As if my life didn’t revolve around food enough as it is, I am currently 181 days out from a Disney vacation. For those of you not quite as obsessed with all things Walt, that countdown means that beginning tomorrow, I can start making dining reservations for my trip in June. As crazy or OCD as it may sound, finding yourself without reservations during this busy time of year could mean waiting in a 30 minute line for a fast food hamburger in the parks. Other vacation planners are just as obsessed as I am, which equates to crashes on the Disney Website as we all try to make our reservations at the same time. Disney is a money-making machine, and I’m just the type of person that helps them oil the gears.
My plan is pretty simple, actually. I’m going to spend the next 12 hours or so with my eyes glued to the computer screen. Since my husband and I have committed to eating organic/nourishing foods, the stakes are higher and the challenge much bigger. More than likely we will be participating in Disney’s Deluxe Dining plan, so we’ll try to eat at numerous Signature restaurants. As mentioned in a previous post, eating organic at Disney is much easier when dining at the more exclusive restaurants, and even some of the regular table service restaurants are beginning to have items such as a Sustainable Fish of the Day on the menu.
As a reference, dining options that include organic choices are located throughout each park, but especially at the resorts. Check out Tusker House at Animal Kingdom for African dishes that include many fruit and complex grains such as Quinoa. Next door at Animal Kingdom lodge, Boma, Jiko, and Sanaa all have sustainable items on their menus. At Hollywood Studios, grab a healthy snack at Anaheim Produce, or go upscale at The Brown Derby, where they offer meats that are more likely to be “free range,” such as Duck and Lamb.
Epcot offers the most options for Park dining, with Garden Grill being your best bet. They have a family-style menu that features all-natural Turkey, sustainable fish, and garden fresh vegetables. Other places worth checking out are Sunshine Seasons food court, Bistro De Paris, and surprisingly, Le Cellier. This popular steakhouse also features Duck and wild-caught fish. Just outside of Epcot, Boardwalk has two options that will easily accommodate. Kouzzina’s Mediterranean menu has one or two items, and Flying Fish may have the most extensive selection of organic, wild options at Disney World.
Magic Kingdom proved to be the most challenging. As I searched, I found that the closest you may come to organic while at this park is an Amy’s gluten-free pizza at Pinocchio’s Village Haus. ToonTown Farmer’s Market has fruit that could work, and I’ve heard great things about what the chefs at Crystal Palace can whip up for guests with special diets. Heading just outside this park though, you’ll find a plethora of organic finds! California Grill and The Wave, both at the Contemporary Resort, have a large selection, and Ohana, at Polynesian, has always been incredibly helpful with special diet requests. On the more upscale level, Citrico’s and Narcoossee’s, located at the Grand Floridian, also do a fantastic job simply with their regular menu. And don’t forget about Wilderness Lodge. Their Signature dining experience, Artist’s Pointe, offers organic and sustainable options, and their chefs tend to be very caring, as well.
I’m not completely naive. I realize that going on vacation means that I will not be able to eat perfectly. But I’m not going to worry about my meals (apart from booking where I’ll be eating six months from now). When available, I will eat organic, local and nutrient-dense foods. Given the sheer number of dining options Disney World has at hand, that shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. My husband has also informed me that he will be having dessert every night, and who can blame him? The Deluxe Dining Plan includes dessert for each person, at both lunch and dinner! Surely not partaking would be a waste of well-earned funds?
This blog is a part of Real Food Wednesday 12/1/10. Check out all the other Nourishing posts that Kelly the Kitchen Kop is hosting! This blog is also a part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday 12/3/10.