Eating healthy food while traveling can be a chore, especially when you don’t have control over your food options. For instance, when you have kids, Disneyland is the ideal vacation destination but you can’t bring your own food into the park. Until recently, theme parks didn’t have many healthy options for meals. It’s actually surprising how long it took for theme parks like Disneyland and Disney World to adopt healthier menu items.
You might be surprised to learn that tasty, healthy meals are no longer found in the far corners of Disneyland. They’re right in the middle of the action. On your next visit, you won’t need to worry about skipping meals or settling for fried food and stomachaches. You can relax and enjoy your time in the park.
If you’re a theme park enthusiast, finding healthy food that tastes good is the next best thing to discovering the secrets to getting free tickets to Disneyland. So, here’s a guide to finding healthy, delicious food on your next Disneyland adventure:
Tropical Imports is right next to Aladdin, princess Jasmine, and the Genie. Grab a bite while you wait to meet them!
If you’re looking for fresh fruit and veggies at a reasonable price, Tropical Imports is the place to go. They’ve got cups of mixed veggies like carrots, celery, and broccoli with ranch dressing and sliced fruits like strawberries, mangoes, grapes, apples, and pineapple. They also sell cups of hummus with pretzels and watermelon slices.
Bengal BBQ is located across from Indiana Jones and has some tasty barbecued dishes like beef and chicken skewers, vegetable skewers, and asparagus wrapped in bacon. As a side dish, Bengal BBQ offers delicious cheesy breadsticks.
This place is great for vegetarians, vegans, people on the carnivore or keto diet, and anyone who enjoys a flavorful barbecued skewer.
The best part about this place is if you leave off the sauce, they can make most of their menu items gluten free. The prices are reasonable.
River Belle Terrace
This is the place to go if you want to sit down for a meal. Just be sure to make a reservation because they’re always busy.
River Belle Terrace has a menu you’ll probably be familiar with, but the prices are a little high. You can expect to pay $20-$25 for a salad and a basic entree. However, the food is fantastic.
If you’re avoiding carbs, you can get oven-roasted BBQ chicken and skip the baked beans. If you’re going for a light meal, you can get a salad with your choice of meat and all kinds of chopped veggies like bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, pickles, black beans, and onions.
Get your fanciest dinglehopper out for this place! Ariel’s Grotto offers a delicious menu full of seafood and pasta dishes you’re sure to enjoy. They offer a lobster tail salad with greens, avocado, bacon, quail egg, and a house-made vinaigrette sauce.
If you’re looking for a hearty meal, head over to Tortilla Joe’s for some traditional fajitas with steak, chicken, or shrimp and a side of beans and rice. For paleo or keto diet, skip the tortillas and rice. If you’re on the carnivore diet, just go for the tasty, sizzling hot meat.
This place gets busy, so make a reservation.
Foods to avoid in Disneyland
While you can probably tell whether or not food is healthy just by reading the menu, you might want to ask what kind of sauces the food is cooked in. If you’re on a specific diet, that sauce could ruin your progress and set you back.
Shannon from Clean Eats and Treats recommends avoiding food shaped like Mickey Mouse because it’s going to be more like a dessert than real, healthy food. The park knows exactly how to market to kids and get them to convince their parents to buy the sugary treats. Kids go nuts for anything shaped like their favorite Disney characters.
Pack snacks and hide them well
Even when healthy food is available from restaurants, you may not want to sit down for a full meal. Be sure to pack some healthy snacks (and hide them well) so you don’t get stuck having to eat a junk snack, or spend $20 just to get a few bites.
What’s your favorite healthy meal at Disneyland?
Photo by Tyler Nix.
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