19 Jul

a.k.a. What I Ate at Walt Disney World!

I’m a few weeks behind (um, obviously) but I figured I’d do a special WIAW post on how to eat at Disney. :)

Note: We were fortunate enough to have a full kitchen at our hotel, which influenced the way we ate somewhat. I’ll still chat about some of the park options though I definitely didn’t photograph everything we ate! Also some of the photos are of less-than-stellar quality since I took them with a camera phone… sigh.


Not photographed, but I basically had oatmeal every single morning; I had the foresight to bring some packets with me, and when we went to the grocery store we stocked up on a canister of oats for my dad & mom. If you have a microwave in your hotel this is a much cheaper, healthier option than eating at the parks!


Usually we ate one meal at the park and one at home (which was usually some variety of sandwich, often with boiled eggs… I would have loved to actually cook something, but we didnt’ want to buy cooking spray/oil or furnish the kitchen for 10 days, so we stuck to some simple stuff).

Animal Kingdom

We ate at Pizzafari and I got some kind of salad that had a bunch of random stuff on it… including salami, which I gave to my father (I was trying to not make a huge fuss and just go with the flow, but I wasn’t really interested in cheese pizza).


Epcot DEFINITELY had the best options. My favorite was inside “The Land”; there was a little “food-court” type area called Seasons that had a variety of vegetarian options and was generally much healthier than the rest of the food in all of the parks.

I had a fabulous vegetable soup with a cracker.

My mom had a grilled veggie and hummus pita (well, I helped :) )

My dad had a beet & feta salad… and a huge piece of chicken but I left that out.

There were fish options, stir fries, and a cold case full of different to-go wraps and even some gluten-free bars.

Definitely the most health-friendly spot I found.

Epcot’s World Showcase

This had the most INTERESTING eats, though we barely touched most of it. The World Showcase has mini areas devoted to a number of major countries, and each one has restaurants for that particular country’s cuisine. All of them looked fantastic, and if I’d had loads of time I probably would have gone through methodically and sampled a bit of everything on different days. As it was, we just wound up eating at the French bakery one day.

While they didn’t really have a vegetarian sandwich, they did have a cheese plate that came with a loaf of bread… Not exactly the most balanced meal in the world, but it worked.

Of course we saved room for dessert. :) We actually saw a few families walk out with trays FULL of desserts as their entire meal… I wish ;)

I love berries. And my camera lens. Swoon.

Personally I wanted to eat some of the falafel in Morocco, but we never got a chance. Oh well!

Magic Kingdom

We ate at the Columbia Harbor House, which was probably the best option within this park that I found… They had a good Hummus sandwich on thick, hearty bread. It had a kinda weird broccoli slaw, but it was still pretty good (if not photogenic).

Universal Studios

I originally wanted to partake in Harry-Potter themed goods at their restaurant, but none of the options looked especially good, so we wound up walking out of the park to Moe’s at citywalk where I had a delicious taco salad (I’m obsessed with salads with beans & tons of salsa!)

Other goodies

I just love going around to all of the bakeries and admiring their beautiful cupcakes & cookies & caramel apples. We didn’t really have any, but they’re so colorful & fun!

We did, however, end up going to Ghirardelli for ice cream on our final day, at Tara’s recommendation. :)

And one of my personal favorites are the chocolate covered frozen bananas they sell throughout all of the parks, though I didn’t ever photograph any of them!

General recommendations:

  • If you have a fridge, go out and buy some bread & cheese/peanut butter and bring sandwiches some days. It gets extremely expensive to just eat at the parks; each meal is $8+
  • If you DO have to eat exclusively their food, look into the Disney Dining Plan. We didn’t use it, but it seems like a decent deal.
  • Go to a grocery store and stock up on some easy snacks. The Publix that’s 2 miles away had really great prices, while the other grocery store (Good’s?) that was closer was unkempt and exorbitantly expensive.
  • Only semi-related, but drink lots of water! Preferably by reusing waterbottles; there are plenty of drinking fountains.
  • It’s kind of hard to find healthy food or vegetarian food in all of the parks. A lot of the salads have chicken, though you might be able to ask them to leave it off. I’ve heard if you’re on top of things you can call in advance and they’ll accommodate almost any dietary restrictions, but we basically played it by ear. It turned out okay, but there weren’t a ton of options.
  • At Universal, they have a special key for restaurants with healthy/vegetarian options. Unfortunately, their idea of a healthy option is a Ceasar salad. And vegetarian = cheese pizza. Sigh.
  • If you get a chance, eat your way through Epcot. LOTS of options there, and the food is not just typical-park-food. :)
  • It’s easier to eat 1-2 good-sized meals rather than lots of mini-meals like I’m used to, and ends up being less expensive. You’re on vacation and walking a TON, so give yourself some slack and enjoy what you eat! :) My general thing is if I’m going to be spending lots of money & eating more calories, I damn well better be eating something delicious ;)
  • Try eating at some places outside of the parks themselves, as I think a lot of times they’re a little bit cheaper. HOWEVER, do not deny yourself the experience of having a truly Disney-ish meal; I think having at least one sit-down dinner in the parks is fun & worth the money. Might as well do it while you’re there! :)

Any experience eating out at theme parks?

How do you deal with eating “healthy” on vacation?


