Ah, Disneyland. Aside from the rides and attractions, one of the top reasons people flock to the park is the opportunity to taste test some of the absolutely amazing treats and meals offered by the incredibly talented culinary staff. Unfortunately, all of the churros and cookies can really do a number on your waistband, especially if you are hanging around for an extended period of time. To offset this health impact, let’s talk about some of the good for you options you can grab while dining at Disneyland!
Fan Favorite Picks of Healthy Food at Disneyland
For the sake of organization, we’ll organize these options into four categories: breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. In order to be included, these foods have to be healthy and taste delicious (no one wants to eat a bland bowl of mixed greens on vacation, especially when paying Disneyland dining prices). There are, of course, other healthy options but these are the ones that are, in my opinion, the best of the best. They also must be inside of the actual Disneyland park, so hotel meals and California Adventure dining options are excluded for the sake of brevity. I’ve also linked the full menus for each of the restaurants in the title section of each listing to make it easy to look up prices and such for the dishes!
Start your day off right with one of these delicious treats!
Oh my, this is delicious. It feels a lot heavier than it actually is and really hits those savory breakfast cravings perfectly. It contains spinach, tomato, mushroom, sour cream, and avocado-black bean pico de gallo and is served alongside house breakfast potatoes and a cup of fresh cut fruit.
Let’s call a spade a spade: Market House is, essentially, a Starbucks Cafe. They carry Starbucks drinks and most of the pastries are the same across other Starbucks storefronts. If you want to eat light, grab this vegetarian friendly wrap and go on your way. There are also other healthy bites available here like yogurt and breakfast sandwiches, too, but this one is the tastiest.
This dish is something I legitimately crave at home. A medley of veggies are mixed together with a delicious bechamel sauce and eggs to create something truly magical. This filling dish is served with a little croissant on the side. If you feel like something sweet, try the seasonal Lavender Milk Tea. You totally will not regret it, especially if you like boba teas!
Lunch can be a hard time to keep up the healthy eating. You have been surrounded by sugary snacks all day and it can be easy to give it; if you decide to you certainly should not feel bad! If you are looking for something a little lighter for lunch, here are some of the most delectable options out there!
Bengal Barbecue actually has several healthy dining options, like the veggie skewers, but the tastiest has to be the Chieftain Chicken Skewers. Featuring grilled chicken in a sweet, slightly pineapple flavored sauce, these are seriously addicting. If you are wanting a little more than a single skewer, you can opt for the Bengal Rice Plate, which gives you the choice of any two skewers served on a bed of rice with a side of Citrus-Miso Slaw.
If you want a salad, you cannot skip out on this one. It is seriously delicious. A base of romaine lettuce is adorned with seasoned albacore tuna, haricots verts, tomato, red onion, hard boiled eggs, and olives. Amazingly, there are also versions of this salad for those with allergies to gluten, soy, eggs, peanuts, and treenuts, making it a safe, delicious option, especially with Harbour Galley’s house dressing.
Alien Pizza Planet may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think “healthy” but hear me out; this place is so good I could not just choose one of the trio of offered salads. Their Astro Antipasto Salad is amazing and a little unconventional. Lettuce is topped with pepperoni, tomatoes, mixed olives, pepperoncini peppers, mozzarella, roasted red peppers (yum!), artichoke hearts, and roasted onion slices then topped with fresh shaved parmesan and an amazing house balsamic vinaigrette. The second option is the Centurion Caesar Salad, which is a typical caesar comprised of grilled chicken, romaine, croutons, parmesan, and caesar dressing. The real winner here is the Nebula Noodle Salad. If you are not a fan of greens but still want something a little lighter, this one is perfect. Comprised of chicken breast, edamame, green beans, mint, cilantro, red cabbage, sliced carrots, and cold soba noodles, the entire dish is topped with a delicious ginger-lime vinaigrette that would taste good poured over literally anything.
This option is not the healthiest, I will admit, but if you are looking for something hearty and still not awful for you, you cannot go wrong with this decadent dish. Zucchini, yellow squash, and eggplant are layered together with ratatouille sauce, creating a filling, nutrient packed meal that will stick with you all day and help quell snack cravings for quite some time. Cafe New Orleans actually has a few other healthy options that are satisfying like their amazing Nicoise Salad and children’s menu Sustainable Fish Dish.
For diner, I am going to assume you are like me and want something fairly substantial. Here are some of the filling, satisfying meals that I always love when I visit the park!
By far one of the best vegan dishes in Disneyland, these cauliflower tacos are absolutely delightful and incredibly filling for something so light. The roasted, slightly crispy and well seasoned cauliflower is topped with roasted pineapple and cabbage slaw and an avocado cream sauce (for vegans, ask for the sauce to be replaced with smashed avocado, as it does contain dairy). The dish is served with warm tortillas and fresh lime wedges and is absolutely delicious, especially with a bit of the house salsa on top! Rancho Del Zocalo carries a lot of healthy foods so have a look at the full menu for more ideas.
One of the best vegan burgers ever, this is another cravable treat that you cannot miss out on. The freshmade bean and veggie patty is topped with tomatoes, lettuce, some magical pickled red onions (seriously, I could eat these straight with a fork), and vegan chipotle mayo. It is typically served with fries but you can swap for steamed veggies if you want something a little healthier. Or not; Carnation Cafe fries are delicious.
Holy moly this is a good sandwich. Similar to a cauliflower burger, this sandwich is made of a roasted cauliflower, pea, and potato blend that is topped with fried green beans, bibb lettuce, tomato compote, and vegan onion mayo on a toasted onion roll. For a healthy choice, opt for the apple slices; otherwise, it comes with fries. This sandwich is delicious and a genuinely interesting take on a veggie burger style dish.
