The minute you walk down Main Street U.S.A. you know you have arrived in Disneyland. The streets are filled with the aroma of mouth-watering waffle cones and candy. The temptation to stop and taste everything is overwhelming and the incredible impact it has on your senses stays in your memory forever. Even though everything smells delicious, Chris and I continue walking because we didn’t travel to Disneyland for the food, we were there to play and enjoy the Happiest Place on Earth! Actually, most days I have to drag Chris away from the candy shops because he has the biggest sweet tooth, but to my surprise today he was good. That could be because we spent the entire summer apart and I was his biggest treat 😉
Anyways, by now you are probably wondering what a nutritionist eats in Disneyland… well let me start off by saying, before I travel I like to be prepared and do my homework. I will view restaurant menus and seek out healthier options in the area that I will be staying. This allows me to enjoy myself without becoming so hungry that I want to bite someone’s head off. Believe me, it’s not a pretty sight. But eating healthy doesn’t always mean that I never allow myself to have a treat, because I do. I just can’t eat as much because everything is too sweet for my taste buds.
Before we begin traveling around the different lands of the park in search of good food and fun lets get prepared…
What to pack before leaving home
• Lightweight packable backpack –These are perfect for anyone who wants to travel light. I love them because they pack small, carry a lot and you can squish them into small places as you ride.
• Insulated refillable water bottle – I regretted not bringing my insulated water bottle. It was so hot in the park and my water was getting a little warmer than I liked. Every time I went to a restaurant I would fill my bottle up with ice. And I hate ice in my water!
• Sealable baggies – I love bringing baggies with me as I travel. It makes it easier to pack snacks around the park especially if you have little ones. Save money by purchasing a few snacks at the grocery store after you arrive in Anaheim.
• Plastic spoon and knife – These come in handy if you buy yogurt or avocados at the store.
• Sea salt – Add a pinch of salt to your water bottle to help you stay hydrated. (See my article The Miracle Drink (coming soon) to find out why we need to add salt to our water)
• Shelf stable probiotics – Important for keeping the gut in top shape while traveling away from home. These probiotics help to protect the intestinal tract from pathogenic bacteria when it is exposed to food and water.
Before venturing into the park
Stop at the grocery store and pick up a few snacks to take into the park, especially if you have kids. This will save you money and the headache of hungry children. Plus they will be less likely to overindulge on sweets if their tummies are full.
One of the stores I have found that is close to the park and sells organic food is Food 4 Less on Katella Drive. If you are staying on Katella Drive at the Annabella or a Best Western then it will only take you 10 -15 minutes to walk to Food 4 Less.
These are my favourite food items to pack into the park.
• Cherry tomatoes
• Organic string cheese or sliced cheese
• Rice crackers
• Individual organic plain yogurt with banana
Ready? Lets go play!
Before you head off and play, you will have to go through Disney’s new security screening checkpoint next to the Mickey & Friends parking structure (at the end of downtown Disney) and an access away from the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. They will have the tents set up in a few different locations. A security guard will do a hand inspection through your bags and then you will proceed through a metal detector. As far as I could tell, you are still allowed to bring well-made products into the park.
After security, continue walking through downtown Disney until you get to the entrance of the park. If you don’t have a Magic Morning Pass then move all the way over to the right until you see the regular entrance. They will open the gates 30 minutes before the park opens so head over and get in your first line of the day. Once you get through you won’t be able to go on any rides until the park opens but you can walk down Main Street U.S.A. and have breakfast at Carnation Café or wait in another line at the end of the street.
Chris & I happy to get through the main gates!
Main Street U.S.A.
As you enter the park and start walking down Main Street U.S.A. stop at Carnation Café for some breakfast or return later for lunch or dinner. This place fills up quickly so get there before the meal time rush hour or expect to wait for 20 to 30 minutes. The staff will give you a hand device that will buzz when your table is ready so feel free to shop along Main Street U.S.A. while you wait.
Carnation Café $-$$
Disneyland Park, Main Street, U.S.A.
Oatmeal with berries, no brown sugar – honey is on the table. $9.00
Spinach & tomato-egg white frittata (ask for no sour cream. I forgot to do this) $11.00
Seasonal berries $3.00
Lunch / dinner
Spinach salad, dressing on the side, sub chicken for avocado $15.00
Vegan burger with fruit, no mayo $13.00
They are very generous with the avocado portions. Usually when I ask to replace chicken with avocado I get only a couple of slices. I was very impressed with the portion and service.
House made vegan bean burger. If you don’t want the bun then ask for it to be served on a lettuce leaf.
The staff at Carnation Café were helpful and friendly. Our waiter even brought us a glass of ice because he noticed that I was taking ice from my glass of water and dropping it into my water bottle. Now that’s service!
Jolly Holiday Bakery Café $
Disneyland Park, Main Street, U.S.A.
Lunch/Dinner – Salads, dressing on the side $8.99
How can you go to Adventureland and not go on the Indiana Jones ride? It’s one of my favourite rides in the park along with everyone else. So after breakfast we opted for a fast pass ticket so we could walk around. After our short hour wait of exploring the park, we headed back over to Indiana Jones so we could enjoy a bumpy but exciting ride. If you are new to this ride and have back problems then you might want to give it a pass but for everyone else… it’s a real treat for the eyes. Try to sit in the front of the jeep; it makes for a fun adventure.
Bengal BBQ $
Disneyland Park, Adventureland
Snack: Veggie skewers $3.99 each
The Bengal BBQ is across from Indiana Jones, which makes it an easy stop to enjoy one of the yummiest snacks in the park! There are only a few places to sit down so just be aware that you might be standing at a barrel.
