I have a couple of bigger updates in the works, but tonight will just be a quick tip.
Thanks to Sally, I've been reminded that there's something I recommend to just about every vegan who writes to me, but I have yet to mention it here: bring your own food. Now this might sound like a contradiction. After all, I spend a lot of time suggesting the best places for vegans to buy food in the parks and resorts. However:
Going to Walt Disney World is supposed to be fun. And "hungry" isn't fun. In fact, if you're anything like me, "Bashful" quickly becomes "Grumpy" when mealtime runs late. Now, after 15 trips I usually have a pretty good idea where to find a vegan item when I need it - I almost never have to go hungry. But that's with lots of practice. And even so, I still never leave the hotel room without a vegan energy bar in my little waist-pack. I usually don't need it, but it's nice to know it's there.
And it's more than just not going hungry. Maybe you have a comfort food, or a particular treat that makes you happy. Or maybe there's just a regular item that you eat every day, and that if you don't have it, something just feels off. If it's at all possible, bring it with it, or have it shipped to your hotel to arrive when you do. Or order it from Garden Grocer, or pick it up on the way to the resort. It's a vacation - you want to feel pampered, not deprived.
As for bringing food into the parks? Okay, here's the deal: the official Disney policy is that they do not allow outside food into the parks. The reality, though, is that after having my bag full of snacks checked at security countless times, not once has anyone ever said a word about my food. As long as you do not have any bottles or booze, or a full-size cooler, security won't say a word if you're packing snacks. And even if they do, Disney does officially make exceptions in the case of special diets. Just explain that you're a vegan, and that you can't find this item in the parks. But trust me - they won't say anything.
Again, I'm the last person to recommend breaking the rules, but in our case, it really is a matter of dietary need. And it's not just for the parks. There's no harm in keeping some food in your hotel room as well. I am hoping that my little blog will make it easier for you to find plenty to eat at Disney, but if a little planning will your trip that much sweeter, why not?
I'll leave you with an image of one of my favorite treats, though this one *is* available at Walt Disney World. Just check out the truly decadent chocolate shop at Downtown Disney. :-)