As a vegetarian family, food and what will be available for us to eat is always something that we think a lot about before any holiday or trip we go on. Luckily enough, vegetarianism is much more widely taken into consideration these days compared to what it used to be like. It's generally not too difficult for us as vegetarians to find something to eat no matter where we go. But I have to say that sometimes we can feel very limited when a place we go to eat only offers one or two options and no alternative options other than pasta for the kids either.
Whilst in the planning stages of our trip to Walt Disney World I obviously found it really reassuring to find out that all Disney World restaurants offer a vegetarian option on their menus. This meant that we could relax and not worry about struggling to find meals, it also allowed for us to have fun browsing the entire dining tab on the My Disney Experience app, looking up different restaurants that stood out to us. Before our trip we booked a couple of restaurant reservations straight from our phone using the app, which allows you to find a table, view individual restaurants menus and view details such as cuisine type, opening hours, price range, location and the sort of experience you can expect from each restaurant.
I really recommend making your dining reservations for restaurants that you know you are going to want to visit as soon as you possibly can. Disney World resort guests can make reservations up to 180 days in advance and whilst this seems like a long time, you'd be very surprised at how fast the more popular restaurants get booked up. I really wanted to have a meal at the 'Be Our Guest Restaurant' which is inside of Beast's Enchanted Castle, but when we looked to reserve a table the restaurant was fully booked for the entire length of our stay. So if you know there's a restaurant you really want to visit, always book well in advance.
Landscape of Flavors (fast casual dining at The Art of Animation Resort)
I had the vegetarian breakfast sandwich on one of the days - it was nice to try something I hadn't tried before which was a bit different for breakfast/lunch. There are so many breakfast options to choose from, including lots of fruit and healthy cereals.
One of my favourite breakfasts that I had there was something I definitely wouldn't have thought to ever have for breakfast before, but it made a great sort of 'brunch' and that was the Vegetarian Breakfast Sandwich which was naan bread with cauliflower, spinach and paneer cheese - it was very tasty and a great option for us veggies. My Husband Adam usually opted for the Bounty Platter, choosing to leave off the bacon and sausage and instead have a bit more of the scrambled egg, breakfast potatoes and pancakes. Ethan also loved the pancakes and of course the character-shaped waffles. There was also cereal and fruit on offer and for drinks there was a choice of things like smoothies, tea, coffee, orange juice and much more. If you want to, you can take a look at the full menu here - you're able to change the meal period tab at the top to flip between between the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.
The Grand Floridian Resort & Spa Ballroom
On our second night at Walt Disney World we were invited for a very special dinner hosted in the Grand Floridian Resort Ballroom, although this was a private dinner hosted for us and some other American family bloggers, I wanted to mention how amazing the food that we had here was. The chef was unbelievably accommodating to us as vegetarians and the food was outstanding. It was buffet style dining and Adam and I had a bit of everything that had been pointed out to us as being suitable for vegetarians. The sun dried tomato pasta was my favourite and the chef even cooked us up our own mini vegetarian burgers.
The Earl Of Sandwich (Disney Springs)
On our first day in Disney Springs we visited The Earl Of Sandwich for lunch, there was a bit of a queue but the menu looked great so Adam queued whilst Ethan and I took a ride on the nearby carousel. Adam and I chose a hot sandwich each, which we ended up sharing half each, we picked the 'Veggie' and the 'Caprese' and both were absolutely delicious! I'm not really a sandwich/lunch person, but our lunch here was just fantastic! I really recommend visiting if you find yourself in Disney Springs at lunchtime! You can see the menu here.
Hollywood & Vine character breakfast (Disney's Hollywood Studios)
This was a highlight of our trip for us, it was our first character experience and it was just amazing watching the different Disney Junior characters from and Mickey waffles, frittatas, pastries and fresh fruit whilst we listened to and watched some of the characters dancing, it was really lovely to see some of the children joining in with the dancing too! You can view the menu here.
Ethan had lots to choose from for breakfast including scrambled egg, breakfast potatoes and lots of fresh fruit and cereals.
Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano
One of our favourite places that we had dinner at was here in Disney's Hollywood Studios, just before we went and experienced the Symphony in the Stars (the Star Wars-themed fireworks display). We booked Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano after spotting it on the My Disney Experience app when booking dining reservations. Adam and I both love Italian food so we were excited to see what the food would be like.
