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Skinny Disney: Eating at Walt Disney World without blowing your budget

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One of the joys of vacation is eating well. But if you're trying watch your weight or have other dietary concerns, sometimes dining out can be a challenge. In recent years, dining options for those who are trying to eat healthy have improved immensely at Disney World.

An advantage to a Disney World vacation is that you're usually very active, which helps to burn extra calories. Just don't let that fact lull you into a false sense of security and throw all good sense out the window. It's very easy to out-eat your activity level in very short order.
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You'll find plenty of selections for salads, chicken, and fish at the full service restaurants in the parks and resorts. A growing number of restaurants also offer vegetarian meals. You'll find that the full service restautants are very accomodating to special preparations, if for example, you would like to skip a heavy sauce or substitute an extra serving of vegetables.

Some good full service restaurants to try for healthy eating: California Grill at the Contemporary Resort, both Jiko and Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Crystal Palace at the Magic Kingdom (character meal), Hollywood Brown Derby at Disney-MGM Studios, and Restaurant Akershus in Epcot.

Many of the counter service restaurants have moved beyond your basic hamburgers and hot dogs to offer soups, salads, wraps, chicken sandwiches and fruit. You'll also find a fruit stand at each of the four Disney World theme parks for an alternative to ice cream or chips for a snack.

Here's a small sampling of what you can find at counter service restaurants:Stir fry chicken and rice at Chakranadi Chicken Shop in the Animal KingdomTabbouleh wrap at the ABC Commisary at Disney-MGM StudiosSeared tuna on mixed greens at the Sunshine Season Food Fair at Epcot (lots of good choices here)Vegetarian chili at the Columbia Harbor House at the Magic Kingdom

If your dietary needs go beyond low calorie or vegetarian dining, such as certain food allergies (wheat, shellfish, eggs, etc.) or kosher dining, contact Disney dining services (407-WDW-DINE) at least 48 hours before you plan to dine for information, advice, and ordering special meals.

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