Ask a Disney Question: Dining Options for People with Diabetes.
Tom W. asks: Are there many dining options for Diabetics? Any specific restaurants that serve sugar free desserts?
Hi, Tom. Thanks for your question. One thing I like about doing “Ask a Disney Question” is that it really gets me thinking, especially when the topic is one that I don’t have a lot of personal experience in. This is one such topic and a useful one at that. There are plenty of dining and dessert options for diabetics at Disney World, particularly at table service restaurants. Dessert selection at counter service places is not the best, but regular dessert options at these places can be hit and miss as well. Most offer a sugar free brownie; we’ve heard reports that it “tastes great” and and that it “Could be used as a door stopper. A tasteless door stopper.” If you want to partake of this brownie of dubious reputation and don’t see it on the menu, just ask for it. You can also get all fruit bars at ice cream carts located throughout the parks.
If you’re using the dining plan, you’ll get a dessert with each meal. Obviously, this can pose something of a problem for people with diabetes. One way around this is to eat at a counter service restaurant that has fruit or sugar-free yogurt as a dessert option. You can find detailed information about what counts as a dessert alternative on the Disboards restaurants forum. I like Passporter’s restaurant forum as well. The chefs at table service restaurants usually have a house-made sugar free dessert option. Depending on the restaurant it can be as simple as a fruit sorbet to an elaborate dessert with presentation and taste worthy of the best restaurants anywhere. Here are a few places we’ve heard really good things about from people with diabetes:
- Cosmic Rays serves rotisserie chicken, a nice change from nuggets and burgers and a great source of lean protein.
- You can ask to have your Tonga Toast at Kona Cafe without the sugar coating and use a sugar free syrup.
- The Wave, which takes a fresh, healthy approach to dining, rewards you for your healthy choices by serving decadent desserts. Their sugar free choices consistently get good reviews on Disney message boards. Try the sugar free trio with creme brulee.
- Yachtsman Steakhouse has a sugar-free mango cheesecake with a chocolate sauce on the side that is the talk of many Disney message boards. The chocolate sauce that comes with it is reportedly to die for. I’ve also heard the chef occasionally makes a chocolate cake that is so good you can’t tell it’s not made with sugar.
- Even the Wishes Dessert Party has sugar-free options. Make sure when you make the reservation that you let them know what your needs are. When you check-in, let the hostess know as well and she’ll provide you with information and assistance. All the items are clearly marked, so you’ll know which are sugar free and which are verboten.
I posted some questions on Disney message forums and here are some tips that visitors with diabetes shared:
- Don’t stop testing just because you’re on vacation. It’s actually more important to test to see how your body is reacting to the sun and heat, changes in your diet, and possibly more walking than one is normally used to.
- This is a big one: Make sure when you make your ADR that you request a sugar free dessert. Call again the day before to confirm and make note of it again when you check in.
- One thing I heard a lot was to pack twice as many supplies as you think you’ll need. Put them in separate bags so that if one gets lost, you’ll still have what you need.
- If you’re staying at a value resort, you can ask for a free refrigerator for your insulin and other supplies that need to be refrigerated.
Finally, AllEars has a page for people with Diabetes who are touring Disney. They also have menus for every restaurant at Disney World, so you’ll have an idea of what’s available. Keep in mind that these menus rarely list the sugar free dessert option.
- Disney Dining Plan – A Vegetarians View (disneyonwheelsblog.com)
- Top 5 Disneyworld Quick Service Meals Spots (couponingtodisney.com)