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  • [Chat] Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

    ....okay, okay, now if you are all finished laughing.... I'll continue.


    I know there is plenty of stuff (too much maybe) stuff that is not considered "healthy food" at the parks, but help us out here.

    We are getting older, watching our cholesterol, salt, fats, and trying to eat more fruits and veggies. I know a few places, Adventureland, and Mainstreet have some good choices.

    What are some of your favorites?


    "We believed in our idea - a family park where parents and children could have fun- together."

    -Walt Disney

  • #2
    Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

    The chicken at Rancho Del Zocalo if you remove the skin and skip the carbs, is decent.
    Also , the shrimp dish at Market Cafe in NOS.
    The Pineapple spears & apples at the fruit vendor locations. Another tip, drink water. Lots of water.


    Forget about Corn Dogs, Churros, Turkey Legs, Ice Cream and Beignets .
    --
    http://www.bewaterwise.com

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    • #3
      Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

      Originally posted by ravencroft View Post
      Forget Churros


      "We believed in our idea - a family park where parents and children could have fun- together."

      -Walt Disney

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      • #4
        Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

        There really are a good number of choices for healthy food. Two of my favorites are the crispy chicken salad at the Golden Horseshoe and the chicken sausage in a pretzel dough roll at The Village Haus. Both are surprisingly good and low on cholesterol and calories.

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        • #5

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          • #6
            Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

            You can also check out the food court at the back of DCA- I think they have salads and meat skewers that are pretty good.
            I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

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            • #7
              Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

              Forget Churros and Corn Dogs? Ah man! (whine!)

              I figure that I "try" to eat healthy all year long, so if I'm going to spend $2,500 on a trip to DL, I'm going to live it up! It's all part of the experience. Churros and Corn Dogs... Here I come!


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              • #8
                Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

                I went on a quest at around 10pm one evening to find some healthy food in the resort. We were staying in Disneyland Hotel and at this point most of the stores were closing at Downtown Disney. The park was open until 11pm that night and so I resorted to entering the park just to buy some grossly over-priced fruit in Adventureland! I then returned to my family in the hotel with my spoils (not mentioning that I had a Dole Whip while I was there!)


                My son has numerous special dietry requirements and to be honest Disneyland did not cater very well for them. We ended up having more than one meal in Goofy's Kitchen in the hotel as this was one of the few places we found that served 'proper food'.
                WDW - 1987 & 1991
                DLP - 1996, 2004, 2006 & 2007
                DLR - October 2011




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                • #9
                  Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

                  I think the sit-down places will do better with special requirements than the fast-serve places, which have limited menus and options. But if you go to a place with a real kitchen, they should be able to help. Gluten-free, leaving out particular ingredients, that kind of thing is easily done.
                  I pledge allegiance to the Earth, one planet, many gods, and to the universe in which she spins.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

                    Originally posted by ScottG View Post
                    There really are a good number of choices for healthy food. Two of my favorites are the crispy chicken salad at the Golden Horseshoe and the chicken sausage in a pretzel dough roll at The Village Haus. Both are surprisingly good and low on cholesterol and calories.
                    I dont know if I could personaly consider this health. Is the crispy chicken fried or battered? and sausage in a pretzel dough? isn't any kind of sausage hight in fats and grease. and pretzle dough sounds like a lot of low quality carbs.

                    I found the maui mahi sandwich at Tomorrowland Terrace healthy. Also the citrus chicken with wild rice instead of mash potatoes and removing the skin is a healthy choice at the French Market.

                    Micenation

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                    • #11
                      Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

                      ^to each their own i guess. some people think low calorie is healthy, some people think everything in moderation is healthy. some think subway is healthy..

                      for me an empahsis on eating foods in their natural state and mostly vegetables and fruits is your best bet

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                      • #12
                        Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

                        *Flo's V8 Cafe - Turkey breast platter (no gravy), veggie baked beans, corn medley. My new go-to meal at the resort.

                        *Storyteller's Cafe (breakfast buffet) - Egg White omelette with chicken sausage and veggies. NO CHEESE!! Compared to pork sausage, turkey/chicken sausage has much less fat content. Let the cook know to go easy on the oil. Also indulge in the smoked salmon and fruit. Great variety of protein and complex carbs at this buffet. We always eat breakfast there.

