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Guide to Plant-Based Dining at Disney World

by Mommy Frog on March 10, 2020 Orlando

Disney World has long accommodated the needs of diners and offered vegetarian and vegan alternatives for many meals, but last year it began rolling out more plant-based foods to please even more palettes! Many of the new offerings take advantage of exotic and flavorful ingredients and add a dash of Disney magic to serve them up a whole new way. In this post, we're highlighting some of our favorite vegetarian options in each park plus offering tips for vegan and vegetarian dining at Disney World — so you can plan ahead for your trip!

Plant-Based Dining at Disney World - Cashew Cheesecake

The new plant-based menu adds some 400 frogtastic options, and some of Disney’s top chefs have even created new entrees built around robust and fresh plant-based foods. This new focus means that many theme park and hotel restaurants are offering vegetarian entrees that go way beyond simply removing the meat from an existing menu.

Each theme park has its own plant based dining brochure. You can pick one up at any dining location or at guest services. Look for the plant symbol to find some of the latest delicious offerings, no matter where you are heading in the park.

Disney World Vegetarian and Vegan Dining Tips

While the plant-based dining program and the latest brochures are helpful for vegan and vegetarian travelers, there are still some choices that can be confusing or unclear. Some of our frogtastic traveling companions shared this lineup of tips for plant-based dining at Disney World. Use these food-savvy ideas as you choose places to dine and as you make your dining reservations for your trip:

  • Provide information for the chef. Let any table-service restaurant know about your needs in advance if it does not have a vegetarian offering on the menu. In many cases, a popular meal can be made vegetarian by substituting proteins or with slight modifications. Add a note to your reservation or contact the restaurant a few days in advance and it will have the chance to better accommodate your needs. This approach is ideal for families with mostly omnivores and carnivores to enjoy all the amazing Disney World restaurants, without leaving the sole vegetarian with a boring meal at each location.
  • Check beverage labels and ingredients if you are vegan. While almost all Disney World beverages are vegetarian, they are not all vegan. Chicken and beef broths are plainly labeled, but creamy beverages both hot and cold can contain milk, cream or even butter, so check the labels if you are not consuming dairy.
  • Don’t overlook popular coffee spots. Conveniently located shops like Sleepy Hollow in Magic Kingdom serve up pastries, ice cream and other treats throughout the day and are entirely meat free. As of 2020, Disney World confirms that funnel cakes served in the theme parks are vegetarian fare, meaning they are not cooked in animal fats.
  • View buffet menus in advance. Buffets, including character meals, may offer your group the greatest amount of variety in a single setting. While meals are labeled with a descriptive name, you can also ask any cast member or host about ingredients. Check menus in advance if you are unsure. Character meals are expensive, and if there are not enough options for vegetarians, you’ll spend a lot of money for a few vegetable based side dishes.
  • Let your server know your needs. Don’t be afraid to ask about ingredients for unlabeled items. Creamy soups and sauces are on the menu at many table-service and signature dining locations, and despite the “cream” base, may also contain chicken broth or beef broth. Your server can confirm the actual ingredients for you. Some locations now offer an entirely separate menu for vegetarian dining, so ask about your options when you dine.
  • Watch for animal fats. Hidden ingredients may lurk in pastries, baked goods and crusts. In some cases, the flakiest crusts come from the use of lard or animal fats, so be sure to ask before buying if you are concerned.
  • Ask if you're worried about cross contamination. One of the most frogtastic places for veggie dining in Epcot is Teppan Edo, but if you are traveling with or seated with omnivores, then be aware that meat, chicken and shellfish may be prepared on the same grill as your food. Let the restaurant know in advance if your party is entirely vegetarian and it can accommodate you. Otherwise your plant dining group could end up sharing the grill with meat loving carnivores. Virtually all other dining locations maintain kitchen space for vegetarian meal preparation.
  • Consider grown-up meals or sides for kids. Kids meals offer few vegetarian choices beyond macaroni and cheese. For a wider variety, you can order from the adult’s menu or order a preferred vegetarian side for child vegetarians. If your little tadpole is a vegetarian, they may still prefer to order a la carte from the main menu over a kid’s meal.

Our Top Picks for Plant-Based Dining at Each Disney World Theme Park

Each park offers a pamphlet available at the main gate, guest services and most dining locations that highlights every place in the park that offers a vegetarian friendly meal. While these are helpful, the restaurants on the list below go out of their way to offer tasty, quality vegetarian and vegan meals that are planned to perfection — not an afterthought.

