Health food isn’t the first thing you think about when planning to visit an amusement park, although you may plan on doing plenty of walking and maybe some major muscle contractions as you grip to safety harnesses. My vocal cords got quite the workout in the last two days. I practically never raise my voice, so screaming through a few roller coasters was quite a change of pace. It is possible to not eat junk food like turkey legs, cotton candy, and soda, even at an amusement park. Here are my top tips for sticking (close) to your diet at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
Mythos restaurant: Mythos, located in Universal Studios Islands of Adventure’s Lost Continent, was voted #1 restaurant in an amusement park in the world 2003-2008. The menu is marked with gluten-free and vegetarian options to make ordering easy. The flavor makes me believe that the selections were made on site with more fresh ingredients. (We also ate at the Three Broomsticks in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. While it seemed like they were trying to make decent meals, like shepherd’s pie, it seems more processed and likely had been frozen at some point.) In addition, Mythos provided a very soothing atmosphere which both felt removed from the amusement park and provided views of rides across the lake.
Fruit stands: There may have been fewer fruit stands than junk food stands, but fresh and dried fruit was available at stands throughout the park. We bought a bag of grapes for $2. They probably were not organic, but it is one of the best choices available in the park.
Choose water: We all know soda is not a healthy choice, and you will likely need the hydration walking in the sun all day.
Split it: If you really want to indulge a bit or try out something like butterbeer, share it. One butterbeer was more than enough for two of us.. You will save money and calories.
Read the ingredients: I didn’t see ingredient lists at any of the food vendors, but the packaged candy sold at the stores will have ingredients. Nothing we picked up at Honeyduke’s was free of both high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated soybean oil. It was easy for us to resist over-prices candy when we knew it contained ingredients we consider contraband.