                        *The name escapes me but the mexican offering at the Pacific Wharf in DCA. Chicken Breast salad with no beans or tortilla crisps and dressing on the side. GREAT SALAD! Comes with guac as well so you get all your macronutrients: proteins, carbs, and fats. I'm pretty sure they have something similar to this over at Zocalo in Disneyland.

                        *Bengal BBQ - the veggie skewer tastes better than any of the meat skewers.

                        Honestly, I've found that there's a variety of options out there like chicken breast platters, sweet potato fries, and so on and so forth. Instead of the mashed potatoes, ask for a side salad. Instead of having your chicken burger in the white bun, ask them for extra lettuce and wrap it in that.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

                          I've found it's tough for me to eat within the parks. I bring a lot of appropriate snacks for myself but when it comes right down to it, there aren't a whole lot of delicious healthy options around. Though I must say that the menu changes I've seen lately seem to be headed in the right direction. I think with the onslaught of food allergies and sensitivities that this generation is seeing, we will see more food establishments cater graciously to these needs. I've been to pizza places where you can request gluten free dough and sandwich places where you can request gluten free bread. I personally think that it wouldn't kill Disneyland and DCA to have signs at each eatery that say "Ask us about our gluten free or dairy free options" (Since those are 2 of the most common allergies) I think if they made the options available and there, that more people would feel catered to, instead of walking away because the menu doesn't seem to have what they need.

                          As an aside, I wanted to mention about the couscous dish listed at the Blue Bayou that couscous is not, I repeat NOT a grain. It's a type of pasta and it's a common misconception because I thought it was a grain for the longest time.


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                          • #14
                            Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

                            Oh yeah! I also wanted to add that we were surveyed about the healthy food options at the resort during our trip over the weekend. It was done on a computer and was pretty thorough. Looks like they're heading in the right direction now.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

                              I find it ironic that Disney has distanced itself from McDonalds and yet still serves up such unhealthy options in their parks.



                              Gotta love those Churros though....
                              WDW - 1987 & 1991
                              DLP - 1996, 2004, 2006 & 2007
                              DLR - October 2011




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                              • #16
                                Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

                                Originally posted by nathan detroit View Post
                                I find it ironic that Disney has distanced itself from McDonalds and yet still serves up such unhealthy options in their parks.



                                Gotta love those Churros though....
                                Seems the majority of the guests love to indulge in those unhealthy options.

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                                • #17
                                  Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

                                  Its important to remember than unless you're talking about a super-huge portion size of chocolate cake and ice cream, or something like the Monte Cristo, no individual food (if in the right proportion) is unhealthy by itself, unless it has more than half the amount of fat & cholesterol you need in a day and you've already had the pancakes and bacon for breakfast.

                                  The food pyramid recently changed, we need to eat less breads, which are really just carbohydrates like sugar, and fill about half our plate with fruits/vegetables. For example, here is a relatively healthy meal plan at Disneyland considering you will burn a lot of calories walking around:

                                  Breakfast

                                  Banana, fruit /Egg White omlette

                                  or maybe

                                  Banana, fruit/a small muffin or two pieces of wheat toast.
                                  Don't go nuts on the carbs as pancakes, toast, bagels are a great way to pile on the pounds and distort your target of 50% fruits/vegetables to other foods.

                                  Lunch

                                  Vegetable Skewer and steak Skewer at Bengal Barbecue. The portion sizes aren't too big, and sirloin is relatively lean, you do need some fat & protein, and with a vegetable skewer, you get half veggies/half beef. And of course, chicken is better than beef, so go with that if you can live with the chicken skewer.

                                  Dinner:

                                  Meat entree, maybe a hamburger, maybe with cheese if you are starved, no bacon!, but then finish the meal with fruits/veggies. If you are in a group of 4 adults, order the fries and everybody eat 3 or 4 fries, no big deal, but way better than eating a whole serving of fries yourself. (kinda hard as I think everybody automatically gets fries). The hamburger will give you about half you daily requirement of fat/calories, so you aren't killing yourself though red meat is worse than eat say the chicken sandwich. But yeah, you gotta eat a good size portion of veggies/fruit, it should technically take up half the plate during a meal.

                                  For most folks at Disney, this diet wouldn't even provide enough calories, so you'd have to eat something to snack on, like maybe get some apple slices, or a sandwich with lean meat, and whole wheat bread if possible.

