The Food Mistakes I Made In Disney


I don’t want to confuse you – today is Tuesday, not Wednesday. I just couldn’t wait until tomorrow to discuss what we ate in Disney.

First, may I just say that the fruit-waters available at the hotel all day were super fun.

fruit water

Lemon/lime, orange and cucumber one day…pineapple, cantaloupe and watermelon the next…

fruit water

One of the main reasons we stay at the Hilton Bonnet Creek resort when in Disney World is for the breakfast buffet.

breakfast buffet

I know I don’t take full advantage because I have no use for omelets and rarely eat the muffins, croissants, French toast, waffles and pancakes but I do love unlimited fruit, steel-cut oatmeal and cup upon cup of coffee.

My son on the other hand takes full advantage of the buffet.

He enjoyed an omelette each day followed up with the sweet stuff where he had a ton of fun going up by himself to load his plate.


I was oatmeal and fruit all the way, just like the last time we stayed at this hotel.


But I really screwed up on this trip.

Let me explain.

The last time we went to Disney was only days before I became a vegetarian (exactly three years ago).

I came down with a stomach virus within 24 hours after arriving home from that trip (I blame the airplane) and I never looked at meat or poultry again.

What does this have to do with things? A lot.

I am not the same person that I was three years ago.

I currently run an average of 40+ miles a week. While I certainly exercised back then, my running was not anywhere near where it is today which means my appetite and needs are completely different.

And, being a vegetarian now changes things in terms of how I get my protein which is needed not just for the muscles but for satisfying the appetite and avoiding that blood sugar spike and crash.

While it was fine for me back on that trip at the end of 2011 to be all oatmeal and fruit for breakfast, possibly because I was loading up on protein at the rest of my meals and possibly because my fitness level and appetite didn’t require what it requires now, it did not work for me this time.

On this trip, I felt sick within two hours following breakfast.

I was so nauseous-hungry, slightly dizzy and the more I think about it, my stomach didn’t feel right. It was bloated, most likely because I was not eating balanced.

Of course I felt this way -> Where was my protein? Where was the fat?

I have nothing to say for myself other than …I just wasn’t thinking. I know better than this, of course I do.

I was on vacation.

Even though I brought my peanut butter and they had peanut butter available, I just didn’t even care (how weird is that?!) to add it to my breakfast.

It took me two mornings to realize I could have been adding greek yogurt to the oatmeal and fruit like I do every other day of the year.

breakfast buffet

Which by the way, was the best greek yogurt I ever ate. I will assume it was the full-fat variety which I may now seek out at the grocery store. Or at least start eating the 2% kind.

Saying this to you now, I see how crazy it all sounds but honestly, I just wasn’t thinking much.

I try to travel as easy as possible in that I don’t overthink what I need to eat and that I don’t need special attention made to my massive running/vegetarian appetite but the truth is, it does need attention.

I may not have been running on the regular for the few days that we were away but my body is used to eating a ton and still requires a ton and when I say a ton, I may a ton of the right nutrients.

Of course I brought my emergency snacks but the banana I ate when I woke up in the hotel room wasn’t going to help me beyond getting me  dressed and ready to go to breakfast.

And really, my little snacks and packets of peanut butter were not meant to be my meals — they were really just the extras.

When lunch rolled around,  I realized nothing was truly satisfying me either.


I ate a ton of salads which is lovely and all but I really needed more. More in the form of a protein source and just more food in general.

Some restaurants had a greek salad option such as Cosmic Rays in the Tomorrowland section of Magic Kingdom.

It’s a quick service-type place that has an awesome fixin’s bar with lots of toppings like mushrooms, tomatoes, pickles, onions, sauerkraut, lettuce etc.

I added a ton of toppings to the greek salad I ordered which made it super big and more my style but was that really enough? Nah.

At the ESPN Club, I had a terrific grilled vegetable salad but there was no protein.

At the hotel, I had ANOTHER grilled vegetable salad which had chick peas but I should have asked for more.

And the salad you see with shrimp and nuts on the side? It was terrific but, um, I do have a slight nut allergy which I decided after this trip I need to respect a bit more.

I didn’t feel myself really after any of the lunches the more I think about it until the lunch I had in the airport of all places.


