Sunday, January 23, 2011

some random thoughts

Just some quick thoughts and answers for today...

I am so glad that there are some readers out there finding this blog helpful! When I made my first trip to Walt Disney World as a vegan, I was completely unprepared, and it was rough. I didn't starve... barely. But I suffered a lot, mostly from what I would call "Mickey ice cream bar envy" - that feeling that everyone around you is eating well and enjoying themselves while you're trying to control a rumbly tummy with a disappointing salad.

Every Disney trip should be magical - whether it's your one-and-only "trip of a lifetime", or one of many frequent week-end getaways. My trips have improved tremendously since that first vegan outing over 10 years ago. While I have learned so much about Walt Disney World from the Internet, and the friends I've made here, most of what I know about being a "vegan" in WDW I learned from my own experience. It's easy to feel like I'm the only vegan that has ever made the trip. I am hoping that my little blog will help other vegans not feel that lonely. You're not the first to make the voyage. And it's certainly worth the effort.

I do want to remind everyone of two things about my blog, though: (1) I'm not an export, and (2) things change. Please remember that everything I post here is just one bashful vegan's experiences. It's always important to ask questions at your dining location.

I recently received an e-mail from another vegan who mentioned receiving a separate vegetarian menu at La Hacienda de San Angel. I have also heard of a separate menu at Le Chef de France, and also San Angel Inn. And, thanks to another observant friend, I even discovered that there is a separate vegan menu available for Jiko, online. Sometimes I am offered a separate menu, and sometimes I'm not. I think that often, when I say I'm a "vegan", they don't bother with the vegetarian menu - which, while not "good enough" by itself, would still be a nice starting point for me. And, as there may be other lacto-ovo vegetarians reading this as well, I wanted you all to know that there are separate vegetarian menus available at "some" locations. The point is: it never hurts to ask.

And to answer the question from a comment about the veggie burgers currently available at various counter service locations: according to a post on the Disboards website, Disney is currently using the Gardenburger Malibu Burger (not currently available to buy in stores). It looks and tastes, in my humble opinion, a lot like the Gardenburger Veggie Medley Burger. You can click on either, to see a list of ingredients. Unfortunately, they both list "wheat", so no, it doesn't look like either burger is gluten-free. However, as I noted above, everything changes.

Every counter-service location at Walt Disney World is required to keep a big binder listing ingredients for every item they carry, available for guests to look at. I can't stress enough that if you have an allergy, please ask to see this book. The more I share vegan dining tips, the more I find myself also helping those with allergies - and that's wonderful. But if you have an allergy, it's even more important that you use my blog only as a "guideline", and that you verify everything with Disney before dining. I think you'll find that, 9 times out 10, Disney will bend over backwards to make sure you're taken care of. They take allergies VERY seriously.

Good luck to everyone currently planning a trip, and Happy Disney Dining!

1 comment:

vegansatori said...

I just realized that you posted about your trip! (I'm a little slow sometimes...) Excellent blog, as usual!

I'm so happy to hear Chef TJ is just as awesome at the GF, and really happy that you can get a veggie sandwich at AK now.

Now I'm excited for our upcoming trip in May. (Already have all of our reservations made. :-)

Keep up the great work!