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Old 03-07-2008, 10:48 AM   #1  
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Default Disney Dilemma

I'm hoping someone here can give me a little advice. I just started back to WW yesterday, but we're taking a family vacation to Disney World at the end of the month. I'm guessing that the table-service style restaurants probably have a decent option or two on the menu, but can anyone weigh in (no pun intended) on the "quick-service" (e.g., fast food) options available at the parks? I can't imagine having to force an excited 4-year-old to sit for lunch everyday.

I'm wondering if it's not just easier to take the week off and deal with the aftermath when we get home? Has anyone here ever been in this situation?
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:26 AM   #2  
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Hi, there! I have been in this type of situation, but never been to Disney, so I don't have a clue what food options are in that park. When we've been traveling, I just do the best I can with what's offered. Most fast food menus offer a grilled chicken sandwich and salads now. So, I'll order the chicken and take off half the bun and get a side salad. I try to avoid fries and anything else fried, but my most important thing is to not let myself get too hungry, because then I make very poor choices. At an amusement park, I also realize that we are being very active, walking and riding fast, adrenalin-producing rides, so if I have to go off my eating plan and, say, have a big slice of LaRosa's pizza, I know I'm also doing a lot to work it off. Most importantly, have fun and don't beat yourself up if you can't follow your plan 100% during your trip-just make the best choices you can. It'll be a great time!
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:32 AM   #3  
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Heya Havoc

Ahhh vacations. What does my leader tell us when we go on them? "Don't let it be a vacation from WW!"

You probably won't be able to avoid all the greasy, delicious food. Nor should you, necessarily. But, I'll bet that at most places (even the fast food types) there are healthier options. I don't know what specific places are at Disney or if there's nutritional info for them, but it's probably worth checking out their site or even calling them to ask. (I'm sure that, you being a customer, they'd want to try and help out.) Worst case scenario is that you don't have the nutritional info when you get down there. Well, I'd just tell you to avoid the things that are obviously a ton of points. (French fries especially)

You could get an idea if you looked in the Dining Out book ahead of time (like about Mcdonalds & burger king) to get a rough estimate of how the fast food places might be points-wise, and then... simply jot down a couple of the healthier (if not healthiest) options. Keep them in mind when you go down there.

You will be walking around a ton, too. But, if you wanted an extra exercise boost, there's probably a few treadmills or what not at the place you're staying (If you're at a hotel.)

You'll make it through. But most importantly: HAVE FUN! It's a vacation, don't let the food overwhelm you ^^
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:47 AM   #4  
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Check out their website... Search "dining" and it gives you some options to click on and it'll tell you what kind of places they have there. (I assume you mean World, not land by the way)

A lot of fast food or greasy burger stand plces usually have a grilled chicken sandwish or something that is a little healthier. If I were you I wouldn't try to count calories or follow a "plan" I would just try to make healthy choices. I'm sure you'll be getting PLENTY of exercise since you'll be walking around so much.
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:50 AM   #5  
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When I went to Disneyworld as a kid, my parents would stop at a grocery store before we went to the park (our hotel was outside the park), and buy stuff like little salads, chicken drumsticks, etc. We got 1 small soda each day as our treat while at Disneyworld. We did not eat at restaurants/fast food when we were kids.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:00 PM   #6  
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You can eat healthy at DW!! That's the great thing now. Many of the smaller carts have fruits and yogurt and juices.
It really has changed a lot! You might want to pack a few healthy snacks just to have, because you could get tempted easily with the other things

If you stay on property, most of the disney hotels have good selections available for food in the casual dining restaurants. I ate oatmeal and fruit for breakfast every day the last time we went.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:48 PM   #7  
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Look at it like this: if you don't eat quite so healthy while at Disney, walking around all over the park will certainly burn off more than a few calories!
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:28 PM   #8  
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You might get a little bored, but you can always find a salad at the quick service places. They also usually have veggie burgers on the menu at most places.

Like fiberlover said, they have some wonderful stands where they actually keep the fruit sitting on ice so it is refreshingly cold. And if you want a little "special" treat, try the frozen chocolate covered bananas from the ice cream carts. They are GOOD, take awhile to eat, and I think they only have 160 calories.

Have fun on your trip! I'm a HUGE Disney fan.
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:07 PM   #9  
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We were at Disney World last October and on the Dining Plan for a week and I managed to lose a lb. What I did was take slimfast most of the time when the family were having counter-service meals and had only one main meal a day (mainly in the evenings). I ate quite a bit of fish and sometimes chicken and nearly always skipped dessert unless there was fruit salad or gelato.

