By the time you’ve rope dropped Space Mountain, ran to Matterhorn, and hiked Main Street, you’re gonna feel a little cranky. In the past few weeks, I’ve been exploring ways to decrease the stress-level that goes into a Disney vacation. I’ve written two posts explaining ways to alleviate stress on vacation and my favorite place to recharge: Animation Courtyard. But, there’s another incredibly important way to keep your energy up and the magic going. Snacks. Oh yes, I’m getting to the good stuff now. You don’t want to poop out before lunch and there are plenty of snacks at Disneyland that will lift your energy. I also want to preface that I’m not a huge health nut. I take care of myself, but I will also indulge in marshmallow Tigger Tails, thank you very much. So, I’ve compiled a list of some healthy and semi-healthy Disney treats that will keep you active in the parks. If you want to last until the fireworks, heed my advice!
Water: I can’t stress how important this “snack” is. If you’re feeling especially low on fuel, it’s more than likely you’re dehydrated. It’s good to drink plain water, but it’s also imperative to drink electrolytes. One essential I pack in my Disney bag are the Propel electrolyte packets. They’re travel-sized so you can easily add them to a water bottle. I mention this tip a lot because it’s crucial!
Fresh Fruits and Veggies: Disney has made an effort to add healthier snacks to their quick service carts and restaurants. There are few dedicated fruit and veggie kiosks and carts located throughout the parks. Notably, Mortimer’s Market at California Adventure, Filmore’s Taste-In in Cars Land, the “flower” cart on Main Street, and the large marketplace near Bengal Barbecue in Adventureland. Bengal Barbecue is also where you can grab a Tiger Tail, a doughy and cheesy breadstick snack!
Corn on the Cob: Another healthy snack is the fresh grilled corn served with or without butter. They’re usually sold alongside the turkey legs and chimichangas. While all three are excellent snack choices, the turkey and chimichangas generally produce a food coma. Grilled corn is sold across from Big Thunder Mountain, Edelweiss Snacks in Fantasyland, and various other food carts throughout both parks. Last year, they even had a deep fried cilantro-lime corn cob at Paradise Grill. Hopefully, they’ll bring this one back!
Dole Whip Float: A Dole Whip is lighter and fresher than ice cream, but still has a good kick of sugar and citrus to boost your energy. Make it a float and the pineapple juice will quench your thirst and pump you up! Make it a double with a shot of rum at The Coffee House in The Disneyland Hotel. (The rum is more of a “winding down” snack, but I thought ya’ll need to know this important tip.)
Salad in a Bread Bowl: The salads at Pacific wharf are enormous so I don’t know if I can consider them “snacks.” They’re good for sharing though and fairly healthy. Fun Fact: All the sourdough bread served in the parks comes from the Boudin Bakery in California Adventure. They make so much bread that they donate the leftovers to groceries stores throughout Anaheim.
Mint Julep: Sometimes a midday cocktail will suck the energy out of me, so I’ll opt for something without alcohol. The classic non-alcoholic Mint Julep is a great alternative to a refreshing drink. It’s a bright and citrusy lemonade with a splash of fresh mint. The drink is sold at the Mint Julep Bar towards the train station in New Orleans. You can also pick up some of the infamous Mickey Beignets at this window.
Edamame: Lucky Fortune Cookery in Pacific Wharf has a wide variety of meals and snacks that aren’t deep-fried or loaded with carbs. The Asian Rice Bowls come packed with rice, veggies, protein and your choice of sauce. I hear the coconut curry is the sauce to try! As for a pick-me-up, the fresh edamame is boiled and lightly salted to satisfy your salty cravings.
Frozen Banana: A giant banana saturated with chocolate and hazelnuts, frozen to perfection. Ok, so the banana is no longer a healthy snack once dunked in sugar, but the treat is quite filling and at least it’s not as heavy as say, a churro. The fact that it’s frozen keeps the chocolate from melting away in your hands, so you can nibble on it while waiting in line at the Jungle Cruise. Which, by the way, is always the hottest and most crowded cue in the park.
Fresh Smoothie: Schmoozie’s is my favorite place to get iced coffees, but they also serve killer smoothies (hence the name). They are blended to serve and comparable to the smoothies served at Jamba Juice.
Pineapple Spears: I know I mentioned fresh fruits and veggies, but these pineapple spears deserve their own special attention. If you’ve already had two Dole Whips and you want something citrusy to wake you up these little babies are extremely fresh and sweet. Just to die for.
Iced Coffee: I saved the best for last. I will not and cannot start my Disney day without a cup of coffee and when it’s hot enough to melt your Dole Whip mid-bite, you’ll want an iced coffee. I dMy favorite places to get coffee at Disneyland: On my last visit, I was struggling to find a definitive list or guide to finding a good cup of coffee at Disneyland. So, as someone who can survive on cold brew alone, I made it my mission to find the best places to grab coffee in the parks and share this vital information with everyone else! You can find my full guide to good coffee here!
Redd’s Apple Freeze: This is Disneyland’s answer to Disney World’s Le Fou’s Brew. The Apple Freeze is sold at the Cozy Cone in Cars Land and consists of frozen apple juice, a touch of marshmallow, and topped with passion fruit-mango foam. You can also try Cozy Cone’s Fuelin’ Groovy Pomegranate Limeade, topped with a lemon-lime foam. Both drinks are refreshing with less processed sugar than soda.
Disneyland has really stepped up their food game in the last 10-15 years. Everywhere you turn you’ll see a different Toy Story cake pop or cookie or macaron. All of them gorgeous and tantalizing. I’m not saying you should avoid these treats. My usual goal is to see how many Dole Whips I can stuff down before my trip ends. However, there are plenty of other options that will feed your cravings and also perk you up. I’m going to emphasize one more time that the most important thing you can do is to keep hydrated. You will feel so much better if you’re drinking enough water and electrolytes. Despite the snacks you choose, it’s important to take care of yourself throughout your vacation. Don’t want to burn out early and miss out on the magic!
What’s your favorite pick-me-up at the parks? Comment below!