Someone's In The Kitchen With Mickey!
Backstage Pass: Walt Disney World® Parks and Resorts Monthly Newsletter
Disney chefs cook up kids' meals that are good and good for them
When you're on a Walt Disney World® vacation, sometimes you just want to indulge yourself and your kids with fun, favorite foods. But on the other hand, you also want to be sure you're getting the best quality for your family, whether it's familiar Quick-service food or Table-service dining. Always conscientious about providing the best for their Guests, over a hundred Walt Disney World food locations have made every effort to provide the greatest variety of choices and options possible with the best, most nutritious ingredients.
Last October, Disney dining made national headlines when Walt Disney Company Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger announced a worldwide effort to make Disney dining even more nutritious than ever. Meanwhile, Disney chefs had already begun to do everything in their power to constantly upgrade the food offerings for everyone, but particularly children.
Kids have their Pick
"In our Quick-service restaurants, we now offer Kids' Picks," explained Ed Wronski, Director of Walt Disney World Food & Beverage Product Development. "When a parent or child chooses something like mac and cheese, turkey pinwheels, a burger or chicken nuggets, then for their beverage we offer 2% milk, 100% juice or a small bottle of water. If they would rather substitute french fries, chocolate pudding, fruit punch gelatin or a soft drink, they're all available on request.
"Table-service is a little bit different. Kids' Picks include a choice of appetizer, entree and dessert with a beverage (1% milk, bottled water or juice). Chicken soup, fresh fruit cup, macaroni & cheese, pizza and grilled chicken are a few of the items you might find on the menus. And again, soft drinks may be substituted on request."
The Table-service restaurants also offer Kids' Complete Meals that include one serving from each of the five major food groups. The chefs have created a number of ingenious dishes, including pizza on a whole-wheat pita shell and low-fat mozzarella cheese or beef and mac (with multigrain macaroni) served with fresh sliced apples, carrots and celery sticks.
For an alternative dessert, they even offer a non-fat strawberry yogurt parfait with a touch of granola for a nice crunch.
The finest and the purest
No matter which foods you choose, you can be assured that they are always of the highest Disney standards, from 100% all-beef hot dogs to flame-broiled burgers. Fried foods are cooked in 100% canola oil. Every day, new developments in nutritious, great-tasting versions of popular favorites are being explored. "We have to make sure that our Guests always enjoy the flavor," Ed adds.
Even little snacks throughout the Parks are getting smarter, including sliced apples at carts, in addition to popcorn and candy. As Ed said, "It's all about options."
Special dietary requests are welcome
One of the most reassuring things about Walt Disney World dining is that special dietary requests are carried out as carefully and thoroughly as possible. Ed takes special pride in his fellow Cast Members' ability to accommodate Guest needs. "We handle over 5,000–6,000 requests a month for different allergy or dietary restrictions.
The best way to make those requests is to call in advance at the Walt Disney World Dining Reservation line, 407-WDW-DINE (939-3463). The reservation agent can direct you to the best locations for your needs, then send your requests for advance preparation. But even if you're already here, you can make special requests at most Table-service restaurants and the chefs will do some pretty magical things for you.
"As a chef myself, I know that pleasing your dining Guests is the ultimate satisfaction," Ed said. "Our goal is to always exceed our Guests' expectations, whether it's an attraction, a show or a great meal with the family."