Let me be the first to admit that I love a good churro. Or a good beignet. Or a good Dole Whip float.
Okay, there’s not much I don’t love about eating at the Disney Parks.
But much as I’m loathe to admit it, gnawing on chili-filled sourdough cones and handfuls of dill pickle popcorn just isn’t sustainable for a multi-day vacation — nor should it be. And though I’d like to think otherwise, the miles I log while walking from Space Mountain to the Incredicoaster and back don’t exactly cancel out the thousands of calories I so eagerly consume, either.
So, as part of my ongoing resolution to make more health-conscious choices when I travel, I’ve started balancing the whole churro-and-soda routine with vegetables and salads. It’s… not terrible! Healthy food may never be a theme park specialty, but you can’t really go wrong substituting baked crab-stuffed lobster (a real thing) for cedar-planked Norwegian salmon or noshing on a protein bowl at Satu’li Canteen instead of the baked pulled pork macaroni and cheese at Flame Tree Barbecue.
This week at Theme Park Tourist, I outlined a few strategies for sticking to a (relatively) healthy diet while navigating the vast acreage of Disney’s many parks. No promises that I’m going to stick to this resolution when Oga’s Cantina opens this spring, though — I have my eye on that blue milk.
Disney certainly doesn’t make it easy for those of us with an incurable sweet tooth. Every holiday, every festival and film release brings a new array of sugar-packed, carb-loaded snacks and treats to devour, from the decadent bourbon salted caramel chocolate cake at Epcot’s Flower and Garden Festival to the waistline-expanding bacon mac and cheese foot-long hot dog featured at Disneyland’s ongoing “Get Your Ears On” celebration.
As scrumptious as theme park fare can be, however, it’s not necessarily for everyone. When I planned a 10-day trip to Walt Disney World with my fiancé last December, I knew there would be times that we wanted to indulge in chocolate-covered gingerbread and rum-infused Dole Whips, but I also hoped that we could adhere to healthier eating patterns for the majority of our stay. It proved to be a much bigger challenge than I anticipated — due at least in part to our sudden fixation for Pandora’s cheeseburger pods — but one that, as with most aspects of vacation planning, was helped enormously by some advance preparation.
If, like us, you’re looking to dodge a daily diet of turkey legs and Mickey pretzels during your next Disney Parks vacation, here are a few tips that may make finding those healthy alternatives a bit easier.
Find the rest of the article over at Theme Park Tourist here.