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Old 03-07-2008, 07:36 PM   #10  
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Well, I'm pretty much a Disney fanatic (see my screen name.... ) so here's my two cents:

The Disney "counter service" (aka, where you go in, stand in line to give your order, and pick up the food in a relatively quick fast-foodish fashion) has done a lot in the last 5-10 years to improve healthy options. You can now get grilled chicken, salads, and fruit pretty much everywhere you go (but don't get distracted by that cheeseburger and fries!).

Also, something to keep in mind -- you do a TON (emphasis: TON!!!) of walking in Disney World. So you will burn a lot more calories than you do normally. That means you can EAT more without gaining weight!

My advice is to make good choices when you dine at the counter service (ie: get fruit instead of french fries, get grilled chicken instead of fried, etc... you know what is good for you and what is blatently bad for you) and don't worry about it too much. You're on vacation! Enjoy! Have a few "food indiscretions" but make it a point to make good choices in general, and to be right on plan the second you get home.

Last edited by jellydisney; 03-07-2008 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:14 AM   #11  
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My husband and I go to Disney 1-2 times a week (yes, a week!) as we live in Orlando and have annual passes

I'm well versed in healthy dining at Disney. And they've been working hard over the last few years to bring healthier options into the parks - there's tons of choices now!

Here's a link with all the menus at the parks:


The table service restaurants will bend over backwards for your requests. Sometimes I find that the buffets are "easier" to eat at since I get my fill of salads and veggies, but it does take willpower to not gorge and to avoid the desserts. Also, the restaurants are very happy to split meals, which my husband and I often do. You can always just order appetizers as well.

For counter service, there are definitely healthy, interesting choices at each park. Take a look through the menus and make a plan of attack.

For Epcot, our favorite for healthy eating is Sunshine Seasons, and the Tangierine Cafe at Morocco is great as well.

At the Magic Kingdom, the Tomorrowland Terrance Noodle Station and Cosmic Rays both have lots of healthy choices, and Cosmic Ray's has a terrific condiment stand where you can load up on lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, sauteed onions, etc. Great for bulking up the grilled chicken sandwich or veggie burger.

At MGM/Hollywood Studios, we usually don't go for the counter service, but the Backlot Express has a great salad and veggie sandwich.

At Animal Kingdom, the fruit plate at Flame Tree BBQ is HUGE and very tasty, I just had it a couple weeks ago.

Oh, and lastly, since you are going at peak season, if there are any table service restaurants you want to visit, you need to make reservations! Ideally they should be made 180 days in advance (a lot of people do) but if you haven't yet, definitely get on that ASAP or you won't have any table service restaurants to choose from.

Good luck! Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:33 AM   #12  
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Just to add to what the others have said, I went to Disney for last spring break and tried to be healthy and was pleasantly surprised with how they have added so many different healthy options at different fast food counters, even. I believe there's some sort of symbol on the maps for restaurants that offer at least one healthy option. If not, forgive me, but I seem to remember there being some sort of notation SOMEWHERE, which makes it easier to figure out which counters only offer burgers and fries and which ones have healthy wraps and the like. That's the only way I figured it out, so there must be a symbol next to the restaurant name in the park map or something. Anyway, you'll be walking a lot, so just do your best! You know what's just terrible for you, so stay away from that stuff! Most of all, though, enjoy!
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Old 03-10-2008, 02:12 AM   #13  
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I heart allears.net- it made our Disney vacation much easier fo rme because I could pick restaurants and meals ahead of time. We generally had breakfast outside the parl (we were at the Land) so that I could have something light, and then I would have one of my in park meals a kids meal, then the other mela I'd have more leeway. And- lots of walking! I've always wanted to wear a pedometer... but haven't remembered yet.
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Old 03-10-2008, 09:16 AM   #14  
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OMG - you guys are really making me feel better about this! I knew that if I didn't join WW now, it'd be several more months before I got up the gumption to go, but I've really stressed over this.

Thank you call for such wonderful advice and great tips! I'm printing this thread and stashing in my trip journal. I'm finding that a good plan prevents "food indiscretions". (I love that term!)

Forever42 - that allears site is increadible! I feel much better about planning my meals into this. And thanks for the really great info on the parks. We're hitting all four parks, so your info really hit home.

And SouthLake - I even didn't think of taking a pedometer, but I will now. What a great idea! If I think about it, I'll keep a record of my steps per day and post when I get back. I hear it's non-stop walking, so having some numbers to attach to the trek might be interesting.

Thank you all again! You guys have removed the one obstacle I had to enjoying this trip. But LeighHop - dangit - I want one of your bananas right now!
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:38 AM   #15  
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I went to Disney for a week in Oct and found it very easy to eat... We carried crackers and granolas bars to eat for snacks and lunches while walking around and sat down for a moderate dinner at night, usually at the hotel cafe... You have to consider all of the walking you are going to be doing....most likely will balance out any small treats that you have. The Parks have a fruit ice that is only 50 calories...
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