View Full Version : Trying to Eat Healthy on Our Disney Trip

02-17-2010, 11:45 AM
Hello all. I'm back from a 5-day stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It was just me and my DH, Rick. My first trip to the World was during Christmas week in 1971 and I go back as much as I can. This was my 17th trip. Our kids are grown and we're enjoying empty nester trips!

Our DD was married a year and a half ago. My DH and I were both overweight. The wedding was a motivation to get in shape. DH lost 90 pounds and I lost 50. I was determined to look good in those wedding pictures! We're trying hard to maintain the weight loss and find that it's hard to do when we eat out. We want to enjoy ourselves, but we worked too hard losing that weight to put it back on.

So, here's my dining report that's written from the perspective of someone who was trying hard to balance enjoying our favorite WDW restaurants with not going overboard.

We drove to Orlando from Chicago, stopping to visit our DD and SIL in Atlanta. I'll include our dining experiences along the way.

02-17-2010, 11:54 AM
We got up bright and early Saturday morning to make our trip. We'd loaded up the car the night before so we managed to be ready to go before 5 a.m. We had our two poodles harnessed in the back seat, anxious to begin our trip, when things got off to a bad start--the car wouldn't start. After a quick jump we were on our way.

We'd gotten snow the day before our trip and the roads in Southern Illinois were snowy and icy. My DH did a good job getting us through the treacherous conditions and we didn't lose much time.

I brought snacks and lunch for us to eat on the road. Low-fat cheese and crackers for snacks, turkey sandwiches and Kettle Baked BBQ chips for lunch.

In mid-January, I'd taken a Japanese Steakhouse cooking class at the Viking Cooking School. My DD always loved "cook 'em on the table" restaurants so we decided we'd prepare a Japanese Steakhouse meal when we arrived in Atlanta. I had prepared all the sauces and assembled the ingredients and had them packed in the cooler. When we got to Atlanta, just after plumbers had left to unclog DD's kitchen sink, we started to cook. DD chopped vegetables while I worked the stove.

We had delicious japanese salad with ginger dressing, grilled shrimp with a sweet teryaki sauce, grilled steak with vegetables and Japanese fried rice. DD's friends joined us for dinner; we ate every bite! It was a lot of fun and something I would definitely do again.

02-17-2010, 12:06 PM
Great! Can't wait to hear the details!

02-17-2010, 12:52 PM
The do-it-yourself Teppenyaki sounds yummy! I can't wait to read your report. I am trying to eat more healthy while at WDW. I hope you take some pictures so we can see just how good healthy food can look!

02-17-2010, 12:57 PM
The do-it-yourself Teppenyaki sounds yummy! I can't wait to read your report. I am trying to eat more healthy while at WDW. I hope you take some pictures so we can see just how good healthy food can look!

I took some pictures but the logistics of getting them from my camera to this thread are too much for me to handle today. I'll try to add pictures when I have a chance.

02-17-2010, 01:17 PM
We got up early again, trying our best not to disturb DD and SIL. We'd hoped to find a Dunkin Donuts--believe it or not, they have breakfast flatbread sandwiches that are low in fat and calories. Our GPS said the closest one was 13.2 miles away so we punted that and kept our eye out on the highway for a Dunkin Donuts sign. We eventually gave up and had sausage biscuits and shared an order of hash browns from Burger King. So much for healthy eating!

We stopped for Subway once we were comfortably in Florida. When we arrived at WDW, we checked our dogs into the kennel at Fort Wilderness and then checked ourselves into the Animal Kingdom lodge. After getting settled, we took a bus to the Magic Kingdom and then a boat to the Wilderness Lodge.

Our ADR for Artist Point was for 5:30, right when they opened. We got there a little early so we got a pager and sat in the bar area and watched a bit of the Super Bowl and ordered some wine. Not long after my DH paid for the wine, our pagers went off and we were seated. I love the prairie style of Artist Point.

I'd spent enough time pouring over menus that it didn't take long to decide what to order. We skipped having an appetizer. I ordered the Bison Strip Steak with a chocolate red wine reduction sauce and goat cheese polenta. My husband ordered the cedar planked salmon with a sourdough dumpling. We also ordered a side order of seasonal vegetables which happened to be broccolini.

We wanted to have the suggested wine pairings but the waitress thought they were out of the syrah that was suggested to go with the bison. She suggested another, that was actually a little less expensive, and offered to let me taste it. When she came back, she brought both the suggested wine and the alternative and let me taste both. Both were good, but I went with my original choice. I was really impressed that she gave me that option. My DH had a glass of the Pinot Noir that went with the Salmon. He liked it a lot.

We did decide to share a berry cobbler based upon our DD's recommendation. We still felt like we didn't over-do it, during our last trip we were on the Deluxe Dining Plan and had really ate too much. This time we had the $750 gift card to fund our dining and we were able to pass on the extras without feeling like we were leaving money on the table.

