Friday, 6 February 2015

Doing Disney as a Vegetarian

So, as some of you may not know, I have been a vegetarian for over 10 years now. This means I do eat eggs and cheese, but I don’t eat meat or any animal “by-products” such a gelatine. I’m not going to go into why I'm a vegetarian, as there is always someone who will disagree with it, I just want to say beforehand that I don’t force my choices upon others and this post is aimed to those others who are vegetarian, or who may have a vegetarian in their family and are concerned about food options when visiting Disney World. I was quite concerned when I first went out to America, as it’s seen as quite a “meat heavy” nation. Rest assured though, there are some great options in Disney (and outside of Disney if you are staying off property) to indulge in. I’m going to cover some different aspect of Disney dining and give you some key things to look out for, as there are some slip ups on Disney’s part. Note to self, take better images of my food when next in Disney, not just terribad phone pictures haha!


Full Service
Now full service restaurants are a place you are guaranteed to get a nutritious vegetarian meal that can be catered to your own needs. On the menu there is usually only one option available, and sometimes there is no option available, but if you ask your server they will either talk to the chef about it or the chef will come out to your table and suggest a dish to you. This is what I did when I last went and ate at Tony’s. There is no veggie option on the menu, so the chef came out and suggested a pasta dish and veggies he could put in it. Do check with your server if you are unsure about something being vegetarian. There is no ‘V’ next to options on the menu like there normally is in the UK, so make sure that dishes' aren't made with meat based stock or haven't been cooked in the same oil as meat. Most of the deserts I have come across are vegetarian, but again, double check with the server. I always get alot of none-veggis looking at me with a confused face when I ask about deserts, as many aren't aware that there can be gelatine or additives that are animal based, but just ask them to check with the chef or show you the ingredients list (i will talk about this abit more in the next section) and they will be more than happy to oblige.


Quick Service
This is where you have to be a little more careful. Most quick service restaurants have a veggie option in both the adult meals and kids meal, although there is some things you will need to watch out for. Fries are the biggest thing. Always ask if the fries are cooked with any meat. For example, I know in Casey’s Corner they do cook the fries and the tortilla chips with the meat (there is actually nothing suitable for vegetarians in Casey's Corner) whereas in Pinocchio's they are cooked separate. Another thing to watch for are desserts. Cast members cannot actually tell you if certain foods are veggie (this includes snacks such as ice cream and also applies when looking for food that is Kosher). Instead they will hand you a book with all the ingredients in, so I would recommend doing a little research beforehand so you can be familiar with by-products, such as e-numbers etc.


Do note that menus and ingredients to change, so I would recommend that you double check, it only take a minute at most.

Alot of the snacks I have come across at Disney are suitable for vegetarians, apart from the obvious. Again, Cast Members cannot tell you something is veggie but they can show you the ingredients book. I’ve listed some of my favourites below including 2 vegan options.

My favourite veggie snacks:
Dole Whip (vegan)
Mickey Cookies and Cream Ice Cream Bar
Popcorn sold on the outdoor carts
Mickey Mouse Pretzel (vegan)

In conclusion, Disney provide great service and food to all those with special dietary requirements, you just need to ask! Do you have any tips for eating vegetarian at Disney? I’d also love to hear what your favourite vegetarian snack or meal is!


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