It happened. Today. I took my very last class of my graduate school career. I graduate with a masters degree in Public Policy next weekend. YAAAAAAAY!!! … and *tear* I’ll miss school and my friends … but my graduate school emotions are for an entirely different blog. So, why is my completion of grad school relevant to TheVeryNewVegan?
Because I celebrated at Disneyland!!!!!! (ok I kinda celebrated early) My fiancée also completed school three weeks before me, I was desperately in need of an escape from my masters thesis and he deserved a celebration for his accomplishment. Thus, Disneyland.
Prior to our trip, I browsed around online to see if I could find any vegan Disneyland guides or accounts on other blogs of vegans who went and successfully ate at D-Land. I found a few things but primarily bloggers only documented where they ate. I’m no Disneyland expert so I was unsure of where to find these restaurants, if they still existed, if the menu was the same… I knew I’d be fine in Disneyland (I mean they surely accommodate food allergies right?) and I was. An enjoyable time was had by all and I found plenty of (surprisingly) delicious things to eat.
However, my good time and semi-resourcefulness does not address the problem of no Vegan Disneyland Restaurant Guide to be found!! So by-veggie-god I’m making one!!! This is the first of a 3-part blog, in this post I will discuss vegan options in Disneyland Park. Part 2 will discuss vegan options in Disney’s California Adventure Park. Finally, part 3 will cover the Downtown Disney District.
Without further adieu…
The Unofficial Comprehensive Guide to Vegan Disneyland — UPDATED!
The Blue Bayou
Location: Adventureland, right next to The Pirates of the Caribbean Ride
Vegan Options: Portobello Mushroom and Couscous Macque Choux – Portobello mushrooms stacked and marinated in balsamic vinaigrette. Served with roasted corn and bell pepper couscous and sautéed spinach
Notes: The Blue Bayou is considered on of Disneyland’s fine dining establishments, if you’ve never been, I recommend it. You sit inside the entry to the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride and the ambiance alone is quite an experience.
If you want to drop some coin for a special dinner, this is the place to do it. FYI the rest of the fine dining restaurants in the Disneyland Resorts do not offer vegan options. Some don’t even offer vegetarian. Poo.
Location: Adventureland, across from Indiana Jones the Ride
Vegan Options: Outback Vegetable Skewer – It is what it says it is…grilled veggies on a stick
Additional Vegan Sides: Chips $2.99, Fruit Cup $3.69
Notes: I didn’t try these myself while I was at D-Land although I was aware of their existence. If you’re looking to keep horrendous Disneyland expenses down, this is the place you wanna eat.
Location: New Orleans Square, between Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion ride. Restaurant faces (formerly) “Tom Sawyer’s Island”, (now) “Pirate’s Cove”
Vegan Options: Garden Salad – Lettuce, Carrots, Tomatoes, choice of dressing
Notes: I hesitated to include this restaurant because it offers only a wee garden salad, however I really wanted to make a distinction between restaurants who had even one item from restaurants that literally have nothing for vegans. So, I’m not sure if anyone is going to rush to the French Market Restaurant to get a teeny garden salad but if you’ve got a hankerin’ for lettuce, by all means…
Location: Critter Country, by Splash Mountain
Vegan Options: Vegetarian Chili
Additional Vegan Sides: Fresh Fruit $3.49
Notes: Again, I didn’t eat here personally. As a cautionary measure you might want to advise the person taking your order that you do not want cheese. I don’t have any evidence that they put cheese on the chili, but you never know. It’s chili. Your server may suffer from an uncontrollable desire to sprinkle cheese shreds on your v-chili and ruin your life…
Hungry Bear Restaurant
Location: Critter County, by Splash Mountain
Vegan Options: Big Al’s Chicken Salad (Note: Website says “Vegetarian Option Also Available”) I assume you may order this salad without chicken – Smoked chicken on top of romaine and iceberg lettuce with watermelon, candied pecans, dried cherries, pickled red onions, and honey-lime vinaigrette
Additional Vegan Sides: Sweet Potato Fries $2.79, Onion Rings $3.49
Notes: Check with your server about the type of oil they are frying the fries in. Also ask if the onion ring batter has dairy in it. Disney employees are trained about food allergies, I actually saw a big 3-Ring binder labeled “Food Allergies: Dairy, Soy, Nut…” etc. They should be able to answer any questions about food items which contain dairy.
Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe
Location: Main Street USA Disneyland, upon entering Disneyland you will be walking up Main Street towards the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle. Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe is on your left, near the entrance to Adventureland.
Vegan Options: Grilled Vegetable & Whole Grain Salad – Seasonal Vegetables and Mixed Greens with Barley, Spelt and a Basil vinaigrette
Additional Vegan Sides: Soy Milk, if you are looking for a soy latte, this is the place.
