Walt Disney World has unveiled a new plant-based menu icon, as well as 400 vegetarian and vegan-friendly dishes, including food at every major counter & table service restaurants. In this guide, we’ll review new items, offer some tips for plant-based dining at WDW, and general thoughts about this trend.
While the “news” of 400 plant-based dishes made a big splash among non-Disney news outlets, there actually hasn’t been a ton of hoopla about this on Walt Disney World fan sites and blogs like this one. In large part, that’s because there are not 400 new dishes–there are a handful of new items, but this is mostly a marketing effort to promote the existing vegetarian and vegan cuisine at Walt Disney World.
This isn’t to downplay the tremendous strides Disney has made on the plant-based dining front. Not too long ago, vegetarian dishes were mostly an afterthought, with salads and a token number of barely-edible bean patty burgers. In the last few years, Walt Disney World has remedied this, making a concerted effort to roll out a wealth of new (and delicious!) plant-based menu items. We’ll cover those here…
From the outset, we should “disclose” that we bring a different perspective to the table here. We are not vegetarians or vegan, but rather, flexitarians. If you’re on an exclusively plant-based diet, you might think that this invalidates our perspective. Obviously, that’s your prerogative.
We’d counter that this simply means we don’t have only plant-based cuisine as our frame of reference, but all cuisine. We know what makes a good or bad meal, not just what’s a serviceable vegetarian meal in a pinch. With the proliferation of plant-based offerings being driven in large part by flexitarians, we think this perspective is valuable.
Surveys find that the burgeoning plant-based food industry is being fueled by flexitarians. The percentage of the population that identifies as flexitarians has exploded, while those with vegetarian or vegan diets exclusively has been stagnant for two decades. In other words, many (if not most) people ordering this new plant-based cuisine at Walt Disney World won’t be vegetarians.
I’ve lost track of the number of times we’ve opted for a vegan or vegetarian restaurant in the real world because it had superlative crowd-sourced reviews. We’re talking a 4.5/5 average or higher. With an explosion in the number of flexitarians, we think this ‘grade inflation’ does a disservice to the bulk of potential guests–and the restaurants. That’s a huge part of the reason why we think Walt Disney World stepping up its game on plant-based dining is so significant.
Suffice to say, our plant-based guide and reviews are grounded in that flexitarian mentality; this is aimed at anyone who wants to make better choices while dining at Walt Disney World, but without making significant compromises on taste or quality. In other words, this is for those vacationeers who have eaten steak 5 meals in a row and want to feel a little less guilty about it by ordering something healthier from time to time. (Not that I’d know from experience or anything!)
With that said, these tips and reviews should be useful to anyone who wants their food to taste good. We’ll start with those recommendations, and then list the current plant-based menu options around Walt Disney World…
Plant-Based Dining Recommendations & Tips
In the last year or so, we’ve made a point of ordering plant-based options at just about every restaurant we’ve reviewed or revisited. In that time, a number of lessons have been learned.
First and perhaps foremost, if you’re going to do a burger, make sure it’s a Beyond or Impossible patty rather than a black bean or generic vegetable patty. The latter is an absolute abomination and is barely edible.
By contrast, Beyon and Impossible burgers are delicious–these brands truly make all the difference in the world. We’re actually a bit surprised that Walt Disney World hasn’t announced a corporate alliance with one of the two companies yet.
The good news is that patties from these two companies, especially Beyond, are becoming increasingly more common throughout Walt Disney World, even at counter service restaurants. Above is the plant-based burger at Restaurantosaurus for dinner, which is also very similar to what’s offered at D-Luxe Burger in Disney Springs. It’s hard to tell this isn’t real meat.
Another “lesson” is that new or reimagined restaurants almost always have superior plant-based options. When Caribbean Beach Resort essentially relaunched all of its restaurants last year, it did so with an ambitious slate of plant-based options, most of which remain available.
This year, Gran Destino debuted at Coronado Springs, and all of its menus have robust vegan and vegetarian options. This includes Chronos Club Level, which is our pick for the best Club Level for plant-based options. The one caveat I’ll add here is that Gran Destino seems to have a lot of plant-based “seafood,” and this leaves a lot to be desired if you’re used to real seafood.
