Category Archives: Dining

WDW Healthy Snacks

Long days at WDW, while fun, can leave you tired and hungry.  There are a plethora of options for snacks available seemingly around every turn.  Healthy options are harder to find, though.  If you don’t pay attention, a trip to WDW can make your comfy jeans fit like skinny jeans.  I offer a guide  for those of us who have a medical condition (hypertension, diabetes, arteriosclerosis), do not want to loosen our belts, and/or just want to eat healthy.

First, let me explain what I mean by “healthy.”  Nutritional guidelines seem to stay in a state of flux.  Current general consensus recommends limiting salt, refined sugars, and processed foods, while consuming more “whole foods:”  fruits, veggies, whole grains, dairy, eggs, and non-processed meats.  While each of my suggestions may not fit all of these criteria, I will try to follow remain fairly close.  In addition, to me, the calorie content should not be extreme.

The “Disciple’s Prayer” from the Bible states, “Lead us not into temptation.”  While not referring to food, it is still good advice.  Just as someone trying to quit smoking should avoid contact with cigarette smoke; those of us trying to watch our diet should try to avoid surrounding ourselves with the sights and smells that will tempt us.  Healthy snacks can be found scattered all over the parks,.. right next to sweets, pastries, and other temptations.  Fortunately, without too much effort, temptation can be avoided.

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The best park options, where you are surrounded by healthy choices with minimal temptations, are at the marketplaces.  There are options that are natural, non processed, and relatively low calorie; mostly fruit.  Each location has similar offerings:  fruit (apples, grapes, oranges, pineapple, watermelon and bananas), pickles (high in salt, though), trail mix, and yogurt.  In addition to these staples, each marketplace offers 1 or 2 things unique to it:  cheese, clementines, tomato bisque.  In Magic Kingdom, if you are on the Tomorrowland/Fantasyland side of the park, then Prince Eric’s Village Market is the nearest option, located across from Ariel’s Grotto in New Fantasyland.  On the Adventureland/Frontierland side of the Magic Kingdom, Liberty Square Market is the closest.  In Hollywood Studios, Anaheim Produce on Sunset Boulevard is your choice.  In Animal Kingdom, it is the Harambe Fruit Market in Africa.  Surprisingly, Epcot does not have a market.  You can find similar options scattered on treat carts, though.

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Even though you may love fruit, being on vacation, there are times that you may desire something more decadent, more savory than fruit.  I have those times covered, too.  Starbucks are now located in each WDW park:  Main St. Bakery in Magic Kingdom, Fountain View in Epcot, Trolley Car Cafe’ in Hollywood Studios, and Creature Comforts in Animal Kingdom.  Please allow me to state that most of the options at Starbucks are sugar/calorie laden diet busters.  I do not personally like coffee, but there is one viable option that I consider as more of desert or sweet treat:  the “skinny” latte’.  Any latte’ (vanilla, mocha, pumpkin spice,..) can be made “skinny.”  They are made with coffee (caff, half-caff, or decaf), whipped skim milk, and sugar free flavoring.  A Grande’ (medium) has only 150 calories!  Not bad for a sweet treat.There are still more options!  The famous pineapple DoleWhip has only 80 calories per half cup!  It will not blow your diet!  It is high in sugar, but still not bad.  The DoleWhip is available in Magic Kingdom at Aloha Island in Adventureland.  Epcot has several choices.  La Boulangerie Patisserie des Halles in the France pavilion has Bisque de Homard (lobster bisque), fromages (cheese plate), and Pissaladiere (olives, tomatoes, and cheese).  Tangerine Cafe’ in the Morocco pavilion offers hummus, couscous salad, lentil salad, tabouleh, and marinated olives.  In the Norway pavilion, Krigla Bakeria og Cafe’ has sugar free chocolate mousse.  les halles epcot

So, while WDW vacation can make eating healthy more challenging, it is not impossible.  Please note below specific illness considerations.

** For diabetes:  pineapple, bananas, watermelon, and DoleWhips are loaded with sugar.

**For hypertension and/or edema:  pickles, trail mix, olives, cheese, soups, and salads can be high in sodium.

Pongo:  working husband, father, and Disney-phile.  

I hope that you find these recommendations helpful.  Any comments and/or further suggestions are welcome.  If you would like to read more articles from us, then click on the “Follow” tab and each new article will be emailed to you.

Top 5 Money-Saving tips for Disney World-

Perdita (mom) here-

I am the money-manager in the house so I do the investigative work when it comes to saving money for Disney World. Some of the 5 tips for saving money are so long I will have to elaborate in a separate article, but some are not

1)Eat Cheaply-I have covered this in a previous article, but it bears repeating. This one tip alone can save hundreds easily. Some people don’t think about how much a meal can cost (easily $30-40/person). If you have a family of 4 that is about $160. If you factor in 3 meals/day that could easily add up to $500/ day plus any snacks and drinks you may buy at the park. Let’s just say you do spend this much and you are staying 7 days. You can easily see how the meals can add up to thousand alone. I know Disney isn’t cheap for even the “cheap” meals I have advocated, but it makes a real difference.

2) Buy Disney Vacation Club (to save even more, buy on the re-sale market)-
I am writing a couple of articles about this because there is so much about this topic. This one move has enabled us to go to the parks much more frequently than we otherwise would have been able to.

3)Use Miles Cards and sign-up bonuses for your travel
Again I will elaborate more later, but if you have a favorite airline or have one airline (for us it is Southwest Airlines) that is convenient for travel, get their credit card.

