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There are many healthy restaurants at Disney World where you can eat great food during your family vacation. You just need to know where to find them!
Eating healthy at Disney World is quite possible, contrary to popular opinion.
We’ve visited Disney World several times over the last decade with our kids. We’ve always found many healthy food options during our visits, and I’m happy to share my restaurant suggestions with you.
If you missed my recent post about guidelines for eating healthy at Disney World, you may want to start there.
Healthy Restaurants at Disney World
The best place for great food at Disney World is Epcot.
There are wonderful options in Future World and the World Showcase. Where else can you find restaurants focusing on food from 11 different countries all in one place? Each restaurant in the World Showcase is staffed by native speakers of that pavilion’s country, which makes the experience feel even more immersive.
During our trips to Disney, we’ve enjoyed special tasting menus throughout the World Showcase as part of the annual Flower and Garden Festival and the Food and Wine Festival.
We also find great food in other parks and hotels at Walt Disney World. If you’re planning a trip in the near future, it’s important to make reservations ahead of time. Some restaurants require a credit card to hold the reservation and they charge a fee if you cancel with less than 24 hours’ notice. Many of these restaurants book up months in advance, so don’t wait until the last minute to figure out where you’ll be eating.
Epcot’s Future World Restaurants
Garden Grill: If you’re planning a vacation to Disney World, you’ve probably discovered by now that you can’t do it all. You’ll have to skip certain rides or parks in order to maintain your sanity.
One thing you do not want to skip is a ride in Epcot called, “Living with the Land.” This boat ride takes you on a multimedia tour of diverse ecosystems including rain forests and farmsteads, and you’ll see real food being grown by Disney’s horticulturalists. After you’ve experienced this ride, go upstairs to the Garden Grill Restaurant.
This character dinner with Chip, Dale, Pluto, and Mickey includes food that’s grown right there at “Living with the Land.” They offer family-style dining, so platters of food are brought to your table that everyone can eat.
At our dinner during a recent trip, the vegetables in the salad and the squash on the main platter were all grown on site. The delicious tilapia was sustainably raised right there as well. I loved sharing this meal with my family. Not only was it delicious, but it connected well with the values I’m teaching my children at home.
Epcot’s World Showcase Restaurants
Biergarten: This German restaurant in Epcot is one of my family’s favorite Disney restaurants. The buffet has so many delicious options. They offer carving stations with several types of meat, Brussels sprouts with bacon (one of my favorites!), green beans, beets, warm German potato salad, sauerkraut, wurst, spaztle, dumplings, and apple strudel for dessert. As the waiter told us in his charming German accent during our first visit here, “There’s a lot to try.”
An oompah band performs on stage while you dine, and the décor makes you feel like you’re dining outside in an old German town. This is the perfect place to arrive with a big appetite.
Teppan Edo: Another great restaurant in Epcot’s World Showcase is Teppan Edo at the Japan pavilion. This restaurant offers hibachi dining, where there’s a grill at your table and the chef cooks the food right there in front of you.
This is a wonderful real food meal where you can see everything you’re about to eat being prepared, and the chef explains what ingredients he’s using. During our visit, he put raw veggies, meat, and noodles on the grill. We all got a kick out of the onion volcano he built.
The sauce was served on the side, which is always a nice touch when you want to control what you’re eating. This meal was a highlight for our family when my kids were younger.
Epcot Garden Marketplaces: We love visiting Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival (spring) or the Food and Wine Festival (fall). These events included special kiosks in each country with tasting menus.
Many of the items at these kiosks qualify as snacks for the dining plan, so we like to circle the World Showcase and sample food from all different parts of the world. The menu items are often connected to agriculture in some way.
Some things we’ve tried at these kiosks include potato pancakes with homemade applesauce in Germany, spring pancakes with chicken and green apples in China, and fruit sushi (“fruishi”) in Japan. The fruishi was my daughter’s favorite when she was younger.
Healthy Restaurant at Disney’s Magic Kingdom
Be Our Guest: A highlight of the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland is Be Our Guest, a restaurant modeled after Beast’s castle in Beauty and the Beast. This restaurant is typically booked solid for 6 months, and with good reason. It’s usually one of the best dining experiences of our Disney vacation.
I love seeing whole grain pasta with sauce on the children’s menu. The lunch and dinner menus include so many whole food dishes for the whole family.
A highlight of Be Our Guest is the dessert cart, full of gorgeous cupcakes and puff pastries. If you’re going to splurge on something decadent, this is the place to do it.
Hollywood Studios Restaurant Highlight
Hollywood Brown Derby: Known for their Cobb salad, Hollywood Brown Derby is a welcome break from the heavier food on many of the Disney menus. The Cobb salad was invented at the original Brown Derby restaurant in California many years ago, and they still use the same recipe here at Hollywood Studios’ Brown Derby.
This is a fancy restaurant that requires 2 table service credits if you’re on the dining plan, but if you’re just getting the salad it’s a good place to pay out of pocket.
Healthy Restaurants at Disney World’s Resorts
The Wave. . .of American Flavors: This wonderful restaurant is located at the Contemporary Resort. They focus on fresh, local ingredients and their offerings are healthier than most. The dinner menu includes whole grain pasta, sustainable fish, and fresh salads. The children’s menu has many good options, including baked chicken strips, grilled fish, grilled pork tenderloin, and whole grain pasta.
Contempo Cafe is a nice quick-service restaurant at the Contemporary Resort. They have some healthier options for all meals of the day, including steel cut oats for breakfast and a variety of salads for lunch and dinner.
Ohana: We’ve stayed at the Polynesian a few times, and we always make it a point to eat at Ohana. Their breakfast is a great way to start your day. It includes a hearty, all-you-care-to-eat skillet full of scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, home fries, and biscuits. They even have a special tropical juice made just for the Polynesian. Lilo and Stitch join Mickey Mouse and Goofy at the Ohana character breakfast. The dinner spread at Ohana is also a delicious, family-style meal.
Am I missing any restaurants for eating healthy at Disney World? Please tell me so I can start planning my next vacation!