Plant-Based Dining in Magic Kingdom

You’ll find everything from full-service meals to fast food and on-the-go snacks designed to delight the vegetarian members of your group when you visit Magic Kingdom. Our top picks here include the Lighthouse Sandwich at Columbia Harbour House, the Cannellini Bean Cassoulet at Be Our Guest and the savory Falls Family Falafel at the often-overlooked Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen.

A few of our most frogtastic spots for veggie fare are detailed below:

Cinderella’s Royal Table (Signature/Character): This delightfully fun meal has had a significant vegetarian upgrade in the past year. Though Cinderella’s Royal Table formerly had few vegetarian options, it now offers two robust and tasty meals. Try the protein bowl with faro, toasted hazelnuts and quinoa or opt for the Chickpea Panisse, a tasty mix of chickpeas, carrots and sweet tomato jam; both are recent additions to the lineup of options here. If you’ve skipped this fun experience in the past because of the meat-heavy menu, it is time to take a new look.

Be Our Guest (Signature/Character): From the frog family favorite roasted corn and spinach tortellini to piles of sweet crepes, Be Our Guest has an extensive menu with well-thought-out plant-based options throughout the day. Note that the menu changes depending on where you dine and what package you choose, but dishes like the Cannellini Bean Cassoulet are packed with fresh seasonal produce and clearly indicated on the menu. Note: Approach soups here with caution; on one visit, we were told the French Onion Soup had a vegetable broth base, on the next, it had a beef broth base. Clarify with your server before you order if you are unsure.

Columbia Harbor House (Quick Service):Located in Liberty Square, this American-themed restaurant offers a variety of salads and sandwiches. You can also find the tasty and filling Lighthouse Sandwich (hummus and assorted veggies) and a vegetarian chili on the menu daily. Columbia Harbor House is an ideal spot to visit if you are heading to Fantasyland, Haunted Mansion or on your way to Frontierland — it is also right next to the largest and cleanest bathrooms in Magic Kingdom.

Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen (Table Service): Home to the tasty Shiriki Noodle Salad, a rich and tasty Curried Vegetable Stew or some of Disney’s best falafel, this often-overlooked dining spot has plenty to offer vegetarian diners. In addition to the vegetarian fare on the menu, you can order the popular Perkins Thai Noodles without chicken and with vegetarian preparation. If you’re looking for more exotic fare and are heading to the Jungle Cruise, Magic Carpets of Aladdin or the Tiki Room, this is an ideal lunch or dinner spot that never has much of a wait and is a wonderful place to grab a healthy meal.

Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe (Quick Service): This may look like a standard hamburger restaurant, but you can find a surprising number of vegetarian options here — and the self serve bar of fixin’s is overflowing with veggie options. Try the Southwest Salad or Veggie Nachos for a tasty and flavorful meal in Frontierland or on your way to Splash Mountain.

Cosmic Rays (Quick Service): You’ll find some veggie burgers and an abundance of toppings in this quirky and fast-paced quick-service location. The latest addition to the menu is a savory, veggie based sloppy joe. If you’re in a hurry and ready to explore Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin or the Mad Tea Party, you can grab a fast meal here. You won’t find a lot of frills, but the convenience and large portions make this a good bet for a fast food fix on the go.

Skip These Magic Kingdom Restaurants If You Need Vegetarian Options

While many of Magic Kingdom’s restaurants have fully embraced vegetarian dining, there are a few with limited options. Skip these unless the rest of your group is really committed to trying them:

Liberty Tree Tavern: Vegetarians won’t find a lot of choices. The menu is somewhat limited, and most entrees are meat based.

Crystal Palace Character Dining: Crystal Palace character buffet can accommodate vegetarians, but the choices are somewhat limited and are mostly sides not main dishes. Several cooked vegetables had animal broths or fats, according to cast members, as did some pastries, so proceed with caution. Vegetarians will find some options, but the cost of the meal makes it a poor value for meat-free dining.

Plant-Based Dining at Epcot

Epcot’s abundance of countries and cuisines leads to a lot of food choices for vegetarian travelers. If you happen to visit during the popular Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, you’ll find even more to choose from. Do double check food preparation techniques and sauces in some locations (as indicated below); some seemingly vegetarian options are cooked in or prepared with chicken broth.