4)If you don’t have Disney Vacation Club consider Value and Moderate Resorts
When we called in to Disney in 2009 to make a reservation we didn’t even know there were value resorts. (There are value, moderate, deluxe, and deluxe villa resorts.) They booked us in a deluxe resort. When I thought back to the time I called several years before and they priced the vacation (the one we couldn’t afford) they also had booked us into a deluxe resort. Ask about all options and check the website.

5)Don’t fall for the “Dining-Plan-Package”
They will tell you that you are saving money when in fact they have that built into the package. If you price the vacation for room only I have found you save money. (a caveat is that is only if you don’t care about eating at the fine dining restaurants). I have found that on room-only reservations you can get about 30% off on the rooms most of the time anyway and they put the dining plan in the package and keep the room at full price. There are exceptions to this but I have found this to be the case when we have called.

More tips later!

Pizza at Walt Disney World

We love pizza. Perdita could, and at times has seemed to try to eat it almost every day. Unlike many other foods, even bad pizza is usually pretty good. WDW has several places to order pizza. There are traditional pizzas and flat-bread pizzas. I will address flat bread pizzas at a later time. This post is about “the real thing.” I am also not including Downtown Disney/ Disney Springs, because unlike at Disneyland, in WDW it just seems separate.

Here is my guide to pizza at WDW theme parks.

Magic Kingdom – Tony’s Town Square Restaurant offers flat bread pizza. There is surprisingly, no “real pizza” in Magic Kingdom.

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Animal Kingdom – Pizzafari on Discovery Island offers Cheese, Veggie, Pepperoni, and Meat Lovers Pizza, each served with Caesar salad. The prices range from $9.19 to 10.69. The portions are generous. So, it not a bad price for WDW. The pizza is mall food court/ stadium quality. It will take care of your pizza fix, but will quickly be forgotten. The atmosphere in Pizzafari is fun, though, with bright, playful murals of animals decorating the walls. It is a cool and comfortable place to rest out of the sun.

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Hollywood Studios – Toy Story Pizza Planet offers the same selection as Pizzafari, served with a Caesar salad. It is the same food and same quality, just a different setting. The theming is of coarse from “Toy Story.” The restaurant can be loud and to me, the theming is forgettable. There is outdoor seating, though.

Via Napoli at EPCOT Photo by Preston C. Mack

Epcot – Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria in the Italy Pavilion is the only table service restaurant on the list. It offers many varieties of pizza including several authentic Italian pies. The selection includes Napoletana, Margherita, Capricciosa, Pepperoni, Piccante, Funghi, Carciofi, Quattra Formaggi, Prosciutto e Melon, and Broccolini. Every one that I have tried has been wonderful. As you see, there are plenty of selections to fit almost any taste. Large pizzas are $31 and can feed 2 or 3 people. That is not a bad price at all for a table service restaurant at WDW. Of coarse, gratuity will add several dollars to the cost. You can order take out, too, though and find a spot outside to eat. I do recommend that you eat in the restaurant at least once. The cast members are all Italian which adds to the experience. The restaurant is absolutely beautiful with vaulted ceilings, arches, and murals.

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Boardwalk Pizza Window – Even though this option is not in one of the parks, I feel that it should be included due to quality, price and easy access. It is located at the Boardwalk Resort. It is a 1/3 mile walk from the International Gateway at Epcot and about 1 mile from the entrance to Hollywood Studios. It can also be reached from either park by riding a Friendship (refer to article about the Friendships from March 25, 2015). New York style cheese, pepperoni, and signature (garlic, mushrooms, and spinach) pizzas are available by the slice ($4.19 – 4.69) or by the pie ($18.99 – 20.49 for a pie large enough to feed 3 or 4). The slices and the pizzas are quite large. The flavor is as good as the price with a mildly spicy sauce and loads of cheese. This is the best value available. there is outdoor seating along the boardwalk at a table, bench or ledge where you can enjoy the view and activities.

Happy eating!
Pongo

Roly’s Storyteller’s Cafe Review

Hello, Roly here, and today I will be reviewing something my dad, Pongo, has been bugging me to write about for some time, and I’ve never gotten around to. My family and I went to a character breakfast for the first time. You see, my mom, Perdita, had had trouble with Disney and for the trouble, we got a free character breakfast for the trouble.

This is a picture of where we were seated (we are not in the picture.)
This is a picture of where we were seated (we are not in the picture.)

The character breakfast was a breakfast buffet, and since I have loved any buff

et I have ever been to, I really liked this. Right when we entered the door, we were greeted by Chip (Chip has the black nose and one tooth, Dale has the red nose with two teeth.) we got a quick picture with Chip, and were seated. The waiters were very friendly, and we got several drink refills. Some of my favorite foods were: Eggs Benedict, which I have never had before; cupcakes, there were four flavors; and bacon, mmm bacon

This is a photo of Kenai and Koda, the Bears from Brother Bear.
This is a photo of Kenai and Koda, the Bears from Brother Bear..

Characters came and posed for a picture with us at our table frequently as well. These characters included: Koda and Kenai from Brother Bear; Pluto; and Chip. Some came to our table more than once, and Koda and Kenai led a game of following the leader (I was the oldest one participating.)

The restaurant itself is a craftsman style restaurant named the Storyteller’s Cafe inside the Grand Californian. Each section of the restaurant is separated by wooden panels with some sort of scene, based upon the saying written above it. The room my family and I were seated in had paintings of people like Davy Crockett on the wall. It was a very nice restaurant, a very good experience, and I highly recommend it.This is a photo of Kenai and Koda, the Bears from Brother Bear.

Roly