                                  The real bad food, IMHO, is the empty carbs, like salty popcorn, churros, and the "crazy" foods like Monte Cristo, and the turkey leg which has way too much sodium. The vegetarian chili looks good, but guess what? It comes in a bread bowl, eating basically a loaf of bread is very unhealthy, bread is carbs, sugar is carbs . . . it will get broken down and turned into fat. Eating the beef skewers and vegetable skewers is more healthy than eating the vegetarian chili in a bread bowl if you are also eating carbs at other meals.

                                  But you know what? You could almost eat the Monte Cristo and meet your daily requirements if you just ate fruit the rest of the day. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it as eating a big meal with a lot of carbs/fats may damage the body and lead to diabetes, but if you're going to exercise, i.e. walk around the park a bit after lunch, eating fruit the rest of the day, and avoid carbs and fats, will help you to stay healthy even if you do splurge once in a while.

                                  Nobody is saying you can't enjoy hamburgers, and other such food in Disneyland, but if you gobble down a double hamburger and fries at lunch, go vegetarian for dinner, and you might at the end of the day come close to overall having a balanced diet. And if you get the Monte Cristo, then maybe split it with somebody and have a salad for dinner, and remember that Disney is using 100% whole eggs in that batter, along with butter, so there often times fat and cholesterol hidden in foods.

                                  Remember, most people who successfully lose weight make small changes in their diet they can live with, such as cutting out popcorn if you always eat that in Disneyland, and eating a banana instead.

                                  ---------- Post added 08-23-2012 at 10:07 PM ----------

                                  Originally posted by ScottG View Post
                                  chicken sausage in a pretzel dough roll at The Village Haus.
                                  Remember that chicken sausage may contain nitrates, a type of preservatives used in hot dogs and linked to cancer, and that the pretzel dough roll is full of butter and carbs, and bad carbs in that it is processed flour. Plus, they are probably using the dark meat part of the chicken, which has a fat content similar to red meats like hamburger, and they probably use butter or lard or some animal fat, meaning that chicken sausages aren't that much healthier than the real thing.

                                  A lot of "healthy" options, such as the vegetarian chili in a bread bowl are loaded with fat and carbs that Disney sneaks in there. Since they don't have to publish nutritional info, they can "cook classically" using salt, fat, and sugar in everything to make it taste great.

                                  Does Disney trick us by making chicken sausages which are only a little bit healthier than beef sausages? Yes, and double yes for coating that sausage in pretzel dough.

                                  I'm not saying that the chicken sausage pretzel dough thing can't be part of a reasonable diet plan, but be sure to eat some vegetables and go easy on the carbs at the next meal, maybe by having a chicken salad and skipping snack carbs like popcorn and junk food served at the ODVs.
                                  Last edited by chesirecat; 08-23-2012, 03:10 PM.

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                                  • #18
                                    Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

                                    If I had to purchase anything healthy to eat in The Parks I would have to stick to the fresh fruit, pineapple and salads, dressing on the side. Everything else is just too delicious to be healthy!
                                    <3 There are a million cupcakes in the world but only one is Cupcake Terror. <3

                                    I AM THE REBEL SPY.


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                                    • #19
                                      Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

                                      Originally posted by cbconglom View Post
                                      found this info online

                                      Harbour Galley
                                      Vegetarian Chili


                                      Royal Street Veranda
                                      Vegetarian gumbo with rice, onion, okra, and tomatoes


                                      Rancho del Zocalo
                                      salad black beans salsa guac

                                      dca:

                                      various fruit carts/stands

                                      cocina mexican
                                      salad black beans salsa guac

                                      lucky fortune
                                      veggies and rice
                                      Some of these items might not help you put together a balanced diet:

                                      1. Harbour House Vegetrian Chili. The stuff comes in a bread bowl, and Disney likely puts sugar & butter in the chili sauce. If you eat the bread bowl, then realize you are getting a whole ton of carbs, plus whatever butter & sugar is in the chili. Go with a salad for dinner after eating this, and some lean protein, like chicken. Remember, you can fat by just overeating on bananas all day and eating like an Olympic athlete the rest of the time, we might have a portion size issue here. It is so easy to over eat on foods that market themselves as being healthy. Disney's vegetarian chili as a health food would be like marketing Vegetarian Carrot Cake with frosting as a "health food."

