Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dining at Disney Challenge - The Results

The kiddos with Rafiki while at Animal Kingdom...

So, did we - a family of four, committed to eating real, wholesome food on a budget - survive at the processed land o’ plenty that’s Disney?

You betcha.

And we kept it healthy.  And it wasn’t as painful as you might think. 

We spent about $40.-50./day on food and drinks, which was by no means inexpensive, but seems to be much less than most people spend while vacationing with the Mickey and the gang. 

We employed two strategies:

We committed to this daily meal plan:
  -big breakfast - 7:30 a.m. - fuel up!
  -heavy snacks throughout the day - this is KEY
  -light lunch - 11:00
  -light dinner - 4 or 5 p.m.


We got snacks upon arrival for the 1) rooms (each had a mini-fridge) and 2) for strolling around the parks

The day we arrived we went to a local Super Target and stocked up:

-Bottled, filtered water - $6. (one 12-pk, med. size; one 10-pk, small size)
-Cashews – 12 oz. container - $4.99
-Peanuts – 12 oz. container - $2.59
-3 lb bag of mandarin oranges - $4.79
-organic milk – single serve – 6 @ $1./ea
-Clif bars – 5 @ .97/ea
-Kashi organic crackers - $3.19
-Organic single serve mozzarella sticks - $4.50/6
-Organic ½ and ½ (for morning coffee, which was supplied in the room with a coffee maker) - $1.75

TOTAL:  approx $40.  

Things I brought (all of this fit in my carry-on):

-One loaf of homemade, organic, pumpkin bread – pre-sliced (pretty much lasted us throughout our visit)
-One small, insulated container
-Two small freezer packs for keeping perishable snacks (like cheese)
-3 oz. organic maple syrup (I know I’m a weirdo – the thought of the kiddos pouring high fructose corn syrup on their morning pancakes was just too much too bear)
-Water bottles – one for each kid, one for the adults

See there on the left? That's maple syrup packed right in with our toiletries. No, TSA did not give us a hard time about it but a few eyebrows got raised. 

Also, another word on snacks, all eateries at the parks offer some sort of healthy side option, usually carrot sticks, grapes or apples.  We ended up stock-piling during the trip and they came in handy for between meal snacks.

Please understand that we by no means ate all-organic while on vacation but did do our best to make healthy choices and stay very budget-conscious:

Cracker Barrel – kids had pancakes (with real maple syrup – see above) with a side of fruit; adults had eggs and biscuits or toast  - approx $22.

Denny’s Diner - kids split the adult pancake breakfast with side of fruit; adults had veggie scrambles – approx $22.

Bagels (Hole in a Roll on Hwy 192) - Kids had toasted cinnamon/raisin bagels (lightly buttered – with REAL butter); adults had egg, bacon and cheese sandwiches on seeded bagels – approx $10.

Cosmic Ray’s – Tomorrowland – Turkey sandwich, strawberry yogurt for kids, small bags of grapes and mini carrots,  – about $25. for all of us

Publix – deli sandwiches, potato salad for all – about $21.

Animal Kingdom
Dino Land U.S.A. – Roasted turkey leg - $9. (When in Rome!  And, yes, it was delicious.)
Veggies wraps for kids – approx $12.

Our first night in Orlando we stumbled across a fun place called Flippers that made wonderful pesto pizzas for the kids for about $7.; salads for the adults for about $7-9./ea.  We our meals delivered to the hotel at no extra charge! We called Flippers as we were leaving the park each evening and dinner arrived at our hotel about 5 minutes after we did!  

The net/net:  Yes, it’s possible to find somewhat healthy choices, low-cost food at Disney World but you’ll need to plan ahead and be willing to be flexible. 

Organically yours,


What’s your fave tip for eating health on a budget tip while at Disney? I'd love to hear about it in the comments section...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Dining at Disney - A 'Real Food' Challenge

I’ll be taking a blog break for the next week so we can go on a family vacation and veg (pun intended) out.  

Or will we?  

You see, we’re off to see The Mouse. Will veggies and other healthy food be readily available and easy to find? Will we need to pay an arm and a leg for it? We’re eager to find out if it’s possible to eat real, wholesome food on a tight budget while at Disney World. 

For instance, we probably won't be eating this:

But we may be eating this:

Chances are very good that we won’t find any organic fare at the parks but we’ll do our best to source out fresh, whole foods as much as possible. Our hotel has a fridge but no cooking facilities and we only plan to go to the grocery store once – snacks only.  So, we’ll be limited to park food and close-to-the hotel restaurants for our meals.  

Can we do it?  I think we can. I'm hopeful we can. Check back next week and find out.

Do you have any tips for us on our Disney World food adventure?  Please leave in the comments below...

Organically yours,