As comedian Jim Gaffigan stated in his standup routine, Mr. Universe, Disney World is the only place in the world where you can sweat your butt off and still gain weight.
And hey who can blame you for not wanting to enjoy a delicious Mickey Pretzel, freshly made churro, or juicy jumbo turkey leg every hour.
The smells and food carts are everywhere!
But look hard enough and don’t give in to temptation, you’ll actually find quite a few delicious healthy meal options available at almost every single Disney World restaurant and dining location.
From quick-service restaurants to table service ones and even snack carts, there are a lot of great healthy options that you can enjoy to help you stay healthy at Walt Disney World.
So with that being said, let’s jump straight to the guide.
How to Eat Healthy at Disney World
Here is everything you’ll need to know to help you eat healthy at Disney World.
From choosing the best types of dishes at every type of restaurant to finding a healthier alternative to delicious snacks and treats, this in-depth guide will teach you how to eat healthy in Disney World without any major sacrifices.
So let’s jump straight to some general healthy eating tips that you can use during your Disney vacation.
General Healthy Eating Tips
Here are some general tips that will help you eat healthy while also controlling portions and excess calories.
1. Order entrees only.
Want a grilled chicken without any sides? Be sure to to tell the cashier that you only want a sandwich and you’ll save a few bucks. Plus this eliminates any temptations for fries or other sides.
2. Choose the sugar-free dessert option to pair with your healthy meal.
Most table service restaurants serve normal desserts as well as dessert options that are sugar-free (and allergy-friendly). Or of course you can always skip dessert altogether.
3. Skip the fries and opt for a salad or fruit.
Most quick service meals will generally come with fries or other typically unhealthy side options. However I recommend skipping the fries and getting fruit, coleslaw, or a side salad.
4. Stick to fresh foods and skip the processed ones.
Every park and Disney resort will have fresh fruits and vegetables available for purchase. In the parks you’ll find these fresh fruits and veggies in mini outdoor food markets and at the resorts you’ll find them in the food court.
5. Order your meal deconstructed.
What I mean by this is asking for your sauces or toppings on the sides. For example when it comes to salad, you can ask for the dressing to be placed on the side that way you can control how much you want.
6. Eat a heavier breakfast, then snack healthy during the day.
Breakfast is by far one of the healthier meals of the day where you can fuel your body with proteins, eggs, veggies, and fruits.
Healthy Eating at Quick Service Restaurants
Here are some tips to eat healthy at quick service restaurants as well as some good restaurant recommendations:
1. Order a Mickey Check meal for your kid’s which allows your kids to have a healthy lunch or dinner. These meals will include 2 of the following: carrot sticks, yogurt, grapes, apple slices, or apple sauce. Plus when you get a PowerPack, you’ll get all of the following including goldfish and the choice of either bottled water or milk.
2. Skip the fries and go for either coleslaw, the vegetable option (like corn on the cob, broccoli, or side salad), or no sides at all.
3. When ordering a tossed salad a quick service locations, they’ll tend to come already pre-mixed with dressing. Just be sure to order the dressing on the sides. You can even ask for cheese and crotons on the side as well.
4. Skip the chicken nuggets and get a grilled chicken sandwich instead.
5. Skip the personal pizza and get a flatbread instead.
6. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, opt for the healthier quick service dessert option such as a yogurt parfait. Don’t get the cupcake, no matter how tempting it may be!
7. Some locations like ABC Commissary at Hollywood Studios offer both burgers and New York Strip Steak. I recommend going for the steak which will generally come with broccoli (and fries but you can always ask for double broccoli).
8. Look for the “V” during food festivals like the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival or the International Food and Wine Festival. This denotes a vegetarian friendly meal.
Best Healthy Quick Service Restaurants
- Be Our Guest at Magic Kingdom
- ABC Commissary at Hollywood Studios
- Pinocchio Village Haus at Magic Kingdom
- Anaheim Produce at Hollywood Studios
- Arctic Expeditions at Disney’s Blizzard Beach
- Columbia Harbour House at Magic Kingdom
- Prince Eric’s Village Market at Magic Kingdom
- Sunshine Seasons at Epcot
- Tangierine Cafe at Epcot
- Everything POP Shopping and Dining at Disney’s Pop Century Resort
Healthy Eating at Table Service Restaurants
Here are some tips to eat healthy at table service restaurants (including signature dining restaurants) as well as some healthy Disney World restaurant recommendations:
1. Fish and chicken are going to be some of the healthier options as long as they aren’t fried.
2. Buffets will have the best options of all you can eat salad as well as fresh fruit, so dig in!
3. Split your entree if you want to keep portion size down.
4. Request a special meal if you’re on a special diet like vegan or gluten free. Here’s how to put in a special diet request during your next visit to Disney World.