21 Responses to “WIA[WDW]”

  1. sugarcoatedsisters July 19, 2011 at 8:38 pm #

    Looks like fun, Nicole!!! So lucky that you had a kitchen to make oatmeal in, that’s always the one thing I NEED to have with me on vacations.

    To eat healthy, I bring bags of popped popcorn to snack on, healthy granola bars, ziploc baggies of cereal or sliced vegetables, and fruit that won’t get smashed (apples especially!)

    – Nicole

  2. Kaila @ healthyhelperblog! July 19, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    Looks like some good stuff for being at an amusement park! Glad you enjoyed your self!

  3. Amanda @ Running with Spoons July 19, 2011 at 9:06 pm #

    Woohoo! Thank ya for this :D I -might- be going to Disney this summer, and it’s nice to know that I won’t starve while I’m there lol. I’d definitely need to stay in a place where I had my own kitchen, though. I’ve done that few times in the past and it makes things SO much easier. As for eating healthy on vacation, I try not to stress about it too much. I mean, a vacation is meant to be enjoyed. I eat healthy and exercise at home, so a few days or a week isn’t going to make or break me. Besides, all the walking around and sight-seeing are great forms of exercise :D And in the end, I think that stressing over not eating healthy is more unhealthy than the occasional indulgence.

  4. Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons July 19, 2011 at 10:22 pm #

    haha yes glad you drank LOOOTS of water! my sister in law is an EMT at the disney parks and says people always forget that and drop like flies during the summer months… I may have mentioned that before? i’m a broken record! haha Happy WIAW love! xoxo

  5. sprint2thetable July 19, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    Epcot is my favorite place in the world! (Well, at least in Walt Disney World :) ) We always eat at Mexico, France, Japan, and Morocco. Mmmm… it’s been way too long.

    Your Ghirardelli looks delish!

  6. Tiff July 20, 2011 at 2:27 am #

    Ooooo- that ice cream looks pretty awesome. I liked eating (and drinking) around the world at Epcot. Such a fun place!

  7. Tara July 20, 2011 at 4:46 am #

    i’ve heard to many great things about the food at epcot! I want to go back so bad! We’re going to universal in about 3 weeks, so it’s good to know that I won’t have many options.. larabars it is! and I’m so proud of you for going to ghirardelli’s!!! My favorite indulgence ever. I’m really hoping we get a chance to go to downtown disney so i can get some!

  8. Errign July 20, 2011 at 5:46 am #

    I usually pack fruit, nut butters and oats in my suitcase and go from there.

    I’ve always want to drink around the world at Epcot haha.

  9. IHeartVegetables July 20, 2011 at 6:04 am #

    Wow I’m impressed! I’ve never eaten healthy at a theme park! Good to know that they DO have some healthy options!

    I really want to “drink around the world” haha

  10. Jenny July 20, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    I haven’t been to Epcot since I was little! Love all the different variety of foods!

  11. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen July 20, 2011 at 8:14 am #

    Good recommendations. I haven’t been to Epcot since I was a kid, and not very interested in food. I think I’d LOVE to go there now and do a little sampling. [If I’d been with you we’d TOTALLY have hit up Morocco :)]

  12. Ty July 20, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    I am incredibly sad that Disney World and the epic food at Epcot is allllll the way across the country.

    Ah well. Probably better for my waistline!

  13. Life After Swimming July 20, 2011 at 9:59 am #

    My boyfriend is actually in Disney right now, and somehow his parents got a deal that their meal plans were free! The get breakfast, a snack, and one large meal a day! Talk about lucky!

  14. Megan July 20, 2011 at 11:35 am #

    This is great!
    I am a picky eater and that’s what makes it hard for me to eat while traveling :P I’m also kind of always hungry so I have to bring tons of my own food just because my parents won’t want to stop every 2-3 hours to satisfy my hunger.
    I’ve learned to love eating out, it’s like a fun little game or something to try and get healthy options. Although at the same time, I try not to stress it. I overall eat very healthfully and indulging is important too :)

  15. katshealthcorner July 20, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Oh my gosh. I wish I was there with you.

  16. Amanda @ Fashionably Plate July 20, 2011 at 3:28 pm #

    I was just at Disney last week, love that place! The Land is one of my favorite places to eat there!

  17. Meri July 20, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Hmmm… well it’s been years since I went to Disney and I haven’t been to Epcot or Harry Potter world… I’d love to try a butterbeer if they have it! I usually bring snacks with me on trips like this so I don’t get desperate and have to spend 8 dollars on a small piece of pizza or something I don’t even want… then I can hold over hunger until I find something that looks good! Thanks for sharing your finds!

  18. debbiecutieface July 20, 2011 at 5:52 pm #

    eating at Disney is definitely not the cheapest nor the healthiest (from personal experience!). But that fruit tart looks to die for! And who cares? Like you said, you’re on vacation and walking a ton!

  19. Allison July 20, 2011 at 8:18 pm #

    When my fam wentmto Disney we totally packed food. It was a huge money saver as well as a healthy eating saver!!!

  20. Sweet Potato Sarah July 21, 2011 at 11:09 am #

    I love Disney World! I went a couple of times when i was little and loved it so much that i have told my boyfriend that i’m seriously considering having our honeymoon there haha!
    Looks like you had an awesome time :)

  21. My (Newly)Wed Life July 21, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    That dessert looks just gorgeous!

    xo, Ana
    My (Newly)Wed Life

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