Many of us have been there: you’re in a Disney Park, and for whatever reason, you have a hungry, hungry baby or toddler. The potential for your day to go from amazing to craptastic just increased by like, 100x.
This happened to me not too long ago with the 1 year old. I spent the better part of the day — time I should have been enjoying all kinds of food adventures for you guys! — in search of Cheerios. Which I could not find anywhere. No cheerios. Not even any Cheerio-like substances (which they USED to have, but no longer do).
So I started searching for other non-chokable, non-sugar-packed snacks to keep the hope alive, and do you know what I found? A whole lot of nothing. That’s what. Seriously. For a place that’s supposed to be the ultimate kid-friendly destination, Walt Disney World seemed sorely lacking in wholesome, grab and go, eat-on-the-fly food options that are appropriate for your blossoming eater.
So I figured, hey, I need to know where to find this stuff quick like a bunny. So I bet you a Mickey Bar that someone else out there in Disney Food Blog Land has found themselves with the same challenge.
If this is you, or if you’re headed to the World with a tiny human someday, let’s take a look together at the Best Snacks That Are Available For Toddlers in Walt Disney World. And with that, we’ll also take a look at a couple of finds that have made subsequent trips to the ‘World way easier for us when Junior is along for the ride.
In the Parks
We’d love to give our kids perfectly healthy snacks and meals all the time. But sometimes, we have to just go with what’s available. After my fateful adventure we did some research and, fortunately, you aren’t without options.
Counter Service spots throughout the Parks and Resorts offer Uncrustables. These little Peanut Butter and Jelly pocket sandwiches, when cut into bite-size pieces, offer a not-too-unhealthy option for noshing. These are also great for packing for the airplane on your way out.
You can also find Fresh Fruit at lots of places in the Parks. Cut up Bananas and Strawberries or halved sections of Oranges are universal favorites. It’s not as “on-the-fly” as I’d like, but it’s super healthy.
Chip and Dale Snacks include Puffed Cheese Crackers in the shape of Mickey that you’re kids will enjoy. Think fake Goldfish that don’t taste as good as real goldfish. These could post a choking hazard for a sub-two-year-old, so be sure that you’ve tested out goldfish on them first at home.
You’ll also find Minnie’s Bake Shop Graham Cookies as well, which are a suitable stand-in for Teddy Grahams.
If you find yourself in Magic Kingdom, why not stop by Liberty Square Market? This open air grab and go spot has tons of fresh fruit options. And quite often, you’ll also find Baked Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes — PERFECT snacks to cut up and put into the stroller sippy cup slot.
While this is a snack that you’ll have to stop and help your toddler with, it’s definitely one of the best things that you can feed him or her in all of Disney.
Yogurt or Cottage Cheese are also good options. You probably won’t find whole milk organic brands, however. This may be one of those times when good enough is good enough.
In the Resorts
Forewarned is forearmed…or something like that. If you missed the boat bringing snacks from home, but you anticipate that you’ll need something to keep your little cherub from melting down while in the line for Peter Pan, the Grab and Go Section at your Resort Counter Service Spot can be you new favorite place.
Greek Yogurt in yummy flavors can keep a kid going for miles.
If you’d like to stock up before hitting the Parks, you’ll find lots of Whole Fruit and Cut Fruit available in the Grab and Go Section as well.
Cereal in disposable bowls is also a great choice, and will keep little fingers occupied and tummies happy. There are normally more wholesome (read: low sugar) options alongside the sweetened varieties, but many.
To go cups of Hummus with Pretzel Thins also make for a wholesome and convenient snack. I especially love the pretzels in these packs, because they’re thin and more the consistency of crackers.
If all else fails, you can always grab some Bread for snacks, or even toast it for later.
You’ll normally find a good selection of snacks for guests who require a special diet as well, with products that are free from top allergens.
And don’t hesitate to grab a couple of Mickey Waffles at breakfast and keep them for noshing throughout the morning.
Baby Care Centers
One of our favorite tips for weary mommies, daddies, and babies alike is to make use of Disney’s Baby Care Centers.
You’ll find these havens of rest near the First Aid Stops in each of the Parks. In addition to offering primo places to change diapers, there are also quiet rooms where Mom can nurse or pump (complete with rocking chairs). Feeding rooms with super clean high chairs are also available — and all come with a glorious dose of A/C.
I had a couple of experiences in the parks where the perfect antidote for the overwhelming excitement of Disney World was stopping into the cool, calm Baby Care Center for 10 minutes. Everyone chilled out (literally and figuratively) and we could go on with our day in a better emotional state.
In addition, Baby Care Centers do offer a few feeding options, like jarred baby food and some nibbles, and there are microwaves and filtered water for preparing foods and bottles.
Tips and Tricks to Plan Ahead
So, even better than offering you tips for things that you can get in the parks for your kiddos to nosh on are some really great suggestions for items to take with — or to have shipped to your room — to avoid getting into this pickle in the first place! (I know, I know — you prepare the best you can — but sometimes you still get into a pickle. Don’t worry — you’re a good parent.)
First of all, don’t hesitate to have items that you know you’ll need shipped directly to your hotel room. Sites like gardengrocer.com allow you to order your groceries in advance and have them delivered to your resort room. This is an especially nice service to have when you have toddlers and you don’t feel like bringing all of the milk, formula, snacks, and food you’ll need for the whole trip with you from home. I personally use this service ALL. THE. TIME.
Here are a few more tips and tricks that we’ve found useful during our travels with little ones. You can get glass jars of baby food, applesauce, and other smooth and un-choke-able goodies at Disney resort gift shops, but if your kiddo isn’t super great at feeding herself yet, that can get messy and/or dangerous. Consider re-packaging these yums in Reusable Baby Food Pouches. When you’re finished, just wash the pouch or run it through the dishwasher, and it’s ready to go for another serving! Super convenient, and your little one can feed him or herself while you rush to the next attraction! (Of course, you can also just bring a bunch of pre-filled or store-bought pouches with you, but doing it this way means all you have to bring on the airplane is a bunch of empty, re-useable pouches instead of already full ones. Just grab the “filling” at your resort gift shop.)
And a Sectioned Bowl that comes with its own matching spoon makes for quick and easy snacking on the go.
Finally, make quick work of fresh fruits and veggies in the parks by cutting them down to just the right size with these handy Bite Sizers Scissors.
We hope that we’ve given you some great ideas for the next time you find yourself at Disney with a hungry new-solid-food-eater in tow. With a little knowledge of what you have available, and a dose of preparation, you can sail through a trip to the Parks with ease!
Now let’s hear from you! What are your best tips and tricks when faced with a hungry toddler at a Disney Park? Leave a comment and tell us what works for you!