25 Healthiest Foods at Disney World
As a registered dietician, I can tell you that amusement parks aren't known for healthy eats. But, the folks at Disney have raised the bar, and you can find delicious and nutritious offerings at almost every attraction.
Eating healthy at the Happiest Place on Earth
Yes, you're on vacation with the kids, but that doesn't mean you want to throw out smart eating completely. As a registered dietician, I'm pleasantly surprised at how many healthy options there are at Disney World. I perused menus and reached out to colleagues to find nutritious food that can make your trip both fun and good for you.
Magic Kingdom: Be Our Guest Restaurant—Breakfast
All decked out in Beauty and the Beast décor, this restaurant offers some healthier breakfast options than you might expect to see at a theme park. Low-carbers will enjoy scrambled egg whites with roasted tomatoes. Meat eaters may want to fuel your body (for all that walking and standing in line) with chicken apple sausage and fresh fruit. Here are 9 things you need to book in advance for your Disney World visit.
Magic Kingdom: Liberty Square Market—Snacks
Take a pass on deep-fried, calorie-laden snacks for your afternoon break; they'll only slow you down. Philadelphia-based dietitian Julie Lichtman, RD recommends snacking on fresh fruit and vegetable packs, or cheese and nuts for a protein boost. "Plus, they sell turkey legs there too—which are filled with protein and enjoyable!"
Magic Kingdom: Be Our Guest Restaurant—Quinoa Salad
If you're looking for a vegetarian lunch option, this is for you! Did you ever expect to find a colorful salad including green beans, beets, tomato, olives, roasted bell peppers and quinoa for a fiber-packed noontime meal at a theme park? Believe it!
Magic Kingdom: Liberty Tree Tavern—Colony Salad
Here's another awesome salad served at Magic Kingdom. Fresh and delectable field greens are topped with grilled chicken, apples, pecans, cheddar cheese and dried cranberries. This salad has it all—complex carbs, protein, fiber, and flavor. Learn about the top-secret Disney food lab you never knew existed.
Magic Kingdom: Be Our Guest Restaurant—Tuna Nicoise Salad
Packed with protein, the Disney take on this French-cuisine favorite combines seared tuna, potatoes, and green beans. It has enough complex carbs and fiber to keep you feeling satisfied for the rest of your day, plus a bonus of omega-3 fatty acids from the tuna, too. Consider trying the Disney running series or one of these other really fun 5Ks.
Magic Kingdom: Prince Eric's Village Market—Snacks
When the gang's energy starts to lag and it's time for a healthy afternoon munch, pop into Prince Eric's Village Market. This quaint little food stand offers some very healthy choices, like fresh grapes, roasted turkey legs, and dill pickles. Don't miss these 15 things you didn't know were banned from Disney parks.
Magic Kingdom: Liberty Tree Tavern—Kid's Meals
If you're looking for healthier kids' options, bypass all the places serving up boring chicken nuggets and steer the kiddos to Liberty Tree Tavern. The kids' meals here boast healthier comfort foods children love. Think oven-roasted turkey with potatoes, fresh vegetables, and fruit, accompanied by low-fat milk. (Turkey is one of the best meats to eat!)
Magic Kingdom: Be Our Guest Restaurant—Layered Ratatouille
You're not likely to find a healthier dinner dish than this veggie-packed ratatouille. Light but satisfying, this Italian vegetable stew combines zucchini, mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes, onion, and quinoa. It's a high-fiber meal that will fuel you for the next round of attractions. If you have questions about how to make your visit even more magical, be sure to ask your server. Disney park employees are extremely helpful and will find answers for you. In fact, they're actually not allowed to say the words "I don't know." Learn the other words Disney park employees are not allowed to say.
Magic Kingdom: Pinocchio Village Haus—Sweet Treats
For a post-meal sweet, without the sugar crash, Pinocchio Village Haus offers Dannon Greek yogurt or no-sugar-added lemon sorbet.
Epcot: Tokyo Dining—Edamame and Sashimi
According to dietitian Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, from Charleston, South Carolina, Tokyo Dining is a great choice at the Japanese pavilion in Epcot. Edamame is always a favorite for plant-based protein, and fresh salmon sashimi gives a boost of omega 3s. See how to make your sushi meal healthy.
Epcot: Restaurant Marrakesh—Mediterranean Eats
We all know the Mediterranean diet provides top-notch nutrition quality, and you'll find it at Disney World in Epcot Center. Enjoy delicious beef tenderloin or chicken kebabs, grilled to perfection and served with couscous and steamed vegetables. No guilt there!
