Editor’s Note: Lou’s email inbox is often full to overflowing with questions from listeners. As such, he has enlisted the WDW Radio Blog writers to assist him in answering some of your questions.
This is a question from WDW Radio listener, Caitlin. She writes to us about the vegan dining in Walt Disney World Parks and Resorts:
Hey Lou! Big fan of the show, love listening on my way to work every day 🙂 So here’s my issue. I am headed to Disney this fall (far away from now but I like to plan ahead), and I am a vegan. Any idea on my options? The only thing I know of is Babycakes and as much as I want to live on sweets, my hips would say otherwise. Thanks for the help!!!! Caitlin
Hello Caitlin! My name is Maureen, and I am part of the WDW Blog Team. Thank you so much for your question about vegan dining during your next trip. I have a feeling you will be very pleased with the variety and selections that are currently offered inside the parks. I have a list of food options and tips to help make your dining experiences easy as (vegan) pie!
Know Before You Go: You can make advance dining reservations online, with the option to check off any allergies/dietary concerns. (All restaurant menus are available online). You can always let your server know that you are vegan, and don’t be afraid to ask about ingredients. Remember, they are there to help you! The restaurant chefs are well-versed in special dietary needs and will make sure you satisfied with the meal being prepared. Visit: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/special-dietary-requests/ or call (407) 939-3463.
Favorite Park Snacks
You cannot go to a Walt Disney World park without spotting the famous Mickey shaped pretzels, the popcorn carts or those yummy Dole Whips. Good news! These treats are all vegan! The popcorn does not contain real butter, just a blend of vegetable oils. For the ice cream lover, Main Street Ice Cream Parlor now serves Rice Dream and Tofutti vegan ice cream. Some of the cones are also vegan, but ask the server first. Some are made with honey. You will find plenty of kiosks offering healthier choices such as veggies/dip, hummus and fruit cups, as well as dairy and gluten free treats.
*Buffets are a great choice if you are looking for variety. There will always be fresh fruit, greens, oatmeal and healthy grains. Tusker House Restaurant in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park offers salads, tofu, couscous, fresh vegetables and bean dishes with African and Indian spices. For breakfast, they even serve vegan waffles!
*Table Service is another great way to dine. Meals are made to order, and I’m sure you will find the restaurant staff very accommodating. Le Cellier, a steakhouse in the Canada Pavilion, is now featuring Meyer Lemon-scented Tofu as an entrée. Maybe “Earth and Turf” is the new trend?
*Quick Service is an easy way to fuel up when you are on the go. Many of the restaurants now offer veggie burgers, veggie sandwiches or veggie wraps. Epcot alone has so much to choose from! The Tangierine Café in the Morocco Pavilion of World Showcase has a very popular veggie platter served with hummus, olive salad, tabouleh, falafel and bread. You can try a quick service meal of veggie rolls, edamame, noodle bowls and vegan sushi at Katsura Grill in the Japan Pavilion. If you are in the mood for pizza or a flat bread, try a veggie pizza with vegan crust at Via Napoli in Italy. Visit Mexico for a huge portion of vegan chips and guacamole. Many of my vegan friends love Sunshine Seasons, in Future World’s The Land, as they have “meatless” chicken and beef dishes with rice or noodles. You will also find regular and chocolate soy milk, vegan candy bars, snacks and desserts.
Grab and Go
The resort hotels have plenty of snacks on hand for busy guests. You can find bottled water, juice, fresh fruit, cereal, oatmeal, veggies and dip, salads and pre-packaged wraps. Ingredients are always listed on the packaging, making it easy to “grab and go” as needed. If you don’t see what you need, just ask.
I hope you find this information helpful when planning your next trip! As you can see, there are plenty of options for you. Have a wonderful time and let us know how it works out!
(Tagierine Vegetarian Platter photo from the collection of Kendall Foreman.)
Readers, do you have any vegan favorites to suggest to Caitlin? Let us know in the comments section!
Maureen Petrone is a mom, avid Disney fan and elementary school teacher from Long Island, New York. When she is not in the “House of Mouse” with her family, she can be found in her classroom. She calls herself a “TeachEar.” She loves the thrill and wonder of the Disney experience. The educational opportunities are endless! Walt Disney was a visionary, who taught us all to think big and dream bigger. It’s a wonderful message for her students.