I’m planning a trip to Disney World and thought I would share with you some of the things I’ve learned through my research. I hope it helps you with your planning. If you have any tips for me, please do comment below. I’m very excited about my trip and I’m planning way in advance, so any tips you can share will help me, and others reading this post.
MUST GET VEGAN FOODS
(1) Vegan Tonga Toast is available at the Polynesian Resort’s Kona Cafe, upon request. It is fried sourdough bread coated in cinnamon and sugar, and stuffed with baked banana filling.
(2) Vegan Beignets are available in the French Quarter at the Port Orleans Resort, upon request.
(3) Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes are on the menu at Sprinkles in Disney Springs Town Center.
(4) Vegan Omelettes are on the menu at the Dolphin Hotel’s Fresh Mediterranean Market.
(5) Vegan Mickey Waffles can be made vegan at request and are available all over at many breakfast dining locations.
(6) The vegan bread service from Sanaa at Animal Kingdom.
(7) Trails End Restaurant at the Fort Wilderness Lodge has a reputation for being particularly vegan-friendly. Chef TJ Sudiswa has become a celebrity amongst the vegan world. From all accounts, the man should have his own show. He is known for creating amazingly elaborate vegan creations, visiting with vegan guests and posing for photos.
GOOD TO KNOW
Popcorn, Dole Whip and Mickey Pretzels are all vegan throughout Disney World.
Earth Balance is available at most restaurants, upon request.
The Moroccan pavilion at Epcot has several restaurants with options, as you would expect.
Most dining locations have vegan options. Request the “allergy menu” from your server. Whenever possible, make a dining reservation and make sure you request vegan food at time of booking. Some restaurants like Cinderella’s Royal Table, which is inside of Cinderella’s castle at Magic Kingdom, will serve you pastries and desserts from Erin McKenna’s Bakery, located in Disney Springs, if you request them when making your reservation.
Get Tofutti or Rice Dream Ice Cream at Animal Kingdom’s Tusker House or in the Magic Kingdom at The Plaza Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street USA.
Gardein Chick’n is available at the Liberty Inn at Epcot’s America pavilion, just be sure to ask them to leave off the sauces.
Pizza with vegan cheese is available at Pinnochio Village in FantasyLand.
The website Vegan Disney World has amazing lists of what vegan options are available and are broken down by category — parks, Disney Springs and resorts. They are the leading experts in all things vegan at Disney World. They have a blog and a droolworthy Instagram– @VeganDisneyWorld — where they go in-depth about what each location offers. They even have a store with awesome vegan Disney designs.
HOLIDAY VEGAN FOODS
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom each November and December vegan guests are able to enjoy complimentary hot cider and Enjoy-Life cookies or apple slices.
Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom each September and October has trick-or-treating, which is not only for non-vegans. Simply ask for an “allergy bag” when you pick up your trick-or-treat bag. They are usually teal. While trick-or-treating, you will get a token instead of a piece of candy. At the end you’ll go to the designated area, ask for specifics when picking up your bag, then trade in your tokens for vegan treats. Keep in mind the selection isn’t great, so if you have kids you may want to bring some candy with you to add to their bags. Here’s a great article from StuffedSuitcase.com that goes into depth.
SHIP A BOX BEFORE YOU ARRIVE
If you’re staying on property, at a Disney World Resort, within two weeks of your arrival to the resort, you are able to ship a box of supplies. I’m told that most people ship their Amazon or Target order directly from the company to the resort.
When you arrive your package will be waiting for you. If you are flying this is ideal, as you’ll be able to avoid packing a heavy suitcase filled with snacks. You’ll also save on overspending at Disney, or worse find yourself hungry. Disney Parks allow outside food and drinks, so no reason not to add snacks to your day bag.
Fawen is perfect because it is a drinkable soup that doesn’t require heating. If you’re staying in a value resort, you’re not going to have a microwave in your room and you’ll likely won’t want to walk all the way to the main building to heat up your food in the Florida heat. They’re made with coconut water and have more than two servings of veggies, so a great way to get some health in you between all of the Dole Whips and Mickey Pretzels.
Protein will, as you suspect, be harder to come by. There are restaurants that serve Gardein but it won’t be the norm. So add some protein bars to your box. Aloha Bars have 14-18g of protein.
TIP: Add a few extras to your box too. Even with the dining plan and refillable resort cup, you’re going to end up needing more beverages. As long as you’re shipping a box, add a case of bottled water. Resort rooms have mini-fridges, so you can load it up and have water to drink while you wind down in the evening, or to grab on your way out in the morning. You’re not going to want to be walking to the quick-service area of your resort every time you’re thirsty. Florida is aggressively hot. Speaking of heat, You’re going to sweat. Probably uncomfortably. So add a couple packs of wipes to your shipment.
Many Disney movies have vegan messages. Finding Nemo has vegetarian sharks, Cinderella talks with her animal friends and Pocahontas talks about compassion and kindness toward all living beings. Disney movies are shown poolside each evening at the resorts You can go to other resorts to see the movie playing there, if your resort isn’t playing a favorite.
Jungle Cruise at the Magic Kingdom is a classic Disney experience and as mandatory as the Haunted Mansion. It’s also a great cruelty-free “animal” experience.
Turtle Talk with Crush at Epcot is really cute for little kids. I’ve seen several videos on YouTube of excited kids getting to have conversations with the Finding Nemo sea turtle. I would skip the aquarium for obvious reasons.
Animal Kingdom has free-range wildlife on 110 acres that recreate the East African Savannah with authentic vegetation. There are also some walking trails to go on to view the animals. I realize captivity of wild animals is upsetting. I don’t like it, but if it’s going to happen, I want the animals to have large areas where they can roam, world class veterinary care, enrichment, and to be with other species that they would coexist with in nature. Pandora, Avatar land, is about to open and the focus is on taking action to care for the world. The Tree of Life has stunning animal carvings and at night it is illuminated, like Cinderella’s Castle is, with lights and projections of Disney scenes.
Like many other vegans have noted online, it is heart-crushing that a world dedicated to celebrating the wonderfulness of animals includes restaurants that serve an abundance of animals on their menus. Worse still they go out of their way to include wildlife on the menu. It would be wonderful if they would lean in and actually walk their talk, but it’s unlikely as they are a business and most people want to go home bragging that they ate wild boar on vacation.
Erin McKenna’s Bakery, in Disney Springs, is a mandatory pilgrimage for all vegans. Erin has long been one of our collective vegan heros and you’d be hard-pressed to find a vegan who doesn’t own a copy of her premier cookbook BabyCakes. Recently they began serving vegan soft serve ice cream too. We’re planning to visit Disney Springs the first day, so that I can load up on donuts and treats to last for our full visit.