fantasia_gardens_disneyThe first thing that comes to mind when planning a Disney World vacation probably has something to do with a specific theme park, character, or favorite ride.  From the Disney magic that excited and lights up the sky with fireworks to the high spectacled theatrics of shows around the parks, Disney can keep you going from morning till night. Except that the key to a truly magical Walt Disney World vacation is to focus on healthy living while still having fun. Healthy living is easy at Walt Disney World thanks to new initiatives and off the beaten path activities for all families.

Miniature Golf at Fantasia Gardens

Healthy living for our family starts with knowing our limits and finding outlets for down time on vacation, even at Disney World. One of my new favorite ways to create down time is to spend time at Fantasia Gardens  and Fantasia Fairways Miniature Golf Course, set between Epcot and Hollywood Studios. Fantasia Gardens is a perfectly sized miniature golf course fit for Disney fans of all ages. After a long day of exploring parks like the Animal Kingdom or Epcot, an evening of miniature golf provides down time and a relaxed setting while still being active.  As much as I love exploring my favorite parks and taking ride after ride, a break from it all helps  keep me in the Disney spirit longer, avoiding potential sensory overload.  The bonus is that while I see a few hours of miniature golf as down time, my uber golf fan daughter sees the time as just another Disney adventure, albeit in a much more tranquil setting.Meet the Mickey Check

Disney prides itself on incredible customer service, over the top experiences and now, a commitment to healthy living. As a company and brand, Disney knows that healthy families are happy families.  As part of the comprehensive Magic of Healthy Living campaign, Disney has created a nutritional program that helps families make healthy choices during every meal while on property (as well as at home when shopping at grocery stores). The Mickey Check system identifies foods that meet Disney’s nutritional criteria for limited calories, saturated fats, sodium and sugar, making it easy to sift through the menu choices quickly thanks to the Mickey Check.

disney_magic_of_healthy_livingRun Disney, Run

Of course, if you want to find balance of the endurance sport type, you can plan a Disney vacation around one of the many runDisney races that span the year. From marathons to half marathons, each endurance event is accompanied by shorter races or fun runs that everyone in the family can participate in. This component of Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living strives to get everyone in the family moving with endurance events like marathons and half marathons, that are accompanied by shorter races or fun runs that everyone in the family can participate in.

Having run the Princess Half Marathon last year, I can attest to the fact that visiting Walt Disney World for a runDisney event puts a whole new spin on finding down time and taking advantage of the Magic of Healthy Living components around the parks. The reality is though, whether you are at Disney World duirng a runDisney event or any other time of the year, as long as you are looking for it, the committment to the Magic of Healthy Living is obvious and runs deep into all aspects of a Disney vacation.

Elena is a freelance writer, digital content strategist, and chaser of dreams. She writes about making every moment matter at LiveDoGrow. You can find her on twitter and facebook.

DestinationReviewAs an attendee of the 2013 Disney Social Media Moms Celebration, I paid a conference fee and travel expenses but received perks at a reduced rate. I was not asked to write about anything related to the conference. All opinions are my own. No compensation was received.