Disney's new food advertising standards, announced yesterday, aim to ban junk food ads on its television channels, radio stations, and websites that reach children. In addition, the company intends to reduce the amount of sodium and sugar in food sold at its stores and theme parks, with nutritious products receiving a “Mickey Check” seal of approval. While these guidelines won’t take effect until 2015, here are some dining options at Disneyland that Walt would approve.
1. Big Thunder Ranch Barbecue
Frontierland, Disneyland Park
The words “big” and “barbecue” conjure up images of dinosaur-sized ribs slathered with honey glaze, and this establishment doesn’t disappoint, with “cowboy-style grub” featuring an all-you-can-eat feast of barbeque chicken and ribs, smoked sausages, coleslaw, ranch beans, and cornbread. OK, here comes the healthy part: Vegetarians can request a barbecue skewer with potatoes, squash, bell peppers, mushrooms and tofu.
2. Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta
Paradise Pier, Disney California Adventure Park
While this joint focuses on “hearty Italian favorites with a California twist” like chicken flatbread pizza and 5-cheese ravioli, health-conscious diners can chow down on the Boardwalk Field Greens Salad, a medley of romaine, iceberg, and spinach, topped with blue cheese, dried cranberries, caramelized pecans, and basil vinaigrette, or the more traditional chicken Caesar salad. Just go easy on the dressing and toppings.
3. Catal Restaurant
Downtown Disney District
Catal Restaurant specializes in modern Mediterranean fare like paella à la Valencia, housemade squid ink pasta, roasted duck breast with fresh corn polenta, rack of lamb, and braised angus short ribs. If that still makes your calorie-counting head spin, try one of their salads: an organic mixed lettuce salad with cherries, a Manchego cheese salad with dates, or an endive salad with bleu cheese, pears, and candied pecans.
4. World of Color Picnics at Sonoma Terrace at Golden Vine Winery
Paradise Pier, California Adventure Park
Picnics usually mean an all-sandwich affair, but Disney is upping the ante with their prepackaged picnic meals featuring an entrée, dessert, and choice of beverage from four different types of cuisine. Resist the urge to go “All-American” and choose the “Mediterranean Vegetarian” option instead.
5. Fruits and Vegetables
If all that still doesn’t warm your healthy heart, try the Fairfax Market at the California Adventure Park, which offers fresh seasonal fruits, or the Main Street Fruit Cart with everything from apples to veggie cups.