In fact, we’d consider Caribbean Beach and Coronado Springs the best Moderate Resorts for vegan and vegetarian guests. Among Value Resorts, Art of Animation is the best option.
Without question, Animal Kingdom Lodge is the best choice for plant-based dining among the Deluxe Resorts.
Centertown Market at Caribbean Beach has several plant-based options for every meal. Our favorite of these is the Plant-based Spicy Jackfruit-Carnitas Burger: Grilled Plant-based Burger topped Spicy Jackfruit, Barbecue Mushrooms, Cabbage Slaw and Chipotle Mayonnaise served with Plantain and Yuca Chips.
Juicy, lightly spiced, and full of meaty flavor, this burger was good enough to trick me. It’s a Beyond Meat patty, but that only partially explains this burger’s quality–the jackfruit plays a big role, too.
Here’s the ‘Cheese Steak’ Griddled Seitan: “Seitan Cheese, Pickle Chip, Vegan Mayonnaise, Peppers and Onions and Pickle Relish melted between French Bread” at Centertown Market.
As far as vegan dishes go, this is solid. My only complaint is in terms of texture—it’s just a tad on the slimy side, but I think that’s par for the course with seitan. It’s still a good, filling dish that we’d recommend if you’re vegan.
Continuing on the new items note, there are several options in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Our favorite of these is the Felucian Garden Spread: Plant-Based “Kefta”, Herb Hummas, Tomato-Cucumber Relish, Pita.
Sarah has already proclaimed it her new go-to dish in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. (It’s not just us–everyone we know loves this.) It’s light but filling, inexpensive, and featuring a range of refreshing flavors. I also really liked it, and didn’t even realize it was plant-based meat at first.
Although not expressly listed on the menus below, buffets are one of the best new go-to options for plant-based dining.
We’ve done a handful of buffets since this new initiative rolled out, and every one of them has introduced new (or at least new-to-us) items. These are about a 50/50 mix of ambitious and phoned-in items, but the upside with buffets is that you can simply go back for more if something you choose is a dud.
Along these lines, anywhere with a “Build Your Own ____” tends to be a decent option for vegetarians or vegans. The plant-based option for these is frequently tofu, which I find to be a far cry from beef, but the fresh, vegetable accompaniments usually help carry these bowls.
This includes Satu’li Canteen in Animal Kingdom, and many of the food courts at Value and Moderate Resorts. (Again, Coronado and Caribbean Beach come to mind here.)
Here’s the Vegetable Quinoa Salad at Electric Umbrella, which is arguably one of the standout items on the menu. It’s healthy, filling, and will leave you feeling energized.
Salads have improved dramatically in the last few years, and are no longer just iceberg lettuce with a small ration of vegetables tossed in for color. Nonetheless, I’m still surprised at just how good some of these salads taste.
Also in Epcot, we enjoy the Vegan Korma with Gardein Meatless Chik’n at Sunshine Seasons. I was incredibly skeptical of this before trying it, but this vegan korma is good.
The spicy curry masks the flavor of the “Chik’n” and that helped fake the flavor of meat. The end result is much better than I anticipated.
Magic Kingdom has good options for plant-based dining at just about every single counter and table service restaurant in the park. We’ll draw your attention to a couple of things that we really enjoy.
First, the Slaw Dog at Casey’s Corner. This can hold its own with any of the hot dogs here, which may not seem like it’s saying much, but this is seriously impressive.
Second, Skipper Canteen has several great plant-based options if you have multiple vegan or vegetarians in your party and want choices.
(In general, we think Skipper Canteen is one of Walt Disney World’s most under-appreciated restaurants.)
Finally, when it comes to the menus below, a lot of great options are omitted because Walt Disney World has only provided plant-based menu information for Disney-owned restaurants. This is why Epcot, which is disproportionately third-party dining, seems like it has so few options. In reality, Epcot is the best park at Walt Disney World for culinary variety, including vegetarian and vegan options.
