Monday, August 6, 2012

Vegan Side of Disney California Adventure Park-Hakuna Matata Monday

Vegan Eating at Disney California Adventure Park

The Quest for a Family Meal 

Last week we explored the Vegan side of Disneyland. Now let’s take a stroll across the Disneyland Esplanade and discover how it is possible to be Vegan and still eat your way around Disney California Adventure Park.

Buena Vista Street:
       Fiddler, Fifer, & Practical Café- As you enter the newly revamped Buena Vista Street, on the right hand side is this great quick service eatery with, cue the harps and the angels singing-Starbucks! For Vegans, this is the place to find all of your must have soy specialty drinks. We found a great roasted vegetable sandwich (actually it was a Paneer and roasted vegetable sandwich but without the Paneer) and several soup options including the Portobello Barley that would be great on those cold days. 

       Carthay Circle Restaurant- A Disney signature restaurant, this is fine dining at its best. The menu includes many options for vegetarian choices but if you’re a Vegan, the pickings were slim but fear not! The chefs at the Carthay came to our rescue with a pasta and salad that was extraordinary.  As if the food and the atmosphere wasn’t reason enough to eat here,  when you purchase an entrée’ and either an appetizer or a dessert, you are eligible to receive a ticket giving you access to a special reserved center stage viewing area for the World of Color nighttime water spectacular.  As with any of the Disney signature restaurants, advanced reservations are strongly recommended.

Condor Flats:
       Taste Pilot’s Grill- Located right next door to “Soarin’ Over California” is this great 1950’s hanger-themed quick service eatery. If you’re there early in the morning give the oatmeal topped with brown sugar, honey and raisins a try. For afternoon fare, two thumbs up goes to the Flyby Fries, which can topped off with barbeque sauce, hot sauce, salsa or jalapenos all available from the toppings bar.  Pair these with a Veggie Burger and you’re ready for take-off.

Throughout the Park- From Buena Vista Street to the Hollywood Studios Backlot, you’ll find Disney is putting its best healthy foot forward with their many locations of Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Stands. Here you will find apples, bananas, Fruit cups, strawberries, as well as trail mix and pickles-enough Vegan snack to keep you going all day long and into the night.  Also at these stands, you will find a great selection of juices.  We were also excited to learn that the Mickey Pretzels, Minnie Mouse ‘Oreo’ Cookies, both vanilla and chocolate and the pre-bagged Mickey Mouse kettle corn are all Vegan friendly! Who knew?

Paradise Pier:
       Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta- Located in the back of California Adventure where McDonalds used to be you’ll find some of the best Italian eating around.  The chefs were most gracious in altering the Portobello Mushroom and Spinach Flatbread Pizza as well as the Boardwalk Fried Greens Salad by leaving off the cheese for us.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll continue to say it, this is just one of the many things that Disney does far and above the rest-the willingness to make sure that EVERY guest has a magical experience, no matter what their special needs may be. Spaghetti with no meatballs-no problem! Ask and you shall receive.

Paradise Garden Grill- Right near Toy Story Mania and Mickey’s Sun Wheel you’ll find this fabulous dining spot with multiple Vegan options. High up on the taste meter were the Mediterranean Skewers which are a scrumptious mixture of Tofu & Veggies topped with a Moroccan Chili Sauce or  Chimichurri , made up of fresh herbs, citrus, garlic and olive oil.  Each platter is served with Rice Pilaf, Cucumber Salad and Pita bread. What more could any Vegan hope for?

Don Tomas- Unlike Hollywood Studios in WDW, our Toy Story Mania is not a Fastpass attraction.  Not to worry as Don Tomas is located close by and has just the snack to help get you through the line. Their Chile-Lime corncob, hold the butter, is a great healthy treat and a great alternative when you’re looking for something just a little bit different.

Pacific Warf:
Wine Country Trattoria- Looking for that romantic Disney signature dining experience? Wine Country Trattoria is the place for you.  Featuring California and Mediterranean style cuisine for lunch and dinner, the menu actually has listed a Vegan eating option-Broccolini Aglio Olio, which comes lightly, tossed with Spinach, Arugula, Tomatoes, Garlic, Chili Flakes and Olive Oil.  Combine this with the Quatrotto Pomodoro Pasta entree’ and it truly is a meal fit for any king or queen.  As with all of the Signature restaurants in DCA, when you purchase an entrée’ and either an appetizer or a dessert, you are eligible to receive a ticket giving you access to a special reserved center stage viewing area for the World of Color.

Sonoma Terrace at Golden Vine Winery- Looking for a way to see World of Color and have a great meal at the same time? Simply preorder the World of Color Picnic Box online. The Mediterranean Vegetarian Meal comes with marinated grilled vegetables in a whole-wheat wrap with roasted garlic hummus, raw zucchini and squash spaghettini, along with vegetable couscous.  Enjoy your picnic while you await your World of Color showing as your ticket comes with the meal.  Preorder your meal by visiting World of Color Picnic Meals on the Disney website.

Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill- Located over the bridge is a great alcove with wide variety of restaurants with enough options to please everyone. Here at the Mexican Grill you have Vegan options to choose from including the Soft Taco Monterrey with the roasted vegetables, or the Burrito Sonora with the roasted vegetable.  As these are both served with shredded cheese, ask when you order to have the cheese left off.  Also, ask to substitute the sautéed vegetables in place of the Mexican Rice and Refried Beans as the rice is usually made with chicken stock and the beans may contain pork or other meat. If you order the burrito, ask about the refried beans and if they are non-vegan, they might be able to substitute wholes beans in their place.

Lucky Fortune Cookery- Right next to Cocina Cucamonga is the Lucky Fortune Cookery. If it’s Chinese food you’re craving, then this is the place for you. Great Vegan options here include the Asian Rice Bowl that comes with Tofu, Mandarin Orange Sauce, Teriyaki Sauce or Spicy Korean Sauce. There is also a Thai Curry Sauce option but it is not Vegan.  Each bowl contains steamed rice and seared Asian vegetables. Other Vegan choices here included Edamame and Fresh Mango Slices.

Pacific Warf Café- Coming from the San Francisco Bay area up in Sonoma County, eating at the Pacific Warf is our own little slice of home. If you’re here early in the morning and looking for breakfast, try the oatmeal, served with brown sugar, honey and raisins.  For later in the day, and well into the night, be sure to try the Vallejo Vegetarian Chili which is a medley of tomato, bell peppers, onions, carrots, zucchini,  pintos and black beans all simmered in a rich tomato broth and served in a sourdough bread bowl.

Hollywood Pictures Backlot:

       Award Wieners- Yes, even though they spotlight their award winning hot dogs, A Vegan can find a great meal here too.  Hungry? Try their Portobello Mushroom Philly “Dog”-which is a grilled Portobello complete with onions and peppers sautéed in hefeweizen. Just ask them to hold the cheese and your good to go.

            Fairfax Market- Down the street from Award Wieners is this great outdoor style market offering healthy snack options such as fresh fruit, coconut water, humus, chips and more!

            Schmoozies- Schmoozies offers made-to-order smoothies, which can easily be turned into an afternoon Vegan delight.

Cars Land:

       Flo’s V8 Café- Prepared to floored with Disney California Adventure’s newest addition, Cars Land. Flo’s V8 Café’ has homemade style food just like mom used to make. For your Vegan meal dining experience, try the Veggie Tater Bake. A delectable combination of roasted vegetables, Cauliflower, Bulgur Wheat, Soy Crumbles, and smashed Red Skin Potatoes, just ask Flo to leave off the Cheddar Cheese topping and you’ll be all revved up and roaring to go. This filling meal comes with your choice of sides including Roasted Corn Medley, Vegetarian Baked Beans or Peas and Carrots, all for your homemade dining experience. 

            Filmore’s Taste In- Sip on far out juices while refueling on fresh fruit and other healthy snacks here at Filmore’s. This pit stop boasts a full selection of foods all made from delicious natural ingredients.

There you have it! Your complete guide to eating your way around Disneyland Resort Vegan style. Now you know that Disney is there to take care of your every need, even when your needs happen to be Vegan eating.  For a look at staying Vegan while at Disneyland, be sure to check out last week’s article.
For more information on all your food options at Disneyland Resort, be sure to check out:

The Disney Food Blog for all of your eating needs
Allears and Disboards for complete menus
and of course Disney for everything Disney and more

Happy Eating!

Want to know more about the Disney Gal Team? Check us out at Meet the Gals!

Gayle is a Disney Gal that loves churros for breakfast, still gets giddy with delight at the first sight of the “Disneyland next exit sign”, loves the overwhelming emotions and memories that come with each and every return to the Happiest Place on Earth and dreams of one day being the Captain of the Jungle Boat. To learn more about Gayle, click here


  1. Wow!! Holy research! That's a lot of information. Awesome post Gayle. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Gayle - great info! I am sure it will be very helpful for a lot of people. Love it!

  3. Thanks all! Someone had just asked if this eating plan works if you are following the Esselstyn Diet-to a point it does but there are some further modifications you need to make. Sent me a PM and I will be happy to talk you through it! We know all about that one too!

  4. Sorry gals, the mashed potatoes on the veggie bake at Flo's V8 are not vegan. Found out yesterday :-(

    1. It's always a good idea to speak to the chef at each restaurant to verify that the food is vegan. They are very accomodating and will bring the packages out so that you can check the ingredients yourself. I spoke to the chef at Flo's on the phone in May or June, andvhe told me the veggie tater bake is not vegan without the cheese. Also remember that many vitamins added to food come from animal sources.

  5. It is a good idea to speak with the chef at each restaurant. The veggie tater bake at Flo's is not vegan with the cheese removed, per the chef there. The flour in a lot of bread and pasta contains vitamins that most likely come from animal sources. They will bring the packages to you so that you can look at the ingredients.

  6. Thanks for the tips all! When we put this out, it was early into our adventures of Vegan eating and we've learned so much along the way. The chefs everywhere have been incredible about coming out to talk to us, educate us and always make Bob feel as though he is missing out on nothing! One of the things we've also learned was honey was not Vegan as it is from bees and he now uses agave on many things!