The Ultimate Guide to Eating Vegan at Walt Disney World
Disney World welcomes people from all over the globe to experience the “Most Magical Place on Earth” with their own eyes. Since 1965, the amusement park has expanded to include 20 on-site hotels, an entire Disney shopping and dining district, four theme parks, and two waterparks, but until recently, one key area was underserved. For decades, vegan and plant-based guests would struggle to find food that fit their dietary preferences – but this all changed in 2019 when the Orlando-based resort unveiled its plant-based initiative, making dining at Disney a fully inclusive experience.
Disney Parks launched its plant-based campaign in 2019 when executives realized that vegan visitors failed to enjoy the full spectacular experience. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts hired a team of dieticians and experts to introduce plant-based options across all its parks, and now, Disney World features more than 400 vegan options for people to enjoy. The unprecedented project reshaped what people should expect from theme parks worldwide, attempting to make every guest's experience more fulfilling with each dish.
"At the end of the day our goal was to ensure that our guests, whether they were living a vegan lifestyle, looking to eat a little bit less meat, or wanting to try new and different things, would be able to find fun and flavorful plant-based menu items across our parks and resorts," Registered Dietician from Walt Disney’s Health and Wellness Department Cheryl Dolven told Yahoo Life. "We didn't just want it to offer a few basic things — we really wanted those plant-based options to be plentiful and an integrated part of our guest experience."
Disney World has introduced so many plant-based options that it would nearly be impossible to provide a full list of vegan dishes around the 40-square mile park. We’ve created a guide that serves as your jumping-off point for your next vacation to the Magic Kingdom. Although Disney World retired the slogan, the fantastical resort is still “where dreams come true” because now, guests can find an abundance of delicious vegan eats like never before.
The Magic Kingdom
The Magic Kingdom is without a doubt the main attraction at Disney World. People travel from all over to see the magical castle towering over the entire resort. Surrounding the castle, guests can find familiar settings and familiar faces, but when you’ve finished running between rides and meeting Cinderella or Mickey Mouse, there is plenty to eat. One of the top restaurants to choose from is The Plaza Restaurant, featuring standard American theme park staples. Vegan guests can order an Impossible Chili Burger with grilled mushrooms, tomatoes, and lettuce.
Burgers and fries are far from everything the Magic Kingdom has to offer. Stop by Tony’s Town Square for some Spaghetti and Impossible meatballs and reenact the famous Lady & Tramp Scene. Or swing by Jungle Skipper Canteen for Curried Tofu and Vegetable Crew Stew or Thai Noodles. For dessert, Disney World guests can stop by any of the snack carts for the iconic Dole Whip with pineapple, orange, and raspberry variations. The real treat can be found at Storybook Treats where they offer specialty lime and cherry renditions of the notable dessert.
There is so much to see in the Magic Kingdom. If you don’t have time to stop by and dine with Cinderella at Cinderella's Royal Table or eat a Fried Cauliflower Steak with Winnie the Pooh at The Crystal Palace, there are plenty of options. Guests can grab a quick bite of plant-based bratwursts at Friar’s Nook or a fast-food Impossible Burger at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe.
With so many options, it's impossible to try all the vegan food in one trip, so our favorite is the Liberty Tree Tavern. The New England cottage-style restaurant is a perfect place to relax and fill up after a long day. The restaurant offers vegan Thanksgiving-style comfort food including an Impossible Meatloaf with mushroom gravy and seasonal veggies. For dessert, try Johnny Appleseed’s Warm Apple Cake, complete with a dairy-free whipped topping.
EPCOT: The World Showcase and Future World
The remarkable EPCOT theme park allows visitors to travel not only across the entire world but also leap forward in time. And Disney World’s sustainable food options are certainly ahead of their time. For many travelers, EPCOT nearly trumps the Magic Kingdom because instead of visiting the fantastical world, you get a taste of world travel (literally). Now, guests can try plant-based foods from several international cuisines during their stay including Pomegranate Chili Crispy Cauliflower from the Morocco pavilion or Kakigori shaved iced from the Japan pavilion.
EPCOT requires a lot of walking and moving to truly travel its miniature world, but eventually, the family will get tired. In Canada, sit down at Le Cellier Steakhouse for plant-based poutine and steamed Asian Impossible dumplings or kick back in the United Kingdom and try the tofu masala curry and vegan fish and chips at Rose & Crown. For Italian food lovers, stop by Via Napoli for a signature vegan Margherita pizza.