At that point, I was smart about the protein and had a big cup of yogurt from Au Bon Pain which I doctored up with peanut butter and one of my oatmeal packets.

I did have sushi though two times which was nice.


Dinner at Tokyo Dining in Epcot.

I didn’t make us reservations for lunch at Hollywood Studios because we didn’t decide to go there until the last-minute.

Not to mention, we like the 50’s Prime Time café and when I glanced at the menu this time, I noticed that it really wasn’t overly vegetarian friendly.


I ended up with this quick sushi at one of the lunch spots that my son picked even though I would have preferred to find a better (more filling) option.

Disney is really good at offering vegetarian, vegan and allergy-friendly meals — you just have to know where most of them are.

I mean, you can really make anything vegetarian but that doesn’t mean it will be filling. Nothing worse than eating just a side salad, especially if you have my appetite.

I knew there were pizza options, I knew of other food spots and restaurants in the park because I researched it a bit before we came but again, I didn’t want us to have to trek across the park or even further just so mom could have something else.

I made up for my mistakes with dessert…

A much-needed chocolate covered banana at Hollywood Studios.

chocolate banana

And you already know I had a chocolate-covered apple as soon as I walked into Magic Kingdom.

Minnie Mouse Chocolate Covered Apple

My favorite chocolate chip cookies stuffed with ice cream was really special too and just as I remembered it.

giant cookie sandwich

There was a slice of deep dish apple pie one night after dinner.

apple pie

And bags of candy happened a few times too.


My combo was always chocolate-covered raisins, nonpareils, tutti frutti jelly beans and sometimes m&m’s.

I had a bag of candy actually after the unsatisfying salad at ESPN Club. The dose of chocolate helped.

Did I show you my Ghirardelli cookie sundae, I can’t remember.

ghirardelli sundae

My son had some favorites too, one of which was a Mickey Mouse Rice Krispy Treat.

Mickey Mouse Rice Krispy Treat

I think we had fudge too. There was so much to choose from but you know what? I only had the one chocolate-covered apple.

I thought I would want more but when I went to order another one day, I realized I really didn’t want it. So I didn’t get it.

Disney Candy store

Looking back on this post as I write it, I really can’t believe I missed the important proteins in the morning.

I may be a predominately plant-based vegetarian but I need that drop of greek yogurt (or egg) in the morning.

I need the fat in the peanut butter. I need two breakfasts and I need to make sure I am getting the right amounts of nutrients throughout the day if I want to feel my best.

Dessert is certainly one of the most important meals in my world but breakfast really is the most important meal of all.

It sets you up for the day; if you get it wrong in the morning, if you skimp or fail to consume enough balance between protein, fat and carbohydrates, I am pretty sure the rest of your day will suffer or at least not allow you to feel and perform your best.

I think I am now hungry. Time for breakfast!


Favorite breakfast buffet foods?

Are you a big breakfast eater?

Do you have nut allergies? Which nuts?











How We Do Disney



Before I recap our Disney trip a bit, have you seen Annie yet?

We saw it on Friday and I actually loved it!

I say actually because the original Annie is one of my all-time favorite movies; I remember seeing it in the theaters as a little girl.

I would watch Annie on tape (you know, a VHS tape that goes in a VCR?) over and over again, hitting rewind and starting it from the beginning before it would even have the chance to totally end.

I even remember the label on our Annie tape which was written in green ink by my dad so that we would know which movie it was because we must have recorded it off of the television rather than buying it in the store (wow, I sound really old-fashioned).

Anyway, if you are going to see this Annie, you have to go into it with the mindset of – it’s a different movie.

You can’t compare them but you can sing along with some of the songs, recognize the names of the characters and really get into it.


On to Disney:


Cinderella's Castle

We had a terrific time. We always do.

And, the more often we go, the better we get at handling the overwhelming nature that Disney World can produce if you let it get the best of you.

First things first —

We stay at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort.


It’s not a Disney hotel but it is on Disney property which means we are inside “Disney” and super close to all of the attractions.

And, the hotel provides regular transportation (free of charge!) to all of the theme parks just like the traditional Disney hotels.

We have stayed here before and just love it.

I love the feel of the hotel atmosphere versus some of the Disney Hotels which are motel-style.

The Hilton Bonnet Creek makes you feel as though you are away at a resort, not at Disney World every second of your trip and there are no overwhelming Mickey Mouse patterns.

