Here’s the Best Part About Eating Vegan Food at Disney World
Walt Disney World’s goal is to create a world of magic — whether it’s through their rides, friendly cast members, or food experience. Most who follow a vegan diet don’t exactly picture the food being a “magical” aspect when visiting Disney World. After all, there are only so many times you can eat a meal consisting of a salad with balsamic vinaigrette and a side of fries.
However, all vegans may want to start saving up (and getting hungry) for their next trip to Disney World, because they offer more options than you’ll ever believe. Here are a number of delicious vegan options you can find at Disney World, including the best part about visiting the park as a vegan.
1. Dole Whip
Dole Whip is a Disney World delicacy to vegans and non-vegans alike. It comes as soft serve or in the form of a float, and it’s the most refreshing thing you’ll eat the whole trip. The pineapple flavor definitely hits the spot after literally walking for miles in the sweltering Florida heat. Plus, if you’re on a Disney Dining Plan, it’s the perfect treat to use one (or two) of your snack selections on.
2. The chef can almost always make something for you
Disney World takes pride in their restaurants, as they should. No matter where you go, each restaurant is super accommodating to either vegan or allergy requests. Most will have a separate allergy menu, but even if they don’t, a chef will always be willing to come out and speak to you.
Liberty Tree Tavern in Magic Kingdom, for example, doesn’t really have much available on their menu for vegans other than salad and pasta. After speaking with the chef, they’ll be able to whip something up that isn’t on the menu, but definitely tastes like it should be. Photographed above is a Liberty Tree Tavern chef-created curry dish, and trust us — it was delicious.
If you’re looking for other restaurants that will likely create a totally unique vegan dish, try The Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom), Boma – Flavors of Africa (Animal Kingdom Lodge), or the Rose & Crown Dining Room (Epcot World Showcase – England).
3. Chef TJ at Trail’s End Restaurant
Upon entering Trail’s End Restaurant, you wouldn’t expect it to be vegan-friendly whatsoever. The western-themed spot is a buffet, so if you choose from their selection, you might end up with a baked potato and corn.
However, if you visit on a day that Chef TJ is cooking, you’ll find your new favorite restaurant in Disney World (or anywhere, possibly). TJ warns that if you’re in a rush, enjoy the buffet; but if you’re patient, he’ll create something special for you.
When TJ says he’ll create something special, he doesn’t hold back. It may take a while, but you’ll end up with a multi-course meal, including samosas, a watermelon and tomato salad encased in smoke, nachos with homemade vegan cheese, broccoli soup, a tofu bowl almost too beautiful to eat, and a towering dessert filled with cotton candy, Tofutti ice cream bars, and lots of chocolate.
According to a Trail’s End employee, TJ is actually a four-star former celebrity chef. He’s only in the kitchen Mondays through Fridays, but Fridays are a little too busy to experience his full capabilities. Definitely make it a point to visit the restaurant during the week, but just be warned — you may never want to leave.
4. Many vegan options are already on the menu
Unless you visit an exclusively vegan restaurant, it’s not often that you get to order something straight off the menu. In Disney World, there are actually quite a few restaurants that include already-vegan items.
Coral Reef Restaurant in Epcot is home to the teriyaki-glazed tofu bowl (pictured above), which tastes just as good as it looks. You can even enjoy a view of sharks, turtles, and fish with your meal, as the restaurant is attached to an aquarium.
The Wave, located in the Contemporary Resort, similarly offers a tofu noodle bowl, which serves as a great option that you can easily monorail to from Magic Kingdom. The Hollywood Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios also offers a pho noodle bowl with spring rolls on the side.
5. Familiar vegan brands are available
The best part about Disney’s restaurants is that you’re not restrained to boring meals that just get loaded with veggies. Many quick service restaurants offer familiar brands you’d see in your local Whole Foods!
You can find a vegan korma with Gardein Meatless Chick’n (pictured above) at Sunshine Seasons in Epcot. It’s conveniently located in the same building as Soarin’, so while you’re waiting for your scheduled Fastpass time, you can grab a satisfying bite to eat.
