Confession: I’m a bit of a Disneyworld nerd.
Like many American kids, I grew up going there with my family almost every summer and the nostalgia is strong.
But now I have even more reason for all the feels to be stronger. On my recent trip with my family to celebrate my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, Danny asked me to marry him. Literally everyone I know was like, “the best part about you getting engaged is that it happened at Disneyworld,” and by best they mean, no doubt, weirdest because I guess I don’t fit the “type” you’d expect this to happen to. I mean, I’m not exactly all about that “waiting for my Prince Charming” BS. This is fucking-A true. I’m not even the “engaged,” type. But come on, this is the “happiest place on earth,” isn’t it? I like being happy! I spent too many years being unhappy. Possibly even a decade of intermittent unhappiness. But that’s a story for another time.
I won’t deny that there’s this sort of creative/magical feeling inherent in my time at Disney and it’s pretty cool that Danny also appreciates this. He doesn’t have the childhood memories spent there like I do. He just digs it. And he’s a Star Wars nerd, so there’s that.
That said, while it isn’t exactly the happiest place on earth to be vegan, they’ve come a long way since the 90s. I recall going and eating only baked potatoes and sides of vegetables, with the occasional boring veggie burger.
My pro-tip to vegans, vegetarians and heck, anyone else with good taste, is to eat at Epcot if you can arrange to eat the majority of your meals there (we get park hopper passes so that we can do this).
Staying at one of the resorts that’s walking distance to Epcot is also a great idea. The food is actually good in the World Showcase restaurants, especially Morocco, where you can choose from sit-down dining in two restaurants, or get a quick bite from a counter service place. Hummus and falafel is always a lifesaver. And the best part is that there are decent cocktails (frozen drinks in Morocco, margaritas/mezcal drinks in Mexico) and wine (France, Italy, sake in Japan) options. Disney drinking is even more happy-making!
Honorable mention goes to the Sci Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant in Disney Hollywood Studios. This is going to sound shocking, but they do incredible things to a veggie stir fry. Plus, you’re sitting in a make believe drive-in theater watching old campy sci fi clips!
Disney Springs, a no entry fee land of shopping and nightlife, has a variety of restaurants that offer decent vegan options. I happily discovered that the newest one, The Edison, actually has the Impossible Burger! Not to mention, the decor is Steampunk chic (well, Disneyfied Steampunk chic) and they serve craft cocktails. I can’t think of a place that could be more up my alley on Disney property!
Restaurants in general still have slim pickins for vegan desserts (unless you consider fruit a dessert, but I sure as hell do not). If you love baked goods like I do, you will rejoice at the fact that there’s Erin McKenna’s Bakery NYC, a vegan and soy-gluten-free bakery right in the heart of Disney Springs. Amazing, right? They have soft serve, cinnamon rolls (divine), donuts, cookies and cakes.
Check out more photos in my saved stories on Instagram. I was only away for 5 days, but it was such a fun mini-vacation. But I have the travel itch once again! On that note, I’ll be in NYC and San Francisco for work in less than a month (was in Montreal earlier this month).
In case you’re wondering, no it won’t be a Disney-themed wedding nor a Disneyworld honeymoon. I love going there, but I think I love trips around the “real world,” even more.