by Angie Carriero
Many traditions, pastimes, and memories revolve around food. Because of this, it is sometimes hard to change your diet, no matter how motivated you are. Not only can eating food give you a good feeling, but special experiences you’ve had at certain places and warm interactions with loved ones can be associated with a memory of the food that was there. Most Americans can’t attend a ball game without getting a hot dog, Thanksgiving just isn’t right without Grandma’s special mashed potatoes, and a day in Magic Kingdom wouldn’t be complete without an ice cream from the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor!
Disney understands that even vegans (and those who are lactose intolerant) want to enjoy ice cream just as much as someone who eats dairy; that’s why they offer Tofutti and Rice Dream. If you’ve never heard of Tofutti or Rice Dream, they are pretty popular companies that make dairy-free ice cream! The brands also offer a ton of delicious vegan products that you can find in most larger chain grocery stores and health food stores. They aren’t my favorite brands of vegan ice cream out there, but get the job done! When choosing between the two types in the park, I always go for Tofutti, it is creamier and much closer to the taste and consistency of dairy ice cream. It also has more fat than Rice Dream, which tastes less heavy, and less authentic.
(Keep in mind, even though your philosophy might be similar to Lou’s in leading you to believe “vegan” is usually associated with “healthy,” vegan ice creams still contain fat, sugar, and are high in calories, BUT the fat they contain are plant-based, not from animals, so they are cholesterol free- since cholesterol is only found in animal products! Yay!)
Oh! And the cones they use for the ice cream are vegan, too! (Though, I usually get a cup since the cones aren’t gluten free)
So where can you find Tofutti and Rice Dream in the parks? Keep reading and see!
(Important Note: When asking for the vegan ice creams you MUST say you have a “food allergy” because they won’t just give the special ice cream to just anyone who has a taste for it. You aren’t technically lying if you do this, sometimes people just don’t understand what “vegan” means, so it just makes it easier for everyone if the word “allergy” is used. Also, they charge you the same price that the other ice cream on the menu costs!)
First, let’s outline the quick service locations where you can pick up vegan ice cream in each of the 4 parks, then we’ll talk about table service locations last!
Main Street- Plaza Ice Cream Parlor. Located right on the corner at the end of Main Street on the right (when walking towards the castle), The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor is known for having hand scooped ice cream, but you might not have known it has dairy-free ice cream in the back (it’s even listed on the menu in fine print)! My favorite part about the menu is that they also serve floats of the root beer and coke variety and you can get the Tofutti/Rice Dream this way as well!
Future World- Fountainview Ice Cream. Right near Fountain of Nations, head over to this hand-scooped ice cream place and grab a scoop (or 2) or a float! Keep in mind, things are constantly changing, and supplies in stock might not always be the same!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Sunset Boulevard- Hollywood Scoops. If you are making your way over to Hollywood Tower of Terror or Rock ‘n Roller Coaster: Starring Aerosmith, chances are you’ll spot this ice cream hot spot! It will be on the left, right before you have to either turn left to the Coaster, or straight to the haunted hotel! Just ask for your special scoop and you can enjoy your ice cream (preferably AFTER the loop-ti-loops and falling elevator)
I’d also like to bring up 50s Prime Time. Though it is a table service restaurant, once you walk into the restaurant, if you take a left, there is a counter service area! My boyfriend, Kevin, and I really wanted a milkshake, so asked the cast member behind the counter if they would do it for us. They went and got a chef from the back who came out and confirmed that Tofutti and soymilk would be ok with us! I got vanilla and Kevin got chocolate! (Tip: Get your milkshake To-Go with a side of fries, 50s Prime Time has amazing fries, and go sit at the tables across the walkway from the restaurant, by the lake!)
Dino-Land- Dino-Bite Snacks. Don’t be afraid to ask a cast member if they have Tofutti or Rice Dream available! Supplies in stock are always changing, but chances are, they’ll be very accommodating!
All 4 Theme Parks/ Resort Hotels
Keep in mind that most table service restaurants in all 4 parks and WDW resort hotels will provide Tofutti/Rice Dream upon request. If you have a reservation, or know you are going to be dining at a table service location before hand, it would be best to call ahead to ensure they will have it for you! We also had a great experience with our resort, All-Star Music Resort! They happened to have it in stock, in the back, ready-to-order! Also, don’t be shy to ask if you don’t see it on the menu! We went to Boma at Animal Kingdom Lodge, which is a buffet. The buffet didn’t have any vegan desserts- aside from fruit- so the chef made us each a bowl of Tofutti ice cream with berries!
So, if you’re interested in trying a vegan diet, please pick up some Tofutti/Rice Dream ice cream in the parks! The more Disney sees a demand for it, the more it will be available!
Angie has been a WDW addict since her first visit at age 8, and since then her life has never been the same! She lives in upstate NY with her boyfriend, Kevin (fellow Disney lover), and their 3 dogs, Flip, Josie, and Hildy, where she works at Farm Sanctuary as an animal caregiver. Please join Angie every week in “Fish Are Friends, Not Food: Eating Vegan in WDW!” Angie believes that WDW is the most magical place for people with special diets, so, should you have any special diet questions (especially about vegan and gluten-free dining) she’d be happy to help!