                                      2. White rice has a high glycemic index, it is like eating a cookie and increases a person's risk of getting diabetes. What the sauce on this dish? Just asking because a lot of sauces used in Asian American food have a ton of sugar. I wouldn't eat this meal as white rice is one of those food component with a high glycemic index, a "bad carb."

                                      3. Guac is OK, but realize it has a lot of plant type fat and is high in calories. Just something to look at in terms of your calorie count for the day.

                                      4. Veggie Gumbo. Never had it amazingly, might be a good choice, but realize that making food taste great is goal #1 for Disney, they might put a lot of butter and sugar in the sauce, so I'd have to taste this to see if I was OK with the sugar/fat content. I would guess that this is a good nutrition pick though as it is mostly vegetables and you can use this to balance out the rest of your diet.

                                      5. Beans are great! Great fiber and a wonderful way to get carbs, but watch out for "refried beans", or mushed up beans, traditionally they are cooked with lard, and Disney would have no qualms about adding butter to their refried beans.

                                      ---------- Post added 08-23-2012 at 10:28 PM ----------

                                      Originally posted by CupcakeTerror View Post
                                      If I had to purchase anything healthy to eat in The Parks I would have to stick to the fresh fruit, pineapple and salads, dressing on the side. Everything else is just too delicious to be healthy!
                                      It is intimidating to eat healthy in Disneyland as Disney doesn't publish nutritional info. But generally I would say go for the dishes with vegetables/fruits as this part of the meal won't have a lot of carbs/fats/cholesterol and we should all be making 50% of our diet fruits and vegetables, and stay away from "empty calorie" snacks items like popcorn, churros, cookies. Ice cream isn't as bad as it sounds if you balance it out with other stuff, and the portion isn't too big (splitting an ice cream bar with somebody), as it has dairy (proteins/fats) in addition to sugar/carbs, so it is not empty calories.

                                      ---------- Post added 08-23-2012 at 10:36 PM ----------

                                      Originally posted by Sheriff Lightyear View Post
                                      *Flo's V8 Cafe - Turkey breast platter (no gravy), veggie baked beans, corn medley. My new go-to meal at the resort.

                                      *Storyteller's Cafe (breakfast buffet) - Egg White omelette with chicken sausage and veggies. NO CHEESE!! Compared to pork sausage, turkey/chicken sausage has much less fat content. Let the cook know to go easy on the oil. Also indulge in the smoked salmon and fruit. Great variety of protein and complex carbs at this buffet. We always eat breakfast there.

                                      *The name escapes me but the mexican offering at the Pacific Wharf in DCA. Chicken Breast salad with no beans or tortilla crisps and dressing on the side. GREAT SALAD! Comes with guac as well so you get all your macronutrients: proteins, carbs, and fats. I'm pretty sure they have something similar to this over at Zocalo in Disneyland.

                                      *Bengal BBQ - the veggie skewer tastes better than any of the meat skewers.

                                      Honestly, I've found that there's a variety of options out there like chicken breast platters, sweet potato fries, and so on and so forth. Instead of the mashed potatoes, ask for a side salad. Instead of having your chicken burger in the white bun, ask them for extra lettuce and wrap it in that.
                                      The problem with Disney's chicken sausage is that it is perfectly legal for them to label them as "chicken sausage", but they could add anything to them, such as adding lard, butter, even bacon fat, and we'd never know.

                                      Having experience cooking, the fancy restaurants all use salt, butter and sugar like they are food groups, in all the courses. I'm sure Disney would be ok with adding butter, sugar, salt to the chicken sausages so that you feel like they did a wonderful job making something healthy sounding taste so good.

                                      Plus, the dark meat from chicken has a high fat content, similar to hamburger, and probably more than lean cuts of beef which have little fat. So . . . I think the chicken sausage thing is just a marketing technique, and a way of making guests feel that Disney is trying to go healthy, when really the chicken sausage is similar nutritionally to hamburger. Its like people who fry up "ground turkey" which has a lot of dark meat in it, and similar fat content to regular hamburger. While ground turkey is probably healthier than regular ground beef, it is probably not as big a difference as people think.
                                      Last edited by chesirecat; 08-23-2012, 03:38 PM.

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                                      • #20
                                        Re: Eating healthy at Disneyland Resort

                                        i bring my own food for breakfast+lunch+snacks

                                        I'll usually have dinner in the park out of convenience... you can always order water + split your meal with another person

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