by Angie Carriero
Holding onto the magic is something we all try to do in between Disney vacations. One way that I like to do that is by writing Trip Reports. For those of you who hang around on Disney fan forums probably know what I’m talking about, but for those of you who are new to the concept, a Trip Report is basically a summary of your trip! Normally the poster will lay it out day by day with details such as- what they ate, where they went, what attractions they road, funny things that happened along the way, new experiences, etc. You get the idea.
For the upcoming posts for the Fish are Friends, Not Food blog, I would like to write a trip report heavily focused on the food options I experienced for my recent trip to Walt Disney World and on the WDWRadio Disney Dream Cruise 2.0. I spent 2 days in Walt Disney World at the beginning of the trip, so let’s start with Day 1!
Day 1–Getting There:
We were lucky that my father was able to drive Kevin and I to the airport, an hour away from home.
The closest airport to my house with a direct flight to MCO has a 2 1/2 hour flight time to Orlando. I personally like to pick JetBlue as my air transportation for a few reasons. For those of you who are interested, the reasons are: JetBlue has small planes; each of the 25 rows has 6 seats with an isle running through the middle, they give out complimentary snacks and drinks, they offer a ton of leg room, comfortable seats, free t.v. (just bring your own headphones unless you want to buy a pair from them for about $2), and they are super cheap compared to most of the other airlines I’ve looked into! (This is the only carrier I’ve used, so I’m not sure what other airlines have to offer along the lines of those free extras.)
Logan was better than I thought it would be. The only other time in my life that I’ve flown was last year in September and we were living in upstate NY at the time. We flew out of Buffalo, NY. Because the airport seemed smaller, I thought it was out of the norm, but it seemed about the same as Logan, very easy to navigate. We did online check-in the morning before, so we were able to go right up to the baggage check desk. We went right around to security, had to remove our shoes and jackets and went through the metal detector instead of the body scanners, which was much better since there were too many people to be taking up time to send everyone through that! (Keep in mind to wear easy slip-on shoes, check the guide-lines for liquids, don’t wear metal jewelry, and don’t wear any type of brace with metal; Kevin had a knee brace on and had a very hard time taking it off with slim-fit jeans on!)
Because I knew that by the time we got from our house to the resort would be much more than just the 2 1/2 hour flight, I packed snacks; Clif Bars for Kevin and Luna Bars for me. I recommend the chocolate covered coconut flavor for the Luna Bar, it’s the best packaged sweet snack I’ve ever had (keep in mind it isn’t certified gluten-free, but I’ve had no problems with it)! As far as I know, all Clif/Luna Bars are vegan, but always check the labeling to be sure.
As I mentioned before, JetBlue offers free snacks and drinks. Just stay away from the Chocolate Chip Cookies, and you should be fine! We ordered the Terra Blues Potato Chips and an Orange Juice.
We arrived on time at MCO and followed everyone else from our flight out of the gate and down to the 1st floor. We followed the signs, then the Mickeys on the floor, got in line, and waited no longer than 10 minutes for the Magical Express bus to come! That welcome video they play on the bus gets me every time!
At the Resort:
I think my body was trying to supplement the fact that I didn’t get any sleep the night before by telling me that I was hungry. All. The. Time. Once we got to All Star Sports, I needed another snack before I started getting cranky. I got my first Disney french fries of this trip. We went to the room and I got way too excited about the new Shampoo bottles they put in your room! If you haven’t been at the resorts for over a year, you’ll be very happy to find Mickey head Shampoo tops on your bottle! I immediately hid the bottle so that a new one would be in the room the next morning! Our schedule for the first day was a bit structured, so I wanted to get going.
We headed out to the buses and the Downtown Disney bus was just pulling in! We thought this was a once in a lifetime occurrence, but this ended up being the way our luck went with the buses for the rest of the trip! We hopped on, restless in our seats, awaiting the sweet delights that were waiting for us at BabyCakes NYC, because, for those of you who don’t know, all of the treats at BabyCakes NYC are vegan (and amazing)!
If you could run in WDW, we would have ran once we got off the bus. Instead, we did more of a brisk walk. We stepped into the building with BabyCakes NYC and got punched in the face with the smell of chicken; not what I wanted. It was ok though. We drooled at the smorgasbord of muffins and cupcakes and cookies, oh my! I’d like to save a full review of BabyCakes NYC for a future blog post, so I’ll try to hold back and just tell you what we ended up getting. We both got a cookie sandwich with the most heavenly cream you’ll ever experience in between, and we each got a donut, since we’d been recently craving them. I got the vanilla cookie crunch donut, while Kevin got the chocolate. There were 2 surprises there as well. First, we saw a picture of Agnes the sheep on a shelf above the display. Agnes was a sheep I worked with everyday at Farm Sanctuary, I knew her very well because she was sometimes on certain health treatments. BabyCakes NYC sponsors her. The second, and even more pleasant surprise was meeting Emily! Many of you may know her as @VeganEmily. If you haven’t met her in person, you’re missing out!
We strolled around DTD for a while and stepped into Earl of Sandwich to check out what options were available. We weren’t hungry, but noted that they had a grilled veggie sandwich (and the bread it was served on is vegan) and a house salad, both offered for $5.99, good deal! They also had BBQ and plain kettle chips, if you wanted a snack on the side.
Art of Animation:
This was the last time we stopped for something to eat for the day. We really weren’t hungry, but I wanted to browse and check out the options. Once we saw that there was a Create Your Own Pasta, Kevin wanted to ask if they did gluten free pasta. Once the guy said that they did, I couldn’t NOT get it! So he called out the chef, who came out immediately and we placed our order. I got gluten free spaghetti with marinara sauce, broccoli, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes. (Other vegan toppings include garlic, mushrooms, and onions) The chef gave us a pager and we went to sit down. This was actually nice, because it gave me some time to write a little about the trip in the trip-journal I made. We waited about 20 minutes for the pager to buzz, which I expected, because usually the pasta takes about 10 minutes to make, and that’s after you wait for the water to boil, then add cooking the toppings on top of that and 20 minutes actually sounds reasonable! It was $10.99, with no discounts even though we didn’t get a meat. It was absolutely delicious, much better than I anticipated, and it was enough food to share between 2 people!
We looked around and it seemed like there were lots of other options available, too! Silly me didn’t ask if the pizza dough was vegan, but most pizza doughs are, but they had a Create Your Own (CYO) Pizza station, where you could get the tomato sauce and any toppings you’d like- just skip the cheese. There’s a CYO salad station with a wide variety of toppings, a CYO smoothie station, which I’m sure they would use ricemilk or soymilk instead of dairy milk. At the burger station there is a veggie-burger (which may or may not be vegan, so check before ordering). And all the side items at the Mongolian station including 2 types of rice, roasted cauliflower and tomatoes, pickled veggies, and lentils seemed just fine- just stay away from the paneer!
Also, apparently they are selling BabyCakes NYC treats at the food court as well!
To sum up the rest of the night: we walked around Art of Animation and took pictures, saw Tony Caggiano, saw a drunk man (NOT Tony Caggiano) fall at the resort and realized we had him on film while I was trying to film something else before he fell, took the bus to Magic Kingdom to catch the boat to Polynesian, watched the Electrical Water Pageant and HalloWishes from the beach, froze to death, took the monorail back to MK, then took a bus back to the resort and slept until the next morning, which would be our day at Magic Kingdom!
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!