Per Walt Disney World, here are the current plant-based menu options at each of the parks, starting with Animal Kingdom…
Flame Tree Barbecue — Lunch and Dinner
- Hot Link Smokehouse Sandwich
Harambe Market — Lunch and Dinner
Pizzafari — Lunch and Dinner
- Sicilian-style Pizza Slice
Restaurantosaurus — Lunch and Dinner
- Spicy Southwestern Burger
- Onion Jam and “Gouda” Burger
- Non-dairy Frozen Desserts
Satu’li Canteen — Lunch and Dinner
- Create Your Own Bowl with ingredients including Chili-Spiced Crispy Fried Tofu, Black Beans and Rice, Hearty Salad or Potato Hash and Charred Onion Vinaigrette
Tiffins Restaurant — Lunch and Dinner
- North African Spiced Tofu and Seasonal Vegetable and Tomato Chutney
- Tinga Taco
- Passion Fruit Tapioca Creme
Tusker House Restaurant — Breakfast
- Trek Salad
- Black Eyed Pea Salad
Tusker House Restaurant — Lunch and Dinner
- Tandoori Vegetables with Tofu
- Black Eyed Pea Salad
- Banana Cake with Raspberry Coconut Cream
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall — Breakfast
- Breakfast Platter
- Assorted fruits
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall — Lunch and Dinner
- Scandinavian Potato Dumplings
- A variety of salads, including: Bean Salad, Beet Salad, Tomato Salad and Cucumber Salad
- Raspberry Sorbet
- Non-dairy Frozen Desserts
Biergarten Restaurant — Lunch and Dinner
- Fishless Filets or Beefless Tips available upon request
- A variety of salads, including: Bean Salad, Beet Salad, Tomato Salad and Mushroom Salad
- Potato Pancakes
- Red Cabbage
- Roasted Potatoes
- Berry Compote
- Fresh Pineapple
- Non-dairy Frozen Desserts
Coral Reef Restaurant — Lunch and Dinner
- Mushroom (Lobster-style) Salad
- Grilled Garden Skewer
- Baileys Almande and Jack Daniel’s Mousse
Electric Umbrella — Lunch and Dinner
Garden Grill Restaurant — Breakfast
- Blueberry Muffins
- Seasonal Fruit
- House-made Salsa Fresca
- Potato Barrels
Garden Grill Restaurant — Lunch and Dinner
- Veggie Loaf
- Green Salad
- Garden-fresh Vegetables
- Rice Pilaf
- House-made Berry Shortcake
Le Cellier Steakhouse — Lunch and Dinner
- Watermelon Salad
- Steamed Asian Dumplings
- Maple Whiskey-glazed Brussels Sprouts
- Black Forest Trifle
Rose & Crown Dining Room — Lunch and Dinner
- Coronation Salad
- Savory Hot Pot
- Mushy Peas
- Rice Pudding
Sunshine Seasons — Breakfast
- Overnight Oats with Blueberry, Chia Seeds, Vanilla and Almonds
- Breakfast Power Wrap
Sunshine Seasons — Lunch and Dinner
- Korma with Plant-based Chicken and Cashews
- Cookies and Cream Chocolate Mousse Cup
- Various Grab-n-Go Items
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
50’s Prime Time Café — Lunch and Dinner
- Cousin Amy’s Iceberg Lettuce Wedge
- Cousin Harold’s Vegetable Garden
- Traditional Warm Apple Crisp
ABC Commissary — Lunch
ABC Commissary — Dinner
- California Burger
- Mediterranean Hummus
Backlot Express — Lunch and Dinner
Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo — Lunch
Fairfax Fare — Lunch and Dinner
Hollywood & Vine — Breakfast
- Zucchini Strata
- Plant-based Eggs
- Breakfast Cereals and Oatmeal
- Roasted Red Potatoes and Onion
Hollywood & Vine — Lunch and Dinner
- Vegetable Soup
- Apple, Kale and Cranberry Salad
- Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Wild Rice Pilaf
- Three Bean Quinoa Cake
- Blueberry Cobbler
The Hollywood Brown Derby — Lunch and Dinner
- Super Salad of the Stars
- Ginger-Lemongrass Pho
- Chocolate Coconut Cake
Mama Melrose’s Ristorante Italiano — Lunch and Dinner
- Minestrone Soup
- Baked Arancini
- Polenta Cake, Mushroom and Herbed Cauliflower
- Cappuccino Affogato
- Lemon Sorbet
PizzeRizzo — Lunch and Dinner
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant — Lunch and Dinner
- Island Cake
- Szechuan Lettuce Wraps
- Cookie Shake
Woody’s Lunch Box — Lunch and Dinner
- Plant-based Totchos available
- Potato Barrels (side)
- Pineapple Dole Whip
- Dole Whip Pineapple Float
Be Our Guest Restaurant — Breakfast
- Le Fou Festin
- Assorted Pastries
Be Our Guest Restaurant — Lunch
- Cannellini Bean Cassoulet
- Crème Brulee
Be Our Guest Restaurant — Dinner
- Roasted Corn and Spinach Tortellini
