Who knew eating healthy could actually prove an enjoyable part of a Disney vacation?
It’s easy to associate theme parks with decadent comfort foods like turkey legs and funnel cakes—vacations are often a time we relax the rules, and there are plenty of options to splurge on calories at Walt Disney World. Despite this trend, there are myriad reasons why someone may choose to eat healthy while visiting The Most Magical Place on Earth and doing so doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. In fact, it can be quite the opposite.
Walt Disney World remains king among US theme parks for its incredible diversity of dining options, and in the past decades, Disney has made impressive strides making healthy eating accessible and enjoyable. In point of fact, I’ve actually found myself voluntarily choosing some of Disney's best healthy dining dishes over alternatives because they just taste so darn good. Even if you won’t be following a strict diet at Walt Disney World, eating mindfully for part of your trip is a great idea to off-set splurges like desserts or a heavy meal you’ve been hoping to enjoy.
It is important to note that healthy eating is going to look a little different for everyone. One person’s idea might involve staying plant-based, while another may want access to dishes that highlight a range of clean options like fish, lean protein, and whole grains. Others may just be looking for a quality salad or sandwich. Whatever your goals, there are options for you throughout Walt Disney World of quality to rival Disney’s more infamous dining offerings. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it should give you some good places to start.
With that in mind, here are the top places we found throughout Walt Disney World to eat healthy and love every bite…
We wanted to start with Epcot for one reason—it remains Disney’s most impressive park for dining overall, and that leaves it with the broadest spectrum of choices for healthy eaters.
For counter-service dining, our top pick remains Sunshine Seasons at The Land. This multi-window cafeteria has been setting high standards for healthy dining for decades, and it remains one of Disney’s best choices for guests looking to eat smart. Some favorite choices include Oak-Grilled Rotisserie Chicken or Salmon, Vegetable Korma, the Power Salad, and a noteworthy selection of grab-and-go plates like Tabbouleh Pinwheels.
In World Showcase, our two favorite quick-dining choices are Katsura Grill at the Japan pavilion (offering sushi, Japanese bowls, and noodles) and Tangierine Café at the Morocco pavilion. Sadly, since Disney took over management of the pavilion, they haven’t done a great job keeping Tangierine Café open consistently, so it is possible the restaurant might be closed when you visit. If it is open, however, it is an excellent choice.
On the subject of on-the-go dining, it is also worth mentioning the booths throughout the park which open seasonally for Epcot’s annual festivals—these remain an excellent choice for tracking down healthy small plates, particularly during the Flower and Garden Festival as well as the Food and Wine Festival. If a festival is taking place during your visit, pick up an event passport from locations throughout the park to take a look at menu options without having to tour the whole park.
As for table service, our top healthy pick at Epcot is Spice Road Table, once again located at the Morocco pavilion. This gorgeous indoor-outdoor restaurant offers a delicious selection of Mediterranean small plates like Dolmas, Spiced Chicken with Tabbouleh, and pomegranate-Chili Crispy Cauliflower. We would also recommend Restaurant Marrakesh, but unfortunately, it has not reopened since closing during the pandemic.
Other excellent places to find quality healthy table-service at Epcot include The Coral Reef for seafood lovers, Teppan Edo for stir-fry, and even Space 220.
Let’s jump to the opposite side of the scale from Epcot--the most difficult park to eat healthy in at Walt Disney World...