Notes: It was surprisingly difficult to find a coffee joint that had soy milk. I mean honestly, I was surprised. Soy milk is on its way to surpassing dairy milk sales (someday people, its gonna happen). There’s plenty of little coffee carts and restaurants that sell coffee, I mean, they have to… have mercy on the parents of small children at Disneyland. However, none of these offered soy milk/soy lattes/coffee with soy/no. No soy for you. I’ll just torture you with the promise of coffee … let me just dangle the coffee in front of your face like a cat toy … Oh what’s that? You don’t like black coffee and you don’t like the exploitation of mother cows? Sorry!
Ok, I’m being a little dramatic here, no one said anything like that. Every Disneyland employee I encountered was a picture of professionalism and hospitality. Seriously, everyone is really nice at Disneyland. I was just bitter because I couldn’t find a coffee place with soy until I found the Jolly Holiday!
Secret super fun tip… On weekends nights, at the Carnation Plaza (directly next to the Jolly Holiday) a 1940s/50s live band plays host to an out-door swing dance party. Anyone can dance, there are professional and semi-professional couples who dance and single Disney employees who will help you get out there and make you feel like you’ve been taking swing classes all along. Even if you really don’t want to dance, it’s such a cool event. There are lots of people who just stand around and watch the dancers and listen to the band.
Location: Main Street USA
Vegan Options: Garden Salad – Lettuce, Carrots, Tomatoes, choice of dressing;
Thank you to Ksh77 who commented and said that the chefs at the Plaza in and Disneyland Resort can make the gluten-free Mickey Pancakes or Waffles vegan upon request. Let me know if you request this and if they made it for you!
Notes: Same as the French Market, nothing here but little salad cups, but there salad cups are here so it gets counted.
River Belle Terrace
Location: Adventureland, across from The Jungle Cruise ride & Indiana Jones ride
Vegan Options: Vegetable Po’ Boy – with Southern Baked Beans and choice of additional cold side dish — Heads up! The baked beans are made with lard. Ask for a different side dish!
Vegan Breakfast Options: Becky Thatcher’s Fresh Fruit Plate – *I ate this* A very generous platter of fruit including, strawberries, grapes, melon, honeydew, & kiwi.
Notes: I am making the assumption that since the menu description does not mention cheese, that there will be no cheese present on the Vegetable Po’ Boy. Ask. There is also no information on the vegetarian status of the baked beans. Ask. I’m not trying to lead anyone down the path to a *gasp* non-Vegan sandwich. The information available to me, I am passing on to you. Worst possible outcome: You ask and find out the sandwich isn’t vegan, but you’ve let them know there is a demand. The word “vegan” came out of your mouth, and I think that’s a good thing.
Vegan breakfast at Disneyland…it’s pretty much nonexistent, which is pretty much the story everywhere. Vegan + Breakfast + Restaurant = No
The fruit platter at the River Belle Terrace was the only vegan breakfast I found during the entire duration of my stay at DLand. A word to the wise… bring some Luna Bars.
Thank you Erin for commenting and letting us know about the lard in the beans!
Royal Street Veranda
Location: Directly above Pirates of the Caribbean ride
Vegan Options: Vegetarian Gumbo – *I ate this* This is my absolute favorite vegan offering at Disneyland. It’s a delicious Louisiana style gumbo with rice, onion, okra, and tomatoes served in a sourdough bread bowl. Delicious. I absolutely love this.
Notes: Seating is extremely limited, just a few little outdoor tables, if you see and open one…grab it.
Ranch del Zocalo
Location: I can’t remember exactly but I feel like it’s by the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Vegan Options: Thank you to my readers Leonor & Devin who commented and let me know that you can order off-the-menu veggie fajitas or grilled veggie tacos with no cheese or sour cream and they’re vegan!
Price: ? Probably the same as the regular fajitas.
Notes: Thank you Leonore & Devin for commenting!
The Carnation Cafe
Location: Main Street, USA
Vegan Options: Chef’s Vegan Burger, house-made bean and and veggie patty on a whole grain roll served with french fries or fruit.
Notes: Thank you Adrianna for commenting and letting me know!
Location: The French Quarter by Pirates of the Carribean
Vegan Options: N’awlins Vegetable Ragoût with eggplant, red onions, bell peppers, squash, and zucchini.
Notes: Thank you maryw for commenting!
Red Rockett’s Pizza Port
Location: In Tomorrowland on your way to Space Mountain
Vegan Options: My reader Danielle let me know that she used to work at Pizza Port and said that the chefs can make an off the menu vegan salad with all the veggies they have on-hand or a vegan pasta…
Price: ? Off the menu
Notes: Thank you Danielle for commenting!
Finally, I present to you the list of absolutely NON-Vegan restaurants. There is absolutely NOTHING here for vegans. Don’t even bother walking through the door:
Explicitly Non-Vegan Restaurants:
Big Thunder Ranch BBQ
Minnie & Friends Character Breakfast
Pluto’s Dog House
Stage Door Cafe
Village Hause Restaurant