One of the great joys of a Walt Disney World vacation is the unbelievable array of delectable dishes, desserts and snacks on property. There’s so much yumminess around every corner that you’ll feel like a kid in a (literal) candy store! But for guests who are health-conscious, a day in WDW can be full of temptation and hidden, as well as not-so-hidden, calories. It’s certainly not easy – or fun – to stay on a diet here, but it can be done! Here are 10 ways to keep your diet in check at Walt Disney World.
Entrees at Walt Disney World restaurants tend to be substantial, so often you’ll get enough to eat by sharing a meal. This goes double if the meal in question is a high calorie one! This way you can enjoy a favorite meal or dessert, but in a more reasonably-sized portion. If you don’t have a friend or family member to share with, don’t be afraid to divide your plate of food as soon as you get it; decide how much you want to eat, and leave the rest on your plate.
9. Pack Snacks
Luckily, unlike some parks, Walt Disney World doesn’t have a problem with guests bringing in their own food. So if you’re watching what you eat, take advantage of this during your vacation. You can bring in your own healthy snacks such as fruit, veggies and nuts – or, if you’re feeling ambitious, bring along a small meal with a thermos, lunch box and ice!
8. Mickey Check Meals
Keep an eye out for Mickey Check Meals wherever you eat! They have smaller portions and have limited sugar, salt and saturated fat, so you can rest easy that your diet will stay on track. They are considered children’s meals, so as an adult you won’t be able to order these at most table service restaurants (though it never hurts to ask), but ordering Mickey Check Meals is ideal for quick service restaurants.
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7. Talk to the Chef
Walt Disney World is a great place for people with any kind of dietary restriction, whether it’s a diet, allergies, or vegan considerations. Disney chefs take care to listen to guests and cater to their needs. So don’t hesitate to tell cast members about your specific needs; at most table service restaurants, chefs will actually come out to talk to you about ingredients, and will even create a meal especially for you.
6. Water, Water, Water
Not only is water a great idea for those hot summer days in Florida, but you’ll feel fuller when you stay hydrated, so you’ll eat less. Often when we feel hungry, we’re actually dehydrated. Try drinking a glass water before each meal. You can even go to any quick service restaurant and ask for ice water, whether or not you’re ordering anything!
5. Breakfast in Bed
Whenever I travel to Walt Disney World, I bring along my own cereal and a bowl, so that I can eat breakfast in our room each morning. Every resort has a variety of milk products available, and you can keep it in your mini-fridge. Eating a do-it-yourself breakfast each day not only stops you from being tempted by high-calorie options like Mickey waffles, bacon and sausages – it also saves you money, gets you into the parks sooner – and allows you to eat breakfast in bed every day!
4. Plan Ahead
Thankfully, all Walt Disney World restaurants have their menus online nowadays. This makes it easier than ever to look up food options and plan where you want to eat ahead of time (you’ll want to make reservations for most WDW table service restaurants well in advance anyway!). If you have a favorite meal or dessert you want to indulge in, you’ll be able to work it into your schedule by planning the rest of your meals for the day around it. Or try saving your special treat for the end of your trip, so you can look forward to it!
3. Beware Buffets
Walt Disney World is full of them – fantastically delicious buffets where you’ll be face to face with more food than you could imagine, and invited to eat until you’re stuffed. For this very reason, buffets are a definite no-go for anyone trying to stick to a diet! We don’t know anyone with the discipline to not over-eat at a buffet, especially when prices for buffets are higher than at other restaurants – most people want to get their money’s worth! So banish the buffets – trust us, your body will thank you!
2. Bypass Sugary Beverages
There’s nothing like a specialty drink to make you feel like you’re on vacation! But alcoholic beverages, smoothies, milkshakes, specialty coffees and even hot chocolate can be packed with more calories than you’re prepared to consume if you’re on a diet, sometimes even rivalling the calories in your favorite dessert! So skip the sugary beverages if you don’t want to undo your progress. Stick to water, plain tea or coffee, or the low-calorie Minute Maid Lemonade (10 calories a cup) available everywhere on property.
1. Avoid Temptation
It’s easier said than done, but try to avoid temptation where you can. It’s impossible to avoid seeing – and smelling – all of Walt Disney World’s tantalizing food items, but make it easier on yourself by not walking into Main Street Confectionery or Ghirardelli’s, for example. Don’t look at dessert menus – why torture yourself? – and if you see other guests indulging in your favorite treat, look the other way! Out of sight, out of mind – there really is something to be said for it!