Eating vegan and vegetarian at Walt Disney World just got a whole lot easier — at one of the parks, at least: The Orlando, Fla. resort just released a Plant-Based Cuisine guide for the Magic Kingdom. Available as a pamphlet you can pick up for free onsite, the guide gives visitors the rundown of all the veggie-friendly food items you can get while visiting the iconic park; certain items are even marked with a symbol denoting that they’re free from animal meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. Disneyland in California had better watch out — looks like Disney World is gunning for the title of Most Vegan-Friendly Theme Park.
In recent years, it’s become a lot easier to eat vegan and vegetarian while visiting the Disney parks in general; the resorts have continually updated their menus in order to meet an extensive variety of dietary needs and restrictions. But information about which items are either naturally vegan or vegetarian or can be made to be so with a few adjustments hasn’t always been widely available: Disney fans who don’t eat meat or animal byproducts have generally had to rely on fan-made resources like Vegan Disney World and Happiest Vegan On Earth. Don’t get me wrong; these resources are terrific. But the fact has remained that, by and large, unless you’ve known what to ask for, getting vegetarian and vegan eats and treats at Disney hasn’t always been the most straightforward process.
This new official guide for the Magic Kingdom, however, marks a shift in that approach — and a welcome one, at that. Per WDW Info, the guide is a tri-fold pamphlet which can be found at the Magic Kingdom’s table service and quick service restaurants, Guest Experience Team kiosks, and the park’s two Guest Relations locations (one of which is in City Hall, the other of which is at the Liberty Square Ticket Office). Because the guide is a pamphlet, it’s not currently posted to the official Disney World website; however, tons of images are floating around elsewhere online, including fan-run Disney info sites like WDW Info and WDW News Today, thereby giving us a solid look at what’s on it.
Organizationally, it’s divided into six sections — one for each area of the park. Main Street, U.S.A., Adventureland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland are all represented, although it’s worth noting that some of the lands have more options than others. Tomorrowland and Frontierland, for example, have the least amount of options, covering only two restaurants and around five to seven items; meanwhile, Fantasyland has far and away the most options, covering eight restaurants and a whopping 28 items.
Here are a few highlights:
Perkins Thai Noodles
Where to get it: Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen, Adventureland.
Opened up near the Jungle Cruise in December of 2015, the Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen brought a much-needed casual dining spot to Adventureland. The Perkins Thai Noodles dish — named for Pamela Perkins, the fictional president of the Adventurers Club, which once took up real estate in the now-defunct Pleasure Island area of what’s currently Disney Springs — was added to the menu in 2017 and became an immediate hit.
As is, it comes with chicken; ask the restaurant to hold it, though, and it becomes vegan, consisting of rice noodles, tofu, and seasonal veggies tossed with a spicy soy-chili garlic sauce. WDW News Today’s review of the dish noted that its “spice was present, but not overbearing,” and praised both the portion size for the price and the dish’s uniqueness.
Where to get it: Be Our Guest, Fantasyland.
This option at the absurdly popular Be Our Guest restaurant in Fantasyland obviously isn’t vegan, but it is vegetarian — and even better, it’s available at both breakfast and lunch. Filled with mushrooms, zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and chive, it comes with a baby lettuce salad topped with champagne vinaigrette. One Twitter user who ordered it in 2018 called it “the best meal I’ve had at WDW so far.”
Where to get it: Prince Eric’s Village Market, Fantasyland.
You’ll be pleased to know that that beautiful purple mermaid doughnut from Prince Eric’s Village Market that went viral in 2018 is vegetarian (although not vegan). Described as a “yeast doughnut with purple icing and sprinkles topped with white chocolate treasures from Ariel’s grotto,” it is by far the most Instagrammable treat on the vegetarian menu.
Speaking of doughnuts, unfortunately, most of the baked goods on Disney’s official plant-based food guide aren’t vegan; however, there are still a wide variety of sweets you can get at the Magic Kingdom that are vegan, including the Pineapple Dole Whip Float from Aloha Isle, LeFou’s Brew from Gaston’s Tavern, and the Strawberry Smoothie from Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies. Oh, and also, as the guide helpfully notes in big letters at the bottom of the page, popcorn and Mickey pretzels are vegan in their natural state, so when in doubt, those two picks are always good options to choose.
The pamphlet is dated, by the way; currently, its cover notes that it’s the guide for the Spring 2019 season. The guides, therefore, might change periodically, based on what’s available at the park from season to season. What’s more, even with this guide in hand, whenever you order something at Disney, you might want to ask your server to confirm whether what you want is vegan or vegetarian; things can change, or might need adjustments to make vegan or vegetarian, but generally Disney cast members are super knowledgeable about the items on the menus at the parks and are more than happy to help you out.
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