Even though vacation is a time for indulgence, one of the most-asked questions is “where can I find healthful choices”? Walt Disney World Resort chefs love the challenge of creating healthful bites that taste as good (or better) than we might imagine.
In no specific order, here are 10 of our favorite spots for eating healthfully at Magic Kingdom Park:
- The fresh roasted corn at Liberty Square Market. And it’s a bargain at $3.79, grilled before your eyes all day long. (We’re told they sell more than 700 ears on a busy day.) And when local Zellwood sweet corn is in season, that’s what they grill in the husk. You can add all sorts of seasonings, but it’s best with just a little salt and pepper.
- We love walkaround food, and it’s hard to pick a favorite: the fresh pineapple spear at Aloha Isle; hummus and chips from Gaston’s Tavern; or an apple or banana from Prince Eric’s Village Market. You’ll also find fresh fruit at kiosks throughout the park.
- Columbia Harbor House is a favorite for quick service – a little off the beaten path, and we often find a quiet corner upstairs. Best bets are the Lighthouse Sandwich with hummus, tomato and broccoli slaw on toasted multigrain bread; the broccoli peppercorn salad with greens, veggies, chicken and Parmesan cheese, and, on cool days, the vegetarian chili.
- In Tomorrowland, Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe has lots of healthful choices, like the veggie burger, veggie sandwich and a hearty Greek salad. For something sweet the no-sugar-added mango gelato hits the spot.
- Southwest chicken salad at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe is a filling lunch. Or the veggie burger.
- In Fantasyland, Pinocchio Village Haus is a quick stop for the Mediterranean Salad with greens, red onion, black olives, roasted red peppers, mozzarella and chicken. (They also serve the delish no-sugar-added mango gelato.)
- For lunch, Liberty Tree Tavern is a table-service favorite. We usually order the Colony Salad with greens, Ocean Spray Craisins, apples, sweet pecans, applewood-smoked Cheddar cheese and grilled chicken with a honey-shallot vinaigrette. And the tavern’s vegan burger is pretty good, made with potatoes and quinoa and topped with a vegan tofu-tzatziki sauce. (Seriously, try it.)
- The ever-popular Cinderella’s Royal Table serves a healthful fish of the day, or go with the veggie pick: rice with roasted eggplants, mushrooms, onions and squash tossed with arugula pesto and a splash of aged balsamic vinegar.
- Plaza Restaurant still serves the Chicken Strawberry Salad, which has been on the menu as long as we can remember, is still just as delicious with greens, cucumbers, strawberries and grilled chicken tossed with a white zinfandel vinaigrette.
- Last, but not least, Be Our Guest Restaurant has some light bites for lunch, like the tuna Niçoise salad with warm seared tuna, or quinoa salad. For dinner, go vegan with the layered ratatouille: baked zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes and caramelized onions layered on quinoa with a bell pepper sauce. Again, splurge with a happy ending: the no-sugar-added option for dessert, a lemon-raspberry cream puff.