While EPCOT World Showcase is its main attraction, Future World brings a new level of excitement to the table. Visit the Space 220 Restaurant, hovering 220 miles above earth stocked with vegan options. Try the Terra Bolognese entree or the Galaxy Grains Salad. If that is not enough, order a slice of the signature plant-based carrot cake complete with a dairy-free frosting and candied walnuts.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Disney's zoological theme park is entirely dedicated to the natural environment and animal conservation. Circling the Tree of Life, the park features several wildlife replications including Africa and Asia as well as fantastical worlds including DinoLand U.S.A and Pandora – the world in Avatar. Alongside the zoo and amusement attractions, guests can find a breadth of plant-based foods to choose from. In the world of Pandora, hungry guests can grab a quick bite at Satu'ii's Canteen. Order the Crispy Tofu Bowl with a Charred Green Onion Vinaigrette.
If you are looking for table service, however, try the Impossible burger sliders at Nomad Longue or the Vegetable Lo Mein with Tofu at Yak and Yeti Restaurant. For the early risers, we suggest breakfast at Tusker House. Customers can order vegan and gluten-free Mickey Waffles as well as a vegan egg scramble and plant-based sausage.
There is so much to see in the Animal Kingdom, that by the time you're hungry, the family will be moving on to the next attraction. So, Disney provides several convenient snack pop-ups including the Harambe Fruit Market where you can find Grilled Corn on the Cob with an African spice or Mickey Pretzels and vegan ice cream at Dino-Bite Snacks, nestled into Dinoland USA.
Hollywood Studios & Star Wars Galaxy's Edge
When Disney World removes the veil of fantasy, that is where movie magic starts. From the Hollywood Tower Hotel to Galaxy's Edge, guests will find just as much excitement (if not more) at this theme park. The same can be said about plant-based foods. When visiting with the Muppets, check out PizzeRizzo's vegan cheese pizza or the spicy Italian sub for lunch. Or when strolling down Sunset Boulevard, stop by Fairfax Fare for a Chicago Style "Hot Dog" Salad or Woody's Lunch Box for "Totchos" - dairy-free tater tots smothered in nacho cheese and chili.
Most guests will spend all their time in Hollywood Studios at Sunset Boulevard, and who's to blame them. Some of Disney's most innovative plant-based dishes can be found along the strip. Make sure to look for Rosie's All-American Cafe for a plant-based lobster roll. But when it comes time to leave Sunset, step over to Grand Avenue for Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano's specialty vegan polenta cake served with mushrooms and herbed cauliflower.
Now, it would be impossible to visit Hollywood Studio and avoid the massive Star Wars Galaxy's Edge section. Launched into space, guests can see childhood memories come to life from the Millenium Falcon to starfighter docking bays, but one, in particular, stands out. Stop by Docking Bay 7 for a Felucian Kefta and Hummus Garden Spread or the Peka Pasta Rings Youngling Meal. Most notably of all, the Galaxy's Edge park serves up a Star Wars classic-made vegan. Grab a cup of Batuu's blue and green milk made with coconut and rice milk at the Milk Stand. Take note that these multi-colored beverages can be made alcoholic.
Disney's Contemporary Resort
For those looking for a more modern dining experience within the resort, check out Steakhouse 71. Despite its name, the restaurant located in Disney's Contemporary resort prepares a substantial number of plant-based dishes to choose from, ranging from appetizers, entrees, and desserts. Try the vegan onion rings or order a round of the sourdough with vegan butter. Most notably, the restaurant offers a Vegetable "Wellington" and a Plant-Based Steakhouse 71 Stack Burger, catering to anyone looking for a deliciously filling meal. To top it all off, the Apple Tart Tatin is completely plant-based.
Looking to avoid a steakhouse? Try the California Grill instead. The restaurant offers a wide variety of cuisines that fit customer expectations. And that includes plant-based diners. Order the plant-based pasta complete with vegetables from the hearth and occasional seasonal variations. Also, the grill prepares a plant-based "Forbidden" sushi roll filled with shiitake mushrooms, avocado, pickled mango, and topped with vegan paprika aioli.
Looking for more?
Disney World truly kept its promise to redefine what theme park food could and should be. With hundreds of new options across the entire park, plant-based guests will have no trouble looking for satisfying vegan dishes anywhere they go. While The Beet's guide is a good jumping-off point, make sure to download the My Disney Experience App to make reservations, check the menus, and find exactly where these vegan spots can be found.
To find more plant-based eats wherever you are in the world, visit The Beet's Find Vegan Near Me articles.