Healthy Eating in Walt Disney World

A Great Lunch Option at Starring Rolls Cafe

A Great Lunch Option at Starring Rolls Cafe

Some of you listened to the Healthy Eating in WDW episode of the WDW Today podcast last week, but there’s still a lot of information and tips for those of you who’d like to — or have to — start eating a bit healthier while you’re on vacation.

Even if you just want “not to go overboard,” (I feel your pain.) the tips, menu options, and “eat this not that” suggestions will help!

Tips for Eating Healthy in Walt Disney World

General Advice:
First thing first. These are tips everyone already knows, but we sometimes need a reminder or two…or three.

  • Look for fresh, not processed foods: You can find fruits and veggies in every theme park. When you’re in a resort food court, consider a salad, boiled egg, or pita and hummus.
  • Learn to be a “bother:” Order sauces on the side, substitute veggies/fruit for fries, ask that your meat not be cooked in butter, or see if you can order a half-portion of an entree for less money.
  • Watch portion size: Disney likes to give you your money’s worth when it comes to food, so be aware when you order. Make a meal out of an appetizer, and when you splurge on a rich entree or huge dessert, share with someone else at the table.
  • Eat breakfast: Breakfast is going to be one of the easiest and cheapest meals to eat healthily in a restaurant, so book mid-morning breakfast ADRs and fuel up with eggs, veggies, and wheat toast. Plus, there’s no temptation of ordering dessert!
  • Call ahead: If you’re eating at a set-menu restaurant or want healthier, or no-sugar-added dessert options, call or write to Disney ahead of time (SpecialDiets@DisneyWorld.com, or 407-824-5967).
Sanaa's Menu is Full of Delicious, Healthy Choices

Sanaa’s Menu is Full of Delicious, Healthy Choices

No Matter Where You Eat…
…there’s going to be something there that won’t eventually kill you ;-) Here are a few menu options [Read more…]

Valentine’s Day Dining Options in Disneyland and Disney World

ladyandtramp
If the candies and cookies highlighted in our Disney World Valentine’s Day Treats post (yum!!) don’t satisfy your “savory tooth”, several Disney hotels and restaurants are featuring delicious Valentine’s Day prix fix meals or specials. Here are the details:

Tutto Italia Carnevale Celebration
Join in the party as Tutto Italia in Epcot’s World Showcase celebrates Carnevale! Bring your own mask or buy one there! You can see details and booking info by clicking on the image below:

Carnevale Menu and Info at Tutto Italia

Carnevale Menu and Info at Tutto Italia

Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Resort
Todd English’s bluezoo at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort is introducing a special romantic menu just for Valentine’s Day Weekend (Friday, Feb. 12th – Sunday, Feb. 14th). It includes:

  • wagyu ny strip and mero seabass for two: caramelize onion rosti, hammock hollows braised greens, béarnaise, lobster jus $90
  • halibut: parsley root, baby fennel, finger lime, lemon balm $36
  • cocktail: flaming heart: hangar one raspberry, godiva white chocolate liqueur, pama liqueur, rose petal-tea, fresh muddled raspberries, topped with flaming raspberries $13

For more information or reservations, call (407) 934-1609. Reservations recommended.

Tables in Wonderland Valentine’s Day Chocolate Dinner
Celebrate Valentine’s Day with fellow tables in wonderland members with a Chocolate-focused dinner! You can see the full menu [Read more…]

Tables in Wonderland Adds New Restaurants

Tables in Wonderland Membership Card

Tables in Wonderland Membership Card

Just got an email specifying new restaurants being added as of January 2010 to the Tables in Wonderland discount program!

Epcot®: Tokyo Dining Location Only (Not Teppan Edo)

Disney’s BoardWalk Resort: Kouzzina by Cat Cora (formerly Spoodles)

Disney’s Wide World of Sports: ESPN® Sports Cafe

DOWNTOWN DISNEY® Marketplace: Fulton’s Crab House

DOWNTOWN DISNEY® Pleasure Island: Portobello

DOWNTOWN DISNEY® West Side: House of Blues®, Wolfgang Puck® Cafe

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort: Il Mulino New York Trattoria, Kimonos, Shula’s Steak House, Todd English’s bluezoo

For more information about Tables in Wonderland and for a full list of participating restaurants, visit our Tables in Wonderland Reference Page.

Disney Food Post Weekly Round-Up: December 13, 2009

Eat hereI wanted to start this week by recapping some great news about Disneyland! A new cupcake kiosk has opened in Downtown Disney and will be selling the sweet treats through January 9th!

Also, I wanted to share a couple of fun links from blogs with whom I had the opportunity to collaborate:

Resourceful Mommy recently posted an interview with the Disney Food Blog where I had the chance to give some thoughts on Dining in Disney World.

Touring Plans posted this week a guest blog from DFB about Avoiding Crowds and Saving Time and Money While Dining in Disney World. Be sure to check it out!

And here are some more recent Disney food posts from around the web!

Mommy Musings shares some some photos of the gorgeous Grand Floridian Gingerbread House.

futureprobe sings the praises of the dining options (and the smells!) in Epcot’s The Land.

Daveland has some great photos of Disneyland’s Blue Bayou Restaurant, including some delicious dessert pics!

The Disney Blog shares news about Disney World holiday dining experiences.

All Ears Net offers a review of Todd English’s bluezoo restaurant in Disney World.

The Disney Chick shares her experience making Cape May Cafe’s chocolate cookie mousse.

