Eating at Disney World: Part 1

Last week, I went on vacation with my parents, sister, brother-in-law, and 3 nieces.  Where did we go?  Disney World!!

While I was there, I thought it would be a good idea to document what we ate, give a little nutrition advice for those that don’t want to go overboard with fatty foods, and give advice on the most economical way to experience Disney.

That being said, there is a LOT to say on this subject so I’ll be doing this in two separate parts.

Like any amusement park, Disney World is filled with fried foods, fast food, indulgent desserts, blah blah blah.  And don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to splurge a bit.  I mean, you are on vacation.  But I also know how crappy I feel if I eat fatty foods for days on end.  That and the fact that it’s darn near impossible to eat a home-cooked meal while at the magical world.

A little background:  We were at Disney World for 4 days (with the entire family…my sister’s family stayed a little longer), spent 3 days in the parks, and stayed at a Disney resort hotel.  We did NOT do the “dining plan” that Disney offers and our hotel did not include breakfast.

In this post, I will review what we bought and give a few quick tips on budgeting.  In part 2, I will talk about nutritional tips and a few other tips to ensure your vacation will not lead to unhealthy eating habits.

Day 1- Hollywood Studios Park

Breakfast– Split a breakfast platter.  It included 2 french toast sticks, 1 sausage patty, 2 strips of bacon, scrambled eggs, a biscuit, and breakfast potatoes.  Price was around $8-9 I believe.  Even after splitting it, we didn’t finish the platter.  So much food!! Sugar-free syrup was available if desired.

Lunch– Quinoa and arugula salad with chicken. Price was somewhere around $9. Served with tomato basil vinaigrette. Kind of good but I don’t like olives so those turned me off a bit.

Dinner- 1/2 of a turkey and sun dried tomato sandwich at the hotel with kettle chips.  Price: about $8.

Day 2- Epcot

Breakfast- Small yogurt, 2 slices wheat bread, small container of peanut butter, 1 Tbsp strawberry jelly.  Price: around $1.50.  How?  The yogurt was left over from one of my niece’s dinner from the night before.

Lunch- German food! We ate at the buffet restaurant “Biergarten” in “Germany” at Epcot.  Price was $27 per person.  But it included a drink, salads, meat carving station, and dessert.  Very good and it was great to eat real food.

Dinner- Split another turkey sandwich with my mom.

Other stuff- Popcorn and a soft pretzel…split amongst the family. Price was about $4 each.

Day 3- Magic Kingdom

Breakfast- Fruit Loops with 1% milk, bite of my niece’s muffin, and a bottle of water at the park.  Price:  around $7-8.

Lunch- Build-your-own taco salad.  Price: around $8-9.

Dinner- Pasta ‘primavera’….really it was alfredo sauce but whatever.  Good but very rich.  Price: around $9-10.

Other stuff:  We splurged this day…I bought a brownie and cake pop and ate about half of each.  We also had ice cream (mine was a frozen banana pop)

Verdict?  Food wasn’t all bad.  I avoided most of the burgers and fried foods because I didn’t want to feel bloated and weighed down by fatty foods while I was there.  I did indulge while there, didn’t deprive myself, and tried to eat on the cheap because food is very expensive there.

Tips:

  • Share your food!! Most of the entrees at the hotel were plenty for 2 people to eat.  At these prices, you don’t want to waste food.  Plus, you can’t really save it for later unless you have a fridge in your hotel room. (We did and could save apple slices and yogurt that came with the kids meals)
  • Disney’s dining plan can be a good idea to feed a family if you’re eating on site.  You can save a lot of money if you’re going to eat at a restaurant or nicer place at least once per day.  To find out how that works, click here.
  • Bring your own snacks!!! We had peanut butter crackers that we brought into the park, and always brought a drink in with us.  This way, if someone in your family gets hungry, you have something nutritious to eat without munching only on popcorn or pretzels….or funnel cakes. Plus, it saves a bit of cash.
  • If you’re staying at a Disney hotel, you can buy a special mug that can be refilled at the resort (NOT inside the parks) with soft drinks, coffee, hot chocolate, and hot tea. Big money saver!!! The cups cost about $15.49 +tax.  You’ll save a lot of money if you’re like my family and refill the mug 4-5 times each day.  You figure at $2.50 per beverage if you buy it a la carte, it takes a little more than 6 refills to pay for itself.  We used them each day for 4 days, at minimum of 4 refills each day…like I said, BIG money saver!!
  • You need a reservation for all sit-down restaurants at Disney World.  Really, don’t even try to get in without one during peak seasons. Plan ahead!
  • Stay hydrated by buying a water bottle and refilling it in water fountains.  Each bottle of water is $2.50 in the parks.

Stay tuned for part 2!!  I’ll go over some nutrition advice to help you stay on track and energized throughout your vacation.

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