Looking for the healthiest Disney World restaurants?

Disney is the most visited vacation resort in the world, with an average of over 58 million people visiting annually. While it is a popular spot for parents to take their children, there are also many “Disney Adults” running around who are just as excited for the character meet-and-greets and fireworks as the kids. Most people who visit Disney walk miles and miles per day to get in as much magic as possible and end up feeling very hungry.

Want to maintain healthy eating habits while at Disney? Choosing the healthiest Disney World restaurants helps you keep energy levels high, maintain confidence, and progress towards any fitness or nutrition-related goals so that transitioning back to your normal eating behaviors after vacation isn’t as difficult

The most exciting part is that you can maintain healthy habits while on vacation and enjoy a Mickey Mouse ice cream or waffle (or two!). This guide provides practical tips and strategies for enjoying nutritious meals at Disney World while fully enjoying the culinary magic and experiences offered.


Challenges of Eating Healthy at Disney World

Many people, including those who already make nutritious choices in their daily lives, think of vacation as a time and place to overindulge and stuff themselves with unhealthy food.

While vacation can be a time to treat yourself, it’s important to remember that you’re more likely to enjoy your vacation if you don’t overeat to the point of discomfort, making it hard to be present! This is especially important to remember at Disney, where the weather tends towards being hot (and where feeling overly full does not feel good) and where your vacation is typically very physically active!

Nutritious choices don’t immediately come to mind when you think of Disney World (cue images of Mickey Mouse waffles, rice crispies, and ice cream sandwiches), and healthy options aren’t as readily advertised. Because people usually rush to get from one attraction to another, they want something quick and easy to eat, which usually translates to fast food or grab-and-go snacks higher in carbs and fat. But many nutritious choices are available at Disney if you are willing to take the time to find them!

Food at Disney, whether macro-friendly or not, can be a bit pricey. Let this serve as an incentive to look for healthier options, as they will likely be just as expensive as less nutrient-dense ones.


Tips for Planning Ahead for Success

Planning ahead will lead to the most success in making smart choices at Disney! Here are some of our top tips before you hit the parks to help you stay on track:

  1. Research dining options and menus in advance before you leave for your trip! Then, based on which options best suit your goals, you can map out where to eat each day on your trip based on the parks you visit.
  2. Make reservations at restaurants with food choices that fit your goals. Do this well in advance, as restaurants book up early. You can reserve a table exactly two months ahead of the day that you would like to eat at a Disney restaurant.
  3. Consider packing your own snacks so that you have advance control over what you eat! Emphasize high-protein, portable snacks such as beef jerky, protein bars, and pre-chopped, easy-to-eat-on-the-go fruits and veggies! Bring a water bottle that you can refill over and over (also allowing you to save money!)
  4. Check out our restaurant guide for general best practices!


The Healthiest Restaurants at Disney World

Below is a list of 10 healthy restaurants at Disney World with sample macro-friendly, nutritious items to order! These are just some of our favorites, but there are many additional healthy dining options at Disney.

  1. Epcot-Garden Grille - lean meats (pot roast, turkey), salad, and fresh veggies
  2. Epcot-Tangierine Café (located in the Morocco pavilion) - couscous, chicken, hummus
  3. Epcot-Sunshine Seasons - the Power Salad, tabouleh, oak-grilled rotisserie chicken or salmon
  4. Animal Kingdom-Satu’li Canteen - make your own bowls/salads! 
  5. Animal Kingdom Yak and Yeti - salads, Roasted Veggie Bowl 
  6. Magic Kingdom Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Café - rice bowls with choice of protein, Southwest Salad,  veggie burgers
  7. Magic Kingdom Columbia Harbor House - Broccoli peppercorn salad, vegetarian chili
  8. Magic Kingdom Liberty Tree Tavern - Colony Salad, vegan burgers
  9. Hollywood Studios Hollywood Brown Derby - Faroe Island Salmon, shrimp cocktail
  10. Hollywood Studios Star Wars’ Galaxy’s Edge - Tugg’s Overnight Oats, Roasted Endorian Chicken Salad


Estimating Portion Sizes at Disney World 

Watching your portion sizes is one key to eating healthy at Disney World. If you choose a more indulgent dish, divide it into half and box the rest. Wait 20-30 minutes to see if you’re still hungry before eating more. Or, from the outset, plan to split the meal with a friend or family member.

If you can build your entrée, consider the plate method. Fill approximately half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, a quarter with protein, and a quarter with grains. 

balanced plate infographic

Practice eating until you feel satisfied rather than full. If you are trying to track or gauge appropriate portion sizes, check out this article for tips on improving your estimation! Save the image below to your phone for accurate estimation using your hands.

how to estimate portion sizes with your hands

Pro Tip: While special meal requests cannot always be accommodated, it’s still worth asking if customizations can be honored to maximize nutritional value. For example, when able, ask for items to be grilled instead of fried, ask for the dressing on the side of your salad, or ask if you can have a side salad or fruit instead of fries.    


