Vegan in DisneyWorld

My family and I just returned from a week-long trip to Disney World and I am pleased to report that we were able to maintain our vegan lifestyle the entire time.  I had read many blogs about how to eat vegan while in Disney, and I felt rather prepared before I went.  Here is a rundown of how it works:

  1. Order the Deluxe Dining Plan if your budget allows.  You can still get into the restaurants as a walk-in, but with more difficulty.  The quick serve restaurants cannot accommodate a vegan lifestyle but the sit down restaurants are well educated on what “vegan” means.
  2. Notify the server as soon as you enter the restaurant of your dining needs.  If the restaurant is a buffet, the chef will come to your table and walk you around the buffet line, showing you what is vegan and what to avoid.  If there is a menu, the chef will come talk to you about how he/she can modify the entrees to fit your needs.
  3. Don’t be afraid to ask for something you enjoy.  We found to our delight that many restaurants had Tofutti ice cream, even though it wasn’t on the menu.
  4. Allow for extra time in your schedule.  The chef does come to talk to you, but it sometimes takes a few extra minutes.  Then you’ll need to factor in extra prep time or the extra walk around the buffet.  At times I envied the families that got their food within moments, but I got used to waiting a bit longer to eat.

Most of the restaurants served us the old noodles and marinara with veggies classic -- we got a bit tired of that after a few days -- but some made meals such as mango cajun tofu with salad topped with pico de gallo (Sci Fi), vegan pot pie (Liberty Tree Tavern), veggie stir fry with fresh herbs (Yak and Yeti), and a veggie burger made with real veggies, not the soy substitute (The Plaza).  We also had plenty of salads and fresh fruit.  The kids’ enjoyed The Plaza, where the chef brought them Tofutti ice cream topped with Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies for Mickey ears.  We went there a second time and they were out of cookies, but the chef went out of her way to find some and even gave us some extras for the road!  For breakfast, the chef at Trail’s End made it his mission to perfect the vegan pancake and even brought us pure maple syrup and Smart Balance to top them off with.  We took the leftovers with us to snack on during the day.

We were treated very well, and ate mostly healthy food (the ice cream was a vacation treat, not something we eat very often) the whole time we were there.  The chefs were very knowledgeable and even warned us that the Barilla noodles in the pasta were manufactured along with egg products -- something I didn’t know!  Over all, we were very pleased.  So feel free to look for hidden Mickeys without worrying about hidden animal products!