You just made your New Year’s resolution to eat healthier, but have an upcoming trip to the Walt Disney World Resort. No stress! I know it’s vacation, but if you are looking to not completely throw your new plan out the window, here are some tips that may help.
Walt Disney World has so many options that can keep you from bringing home some unwanted souvenirs…like a few extra pounds. But first, you should do a little preparation before even leaving home. Making good choices is easier if you plan ahead.
- Have an itinerary of which parks you will be visiting on each day so that you can have a restaurant agenda ahead of time. Looking ahead at menus online and choosing your quick service restaurants can save you a lot of headaches and time when you are hungry. This way you know that although there might not be many healthy choices at Magic Kingdom’s Casey’s Corner, a great alternative is Columbia Harbor House where you can get salmon and steamed broccoli or a tuna sandwich on Multigrain bread.
- Make Advanced Dining Reservations. Disney is great working with guests to meet their dietary needs. All Disney restaurants can accommodate special needs or requests. You can note on your reservations any allergies or special requests for food preparation. Don’t hesitate to ask for special preparation such as sauces/dressings on the side, have foods cooked in lighter oils rather than butter or steamed veggies or grab a salad. Choose restaurants that will offer fresh, seasonal produce – like The Wave…of American Flavors at Disney’s Contemporary Resort or Garden Grill at Epcot.
- Bring a few things from home to carry with you in the parks: dried fruit or packages of nuts, healthy snack bars – something to grab when you can’t find anything but junk and you’ll save money, along with calories.
- Order some groceries from a grocery delivery service. They will shop for you and deliver to your resort for a small fee. This way you can start your day off right with breakfast in your room.
There are tons of healthy snack options to find at the Walt Disney World Resort.
A Dole Whip is a great low fat, gluten free treat and there are many kiosks with fresh fruit, veggies or nuts.
Portions are large at Disney. Share meals with another person in your party or ask for a “to-go” container. That one meal has now become two, which can save you calories and money.
There are healthier options for kids’ meals with sides of fruits like grapes, apple slices, or carrots, and bottled water or 1% milk to drink. Disney Check Meals offered at Disney World are a great way to make sure your kids are getting a healthy, nutritional meal. Look for the Disney Check symbol, a green check mark on a yellow Mickey head with a purple border, on the menu. The symbol indicates the meal meets Disney nutritional guidelines.
Here are some additional tips and tricks to keep in mind:
- At breakfast buffets: go for the oatmeal, fresh fruit or scrambled eggs and skip the bacon, sausage or waffles.
- Pass on those white rolls that are always placed on the table at dinner or even better yet, tell your server to not even bring them out.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions: swap your fries for veggies, ask for a fruit or sugar-free option for dessert.
- Get a bottle of water instead of a fountain drink with your meal. It will keep you hydrated and save you calories. You can also get free cups of ice water at the quick-service restaurants.
- Choose a hearty salad instead of sandwich and fries.
These are just a few tips that can make your visit to the Walt Disney World® Resort a healthier one and will help you with that resolution. Keep in mind that you will be walking A LOT and getting in your daily steps that will help with burning those calories.
Don’t forget that it is okay if you splurge a little! If you choose to have a special treat or food, just get right back on track with your next meal or snack. Easy peasy and no worries! After all, you are still on vacation. Make it fun and delicious!
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