Tips to Eat Healthy in Disneyland

Tips to Eat Healthy in Disneyland

Tips to Eat Healthy in Disneyland

Pacific Wharf Cafe

While Disneyland is best known for its Dole Whips, Churros, and Mickey-shaped treats, Disney’s family friendly parks offer a surprising number of options for guests with special dietary needs.  

Whether your family member is gluten free, dairy free, or you’re just trying to eat a little healthier yourself, we’ve got some quick tips to help make your stay both healthy and magical.

 

Special Diets and Allergies

Although allergens are not labeled on park menus, Disneyland chefs can often accommodate guests by modifying dishes to meet their dietary needs.

Guests in need of gluten free, soy free, dairy free, nut free, egg free, shellfish free, or fish free meals are able to speak with a restaurant cast member or a chef trained in special dietary needs upon arriving at the restaurant.

For more information on Disney dining protocol for special diets and allergens, visit https://disneyland.disney.go.com/guest-services/special-dietary-requests/

 

Healthy Dining for Adults

Luckily, most Disneyland restaurants offer balanced menus.

While you will find a fair share of heavier dishes on park menus, most restaurants do a great job of having healthy options available.

However, if healthy dining is a priority for your family, it’s important to keep in mind that certain restaurants offer more options than others.

Luckily, the Disneyland website provides current menus for each venue so that you can plan ahead, favoring restaurants that provide guests with a larger number of healthy options. You can also book reservations ahead of time to avoid a lengthy wait for a table.

Remember also that- in many cases- table service restaurants offer a greater number of healthy options than walk up stands and quick service restaurants.

However, there are a number of quick service restaurants (such as the Bengal Barbecue and Rancho Del Zocalo) that offer healthy options without the need for a prior reservation or a long wait for a table.

 

Quick Picks, Counter Service:

  • Bengal Barbecue: Chieftain Chicken Skewer, Outback Vegetable Skewer
  • French Market Restaurant: Royal Street Chicken Caesar Salad
  • Rancho Del Zocalo: Tostada Salad with Chicken

 

Quick Picks, Table Service:

  • Cafe Orleans: Nicoise Salad
  • Carnation Cafe: Spinach Salad with Grilled Chicken
  • River Belle Terrace: Half BBQ Chicken

 

To browse menus ahead of time, visit https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/

 

Healthy Dining for Kids

Parents and children alike are able to access healthy, balanced meals at Disneyland Resort.

While standard kids menu fare is available at most restaurants, many also offer Mickey Check meals. Mickey Check Meals are subject to a more rigorous set of nutrition standards, and contain less sugar, fat, Calories, and sodium than the standard kids menu options.

At the popular Cafe Orleans, for example, the standard kids menu offers Shrimp and Grits or Macaroni and Cheese. Mickey Check Meal options, on the other hand, offer Sustainable Fresh Fish or a Chicken or Beef Special, all of which are served with rice, vegetables, and fruit.

For more on Mickey Check Meals, visit https://disneyland.disney.go.com/faq/dining/disney-check/

 

Healthy Snacking

Looking for a snack that’s a little healthier than popcorn or a Mickey soft pretzel?

In addition to standard park-themed snacks, you can find fresh Fruit Carts throughout Disneyland, offering beverages, whole fruit, giant pickles, and other fresh snacking options.

You will find a Fruit Cart in each of Disney’s “lands”, each with an appropriate theme. Try Tropical Imports in Adventureland or the Ship to Shore Marketplace in Frontierland!

To locate Disneyland’s various Fruit Carts, visit https://disneyland.disney.go.com/dining/fruit/

 

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About the Author:

Morgan Medeiros is a Master’s Credentialed Clinical Nutritionist and Obesity Specialist practicing in Puyallup, WA. She is an avid Disneyland fan and enjoys classic rides like Indiana Jones and Big Thunder Railroad, as well as new additions like the Incredicoaster and Radiator Springs Racers. Her favorite character sightings are Chip and Dale, and her favorite Disney treat is an ice cream cone from the Gibson Girl ice cream parlor after the fireworks spectacular.  Connect with Morgan here: https://www.facebook.com/mmnutr

Is Your Preschooler too Young for Disneyand?

Is Your Preschooler too Young for Disneyand?

