunshine Seasons Fruit and Cheese Plate

You’ll spy Grab and Go spots in lots of places, and there are always robust choices in the Resorts. There, you’ll find everything from prepared salads and sandwiches made with lean meats to sushi and hummus with veggies. Check out Landscape of Flavors at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort for a great selection! And when it comes to a Park option, Sunshine Seasons offers choices that can’t be beat.

Grab and Go Sushi

Grab and Go Sushi at Landscape of Flavors

So if you have the resolve to stroll past the pizza and burgers, a healthy meal is totally in your grasp!

Be Mindful About Restaurant Choices

If you have healthy eating in mind, then you probably shouldn’t pencil in a counter service lunch at Casey’s Corner. ;-)

Don’t get me wrong — Corn Dog Nuggets are totally boss. But let’s face it — planning ahead to eat at a restaurant that offers lots of fresh choices and grilled options is probably a better idea when you’re trying to stay on the healthy bandwagon.

Fortunately, better-for-you options abound at Walt Disney World. One of my favorite spots to grab a healthy counter service lunch is Satu’li Canteen at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. You can’t go wrong with their Create-Your-Own Satu’li Bowl, for which you get to select from healthy proteins and bases (including Romaine and Kale Salad!).

Create-Your-Own Satu'li Bowl

Create-Your-Own Satu’li Bowl

Another option that I can recommend is the Japan Pavilion at Epcot. Whether you choose a counter service meal at Katsura Grill or you opt for

table service at Tokyo Dining or Teppan Edo, there are lots of grilled meat and veggie choices.

Filet Served with Rice and Veggies at Tokyo Dining

Filet Served with Rice and Veggies at Tokyo Dining

Know Where to Find Healthy and Delicious Snacks

But what about snacks? Well, surely, you can indulge a little. But if you want to follow a healthy eating plan most of the time, even when it comes to snacks, you have some surprisingly good options.

When I want to nosh on something healthy and filling in Magic Kingdom, I love to head to Liberty Square Market. They offer some high quality fruits and veggies to snack on, including sweet fruits and salty pickles. In the past, they’ve also served steaming hot sweet potatoes!

Fruits and veggies

Fruits and veggies

And don’t forget dessert! I recommend a Dole Whip as a lighter option to ice cream. And thankfully, Dole Whip is popping up in various locations in the World, including Pineapple Lanai at the Polynesian Village Resort, Aloha Isle in the Magic Kindgom, and (mixed with liquor) at Art of Animation Resort!

The Classic Dole Whip Float!

The Classic Dole Whip Float!

Go for the Dole Whip Float — my favorite! — and get a serving of fruit juice, too! Besides, they’re gluten-free and vegan, so they’re the perfect option for guests with food sensitivities.

Don’t Miss Out on Any Disney Fun!

The 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, Second Edition, is now available!

2017 DFB Guide to WDW Dining Cover March 6

With more than 650 pages, the 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World  Dining, Second Edition is full of tips and planning tools developed by Disney World experts over 20+ years of visits. We’ve done the research for you, so you’ll know just which spots will uniquely suit your family’s needs!

With mini-reviews of every single restaurant, bar, lounge, kiosk and more; an entire chapter on the best snacks in Disney World; full Disney Dining Plan analysis (and how to get FREE dining); and a full chapter on discounts and deals; you’ll have everything you need to plan your best vacation yet. Click here to get your copy of the 2017 DFB Guide to Walt Disney World Dining, Second Edition E-book — and use code SAVE2017 for a 20% discount for a limited time!

Use code SAVE2017 at check-out for a 20% off the cover price!

Now let’s hear from all of you! What’s your best tip for healthy eating while vacationing in Walt Disney World? Leave a comment and join in the conversation!

Comments

  1. Sandra says

    My husband has some severe dietary restrictions, so we were delighted when we went to the grab and go at AS Music last fall and found those three packs of baby tangerines. He could eat those! And they were available for a snack credit. Because the food court was undergoing refurbishment, they also had scoops of egg salad and tuna salad, again, for a snack credit–although the CM told us that was not the case at other resorts, just during the refurbishment. With a couple of slices of bread (99 cents), he had a great sandwich on the cheap. But the Dole Whip floats – all pineapple are our favorite “healthy” treat at WDW.

  2. Galloping Gourmond says

    I’ve had the potato at Liberty Square Market three times. The first one was excellent, but the second and third were undercooked.

    Sunshine Seasons has an excellent soup and salad selection that includes a power salad that’s packed with chicken and quinoa almonds and honey vinaigrette, and usually two vegetable or bean soups.

    Marrakesh offers many healthy choices, including the Berber Feast which is a salad selection main course and well worth the $28. You can also get a good vegetable couscous.

    Kimono’s at the Swan is an oft forgotten inexpensive (for Disney) Japanese restaurant. They have a good tofu noodle dish, as well as a stuffed eggplant. Non-hotel guests don’t even know it exists so you can easily get a reservation.

  3. Evelynn says

    Eat a bunch of cupcakes!! :D haha. Just kidding. If you are vegan or have any allergy of some sort, and you want a dish that doesn’t meet your dietary concerns, request to talk to a chef and he/she will prepare that dish to meet your dietary concerns. Trust me, I have experience. :D :) hope this helped

  4. Kristin says

    Was just in MK for Princess Half weekend and Liberty Square Market is no longer offering sweet potatoes. Disappointed as that is one thing I tend to go for to fuel for runs.

  5. Melanie says

    On our trip last August I was able to find lots of healthy choices. Tasty vegetarian chili at Columbia Harbour House, a black bean burger at Restaurantosaurus, a delicious grilled veggie sandwich at Backlot Express, and an oak grilled vegetable flatbread sandwich from Sunshine Seasons. I’m not a vegetarian, but try to eat healthier. I still had my share of unhealthy choices. The options are definitely out there, you just have to look a little.

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