Next, hop back over to the Jungle Cruise and enjoy a sit-down boat ride through the Amazon jungle. This ride is great if you need a break to cool down from the California sun. And how can you not laugh at the driver’s corny jokes!
If anyone is familiar with Tropical Imports they will know it used to be a great place to grab a healthy snack, but it is now a stroller parking lot. But if you look across from it you will now see that South Sea Traders are serving fresh fruit, veggies, and hummus.
New Orleans Square
Of course you can’t forget one of the classic Disney rides, Pirates of the Caribbean. This ride is perfect if you want a slower ride and need to escape the heat and sun. Sail through the bayou then take two plunges in the dark, visit skeletal pirates, Jack Sparrow, and witness different pirate activities as cannons are being fired.
Café Orleans $$
Disneyland Park, New Orleans Square
Lobster Cobb Salad, no bacon, avocado vinaigrette on the side $23.00 (I’ve never had this expensive salad but if you are willing to spend the money then it can be a healthier option).
La Salade de Maison, raspberry vinaigrette on the side $6.00
Royal Street Veranda $
Disneyland Park, New Orleans Square
Veggie gumbo with a sourdough bread bowl (vegan’s beware – they use butter on the bread bowl before baking)$10.99
It’s Halloween time at Disneyland
Stop by the Haunted Mansion, especially around Halloween. The attraction turns into Jack Skellington’s paradise, featuring many characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas. I love the fun ghostly tour through the mansion; every turn leads you into a room with great special effects.
Take a wild wet ride on Splash Mountain! This six person boat rides takes you through the adventures of Br’er Rabbit and his enemies Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear. Along the way you will experience drops, turns and get to sing along to songs like Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah and Laughing Place. If you have anything that you don’t want to get wet then I suggest you cover those items. This ride is always good for a laugh!
and don’t forget to smile for the camera!
If you didn’t have a snack earlier then this might be a good time to pull out or grab a snack and sit in the sun and dry off.
For the kids: yogurt, cheese
Fruit & veggies
Don’t forget to hop on a cute little beehive and experience a mellow ride to see Winnie the Pooh chase the honey pot. I love Pooh Bear and always drag Chris on this ride with me. It’s always funny to see a 6’3” guy on the Winnie the Pooh ride!
Such a good sport!
Rivers Of America
Need a break from the crowds? Then hope on a river raft and head over to Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyers Island. If you brought your snacks or a lunch, then this might be a good time to enjoy the sun and a little downtime. Then start your adventure and walk across Pontoon and rope bridges, go through caves, or just explore.
If you’re in Frontierland and just finished riding Big Thunder Mountain then head over to Ranch del Zocalo and enjoy some lunch or dinner. The food here isn’t amazing but it has some healthier options.
Ranch del Zocalo Restaurant $
Disneyland Park, Frontierland
Baked fish tacos – sub rice and beans for steamed veggies. $12.99
There is also a refillable water station for those empty water bottles.
Make your way around Frontierland before heading over to Tomorrowland and check out all the amazing pumpkins!
Want to be a guinea pig for a day? Then head over to Tomorrowland and chow down on some raw veggies. Look for the edible plants growing in random places, but you probably should wash them first 😉
Food cart: fruit and veggies
If you are craving pizza, then I would leave the park and go to Downtown Disneyland.
Naples Ristorantee Pizzeria
Arugula Salad $14 (this salad is huge)
10 inch margherita pizza and added more veggies $18.00 + $2.00 for each additional veggie topping – The pizza isn’t gluten-free but it is thin crust and you can add as many veggies as you like.
Okay, so you can’t leave the park without sharing a treat! Yes, I was nice enough to allow Chris to have a treat… but half a chocolate covered banana is all he gets! 😀
Frozen chocolate covered banana with nuts $5.00
Calories 205 – Sugars 17g – carbs 28g – fat 17g – protein 3g – sodium 10mg
Disneyland Park, Main Street U.S.A.
Pineapple dipped in chocolate $3.95
Calories 230 – sugars 24g – carbs 33g – fat 12g – protein 4g – sodium 25mg – fiber 5g
Tiki Juice Bar
Disneyland Park, Adventureland
Pineapple dole whip $2.79 – This is probably one of the most popular desserts but not my go to dessert. At first I thought it might be frozen Pineapple blended with a bit of sugar but that is not the case. It is fine for a treat but I wouldn’t call it a healthy option. Ingredients: Sugar, dextrose, stabilizers (cellulose gum, xanthan gum , locust bean gum, karaya gum, pectin), coconut oil, Contains 2% or less of each of the following: maltodextrin, citric acid, natural & artificial flavor (contains pineapple juice), modified food starch, malic acid, beta carotene, mono & diglycerides, silicon dioxide (anticaking).
Calories 80 – fat o – sugars 17g – sodium 15mg – protein 0g – fiber 0g – carbs 18g
Pineapple spear $2.99 each
• Order a main dish and a salad and split it with your partner or children so you can all get some greens into your day.
• Check the Disneyland website to make sure your favourite rides are open when you visit. Throughout the year they close down rides to refurbish them. https://www.undercovertourist.com/blog/disneyland-refurbishments-closings
• Consider going to Disneyland around October or the beginning of November when the weather is sunny and warm and the crowds are a bit smaller. Avoid December unless you’re okay with crowds and very long wait times.
• Don’t forget to get a caricature drawing done in New Orleans Square across from Blue Bayou Restaurant. The girls are amazing! Chris and I go every five years to get one done. It’s our birthday present to ourselves.
I hope you found some of these tips helpful 🙂 Don’t forget to comment below and let me know what your favourite health food is in Disneyland. And if you get a caricature drawing done I would love to see it on instagram with the hashtag #blumenutrition.