Note there are more options in countries of World Showcase than in Future World. The exception is the Sunshine Seasons food court in the Land Pavilion. Sunshine Seasons offers robust and flavorful salads, Meatless Chik’n brand entrees, and tasty, filling macaroni and cheese. The crème brulee dessert here is a don’t miss as well and perfect for vegetarian diners.

Don’t froget to grab your plant based food pamphlet – Epcot is packed with food possibilities that regularly change, so you can check out individual locations in detail once you arrive. A few of our frog family favorite vegetarian options are detailed below:

Coral Reef Restaurant (Table Service): Visit this spot for the ambience and the dazzling display, but be prepared for a relatively light menu when it comes to vegetarian fare. Not surprisingly, this restaurant’s menu focus is on seafood, but there are a few new tasty plant-based entrees. The Tempura Cauliflower or the Grilled Garden Skewer are your best bets, and the popular Chocolate Wave dessert is vegetarian as well.

Hacienda San Angel (Mexico): You have several dining options in the Mexico pavilion, but this is the best choice for vegetarians. Each of your other options offers a salad or a main dish without the meat, but the Hacienda San Angel has invested in creating flavorful and appealing vegetarian dishes, including Vegetable Enchiladas, Cheese Empanadas and Veggie Tacos. If you want a hot meal, Mexico-style, the Hacienda San Angel is our toadally favorite pick!

Tangierine Café (Morocco): This small but mighty quick-service restaurant has some of the tastiest and most appealing vegetarian options in all of Epcot. Perfect for a quick lunch or snack, you’ll find couscous salad, hummus, tabbouleh and more on the menu every day.

Kaki-Gori Cart (Japan): Delightfully cold and not overly sweet, this shaved ice cart is perfect for a frogtastic snack on a hot summer day. We love that there is not an animal product in sight, and there are three tasty vegan options to choose from.

Plant-Based Dining at Epcot - Steamed Dumplings at Le Cellier

Le Cellier (Canada): A steakhouse may not seem like the right place to find vegetarian fare, but the recent addition of plant-based cuisine to the menu makes Le Cellier a wonderful option for meat-free dining. We love Maple Glazed Brussel Sprouts and the Steamed Dumplings, which feature veggie-based meats. The artisanal cheese plate here is listed as an appetizer but is huge and packed with flavorful options. Note that several options that sound vegetarian are not — the Cheddar Cheese Soup is made with bacon.

Teppan Edo (Japan): Choose from tofu or veggies on the family-style grill, and enjoy salad, edamame and more vegetarian cuisine at this frogtastically fun table-service meal. Frog family tip: Request a vegetarian table when you make your reservation — otherwise your food could be prepared alongside meat or seafood.

Nine Dragons (China): Let your server know you need the vegetarian menu; some vegetables may be prepared with animal fats or broths if you do not indicate your needs. An abundant menu of vegetable based options are available here, from noodle meals to spring rolls and salads. You can also have any meat-based meal made with tofu instead of the meat on the menu, you just need to ask.

Skip these Epcot Dining Spots if you are Vegetarian

Bypass these Epcot dining locations if you are vegetarian, they have fewer plant-based options or are not a good value for vegetarian dining:

  • Akershus Royal Banquet (Norway): You’ll find bagels and yogurt here with some tasty toppings, but the main meal skillet is relatively meat heavy. While you will find some vegetarian options, the cost of this character meal makes it a skip for us, you’ll spend a lot of money for some fresh fruit and bagels to dine here.
  • Biergarten Restaurant (Germany): You can get vegetarian beef tips or fish here upon request, but most of the menu is heavily geared toward carnivores. If the rest of your party has their hearts set on bratwurst, you’ll find a few options, but Biergarten is not directed primarily at vegetarians.
  • Garden Grill (Future World): Despite the name and the presence of local vegetables (most are grown right in the Land pavilion) most choices here are meat-based. There is a salad option, a meatless meatloaf and some baked goods, but you’ll find far more complex and compelling vegetarian options elsewhere.

Vegetarian Dining in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

It’s not surprising that this animal-focused, conservation-friendly theme park is also a vegetarian’s dream come true! You’ll find abundant options here, many of which are designed to be meat free from the start. Packed with savory ingredients, intriguing grains and exotic vegetables, this is the park to visit if you want a toadally amazing vegetarian meal at Disney World.

Harambe Market (Africa):Explore this open market-style dining spot and sample a variety of veggie based meals; our favorite is the Roasted Vegetable entrée, an assortment of rich and savory veggies with steamed rice. You’ll also find sweet potato based options, fruits and grains at this quick grab food stop.