Newer to the Disney parks is the Beyond Meat burger, and we’re super grateful for the addition to the menu. The Beyond Burger is the most realistic vegan patty you’ll ever try, considering it contains beets to “bleed” like a real burger. The Liberty Inn, located in America at the Epcot World Showcase, has it right on the menu.
Many of the parks offer Follow Your Heart or Daiya vegan cheese pizzas, so you won’t have to worry about giving up comfort food while on your trip. Visit Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano in Hollywood Studios, Pinocchio Village Haus in Magic Kingdom, or Pizzafari in Animal Kingdom to get your fix.
6. Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
The next time you plan your Disney World vacation, be sure to schedule it during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. As if plenty of vegan options weren’t available already, the festival kicks it up a notch. Any stand that offers a vegan dish will mark it on the menu with a green V, so you luckily don’t have to stop and dissect each ingredient.
You can try the loaded Greek “nachos” pictured above, which includes pita chips, meatless sausage crumbles, and vegan tzatziki. India offers a curry dish, which is loaded with roasted cauliflower, baby carrots, chickpeas, and basmati rice. Make a stop in Africa, too, as they have a spicy Ethiopian red lentil stew with vegan yogurt and quinoa.
7. Waffles can be made vegan
Pro tip: pretty much anywhere that serves Mickey or character waffles can make them vegan. Just ask the chef, and they’ll more than likely be happy to accommodate. These vegan character waffles were found at Landscape of Flavor, located at the Art of Animation resort. They also offer seitan scramble, so if you’re like us and can’t choose between savory and sweet, you can treat yourself to a little bit of both.
If you’re looking for tofu scramble instead of seitan, try the Gasparilla Island Grill at the Grand Floridian Resort or The Mara, located at the Animal Kingdom Lodge.
8. Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant
We love the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant in Hollywood Studios for a number of reasons. For starters, they have chocolate and vanilla vegan milkshakes on the menu. If you’re stopping in for lunch or dinner, the vegetarian falafel burger can easily be made vegan, or you can modify many of their other burgers to include the vegan patty.
Definitely plan to make a reservation if you’d like to eat at this restaurant. A reservation guarantees a seat in one of their booths actually shaped like a car, with all the seats facing forward, to watch a reel of old black-and-white sci-fi films while eating.
9. Satu’li Canteen
Animal Kingdom’s new Pandora – The World of Avatar land doesn’t just come with new breathtaking rides — it has some delicious vegan options, too. Satu’li Canteen features create-your-own bowls, including all-vegan bases. You can choose from quinoa and vegetable salad, red and sweet potato hash, mixed whole grain rice, or romaine and kale salad. Top off your base with chili-spiced crispy fried tofu and charred onion chimichurri.
Be sure to avoid the black bean vinaigrette, as it surprisingly contains fish ingredients. The boba balls contain dairy, so ask to nix those from your bowl.
10. Tonga Toast
Vegan Tonga Toast is an absolute must if you’re visiting Disney. You can find it at the Kona Café in the Polynesian Village Resort, which is a quick monorail ride away from Magic Kingdom. This french toast is coated in cinnamon sugar and stuffed with bananas. It’s huge, so fair warning: you may not be able to eat again until dinner.
11. Sprinkles and Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC in Disney Springs
Just in case you haven’t had enough sweets on your vacation, a trip to Disney Springs will definitely satisfy your cravings. Sprinkles, known for its cupcake ATM, is a widely popular cupcake spot across the country. Their vegan red velvet cupcake option is adorably marked with a V topping, and while the icing is a little coconut-heavy, it’s still a delicious treat.
Even if you’ve filled up on your Sprinkles cupcakes, grab some pastries to go from Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC. They’ve got sweet breads, donuts, and cupcakes galore — and it’s all vegan.
We’d recommend planning out an itinerary to try all the vegan options available, because you won’t want to miss any of these amazing choices. Just be sure to arrive hungry.
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