Eating Healthy at Disneyland

While on vacation, there is no need to abandon the diet and gain weight that you’ve been working so hard to lose. A day at Disneyland can provide a few obstacles as Churro carts, ice cream cones, and buttered popcorn calls to you at every turn. Well, actually the vendors don’t call to you, but the food might. That’s the Disney Way. Anyway, I found that since I was doing a lot of research at Disneyland and was involved with a Weight Watcher’s program, I could creatively maneuver my favorite park without crashing completely off my diet. Using these tips during that time I lost 36lbs and reached my goal.

According to my friend Karlos who works at Disneyland in Creative Foods, he pointed out that Disneyland has created a few healthier options for guests. These are some of the ideas we talked about.

Water is readily available if you don’t want to carry it around.

It’s easy to drink your daily quota in the hot California sun. Water is the same price as soda about $2.75 a large bottle, but it is chilled. Or you can carry it around and fill up at water fountains near the restrooms throughout the park.

Fresh Fruit Carts can be found in certain locations.

Some of my favorite fresh fruit carts are near the Market House on Main Street, at the entry of Adventureland, on the walkway to Splash Mountain, and the Frontierland entry of Fantasyland. There you can purchase fresh grapes, watermelon, pineapple wedges or whatever else may be in season. They often have carrot and celery packages or grapes. Surprisingly the prices of these items are not too high. One of my favorite treats is the enormous pickle for about $2.50.

Cooked up Comics, aren’t just for kids.

Since portion control is a big part of eating better, I often review the children’s meals. They can substitute fries for carrots and some of the meals come with a fruit roll up. The little lunch box it comes in is an extra souvenir.

Share an entrée with a friend or spouse.

Let’s face it sometimes the Alfredo sauce at Tomorrowland Terrace is too good to pass up. If you split it with a friend then you may be able to do some damage control. In fact many of the entrees are large enough for two adults. Again if you ask, you may be able to substitute fries for veggies.

The Plaza Inn has an amazing large chef’s salad.

When I’m really hungry, the salad at the Plaza Inn is large and yummy and the rest of the party can enjoy some of the pasta, fried chicken or other meals served there.

The French Market offers a shrimp cocktail.

The shrimp cocktail paired with the fruit plate makes an excellent dinner. It’s usually more than I can eat, and very low in caloric value.

If I must have dessert…

there are rice crispy treats in many of the restaurants, and sometimes the Gibson Girl ice cream market has frozen yogurt. A girlfriend of my likes to order the waffle cone empty, this treat is relatively low in points too. Some of the ice cream vendors also have fruit bars which are cool and not too dangerous.

Lastly, if you remember to wear really comfortable shoes, then you can encourage your feet to do some walking and count the exercise against your food points. A friend of mine recommends SAS sandals which I must admit are the most comfortable sandal I’ve ever worn. My sister swears by her Teva sandals, but mine are a little too stiff for a whole day of walking. My waffle cone eating buddy suggests Paul Green shoes if you can afford them. They are a lot less touristy and you can walk in them all day. Although my American accent gave it away, I had the look right as I tested these great shoes at Disneyland Paris. Of course sneakers are the norm at Disneyland, but do not wear Keds. Trust me, your feet can’t take it; there’s just not enough support.

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