If you’ve been hanging around here a while, you’ll probably be familiar with my Glasgow Veggie Diaries series by now – and if not, you can find a round-up of my meat-free foodie experiences here! Today’s edition is a little bit different from my usual Glasgow-based adventures, and it’s something that I’ve had quite a few of you ask me about recently.
Our latest holiday Florida was my first trip to the US since cutting meat out of my diet, and more to the point my first visit to Walt Disney World since the switch up. So, I was a little bit intrigued about how this was going to play out! There’s a huge misconception out there that dining at Disney is all turkey legs and hamburgers, but I was really happy to find plenty of options to suit different types of diets. In fact, I was pleasantly surprised to find how EASY it was!
Today, I’d like to share just a few of my favourite snacks and meals from my recent experience of eating vegetarian at Walt Disney World – from light bites to sit-down meals! Let’s take a look at what was on my plate at the happiest place on earth…
Counter Service Choices
When we’ve got a jam-packed day at the parks, more often than not we find ourselves opting for quick-service restaurants so that we can eat casually at a time that suits us (usually between FastPass slots!) before carrying on with our plans. I found lots of great veggie dishes when it came to eating at these places, and one place that is worth a visit is The Electric Umbrella at Epcot. Their Veggie Naan-wich was one of my favourite meals on our trip, which was a tasty naan bread filled with fresh broccoli slaw, edamame, tofu and a light wasabi dressing. It made for a perfect lunch on a hot afternoon! At the same restaurant, you can also grab a Vegetarian Flatbread, which is topped with mushrooms and feta cheese.
Over at Magic Kingdom, we stopped for a bite to eat at Columbia Harbour House (located in Liberty Square) and we were pleasantly surprised at the wide range of vegetarian sides at this restaurant – which included couscous and steamed fresh broccoli. They also serve vegetarian chilli and I was tempted by their Lighthouse Sandwich – which is made up of hummus, fresh tomato and slaw.
We always get peckish around Tomorrowland while we’re in Magic Kingdom, so we stopped into Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe (tip: on a slightly unrelated note, this restaurant also has lots of seating, which is a real bonus when the park is busy!) for some dinner. I’ll be totally honest – this place is 99% meat! It’s definitely a great choice for anyone after a bacon cheeseburger or chicken nuggets, but what they DO have on the menu is a Vegetable Burger, and it’s delicious. I cut into mine and could see all of the corn, carrot and other ingredients that made up the patty.
The best part about Cosmic Ray’s is that the burgers are served naked and you can dress them up yourself at the toppings bar. I piled mine high with yummy additions like sauteed mushrooms, tomato, onion, pickles and more – LOVE a toppings bar!
Grab-and-go snacks are in abundance all over Walt Disney World, and admittedly this is where (for me, anyway!) sensible eating tends to take a back seat and I just indulge myself! I’ve talked about my love of Dole Whip previously, and of course this fruity concoction is a vegetarian-friendly treat! Another park snack that I really enjoy is a Mickey-shaped pretzel – everything just tastes better when it’s themed, am I right? You can pick up Mickey-shaped pretzels in various locations at Walt Disney World, though I bought mine at a snack cart in New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom.
You can also munch on a ton of other snacks like popcorn, ice cream sandwiches and fruit at Walt Disney World while your carnivorous chums are working their way through corn dogs and turkey legs!
Top Table Service Picks
We’ve enjoyed some really awesome meals at Walt Disney World’s table service restaurants over the years, and this time around we were looking forward to trying out the veggie options. When we were walking through Adventureland at Magic Kingdom, we noticed a new place that was themed after the Jungle Cruise ride – Jungle Navigation Co Ltd Skipper Canteen (let’s just call it Skipper Canteen for short, eh?). After checking out the menu, we booked a table for dinner.
The menu at Skipper Canteen reflects the sense of exploration that the Jungle Cruise is famous for, with exotic ingredients and flavours throughout its range of African, Asian, Latin & American dishes. Vegetarian options included Baladi Salad, Falls Family Falafel, Hot-and-Sour Soup, Rice Noodle Bowl with Tofu and Curried Vegetable Crew Stew. We tried the falafel dish as a starter and we also both ordered the vegetable stew (the tofu noodle bowl sounded great but the jalapenos weren’t optional and as we all know now, I am a sucker when it comes to spicy food!). I would have normally made a beeline for my trusty mac and cheese, but at this restaurant the macaroni has spiced ground beef in the mix! Yikes! But, the falafel was great and I particularly loved the vegetable stew – which not only tasted amazing, but the portion size was perfect too.
A special mention should also go to Yak & Yeti, Restaurant over at Animal Kingdom. This is genuinely one of the nicest table-service restaurants at Walt Disney World – and they will substitute meat for tofu in many of their dishes! This option isn’t listed on the menu, but all you have to do is ask. This means that you can enjoy miso tofu (instead of salmon), sweet and sour tofu (instead of chicken) and many other vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes.
If you are familiar with Walt Disney World, you’ll be aware of how overwhelmingly ENORMOUS it is, and today’s post is obviously not a definitive guide of where to grab vegetarian eats at the resort. This is more of a reassurance – to those who might be wondering if it’s possible to find food suitable for a meat-free diet at the House of Mouse. So, it is possible and it’s not as daunting as you may think!
These dishes and snacks were just a few of my favourites and observations from this trip, but I’m looking forward to trying even more next time. If you’re planning a visit soon, I hope that this has been helpful – and if you have any questions, feel free to comment below or tweet me!
Have you eaten as a vegetarian at Walt Disney World? What is your favourite snack at the parks?
With forkfuls of fun,