The rooms are beautiful and the facilities including the gym, restaurants (there are several) and the giant pool (with lazy river and waterslide) are fantastic.


The hotel is only a few years old which makes it that much better. It is attached to the Waldorf too where the Guerlain Spa is should you have time for a massage.

I didn’t on this trip but did a few years ago – highly recommend.

Since we have been to Disney now three times in five years, I wanted this quick trip to be somewhat laid-back.

Actually, I like all trips to be laid-back. I don’t like that feeling of being on a schedule, rushing around and feeling the need to see and do everything.

So, for this trip, here’s how we did it:

Four days/three nights – it’s more than enough. By the fourth day, we are just done with the parks.

In my opinion, if you are going to stay longer, you need to spend more time away from the parks in order to have the stamina for going over and over again to see it all.

Three-day park pass with no hopper option – If you aren’t familiar with Disney, adding a park hopper to your park pass allows you to jump from park to park each day.

I went with a regular park pass for this trip which meant if we chose Magic Kingdom, as we did on Monday, that was the only park we could go to for that day and night.

Since we go fairly often, I told my son that we do not need to do it all over and over again. We saved a few hundred dollars this way and we were certainly not lacking in entertainment.

We really like Magic Kingdom.

Magic Kingdom Chocolate Covered Apple

Okay so maybe I love Magic Kingdom for the chocolate-covered apples and cookies but most people love it for the rides and atmosphere.

Disney candy store

It really is The Happiest Place On Earth.

Main Street Parade

We stayed at Magic Kingdom all day into the evening on Monday where we saw lots of parades and even saw the whole Frozen Christmas thing (I don’t know if it was a show, a spectacular, a parade or what but I saw it while eating my giant cookie ice cream sandwich which is honestly all I cared about).

frozen cinderella's castle

If you are wondering if we did Fast Passes (you know, where you sign up in advance for rides rather than waiting on lines) – we did for some and not for others. We didn’t stress it.

Tuesday looked like this:

Pool time ->Grand Floridian -> Boardwalk ->Epcot -> Downtown Disney


We only needed a park pass for the Epcot portion of the day which was the best part.

grand floridian gingerbread house

From the Grand Floridian Gingerbread House we took a bus to the Boardwalk where we walked around, had lunch at the ESPN Club and then took a boat over to Epcot.

Disney Boardwalk

I had never taken the time to visit the Boardwalk area of Disney before this trip so it was super fun to see.


We spent hours in Epcot doing rides and walking the World Showcase with a stop in Japan for dinner.


From Epcot, my son talked me into going to Downtown Disney to walk around the shops and see the outdoor entertainment after dinner.

I didn’t get pictures except for the Ghirardelli sign because, well, that’s what’s important.


I honestly had my phone/camera away most of the time just so I could enjoy what we were seeing and doing.


Hollywood Studios – > Pool time ->Downtown Disney

hollywood studios

I love rollercoasters. Always have and always will.

However, I am realizing that the older I get, the faster, scarier and more jolting these big coasters seem.

I haven’t been on Aerosmith in years and I swear it was never so fast and scary as it was the other day.

Aerosmith rollercoaster

I think the entire ride was in the dark, upside down and faster than anything I have experienced but I wouldn’t know for sure because my eyes were closed and didn’t open until it stopped.

We lucked out with the weather and were able to spend more time back at the pool.

hotel pool

And then the kid made me go back to Downtown Disney at night. It’s really nice there – there are tons of stores but also lots of entertainment.

It has changed over the years in that the Pleasure Island section no longer contains the same adult clubs/bars and seems more focused on family entertainment (and isn’t called Pleasure Island anymore but I still call it that).

There’s a movie theatre now and Splitsville Bowling which was really cool.

We bowled an unlimited hour and had we not already had dinner and dessert, the menu looked really good too.


This is why I didn’t take many pictures – either I don’t know how or it was just dark and not ideal.


We were leaving later in the day so we enjoyed the hotel for our last hotel breakfast, the game room and pool.


Don’t worry, I will recap what we ate in Disney tomorrow. I am not even going to wait for Wednesday.


Do you like rollercoasters?

Favorite type of vacation – beach and relaxing or sightseeing-type trips?

Did you see Annie yet? What did you think?





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