Healthy Snacks at Disney World 

Take the time to look for fresh and seasonal options at Disney’s food kiosks and stands.  For example, different stands are set up and “hosted” by different countries during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, serving fresh international fare (usually involving more whole foods).  

Make sure to check out the following snack stands that are available year-round!

  1. Hollywood Studios: Anaheim Produce boasts trail mix, fresh fruit, carrots, and yogurt as healthy pick-me-ups!
  2. Epcot: Sunshine Seasons
  3. Animal Kingdom: Harambe Fruit Market
  4. Magic Kingdom: Liberty Square Market 

Check out the following macro-friendly and/or nutritious snack ideas available in the parks!

  • Fresh fruit and veggie cups
  • Park popcorn (without butter)
  • Dole Whip
  • Greek yogurt
  • Frozen yogurt
  • Mickey soft pretzels (higher in carbs, low in fat)
  • Nut packs
  • Uncrustables 

Sugary treats are an instant dopamine hit; they are designed to make you want more and more, making it easy to overeat! It’s helpful to remember beforehand that treats don’t feel like treats if you end up overindulging to the point where you feel stuffed or uncomfortable. When you look back on the treat, you won’t be able to savor how great it was if the memory of feeling sick to your stomach is more pronounced.

Before your trip, think about the Disney sweets you want to enjoy, and then stick to one special treat per day. Try to savor each treat—use that Mickey Mouse ice cream sandwich as an excuse to sit down and take a break so you can eat mindfully, slowly, and truly enjoy! 

Challenge yourself to incorporate fruits, nuts, and other whole foods as snacks into your day to balance out your treats. You can buy these outside the park and bring them in yourself to save money. Using whole foods as snacks will help you keep your energy high as you get those steps in, stand in line, and achieve that sense of balance!


Tips For Healthy Eating Without Tracking Macros 

If tracking what you eat does not sound like something you want to do while in Disney, we don’t blame you! Many people choose to put their tracker away to stay more present and spend their time experiencing the magic of the parks. 

If you would rather not track, here are some of our top tips to help you still feel confident in your food choices:

  • Start the day strong with a high-protein, filling breakfast.
  • Aim to include a serving of veggies with at least one of your meals each day.
  • Include a serving of protein at each meal and one snack.
  • Keep a bottle of water with you at all times!
  • Consider having one meal similar to what you eat at home.
  • Eat until you feel satisfied rather than full.
  • Set a daily alcohol limit and make sure to drink non-alcoholic drinks between each alcoholic beverage.


Staying Active at Disney World

It is very easy to stay active while on vacation in Disney World! To experience the most of what each park offers, you will be walking a lot! According to one source, the average Disney guest walks 7-10 miles daily! If you want a more structured workout, all Disney resorts and most local chain hotels offer hotel gyms to help Disney-goers stay active.  Are you a runner? Check Run Disney to see if any fun, themed races are occuring during your stay, or consider planning your trip around a race date!

Pro tip: Sit down before your Disney visit and think about how you want to feel when you get home from your trip.  What behaviors will you specifically do each day to make your health and well-being the priority you want while still feeling like you got the Disney experience you were looking for? 

Make a list on your phone of at least three non-negotiables that will help you feel on track while allowing you to enjoy your vacation! An example might be: “Have veggies with at least one meal each day, do at least two hotel workouts on the trip, and have a serving of protein with each meal.”

It is unlikely that every day will feel perfectly balanced. There may be days when you indulge a bit more than planned or don’t hit a scheduled workout.  All you can do is learn from the experience, move forward with more intention, and focus on having fun at Disney! 


The TLDR on Eating Healthy at Disney World

In summary, our key strategies for healthy eating at Disney World are:


  1. Plan ahead! Make reservations and/or plans to eat at least one place that fits your fitness and nutrition goals daily.
  2. Think of “balance” as your goal for each day.  Alternate a heavy meal and/or snack with a lighter one that is macro-friendly or fits your nutrition plan.
  3. Take advantage of opportunities for activity while exploring the parks!

Even during vacation experiences, it is important to prioritize health and well-being so that you can fully enjoy your trip and not feel out of whack or low-energy while trying to experience all the fun! This will also make it easier to return to your regular routine when you return home.

We hope you embrace balance and flexibility while enjoying Disney's magical experiences! With some advanced planning and intention setting, you can focus more on Disney’s attractions and your time with travel buddies rather than stressing about nutrition-related decisions while there when temptation and decision fatigue are higher.

Looking for more personalized support before your vacation? Sign up for 1-on-1 nutrition coaching with WAG. Our coaches will help you plan ahead so you can head into your trip confident and ready to enjoy yourself without giving up on your health goals.