Epcot: Tangierine Café—Veggie Platter with Hummus & Tabouleh
Everyone loves hummus—even the pickiest eaters. This fiber-rich dip with the Mediterranean flair is served with fresh crudités and veggie-packed tabbouleh salad, making it a perfect light and satisfying lunch or dinner meal.
Epcot: Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria—Prosciutto with Melon
If you're looking for a truly light lunch, this Italian-inspired salad is nirvana. Fresh sweet melon combined with slightly salty prosciutto is a pairing that never disappoints. Need something more? Add an individual size Margherita or Broccolini pizza.
Epcot: Tangierine Café—Saffron Rotisserie Chicken with Lentil Salad
This take on the cuisine of Tangiers is truly exquisite. Saffron rotisserie chicken (lean protein) paired with Mediterranean lentil salad (fiber and vegetarian protein) makes filling nutritious dinner, and the spices give it plenty of zing.
Epcot: Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria—Pasta Fagioli Soup
Bursting with fiber and protein, pasta fagioli soup is a light lunch choice that anyone visiting in cooler months will savor. (If you're looking to lose weight, try these healthy soups.)
Disney Hollywood Studios: Anaheim Produce—Snacks
Healthy snacking doesn't get better than the choices at Anaheim Produce at the Disney Hollywood Studios. Choose from fresh fruits and vegetables including sweet clementines, grapes, pineapple, Granny Smith apples, carrots and celery, and dill pickles.
Disney Hollywood Studios: Hollywood & Vine – Lunch Buffet
Not all buffets are laden with heavy, rich foods. This one at Disney Studios boasts an array of crisp greens and vegetable dishes, carved roasted meats, and super-lean, peel-and-eat shrimp. Fill up on the fiber-packed vegetables and get your protein boost, too. Here's how to navigate a buffet like a boss.
Disney Hollywood Studios: Fairfax Fare—Fajitas
Latin-inspired fajitas are always a healthy meal choice. This version offers grilled pork or chicken, fiber-rich black beans and corn, and traditional seared peppers and onions. You'll surely be satisfied with fuel for the remainder of your park day.
Animal Kingdom: Caravan Road—Teriyaki Sliders & Edamame
Sometimes combining a few appetizers can make a healthy meal. This quick-serve joint in Animal Kingdom offers teriyaki beef sliders. Pair them with edamame for a combined protein, fiber, and carbs kick and that makes a well-rounded lunch. Edamame boasts soy-based protein and fiber, associated with reduced heart disease.
Animal Kingdom: Harambe Fruit Market—Snacks
Fresh watermelon and sweet clementines are found at this market for a light snack. Pick up a mini baby bell snack cheese or nut trail mix for protein, and you're fueled for hours.
Animal Kingdom: Restaurantosaurus—Mixed Green Salad with Roasted Chicken
Kids can't resist dinosaurs, right? So, stop at this restaurant for a nutritious fresh salad. Mixed greens topped with roasted chicken and hard-boiled eggs provide the perfect mix of fiber, protein, and vitamins. Eggs contain choline, a vitamin-like molecule necessary for metabolism.
Animal Kingdom: Tusker House Restaurant—Lunch
So many healthy lunch options abound at this restaurant that I couldn't pick just one to feature. How about black-eyed pea salad, hummus, tabbouleh, and several vegetarian salads? Choose a protein, such as roasted chicken or salmon. Filling up on those omega-3 fatty acids in the salmon is heart-healthy. Find out why omega-3s are one of the 7 supplements heart doctors take every day.
Disney Typhoon Lagoon Water Park: Leaning Palms—Veggie Lunch
If you're headed to the water park, be sure to take in some Island-inspired cuisine! A couple of highlights for vegetarians include this black bean plantain veggie burger with fresh apple slices, or try the vegetarian-sausage and rice bowl with corn, black beans, and sweet plantains.
Disneyland Resort: Trader Sam's—Poke Bowl
It's easy to over-indulge when resort dining. Dietitian Amanda Hibshman, RDN loves Trader Sams, a small tiki bar by the pool at the Disneyland Hotel. "My favorite item is the Poke Bowl, which is a balanced meal in one. It features tofu or ahi tuna as the main protein and includes pineapple, avocado, and cucumber on a bed of rice. It is a refreshing break from the heavy and fried foods you often see in the park."
California Adventure: Harbour Galley—Fisherman's Salad
Dietitian Kaely McDougall, MS, RD, shares: "I love the Fisherman's Salad and Shrimp Salad at Harbour Galley in California Adventure! Both of these options provide a bed of veggies topped with a lean protein (shrimp or ahi and hard-boiled eggs), and healthy fats (olives, feta, and avocado) to keep you fueled all day long." Don't miss these 10 new foods you have to try at least once when visiting Disney World.