Just a couple of vegan Disney news bits I wanted to get out there...
I just got word that the popcorn at Walt Disney World may have changed. As I'm not there (bummer!), I haven't been able to confirm this myself yet, but Lisa (another observant guest), mentioned to me that the popcorn kiosks no longer display the Orville Redenbacher name. As I've mentioned before, after some effort, I had found that the popcorn sold at Disney parks was, in fact, vegan. They used a combination of corn, canola, palm and coconut oils to pop it in. This may still be the case, but since the popcorn itself has changed, I cannot be certain that the oil is the same anymore. I plan to find this out at my earliest convenience, but for the time-being, please be aware that it *may* not be vegan anymore. (If anyone has more information, please let me know, and I'll make sure I post it!)
I also received a very nice e-mail from Elizabeth, with an unfortunate story about the Main Street Ice Cream Parlor at the Magic Kingdom. She knew that both Toffuti and Rice Dream were reported to be available here, and she was eager to try a non-dairy ice cream. She proceeded to ask for some, and the cast member working the counter asked her if she had an allergy. She responded "no", to which the cast member responded with "I'm sorry, but that product is only for those with allergies". What?!!! She nicely asked to speak to a manager, and eventually she did get her frozen treat, but it wasn't without difficulty. In my heart of hearts, I really want to believe that this was a one-time fluke - a misguided cast member that simply didn't understand. But I felt it was important to pass it on.
Here's my feelings on the subject: I really, really hate to lie, but I have to admit that the word "allergy" certainly gets more attention than "preference, diet or vegetarian/vegan". I still believe that it is important for us to use the "V" word, because it gets the word out there. The more of us vegans that speak up, the more the world will start to recognize this as a reasonable path, and understand that vegan options need to be made available. However, I won't begrudge anyone who feels the need to mention allergies, if you feel it will help you get an animal-free item. And as far as Disney is concerned? Never be afraid to ask for a manager. While I hope you never have to, as long as you are polite, most often Disney managers will do what they have to, to make things right.
Thanks Lisa and Elizabeth for the heads up! Happy Disney Dining! ºoº