Panicked, they query me via email, Twitter, and food boards: "I'm coming to Orlando. I'm going to Disney World. Are there any healthful/vegetarian/vegan meals for me?" Yes yes yes, whichever you seek. In fact, strolling through Animal Kingdom yesterday, I randomly came across all these healthful, vegetarian and/or vegan fast-food menu boards without even looking for them. You can eat healthy meals at Animal Kingdom.
Samosas are fried, yes. I suppose falafel is, too, yet the sandwich filler is comprised of chickpeas or fava beans, so that's vegetarian and high in protein. Hummus is always an easy choice, whether you're watching calories or avoiding foods tied to animals.
At another kiosk, a Thai pork sandwich with Asian cucumber slaw straddles the border of healthful or not. It's better than a bacon-cheeseburger but it's lacks the superpower of edamame. But look! This kiosk also sells edamame. And an Asian noodle salad.
And how about this? An entire kiosk for the gluten-free crowd. A chicken salad sandwich, plus wheat-free bagels, muffins, cookies, donuts, and cupcakes. I wonder if this is one-of-a-kind in the country, or even the world.
You might consider this a healthy choice. You might not. Either way, you have to see chicken and vegetarian curries as impressively unexpected. This quick-service stand is in Africa near the Kilimanjaro Safari.
These adorable cupcakes are at a bakery across the way. Healthful, no. Tempting, yes.
Here's where I loved the food best: I was at Animal Kingdom to experience the Wild Africa Trek, a behind-the-scenes tour of the savanna. After two hours, we were given a snack that I consider healthful. Some won't since it has prosciutto and air-dried beef, which is meat, and Brie, a high-fat cheese. Both are natural foods, unprocessed, which is a priority for me. This snack was absolutely delicious. As you'll see, it also had salmon roulade with jicama slaw, yogurt with granola, fruit salad, dried apricots, and pressed dates with nuts. On top? An edible flower.
We ended with three dark or white chocolate truffles. They might not be healthful, but they are calorie-worthy. These tasted like high-end artisan confections.
If this is just a random sampling, imagine the healthful food options throughout Animal Kingdom and Disney World's three other theme parks.