Home of seafood and buttery rolls, the Harbour Galley may not seem like the healthiest place in the world but the shrimp salad is absolutely delicious and quite good for you. Romaine lettuce is topped with seasoned shrimp, feta cheese, bacon, tomato, hard boiled, eggs, and avocado with your choice of dressing. If you are in the mood for something a little more fun, the vegan hot diggidy dog is another great choice that is light. It is topped with spicy lentil chili, onion, and mustard and served with fresh seasonal fruit.
For something to grab on the go, these snacks are perfect treats without blowing your calorie count completely in one move.
- Frozen Bananas
Almost every cart and kiosk in the park that sells snacks carries these frozen bananas. Dipped in chocolate, the treat will satisfy your sweet tooth without being overly bad for you like much of the fried fare the park offers alongside this fruit snack. Plus, it is super refreshing on a hot Disney day.
- Turkey Leg
Yes, the turkey legs are not the best for you but if you are craving something salty and savory, it will certainly do the trick and be better for you than a plate of deep fried chicken. Plus, it is packed with protein and is super tasty. These legs are conveniently portable and can be found at several points through the park, too!
This corn is the things dreams are made of. The spicy, tangy seasoning is the perfect compliment to the slightly sweet, crisp corn. This portable treat will hit all of the right savory cravings and is perfect for those who like something they can chew on as they walk.
Popcorn carts are pretty much everywhere in Disneyland. You can turn any corner and find one. From buttered to flavors like sriracha and cheese, you can find something to satisfy pretty much any craving imaginable. If you want something extra healthy, opt for butter free, plain popcorn. It’s still tasty and has significantly less fat.
If you want something sweet and exclusive to the park, try the pineapple dole whip from the tiki juice bar. Sweet, tangy, and completely refreshing, this soft serve treat is amazing on a hot day. This snack uses fresh pineapple and is relatively healthy, making it a good balance between going off the rails for a Disney binge and keeping yourself a bit restrained.
You can find hummus and veggies or hummus and crackers at tons of different locations through the park. Pre portioned Sabra cups with pretzel chips are super popular and make for a great grab and go treat when you need something ASAP and cannot wait. Plus, hummus is pretty tasty.
Tips and Tricks
- Drink lots of water. Seriously, you are going to be walking for miles while you are in the park. That combined with the sunny California heat can cause dehydration pretty quickly. Try to drink as much water as possible and stay away from super sugary beverages to help fight off fluid loss. Additionally, drinking tons of water helps you feel more full after meals, encouraging you to snack less as you go through the park. Trust me, you will need every bit of strength you have to avoid Mickey Mouse ice cream bars and fresh beignets.
- Hit up the fruit and veggie carts. If you absolutely need a snack, there are carts full of fresh fruits and veggies all through the park. These can be a bit expensive but when compared to the price of a lot of the pastries and savory treats, you actually come out ahead. Plus, these fresh treats will give you a bit of extra hydration, which is definitely a necessity while out and about in the park.
- Bring snacks from home. If you do not want to pay the premium price for fresh fruits and veggies in the park, try bringing food from home. Disneyland allows guests to bring snacks in so take advantage of this and pack up some nuts, dried fruit, and granola bars to snack on as you walk around. Having your own snacks will help save money and make a world of difference in the fight against snacking impulses.
- If you want to have something like fried chicken or a burger, opt for the kids menu version of the dish if possible. The portions are smaller but still maintain the delicious flavor of an adult sized plate. This allows you to eat as you please without sacrificing calories or allowing yourself to overdo it. Plus, some of the kids menu dishes are super tasty and not available on the adult menu!
- Stay away from buffets. It can be tempting to go to an all you can eat buffet but these are traps for overeating, especially at character dining events. Seriously, I could probably eat six Mickey waffles in one go. I do not need that kind of temptation in my life. Opt for single order restaurants; it has been proven that when the opportunity arises, most people will overeat without a second thought but will not go back and buy a second individual plate of food.
- Plan your meals. Make a plan of where you are going to eat and research menu options. This allows you to plan where to splurge for a treat and where to save for a later meal. With this method, you will not miss out on tasty treats nor will you overeat. It allows you to find an effective balance.
Questions and Answers
1. Can you ask for your meal to meet specific dietary specifications?
Sure! Disney is more than happy to accommodate any dietary requirements, including allergies, restrictions, and preferences. Vegan? No problem! Nut allergy? Sure, they’ll work with it! They are a fantastically inclusive company with no issues at all about working with you to make sure your time is magical regardless of what you can eat. Just give them a heads up when you make a reservation or while you are ordering and they’ll try their hardest to make sure you get something great.
2. Can I bring in my own meal?
You can, as long as it is in a small portion and also does not require any prep work. For example, apples and a sandwich is okay but a loaf of bread, pack of cold cuts, and a jar of mayo will not make it through the gates, nor will a big tupperware dish of soup. You will be asked to consume the food in the designated picnic area outside of the park’s gates and to store leftovers in the locker area or throw it away. Drinks are allowed as long as they are not stored in glass bottles.
3. Can I bring my brought from home snacks on the rides?
You can bring them in your bag but you may not eat your snacks on the ride, as they become a bit of a hazard. Rides have been stopped before in the park due to people breaking out sandwiches and such. Sometimes they will allow cotton candy or small snacks onboard but the general rule of thumb is to keep it put away to prevent messes or injuries.