02-17-2010, 01:45 PM
O My God.... not only were we staying at the same resort, we were at the same park and eating at the same place at the same time - EVEN having pre-dinner drinks in the bar!

02-17-2010, 01:50 PM
My DH loves to golf. He hasn't been on the course since we spent Thanksgiving in Atlanta, so he was anxious to get out there. I am a terrible golfer and hate to play on a course where we might be paired with people who know what they're doing! So we did what we usually do and reserved a tee time at Oak Trails.

We woke up early. My DH had a bowl of Cheerios we'd brought from home. Then we headed to Mara with our refillable mugs, two small cans of V8, my yogurt and his English muffins and buttery spread. We poured ourselves some coffee, DH toasted his muffins and we had a quick breakfast that was exactly what we'd eat at home. We did this pretty much every morning. It saved a few bucks and lots of calories.

DH figured we better get a new battery for the car before heading back to the frozen north, so we dropped the car off at the Car Care Center (I always wondered who goes to WDW to get their car fixed, now I know) and took a Mears taxi to the golf course. (We got golf vouchers from guest services at the hotel). We played 9 holes of golf and, on the last hole, I putted for par for the first time in my life (I missed) but I actually beat DH on that hole!

We picked up the car and headed to the Magic Kingdom. We were famished and went to the Main Street Bakery for a "gourmet sandwich". While the MK wasn't crowded, there was a fairly long line at the bakery. I was a little disappointed by the sandwich selection--I think there was a choice of ham and swiss, turkey and swiss, or tuna salad. The sandwiches were on a fairly substantial roll so we decided to split one and have some Lays Baked potato chips and Diet Cokes. The sandwich was pre-made and had been sitting in a refrigerator, so it was really cold. I decided I am not a big fan of cold sandwich rolls. It was okay, but nothing particularly gourmet.

Shortly after lunch we saw Drew Brees being interviewed to the side of the castle along the walkway to Tomorrowland. That was exciting.

We had a between meal snack of a small popcorn and headed to the Grand Floridian, via monorail, in time for our 7:35 p.m. ADR at Narcoosees. I was very excited about this reservation--we'd eaten here to celebrate my 50th birthday. We were promptly seated. We decided to share the Togarashi Spiced Tuna Tataki appetizer. It was very good. We each had a glass of the suggested wine--it was Chateau Ste Michelle Eroica, Columbia Valley ’07 and it tasted very good with the tuna. For dinner, DH had shrimp etouffee and I had the crab crusted mahi mahi. Again, we did the wine pairings. My husband really liked the Zen of Zins that went with his shrimp. My chardonnay was fine. Both entrees were delicous and we finished them both. We were between courses during Wishes. It was neat to see them dim the lights and allow diners to enjoy the show. Very special.

We skipped dessert. When the check came, DH puzzled over it for quite a while. Instead of charging him for a glass of the zinfandel, the waiter charged him for a bottle. When we brought it the waiter's attention we got kind of a strange reaction. I would have expected some expression of regret that it had happened but it was more along the lines of "okay, you got me..." It was easily fixed but we reduced the amount of the tip because that was just weird. I have to admit that I usually assume the check is correct and don't review it carefully. After that experience, I will be sure to check the check!

02-17-2010, 01:51 PM
O My God.... not only were we staying at the same resort, we were at the same park and eating at the same place at the same time - EVEN having pre-dinner drinks in the bar!

I think we saw you on the bus to Epcot on Tuesday morning!

02-17-2010, 02:06 PM
Yup, mid-aged red-head - Tuesday I was going to Epcot, wearing my grey Tinker Bell hoodie. The fact that I remember this stuff is weird.

When I posted my Artist Point review and then saw yours I was interested especially since I was trying to eat healthy, low(er) carb. I was pleased that I didn't gain weight this trip.

I'm looking forward to reading about the other places you went.

As far as Narcooses goes, I went there last year with my BFF. We had a good dinner and I was going to go actually on Monday (LOL) but decided for the studios and Blue Zoo. I actually could take or leave the Studios but I needed to do a few more attractions to review for my Blog and I love the Tune In Lounge (though they didn't have my fav bartender there).

I agree, your experience was weird. I'm with you, I usually don't check the tickets as close as I should and will make it a point to do so.

Now with the crab crusted Mahi, was the crab crispy, was it mixed with a breading or was it just layed on the fish like a sauce?



02-17-2010, 02:08 PM
Now with the crab crusted Mahi, was the crab crispy, was it mixed with a breading or was it just layed on the fish like a sauce?



The crab was mixed with a breading and was crispy--almost like having a little bit of crab cake spread over the grilled fish and put under the broiler. It was very tasty.

02-20-2010, 12:24 PM
Great reviews, we have always found you have to trawl to get healthy food. My DD is a meat and fruit lover. Likes the odd treat but really not a carb fan. She can eat 10 portions of fruit a day and unless we do buffets it costs a fortune.

I like plenty of salad to make up for the lack of veg we are used to here in the UK.

Think it is nigh on impossible at CS at WDW.