5. Skip dessert. (I feel so bad saying this.)
Best Healthy Table Service Restaurants
- Marrakesh in the Morocco Pavilion at Epcot
- Sanaa at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Resort
- Garden Grill in the Land Pavilion at Epcot
- The Wave at the Contemporary Resort
- Tusker House at Animal Kingdom Park
- Tokyo Dining in the Japan Pavilion at Epcot
- Teppan Eddo in the Japan Pavilion at Epcot
- Artist Point at the Wilderness Lodge
- Yak and Yeti at Animal Kingdom Park
Healthy Eating at Disney Resorts
When it comes to eating healthy at Disney Resorts, the best place to start is the food court.
Here you’ll generally find food areas that serve yogurt, cereal, fresh fruit, vegetables, healthy sandwiches, milk, salads, and other healthy options.
At the gift shops and stores, you’ll have access to healthy bagged snacks and treats.
And if you’re staying at a Disney resort that has villas, you’ll even find bread, cheese, deli meat, and other food options at their stores.
This is a perfect way to make your own lunch and have a picnic at the parks (especially on the Hub Grass at Magic Kingdom).
Some Healthy Snack Options
Here are some of the healthier snack options that you can enjoy at almost every Disney park and most resorts:
- Fresh fruit
- Fruit cups
- Fresh vegetables with dip
- Hard Pretzels
- Soft Mickey Pretzels (just skip the cheese dipping sauce)
- Minute Maid Frozen Lemonade
- Chip n’ Dale Nuts, Pretzels, and Dried Fruit
- Dole Whip
- Turkey and Pita Bread Sandwiches (you’ll have to order these at quick service restaurants under a kid’s meal)
Choosing Healthier Alternatives
You’re on vacation so you deserve to treat yourself.
That’s why instead of giving up on sweets or salty snacks altogether during your trip, I recommend you opt for healthier or generally better food and drink options.
Here are some prime examples of healthier and possibly even tastier alternatives that you’ll encounter throughout the parks:
Ice Cream Sundae
- Opt for a sundae made with no sugar added vanilla ice cream
- Opt for a veggie burger, veggie sandwich, or hearty Greek Salad
- Or opt for a grilled chicken sandwich
Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar
- Opt for a Dole Whip or a Minute Maid Frozen Lemonade Cup
- Opt for the chicken, pork, or fish dish, especially at table service restaurants
- Opt for a grilled chicken sandwich
Ice Cream Cone
- Opt for the Kaki Gori (Japanese shaved ice at the Japan pavilion in Epcot)
- Opt for a flatbread pizza instead
- Bottle or cup of water (it’s free!)
- Opt for a wine from Italy (in Epcot’s World Showcase)
Bags of Chips
- Popcorn (truly depends)
A vacation-long cheat day is okay…
As hard and difficult it is to eat poorly at Walt Disney World, there comes a time when it’s generally okay to have a cheat day, especially during vacation.
That’s why I recommend that instead of trying to eat 100% healthy all day everyday you should try to make one or two healthier choices throughout the day.
You know, maybe skip the coke and opt for a water, that way you can use up those calories on a glass of wine or a Dole Whip.
It’ll make vacation a lot easier and more temptation-free.
But hey, that’s just me.
If you want to be 100% healthy then I applaud you!
You can do it!
Disney World makes it so easy to stay healthy during your vacation.
Thanks for reading and hopefully you learned how to successfully eat healthy at Walt Disney World.
I’m surprised you didn’t list Satuli Canteen at AK in the QSR list. I find it to be very healthy with the salad and whole grain bases, grilled protein options, and the ability to get the sauce on the side. I find it very easy to eat healthy there, especially how tasty the healthier options are.
Keith A Bailey
I did keto last time at DW. Lost 5 lbs!! You can get steak at almost every table service, and a gigantic salad with bleu cheese. With all that walking, and drinking gallons of water, it was a snap. But, I did miss the Dole Whip…