This past weekend was my last before the Fall semester begins at my university. I will be taking 5 courses, totaling 13 units, while working full time, so I doubt my weekends will be free for the next four months. Eric and I decided to take advantage of our last free weekend and go to Disneyland. His cousin (who usually works at Space Mountain) graciously offered to sign us in for the day. Eric was nervous about our dining options because this would be my first vegan day at Disneyland, so we planned ahead. We packed a lot of vegan snacks (grapes, kettle corn, kettle chips, nuts) and a lunch for each of us (I brought a vegan focaccia pizza thing that I found at Sprouts). My mom kindly pointed me toward some websites that she found when Googling “vegan Disneyland”. There are actually quite a few options for vegan diners.
We decided to try the gumbo at Royal Street Veranda in New Orleans Square (above Pirates of the Caribbean, right next to the stairs that go up to the Dream Suite). They offer vegetarian gumbo (it is in fact, vegan), steak gumbo, and clam chowder. The gumbo is hearty, spicy, and comes in a yummy sourdough bread bowl. I remarked that it is possibly the best meal I have ever had at Disneyland, vegan or omnivore. The bowls were $9.29, which is not horrible when you consider that it’s Disneyland food.
In recent years, Disneyland has improved their healthy options in the park. There are many snack stands that offer fruit, water, apple chips, and hummus and pretzel packs.
However, the prices for these items are pretty steep, so I recommend bringing your own. I have never had a problem bringing food into the park even though they check all bags. They are just checking for glass and other dangerous items. We always bring a few big water bottles from Trader Joes instead of paying something like $6 for each bottle of water.
Throughout the hot day, Eric was eyeing the many food stands that offer ice cream. The power of suggestion combined with the heat made me really crave something cold, so I decided to get a frozen lemonade from a cart and suggested that Eric get his ice cream at another cart. He, instead, opted for a lemonade as well and we enjoyed our tarty treats at the Bengal Barbeque seating area across from the Indiana Jones ride while we waited for our fast passes to kick in. The barbeque smelled delicious and I caught a glance of a passing veggie skewer that looked really good. I may try that on a future visit to the Happiest Place on Earth.
In case you are interested in other options, below are links to a few websites where I found lists of places to find vegan food at both parks.
The Very New Vegan: Disneyland