The Daily Disney at the Orlando Sentinel shares the recipe for Chicken Asiago Pasta from the All-Star Resorts.

Disney Every Day takes us for a photo tour through the renovated Disney World McDonald’s.

Main Street Gazette visits Epcot’s Tangierine Cafe in the Morocco pavilion.

KatisKupcakes made up some adorable Hundred Acre Wood Cupcakes!

DisneyShawn takes a look at Rosie’s All-American Cafe in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Dining Alone in Disney

I’m honored to bring you a guest post by one of my favorite travel bloggers, Gray at SoloFriendly.com. Thanks again, Gray, for sharing your insights and tips on dining alone in Disney World!

Counter Seating at Wolfgang Puck

Counter Seating at Wolfgang Puck

Many travelers, even those who are excited by the prospect of enjoying some alone time at Disney World, get queasy at the thought of having to eat alone. This, despite the fact that Disney has fabulous restaurants and legendary customer service.

Don’t be nervous just because you’re a “party of one”! I have eaten alone in many restaurants in Disney World and 99.9% of the time have received the most exemplary service. Go ahead and eat at Quick Service restaurants if you’re on a budget, but don’t cheat yourself out of the wonderful table service restaurants if you can afford it. A delicious sit-down meal prepared by one of Disney’s talented chefs will certainly enhance any solo trip to the World.

To overcome any solo dining jitters, you need a distraction. This could be recording your day’s experiences in a journal, catching up on a good book, or flipping through the photos you took on your digital camera. Disney even builds in some nice distractions for us solos, you just have to look for them. Here are some suggestions for getting the most out of solo dining at Disney World:

  • Have your table service meal during a less crowded time. This could mean eating at an off hour.
    Chefs de France Window Tables

    Chefs de France Window Tables

    Chefs de France, for instance, is far more enjoyable when there are fewer guests in the dining room. It’s quieter and more peaceful, and the odds of scoring a table by the window (for people-watching) are greatly enhanced.

    Resort restaurants tend to be less crowded during lunch, when everyone is at the parks. I had a wonderful meal at Sanaa on my last trip, right around noon, and I was only one of maybe three tables of diners in the whole restaurant. Again, you have a greater chance of scoring a good seat this way, but you also feel less conspicuous.

  • Eat at a restaurant with bar or counter seating. If you are a social person, this affords you the opportunity to interact with other diners.
    Todd English's bluezoo Restaurant

    Todd English's bluezoo Restaurant

    One of my favorite meals at Disney World was at Wolfgang Puck Cafe in Downtown Disney, when I sat at the counter in front of the chef’s station and had a lively and friendly chat with the chef while he prepared meals.

    Other great restaurants with bartop dining include
    Bluezoo at the Dolphin resort (a wonderfully grown-up restaurant), the House of Blues in Downtown Disney, Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, and the Flying Fish Cafe on the Boardwalk.

  • Enjoy a dinner show. You have many options at Disney World for dinnertime entertainment, including the Spirit of Aloha Show at the Polynesian Resort, the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue at Fort Wilderness, as well as smaller-scale entertainment such as watching a movie at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater or belly dancers at the Restaurant Marrakesh.
  • Go for a great view. The Disney Food Blog recently highlighted the best restaurants for watching the Wishes and Illuminations fireworks shows during dinner; those are great choices.
    Relax with the show at the Coral Reef Aquarium

    Relax with the show at the Coral Reef Aquarium

    You could also grab a water-view window at one of the Downtown Disney restaurants or dine at the Coral Reef Restaurant, where you can gaze upon a living coral reef with 85 species of tropical fish swimming around. (For a more peaceful experience at the Coral Reef, try lunch here, when it’s less crowded; and don’t sit right next to the aquarium, or you’ll find children constantly bumping into you as they run up to press their faces against the glass.)

As with anything, practice makes perfect. The more you dine out alone, the more comfortable and enjoyable it becomes.

From the Editor: Thanks again, Gray! DFB readers, if you’re interested in more info about solo dining in Disney, stay tuned for the next post in the Walt Disney World Moms Panel Mini-Series where the moms chime in on their choices for meals if spending a day blissfully alone at Disney World!

Good Disney Food Posts Around the Web

Eat HereI’ve come across a bunch of great reviews and photos over the past few weeks and wanted to highlight a few of them. Thanks for all the good food writing, all!

Scott Joseph Orlando’s Chefs de France Review: Highlights the fascinating history of Chefs de France, including its three famous owners, along with Scott Joseph’s excellent food critique. If you’re a foodie and visit Orlando, you should be subscribed to this blog.

Touring Plans’ Research Results on When to Make your Advanced Dining Reservations for Certain Restaurants: Touring Plans releases and analyzes research here about how far in advance you’ve got to book those Disney dining reservations. Find out the theme park restaurants where you can possibly dine as a “walk up” customer, and which you need to book right at that 90-day window.

Etckt’s ESPN Club review: A great writer and Disney afficionado (who’s been quite close to the Mouse in the past) reviews his recent ESPN Club experience at the Boardwalk. Great photos.

SoloFriendly’s Coral Reef Review and SoloFriendly’s BlueZoo review: Excellent, detailed, and honest reviews of a couple of restaurants not everyone who visits Disney World knows about. And these are from the perspective of an adult, solo traveler in Disney World, which makes them even more interesting.

Laughing Place Paradiso 37 Pictures and Review: A good, thorough review of the restaurant’s opening day, including some comments from E-brands Restaurants CEO Rashid Choufani. LOTS of photos, folks!