Eating is usually not the focal point of a theme park visit, but a multi-day trip to Walt Disney World is going to involve food. Despite souvenir cups filled with soda and desserts that can induce diabetes, Disney is emphasizing healthy choices, with plain low-fat milk included in kids’ meals, and vegetarian choices at nearly every eatery throughout the parks and resort hotels.
Gluten free options are also prevalent.
At the Boardwalk Inn Hotel
The Boardwalk Inn, a recreated seaside resort, fronts a boardwalk that goes around a lake, connecting Epcot, Hollywood Studios, the Yacht Club Resort and a boat that takes you to either park. Just steps from the hotel, the Bakery Cafe had coffee, bagels and pastries in the morning, and sandwiches for lunch. The fresh mozzarella on focaccia at $8.99, was a good value – a huge sandwich, filled with arugula, oven dried tomatoes, and a good amount of cheese. You can opt for a small cucumber salad, more like a quick pickle, instead of chips.
The ESPN Club is a little further down the boardwalk, and is a great spot if your team is playing (go Brooklyn Nets!). Though it’s a sports bar, with lots of TVs and fried foods, there are also salads and a great vegetable hoagie brimming with veggies. My sandwich had zucchini, eggplant, roasted red pepper, fennel, dried tomatoes, arugula and goat cheese. Here, too, there was cucumber salad instead of French fries.
Vegetarian Options in the Disney Parks
Epcot is probably the easiest park to find health, vegetarian food. At the Land Pavilion – home to the hang gliding simulation ride Soarin’ – you can take the Living with the Land Boat Ride through the hydroponic farm that supplies produce to Disney restaurants. Sunshine Seasons, the food court here showcases veggies; I’ve had great fresh salads, stir fry and vegetable sushi here.
At the World Showcase, you can explore global cuisine, and definitely find many vegetarian choices. Even the Rose & Crown Pub, specializing in British pub food, had good vegetarian friendly choices. There was a light salad appetizer, with frisee, apples and blue cheese, plus a vegetarian soup. I had an entree of vegetable shepherd’s pie, with carrots, mushrooms, peas and mashed potatoes. There are also a couple of fish choices for vegetarians who eat fish.
Note: I was a guest of Disney for the TravelingMom Retreat.