Staying healthy while traveling is something that many of us try to keep in mind, but may seem challenging at times. Add to the fact that the place you’re visiting is Disney, and the whole thing just blows out of proportions. Healthy in Disney? You must be out of your mind Candy!
But before I go all in into my experience, I want to say THANK YOU to Walt Disney World. This post is done in collaboration with them, as they’ve sponsored my visit to the park so I could bring you guys my honest review to this very needed subject. As usual, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Ok, so let’s get to it… I wrote this for YOU.
Every time I write a post I ask myself HOW this will help YOU… You, who read me, follow my work and trust my experience as a holistic nutrition & health coach, and as a healthy living influencer. I strive with every post to make your life easier, happier and of course, healthier.
So yeah, I wrote this for you:
♡ For you, who’s taking your kids this summer or sometime during the year and are at your wit’s end because yeah, you want to take them but you don’t want them to end the day in a sugar coma.
♡ For you, who –like me– may not have kids yet, but what the heck? you want to go too anyways!
♡ And for YOU, who’s following a special diet (for example if like me, you don’t eat meat or if you’re gluten intolerant) or have some health concerns and feel like Disney is no place for you… Let me tell you what, it can be!
I went with my best friend and my niece, which would prove to be a challenge in itself because that girl LOVES sweets! If you followed my insta-stories, you probably laughed ’til your stomach hurt seeing me trying to bribe her to stop eating ice-cream and drink water instead or me giving her granola bars so she didn’t ask for more sweets… EPIC fail!
So let me tell you what this post is NOT…
This post is not intended to suck the joy out of yours and your kids’ visit to Disney. It’s not intended to stop you guys from having the full experience, eating that Mickey pretzel or having that greasy… I mean, that yummy churro Lol all the contrary. This article is intended to let you know that you have something beautiful called OPTIONS.
Things to know & do BEFORE you get to Disney
Do your due-diligence and research. The fact that you are reading this is an awesome indication you are on the right path. Disney has TONS of information on their web pages regarding their dining options, restaurant menus and the nutritional values of their meals.
- Pack some snacks and water so you don’t have to buy everything at the park!
- If you want and your budget allows, that’s awesome! But please know that –save some exceptions– YOU ARE ALLOWED to bring your own food into the park with you, as long as they are food that doesn’t require heating.
- I even saw people carrying their own insulated coolers (too much for me though, if it doesn’t fit in my backpack it’s not coming! Lol)
- Walt Disney World website states that you are not permitted to bring alcoholic beverages or glass containers into the parks. Glass baby food jars are Ok.
- You can even make reservations beforehand at the restaurants and specify if you have any special diet or food restrictions (gluten-free, kosher, halal, vegan, vegetarian)!
I brought with me several granola bars and nut butter singles. They are excellent to keep you satisfied until you are ready for the main meal at one of the restaurants.
We also brought several water bottles, but obviously had to buy more inside because if there’s one tip I want you to follow always, especially if you have kids is, STAY HYDRATED at all times!
Nothing will make you more tired, lethargic and even cranky than dehydration in a park full of people, walking long hours under the sun. Make sure you and your kids drink plenty of water consistently. WATER, not soda or juice, plain old water ok?
Healthy Disney (FOOD & DINING OPTIONS)
And because I love you guys and as I said, I want to make your life as easy as possible, I went ahead and checked Magic Kingdom’s food/dining options and menus to give you the heads up on my favs. Yup, you can thank me later 🙂
These are the healthy options I found (and where)
Note: Extra points for Disney for their effort in offering meatless/vegan options, yeiiii! The amount of meatless options has increased so much over the past few years and even though I didn’t try them all, I DID search every menu, and they all looked yummy and really well thought of nutrition wise.
- Be Our Guest –my favorite of them all– (Quinoa and Garden Salad, Veggie Quiche, Ratatouille, Whole Grain Macaroni, Pan-Seared Salmon if you’re not vegan or vegetarian)
- Cosmic Ray’s (I had a falafel sandwich and substituted the french fries for green beans, then went to the topping bar and got sauteed mushrooms, steamed onions, tomatoes, etc. Other options they have are: cucumber salad, green beans, and several other healthy toppings)
- Gaston’s Tavern (Hummus & Chips)
- Liberty Square Market & Prince’s Eric Village Market (Fresh Fruit & Hummus)
- You will also find lots of fresh fruit options at kiosks throughout the park (Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, Adventureland Market Fresh Snacks, Tomorrowland Popcorn Cart, Tomorrowland Terrace)
- Aloha Isle (Fresh-cut Pineapple Spear)
- Cinderella Royal Table (Summer Vegetable Couscous: Portobello Mushroom, Seared Tofu, Red Watercress, and a Charred Tomato Vinaigrette)
- Tony’s Town Square Restaurant (Caprese Salad, Vegetarian Pizza, Pizza Margherita, Seasonal Soup)
- Pecos Bill (Veggie Burgers, Sweet Potato Fries, Strawberry Yogurt)
- The Plaza Restaurant (Veggie Burger and Tomato Soup)
- Pinocchio Village Haus (Tomato Basil Soup and No Sugar Added Lemon Sorbet)
Use the App!
Disney’s App is sooooo handy and it will be a great tool to help you map out how you want your day to go, and totally personalize your visit. Awesome when it comes to finding restaurants and their menus to check if they have healthy options that adapt to your needs (because let’s be honest, not all of them do!) and as I mentioned above, you can even make your reservations ahead of time and let them know if you have any especial dietary needs!
Last but not least… Look for the MICKEY CHECK!
If you are visiting Disney with your kids, make sure you ALWAYS check the Mickey Check Symbol!
What’s the Mickey Check Symbol?
Simple, it was created so families could quickly identify healthier food options for their kids. You’ll see the Mickey Check in all restaurants’ menus indicating the foods and recipes that meet Disney Nutrition Guidelines, which are continually updated to remain best in class to contribute to a nutritious diet. All meals in the Mickey Check Program are served with low-fat milk or water… so sorry kids, no sodas for you with the Mickey Check! Lol
Ok, so there you have it… Hope I didn’t miss anything. But above all, I hope this article helps you to make your next Disney trip a joyous one, full of HEALTH and energy. As I said, know that you have OPTIONS!
Of course, you can indulge and you should! But be smart about it, drink tons of water and make healthy swaps so you leave room for the good stuff.
You don’t have to sacrifice your health in order to visit Disney and have fun.
Now, is there any other trick or tip you want to add? Did this article serve you?
Let me know in the comments…
This was my first time visiting Disney and I loved it!
* As you might have noticed, this article is focused solely on Magic Kingdom.
* * This post is done in collaboration with Walt Disney World, as they’ve sponsored my visit to the park so I could bring you guys my honest review to this very needed subject. As usual, all thoughts and opinions are my own.