Is Your Preschooler too Young for Disneyland?

preschooler too young Disneyland

Worried that your little one is too little to get enough out of Disneyland?  A lot of parents are concerned about height requirements and what their child might miss out on.  In reality, there is far more that your child can do than can’t do!  Plus, there are a bunch of great reasons to take that first Disneyland trip now:

1. Mickey is real! You don’t get many years in which children truly believe in the magic. Right now, to your child that really is Mickey Mouse! And yes, Cinderella just hugged her, and that castle is absolutely where the princesses really live. Watching their eyes light up at this magic is a precious, fleeting time.

2. Simple joys. Rides are fabulous, but so are the many other sights and sounds of the parks when it comes to your tots. The spray of the fountain, the characters dancing on stage, fireworks in the sky, a Mickey shaped waffle for breakfast – don’t underestimate the joy this brings to little ones.

3. They can ride a majority of the rides. Sometimes people worry that there is almost nothing that their child would be tall enough for. The opposite is true! There are only a small percentage of rides that they may not be able to ride. If your child is over 38”, he or she can even ride some of the roller coasters and bigger rides! If not, there are so many of the rides that have no height restrictions at all that I promise your days will still be full!

4. They help you slow down and enjoy yourself. If your imagining crazy, frenetic days of running yourself ragged in the theme parks from early morning to late at night, and it makes you feel anxious already, know that bringing the pace down and leaving time for breaks for a preschooler just makes good sense. And as a byproduct, YOU get to slow down and have some breaks! Worried that breaks mean you’ll miss out? When you have a Disney expert to plan your itinerary, you’ll avoid the long lines and get everything done while still having plenty of down time!

5. You will never forget it! So many parents worry that their child may not remember this trip, but if you ask me, the bigger factor is just how much YOU will remember it! The wonder and joy in their eyes as they take in that magic that they still fully believe is a joy that will never leave you. That sight of your adorable little boy or girl, eyes glowing and face lit up as they see Mickey or Minnie for the first time is a memory that you will never, ever forget. And that is something that is truly priceless!

 

Ready to plan your Disneyland adventure?  Click here to contact us!

 

How Much Does a Disney World Vacation Cost?

How Much Does a Disney World Vacation Cost?

How Much Does a Disney World Vacation Cost?

disney world cost

Listen, I’ll be honest here.  If you came to this page hoping to get a flat out number on how much a Disney World vacation costs, you might be a little disappointed.  Because the answer is that it’s simply not possible to list one price and call it a day.

What I can do is help you understand the different pieces that work together to create the final cost.  And I can help you understand how different decisions will affect your cost.

How long will you stay in Disney World?

Let’s start here.  One of the biggest factors in price will be the length of your stay.  Obviously a quick 2 night stay costs a lot less than a 10 night stay.  But I often get asked how much a Disney World vacation costs without the person asking knowing how long they’d like to stay.
You can read more here about how many days you need for Disney World.  One of the first things I do with a new client is go over how much time they will need for their vacation.  Generally speaking, when possible, at least 4 park days are needed, so that is a great place to start from.

How many people are in your traveling party?

Six people costs a lot more than two people.  If you have more than four people traveling, your resort room options begin to get a little more narrow.  For example, value resorts only sleep parties of four.  Larger families will need to  look at moderate and deluxe resorts, family suites or villas.

What kind of Disney World resort will you choose?

This is a huge question, really.  There are a LOT of Disney World resorts, and each one has it’s own personality, pros and cons.  If you are sure you need the lowest cost possible and are aware of any possible drawbacks, then a value resort is going to help keep your costs low as long as your party fits.

If you have more wiggle room in the budget, there are many perks to the deluxe resorts.  For example, you can see here whether a Deluxe resort is really worth it.

How many ticket days and do you need a park hopper for Disney World?

Here’s the good news: each additional day of Disney World tickets costs less than the day before.  If you’re planning on going to the park more than 3 days, then it’s very cost efficient to visit the parks each day of your stay.  When adding extra days only costs around $20 per person per day, it’s a great deal.