Plant-Based Tofu Bowl at Satuli Canteen

Satu’li Canteen (Pandora): Tofu and veggies are the stars of the show here, and you’ll find a frogtastic lineup of hot and cold food options. Packed with flavor and exotic ingredients, this is an ideal lunch stop for any vegetarian traveler.

Flame Tree Barbecue: The name says barbecue, but this quick-service location is home to one of our favorite vegetarian offerings in the park. Watermelon Salad is cool and refreshing and mixed with a surprising collection of ingredients that are sure to please. Disney World named this dish one of its top picks for vegetarians in the parks for good reason.

Tusker House (Character Dining): While a few character buffets in Disney World don’t offer a good value for vegetarians, the African-themed options here have an abundance of veggie-friendly choices. Hummus dips, an amazing lineup of fruit salads and fresh fruit options and savory grains await as Donald Duck and pals visit your table.

Yak & Yeti (India): Vegetarian samosas, falafel and hummus are menu staples here, but the staff is also incredibly accommodating and can rework any meal on the menu to meet your needs. Replace meat with tofu or eliminate it entirely for a delightful vegetarian meal at a table or from the counter.

BONUS at DIsney's Animal Kingdom Lodge! - Boma – Flavors of Africa (Africa): Possibly the best vegetarian buffet options in any Disney World theme park await at Boma. Many entrees are grain based, and quirky, flavorful salads and soups are staples of this exotic menu. Don’t miss the Watermelon Rind Salad, Plantain Crisps and Carrot-Ginger soup — they are some of the best veggie picks in the park.

Top Picks for Vegetarians in Disney’s Hollywood Studios

Disney’s Hollywood Studios may be the most challenging park for vegetarians. This is in part because of the lack of table-service restaurants (the Brown Derby is a signature restaurant but has few vegetarian options). Try a buffet or quick service meal here, and don’t overlook snacks — this park is packed with tasty vegetarian friendly snacks, from caramel apples to popcorn and pastries.

Anaheim Produce (Quick Service): This cart-style location is packed with vegetarian fare, with fresh fruit, pretzels and more, making it the perfect spot for a light lunch or a quick snack.

Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant (Table Service): This is a fun, '50s-themed restaurant with a surprisingly extensive menu. Vegetarians will find a falafel burger, the Vegan Tofu Lettuce Wrap and other options (including fried pickles) that are sure to please.

Vegetarian Dishes at Disney's Hollywood Studios

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (Multiple Options): The popular milk stand has vegan offerings, while you’ll find a range of popcorn and grain-based snacks at Kat Saka’s Kettle. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge has emerged as one of the best places in the theme parks for vegan fare, so this spot is well worth a visit.

ABC Commissary (Quick Service): Centrally located and large enough to accommodate a crowd, this casual counter-service location offers a veggie burger, salads and sides ideal for vegetarian dining. It also has hamburgers and other sandwiches for the carnivores in the group, making it a good spot for a large, mixed group.

Hollywood and Vine (Buffet): This character dining experience is a better value for vegetarians than some other theme park options. Breakfast offers a wide range of waffles, baked goods, fruits and more, so you can have a hearty breakfast as you enjoy a character dining experience.

Backlot Express (Quick Service): This counter-service dining spot has classic American fare, beer, and a kids’ menu. This spot is highly recommended for Star Wars fans. Try the Galactic Salad and the Caprese Sandwich.

Skip These Disney's Hollywood Studios Restaurants If You're Vegetarian

Hollywood Brown Derby: It may be a headlining restaurant, but there are few options here for vegetarians. If you do go, call ahead for more options.

Mama Melrose: Appetizers and entrees here are meat heavy and some sauces contain broths or meat, even if they are not prominently listed on the menu. Ask your server for tips and advice on the menu here, or select a more vegetarian friendly location.

Vegetarian Dining at Disney World Made Easy

It has never been easier to find a frogtastic veggie based meal at the Disney theme parks. Don’t froget to let your server know your need. Some select table-service spots now have entirely separate menus for vegetarian fare and your server can provide you with the latest details. You can always ask about menu items or ingredients.

The new approach to plant-based dining at Disney World means you have more choices and more healthy options than ever before, so take a fresh look at your favorite restaurants or take the plunge and try something new.

We’d love to know your favorite vegetarian meal or snack at Disney World. Share it — or any questions about plant-based dining at Disney World — in comments below!

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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