We had such a lovely evening when we visited and we loved the restaurant decor, it felt so cosy with it's twinkling lights and cosy booths. As vegetarians we had plenty to choose from and we both opted for different pizzas after tasting some of Ethans extremely tasty child-sized cheese pizza that the staff had kindly offered to put the order in for and bring out straight away as to not keep Ethan waiting around (a great, thoughtful touch for families with young children I thought!). Adam opted for the mushroom flatbread and I had the Margherita. For drinks we enjoyed a refreshing cocktail each whilst Ethan had some milk. The cocktail that I ordered came with a flashing ice cube souvenir that I was able to take home with me, which I thought was pretty awesome! The dinner menu can be found here.
The BOATHOUSE Restaurant (Disney Springs)
Our dinner at The BOATHOUSE Restaurant in Disney Springs was absolutely fantastic - think upscale waterfront dining. It's where we were able to go on our family-friendly Amphicar ride, where we were driven in to the lake in a car for a 20 minute tour of Disney Springs. This was an amazing experience especially at night when everything was beautifully lit up. The Amphicar experience is an additional cost, but is well worth it in my opinion. (Go here to find out more).
The restaurant itself is just amazing, though very popular and so very busy! We sat right by a window that looked out on to the lake and across to The Rainforest Cafe, it was amazing being able to watch the flames from the erupting volcano at night time whilst eating our dinner.
In terms of food, we found that we were a little limited in terms of vegetarian options on the menu as the restaurant is predominately a seafood/steakhouse restaurant, but this turned out not to be a problem as the chef was more than accommodating, coming over to our table to discuss what sorts of things he could make and what we would like. We opted for a really lovely pasta in the end which the chef changed up just for us. Ethan had macaroni cheese pasta with some chips (or fries!) that came in a really awesome car-shaped box and he even got a little souvenir BOATHOUSE drinks cup to take home with him! Find the menu here.
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall character breakfast (Epcot)
We had another amazing character breakfast this time princess storybook themed at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Epcot. The decor was amazing, we felt like we'd stepped in to a medieval castle and it was just magical sitting there eating a tasty breakfast and having the likes of Disney princesses Snow White, Cinderella, Princess Aurora and Ariel come and visit our table one by one. We even managed to meet Belle from Beauty and Beast and have our photo taken using Disney PhotoPass on arrival!
Those are just a few of the restaurants that we visited whilst in Disney World, I'd love to write about them all but I'm conscious that this post is already quite long! As vegetarians in Disney World we ate really well, there were always options for us and if we didn't quite fancy something, the chefs were more than accommodating, you simply just needed to ask. For the kids we found that macaroni cheese pasta was often offered as the vegetarian kids meal in the restaurants we visited and whilst it would be nice to see more of a variety for non meat-eating children, I do have to say that again the chefs were very accommodating if you asked for something else, which we did a couple of times.
There seemed to always be fresh fruit available and lots of healthy snacks for both children and adults which was great to find. And in terms of fast food in the parks, we really enjoyed the vegetarian burger and fries that we found in Cosmic Ray's Starlight Cafe in Magic Kingdom - although this is a very popular place to eat for lunch, so be aware that it gets very busy!
Character breakfasts need to be booked well in advance to avoid missing out. You can make reservations using the My Disney Experience app by going to the dining tab and then using the sort button on the bottom right hand corner of the app. You can then change the table service to choose 'Character Dining' as a selection which will bring up all of the restaurants that offer character dining and from there you can then choose to make a reservation straight from the app after going in to individual restaurants. Alternatively you can go online and book dining reservations on Walt Disney World's website using your account.
For most of the restaurants we left our stroller/pushchair outside as the restaurants can get quite busy. On a few occasions we asked if we could bring it in so that Logan could sleep in it whilst we ate dinner and it usually wasn't a problem. I found all of the restaurants staff and all Cast Members around the parks really accommodating, nothing was ever too much which made it feel so much easier to be able to ask questions when it came to things like dining.
I hope this post was helpful, if you're a vegetarian doing research into vegetarian dining in Walt Disney World than there's lots of really useful addiotnal information to be found online. There are over 130 restaurants to choose from in Disney World and of the ones we visited vegetarian families were always welcomed and very much accommodated to.
Next week I'll be sharing what we think are the best toddler-friendly things to do in each Walt Disney World park.
More Disney World posts:
- Things to do before you go to Disney World
- Getting to know Walt Disney World
- Enjoying a little 'me' time at Walt Disney World.
- Disney World - Magic for ALL of the family.
- Walt Disney World: A Dads point of view!
- Things for toddlers at Walt Disney World
- Being vegetarian at Walt Disney World
- Our Disney World video