Healthier Dining at Walt Disney World


Is it possible to eat healthier at Disney?

Is it possible to eat healthier at Disney?

Those who have traveled to Disney before know that you are bombarded with food at every turn.

From baked goods to turkey legs….to popcorn and ice cream…snack temptations are everywhere. It is easier to gain 5 pounds over the course of your Disney vacation than to score a FastPass for Toy Story Midway Mania. (OK, that might be a slight exaggeration)

It is possible to eat healthier while on vacation without missing out on some of the treats that Disney has to offer guests.

Here are some of my tips for healthier eating on your Walt Disney World Vacation…

1. Plan your meals ahead.

Although Disney does not offer calorie counts for their food items (with the exception of the Be Our Guest restaurant) you can read through menus of restaurants to determine what meals are healthier choices.

While those famous turkey legs do not look like they are unhealthy, each has a whopping 1,000 calories! Look for menu items that include salads, fresh sandwiches, fruits, and grilled meats. Disney resort hotels have Quick Service restaurants that offer packaged fruits and veggies, yogurt, deli meats and other selections that are filling and have significantly less calories than their fried counterparts.

2. Consider one “big” meal a day and several smaller meals.

When we plan our vacations, we will reserve one sit down meal that acts as our main meal and we book it in the early-mid afternoon. Later in the evening we will have a smaller meal or sandwich after walking around the park all day.

3. Take healthy snacks with you.

Make up little snack bags before you leave your hotel in the morning and bring them into the park. When those hunger pains hit, you have a healthy alternative to sugary or high calorie snacks.

4. Drinking water makes you feel less hungry.

Bring some water bottles with you and a few of those one serving low-calorie drink mixes that are a great alternative to soda.

5. Eat meals in your room.

Use a grocery delivery service like Garden Grocer to fully stock up on breakfast foods, snack items, sandwich ingredients and beverages. Eating breakfast or lunch in your resort room can be a money saver and a much healthier option. For our next trip we are dining in our room for breakfast and several lunches and will be saving over $150. That’s some major souvenir cash!

6. Limit those sweet snacks.

I will admit…Disney cupcakes are incredible…and I have to indulge in one every vacation. They are large enough to share. So buy one, grab two forks and enjoy! The famous Dole Whip soft serve treat found in the Magic Kingdom has significantly less calories than one would think. A 1/2 cup serving (without the juice) will only run 80 calories….a much better option than a Mickey’s Premium Bar at 330 calories. Aloha!

7. Use a helpful app.

Prior to your vacation, think about downloading the My Fitness Pal app to your phone. It is free and will let you track your meals for the day. Some of the Disney food items are listed; however for those that are not, you can put in the ingredients and estimate the calories.

Would love to hear any tips or tricks you have for eating healthier at Disney! Please email me or share them here.

Have Your Camera Handy When You Dine


Mickey cups

Disney Dining is always an experience, no matter which restaurant you choose. Special moments happen whether it’s a smile, or even a visit from an unexpected character. Taking a few seconds to unlock your phone, pull up a photo app, or prepare your camera could be mean a missed photo opportunity. During character meals, that initial glance from a Disney favorite may be a moment that you will want to remember forever…and having your camera on the table and ready to go…will ensure that you do not miss any of the magic!



2013 Candlelight Processional



Summer just started, so why am I talking about the holidays? When the weather is warm, it is sometimes difficult to think about the cooler winter months; however it is the perfect time to start planning a holiday trip to Walt Disney World Resort and getting those Advance Dining Reservations scheduled.

If you have ever been to Epcot during the holidays, you know that the Candlelight Processional is a holiday event not to be missed. You also know that the line to get into the event is generally long, which can result in very lengthy wait times. Even after waiting in the line, you still may not secure a seat for the performance.

Thankfully, Disney offers a Candlelight Processional Dinner Package that can be added to your dining experience and guarantees preferred seating at a performance and an exclusive viewing location for IllumiNations: A Reflection of Earth.

The Candlelight Processional is held nightly at 5:00, 6:45 and 8:15 PM in Epcot at the America Gardens Theatre. This year’s event will begin on November 29th and run through December 30th.

The Candlelight Processional features a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir accompanying a celebrity narrator who reads the story of the Nativity. The celebrity narrators were announced this morning when the packages became available for purchase.

This year’s Candlelight Processional narrators are:

11/29- 12/1- To be determined
12/2-12/3- To be determined
12/6-12/7- Whoopi Goldberg
12/8-12/10- To be determined
12/11-12/13- Dennis Haysbert
12/14-12/16- James Denton
12/17-12/19- Edward James Olmos
12/20-12/22- Trace Adkins
12/23-12/15- To be determined
12/16-12/28- Blair Underwood
12/29-12/3- Amy Grant

** Narrators are subject to change**

The Candlelight Processional Dinner Package for 2013 went on sale today, and will be offered at the following Epcot restaurants:

 Biergarten Restaurant
 Chefs de France
 Coral Reef Restaurant
 The Garden Grill
 La Hacienda de San Angel
 Nine Dragons Restaurant
 Restaurant Marrakesh
 Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room
 San Angel Inn Restaurante
 Teppan Edo
 Tokyo Dining
 Tutto Italia Ristorante
 Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria

The cost for the Candlelight Processional package varies and will include either a three course meal or a buffet; depending on the restaurant you have selected. The cost of admission to Epcot is not included in the package.

Please call 1-407-WDW-DINE for additional details and to make your reservations. Due to the popularity of this experience, it is recommended that you make your reservations as soon as possible.

Is the Candlelight Processional part of your holiday tradition? Please share your special memories and any tips you may have about viewing this performance.

Dining With Remy


I never thought that the phrase, “A rat stood on our table during our meal,” would ever cross my lips, but after our experience at Chefs de France, I couldn’t stop talking about their resident rodent chef!

Chefs de France can be found in the World Showcase at Epcot and is modeled after a bustling French bistro. While the menu changes with the season, the offerings are diverse and the dinner selections include French onion soup, roast chicken and beef tenderloin. Lunch selections offer soups, sandwiches, salads, ribs and hamburgers. The wine list is quite impressive and guests can order by the glass or bottle. Make sure to leave room for dessert; the crème brûlée is magnifique!

The pinnacle of the dining experience is a visit from the “chef” himself; Remy from the film, “Ratatouille”. Chef Remy visits and interacts with guests from a platter that serves as his stage. A cast member glides Remy along, interacts with him and encourages dialogue from diners. It is a fun experience for kids and grown ups alike! While we were taking pictures of our time with Remy, he happily posed and uttered a “cheese!” I am not sure if I ever smiled so much in my entire life.

One Disney Dining Plan entitlement is required for both lunch and dinner, and the only plan not accepted is the Disney Quick Service Dining Plan.

When making your Advance Dining Reservations, be sure to ask for a seating that will ensure a character experience with Remy. These experiences take place 4 times a day, 6 days per week; but are subject to change. Call Disney Reservations at (407) WDW-DINE for additional details, or to make your reservations.

Bon Appétit!