And what about the Park Hopper?  It’s not an absolute must as long as you have enough days to see each park at least once.  That said, there are several scenarios where this add on makes sense.  For example, if you have only have 3 days and feel you simply must see all four parks, a Park Hopper ticket makes sense.  Or, if you have a longer trip, and want to be able to revisit a particular park several evenings, you may find a Park Hopper to be valuable as well.

Do you want a Disney World dining plan?

There are several versions of the dining plan, but all of the help to make your vacation feel a bit more inclusive of costs.  One of the more popular plans includes 1 table service meal, 1 quick service meal, and 2 snacks per person, per night of your stay, plus a refillable resort mug per person.  While often saving money over paying over pocket, an additional benefit of the dining plan is knowing your dining costs up front so that there are no budgeting surprises once on your vacation.

Deciding which dining plan to get, if any, makes a difference in your total cost.

Disney World Dining Plan

What time of year will you visit Disney World?

A lot of clients ask when to go to Disney World for the lowest crowds.  But when you go can also have a big effect on pricing.

Christmas week, for example, has absolute peak pricing.  You will pay the very highest prices to stay here then!

Certain other times of year tend to be quite a bit lower.  September, right after most kids have just gone back to school, historically has lower pricing.

When we speak with clients who have flexible dates, we often talk about the differences between each time of year, in relation to crowds, prices, weather, and activities.

Bottom Line

All of these factors come together to create the answer to how much a Disney World vacation costs.  And because of this, the cost of a Disney World vacation can vary by large amounts from one family to the next.

If you are confused or overwhelmed by all of the decisions that go into planning a Disney World vacation, we’d love to help you make it easy.  Our Disney vacation planning services start with a free phone consultation where we can help you find the perfect match for your stay, from how long to go to where to stay and what to include.  From there we assist with every detail from dining to FastPass+ reservations to creating custom ride by ride plans to keep you out of the long lines.

Do We Need a Stroller in Disney World?

Do We Need a Stroller in Disney World?

Do We Need a Stroller in Disney World?

Need stroller in Disney World

Wondering if you need a stroller in Disney World is a common question, especially if your children are not babies anymore. Most people assume they need a stroller for children 2 and under. But what about preschoolers?

Are my kids too big for a stroller?

Even though your kids may not use a stroller anymore for your everyday activities at home, you may find Disney World is a whole lot more manageable for them with a stroller to cruise in. Most guests end up walking well over 10,000 steps per day, and as you can imagine, that’s a lot for tiny legs to handle.

Having a stroller for kids up to age 6 can help reduce over-tiredness, tantrums and melt downs and allow everyone to have more fun.

Plus, when crowds get a bit tight, it can be a lot less stressful to have your kids contained in one spot as you navigate through.

And, while I often recommend a mid-day break at the resort to my clients, for a variety of reasons, for those families who won’t take a break, a stroller makes a convenient place for an afternoon nap.

Should I bring a stroller or rent a stroller?

Ok, so let’s say you’ve decided a stroller is the way to go. Should you bring one or rent one?

Certainly, if you have a stroller at home that suits your park needs, you can bring it along. It’s free to gate check at the airport, so if you don’t mind hauling it with you, it’s free to do.

However, many of my clients have two kids who could benefit from a stroller, and yet they don’t own a double stroller. Or perhaps they have just one child that they want a stroller for, but they already sold or gave away their stroller since it wasn’t getting used at home. In this case a stroller rental is the way to go. But Disney’s strollers aren’t usually the best option.

Why? Well, if you rent Disney’s strollers, you are limited to using them inside the park. If your child falls asleep, and you need to leave the park, you have to wake them up as you return the stroller. Plus, each day you’ll have to get in line to rent the stroller again.

Where to rent a Disney World stroller

An easier option is a third party stroller rental. Disney has a selection of preferred stroller rental companies, and the one I use most often for my clients is Orlando Stroller Rental. We can choose from a variety of sizes to make sure you have the right stroller for your needs, and then it gets delivered right to your resort. You return it at the resort as well. Super easy! And you can take it in and out of the parks and around the resorts as much as you’d like.

Generally speaking, when you can keep your little ones less tired, you’ll all have more fun! So when in doubt over whether you need a stroller in Disney World, I’d always err on the side of YES.

(P.S. Want someone to take all of the stress out of the planning, far beyond stroller tips? See our Disney vacation planning services!)