My favorite EPCOT festival is upon us! The EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival is here March 4 - June 1, 2020, and I'm looking forward to all the topiaries and Garden Rocks series. But if you're no stranger to my blog, you know I come out with a Weight Watchers version of the Foodie Guides that Disney Parks Blog comes out with every year - that is, I take a look at the full menu of all the festival food offerings and break down what I think the best options are for people following plans like WW, My Fitness Pal calorie counting, South Beach, etc. That's not changing any time soon, so let's grab our flowers and take a look at the menu!
GF = Gluten Free; PB = Plant Based
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Let's talk first though about two things: dessert options and beverages.
When it comes to desserts, I know that you're probably expecting me to say "avoid them entirely" since this is just as much a WW blog as it is a Disney one. But here's the thing: living your life avoiding a type of food is not realistic, and it's important to have a healthy relationship with food! Getting rid of language like "cheat," "bad," "naughty," etc. is important, and depriving yourself isn't healthy either! What I like to do when it comes to desserts, since I have a sweet tooth, is try something different that I can't just go home and easily make myself or pick up at the grocery store. This way, I'm not deprived but I also know I'm not going to set off a food craving. If you decide to try this, let me know how it works for you!
For beverages... I don't drink, so I can't speak to which alcohols are going to be lower in SmartPoints. And honestly, it could depend on exactly how much they pour in that day - every ounce counts! However, if you are aiming for whatever the lowest SmartPoints options or lowest calories are, then I am always going to recommend non-alcoholic in the event that the options are different mixed drinks (which a lot of these are). However, I'm still going to include the full list here, including beverages, just so you can make the most informed decision you possibly can leading up to your trip to EPCOT's International Flower and Garden Festival!
Flavor Full Kitchen Hosted by AdventHealth
Magically Fit's recommendations: I think the grilled vegetables or seared salmon are good choices here - you've got some good protein options with lighter sides, and besides, they're sample-sized rather than a full meal!
The Honey Beestro Hosted by National Honey Board
Magically Fit's recommendations: I'd go for the cauliflower option - I see a lot of zero to low SmartPoints options, and is a little lighter on the fats than the chicken flatbread.
The Citrus Blossom
Magically Fit's recommendations: For those of you unfamiliar with some of these flavors: tuna tataki is a Japanese style seared, raw tuna, and yuzu is a Japanese citrus fruit. Pappadam is a thin, crisp, Indian style wafer and are kind of nutty flavored. If you want something filled with healthy fats and unique flavor, the tuna tataki bowl sounds delicious - so long as you're comfortable with raw fish (insert disclaimer here about risks of consuming raw seafood and increasing your risk of illness). If not, the lobster tail wins out over the crispy chicken - anything crispy gets a no from me if you're keeping WW or any diet plan in mind.
Magically Fit's recommendations: Neither of these options thrill me as far as being healthy-ish goes, but the popsicle trio sounds like an adorable way to share a dessert and sample different flavors. This is a perfect example of my dessert note from about about trying something different and unique that you can't just go pick up at the grocery store!
now, let's make our way around the world showcase!
Northern Bloom (canada)
Magically Fit: Everything on this menu is likely loaded with sugar, even the protein options. But, my guess would be that the scallops and beef are on equal footing here: the beef is likely going to be a bit fattier than the scallops, but the scallops have the bacon on the side and that brown butter vinaigrette. Since they're both sample sized, I think it's a wash either way you go.
Fleur De Lys (France)
Florida Fresh (FRANCE)
Magically Fit's Recommendations: I'd go for the shrimp - sounds like a lot of great flavors are in there, so you aren't sacrificing that while still keeping things lower in SmartPoints.
Taste Of Marrakesh (Morocco)
Magically Fit's recommendations: Because it's not fried or sugary, and because it sounds delicious, I'd pick the harissa (a spice!) chicken kebab. Morocco Pavilion makes amazing couscous salad, and the cilantro oil is probably minimal due to it being more of a sample sized dish.
Magically Fit recommendations: The Salmon Flower Ikura sounds like a great, refreshing option with a nice balance of protein, healthy fats, some carbs and vegetables. Also, if you're looking for another good example of something to curb a sweet tooth without disrespecting food triggers, I love the frushi!
Funnel Cake (america)
Magically Fit recommendations: If you absolutely have to have a funnel cake while you are here, the mini one is the way to go unless you're sharing one with family! But this will help with portion control. Remember - to say you're never gonna have a dessert again is not realistic, so don't beat yourself up if you do have something while you are at Disney.
Magnolia Terrace (NEW - AMerica)
Magically Fit: For those unfamiliar, boudin is a bloodless sausage. However, my recommendation would be the seafood boil for something more hearty, or the grilled oysters if you want something less heavy.
Block & Hans (america)
Magically Fit's recommendations: No food to note on; see above beverages comment!
Primavera Kitchen (Italy)
Magically Fit's recommendation: Thanks to both using cheesy sauces (or just straight up cheese, haha), I think either the flatbread or ravioli will be equivalent to one another as far as tracking it goes. Depends on if you want more protein or more fats!
Bauernmarkt Farmer's Market (Germany)
Magically Fit's recommendation: I'd recommend the potato pancakes paired with apple sauce - while it does usually have sugar added, the caramelized ham likely also does and then that's not also fighting with the sour cream for room in your food diary.
Refreshment Outpost (African Outpost)
Magically Fit's recommendation: There's only one option here, but that sounds like a really refreshing choice if you want some fruit with a twist!
Lotus House (CHina)
Jardin De Fiestas (Mexico)
Magically Fit's recommendations: The chicken is likely less points than the pork; both feature cheese, but the chicken has a cream based sauce, so it's likely comparable. I'd go for either of those options.
Trowel & Trellis Hosted by Impossible Foods (Mexico)
Magically Fit's recommendation: I love the amount of vegetables that the meatball comes with, and it's likely a lower in SmartPoints amount of Impossible "meat" since it's going to be more of a sample option than a full blown dish. If you go for the grilled street corn, just be cautious of how much garlic spread is on there!
Also, this is the one time I'll make an additional comment on a beverage option: I'd definitely go for the blueberry lemon and ginger tea (non alcoholic) as ginger tea is great for you and your digestive system.
La Isla Fresca (Showcase Entrance)
Magically Fit's recommendation: Don't be fooled - while the sugar is more obviously there in the sugar cane shrimp skewer, it's also probably present in the sweet plantains. Either option is probably a wash no matter which way you go!
And if you really want to avoid eating around the world...
Then there are options! You can pack your own food, so long as you're not bringing a massive cooler in there with you. You can get some ideas from what I like to bring with me when I go to Disney World and know I'll be there for lunch at this article right here.
One of the things I love to bring with me if I'm just trying to avoid Disney sweets? Built Bars! They range from 3-5 SmartPoints (only 1 limited flavor has been 5 points; the bulk are 3 SmartPoints, with nutty flavors being 4 SmartPoints) and hold up pretty well all day in the parks if you pop them in the fridge or freezer the night before (they're made with real chocolate). Get 10% off your order of Built Bars when you use the coupon MAGICALLYFIT at checkout (if you order through this link, your discount will be automatically applied)!
What are you most looking forward to trying? Let me know in the comments which of these options is your favorite!
Jessica is a huge Disney, anime, and Star Wars nerd who channeled that love into motivation to lose 75 lbs.