- Mixed Field Greens
- Vanilla Cake with Lemon Curd
- Crème Brulee
Cinderella’s Royal Table — Breakfast
Cinderella’s Royal Table — Lunch and Dinner
- Protein Bowl
- Chickpea Panisse
- Castle Salad
- Lemon Sorbet
- Coffee Pots de Crème
Columbia Harbour House — Lunch and Dinner
- Lighthouse Sandwich
- Harvest Chili
- Assorted sides
Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Café — Lunch and Dinner
The Crystal Palace — Breakfast
- Roasted Breakfast Potatoes
- Oatmeal and Home-style Grits
- Eggless Florentine
- Breakfast Granola Medley
The Crystal Palace — Lunch and Dinner
- Herb-scented Rice
- Oak Fired Brussel Sprouts and Cauliflower Rice
- Garden Patch Cottage Pie
- Spiced Cupcakes
- Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Coconut Panna Cotta
The Diamond Horseshoe — Lunch and Dinner
- Smoked Stuffed Peppers
- Harvest Beans
- Campfire Apple Cake
The Friar’s Nook
- Plant-based Brat and Tots
Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen — Lunch and Dinner
- Shiriki Noodle Salad
- Falls Family Falafel
- Curried Vegetable Crew Stew
- Perkins Thai Noodles
- Panna-Connie’s Congo Lime Delight
Liberty Tree Tavern — Lunch and Dinner
- Revolutionary Meatloaf
- Portobello Pot Roast
- Roasted Vegetable and Tomato Soup
- Johnny Appleseed’s Warm Apple Cake
Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe — Lunch and Dinner
- Vegetable Rice Bowl
- Southwest Cheeseburger
- Assorted sides including — Guacamole, Chips and Salsa, Yellow Rice and Black Beans
- Topping Bar with multiple plant-based options
Pinocchio Village Haus — Lunch and Dinner
- Plant-based Pizza Options
- Pasta with Marinara Sauce
Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
- Non-dairy Frozen Desserts
The Plaza Restaurant — Breakfast
- Breakfast Plate featuring Plant-based Eggs, Sausage and Breakfast Potatoes
The Plaza Restaurant — Lunch and Dinner
- Wedge Salad
- Plaza Burger (Lunch only)
- Bangers & Mash (Dinner Only)
- Dark Chocolate-Banana Bread Pudding with Soy Milk Frozen Dessert
Sunshine Treats Terrace
Tony’s Town Square Restaurant — Lunch and Dinner
- Garden Salad
- Spaghetti and Mushroom Meatballs
- Raspberry Sorbet
- Italian Strawberry Shortcake
In addition to these in-park restaurants, there are a ton of options at the resort hotels, water parks, and Disney Springs. You can find every single thing served at all of these locations here on DisneyWorld.com, or via individual restaurant menus.
While theme park restaurants are important because they’re where most guests will dine at Walt Disney World, the options outside the parks are inarguably better. The resorts and Disney Springs are not churning through guests as quickly as possible, and thus can slow down and take time for more ambitious or personalized dishes.
Overall, there’s a large–and growing–number of plant-based options at Walt Disney World, with multiple great options in every single park and something worthwhile at almost every restaurant. This is a sea change as compared to even 5 years ago, when doing vegan or vegetarian dining at Walt Disney World meant significantly compromising on quality. Now, you should give some of these plant-based options a try even if you’re primarily a carnivore!
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? Learn about hotels on our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page. For where to eat, read our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews. To save money on tickets or determine which type to buy, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. Our What to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at clever items to take. For what to do and when to do it, our Walt Disney World Ride Guides will help. For comprehensive advice, the best place to start is our Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide for everything you need to know!
What do you think of the plant-based food options at Walt Disney World? Any specific dishes you’d recommend? Anything you would *not* recommend? Do you agree or disagree with our advice? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!