Disney With a Vegetarian Child? Looking for info!

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by BirdOnAWire, Apr 8, 2013.

  1. BirdOnAWire

    BirdOnAWire Earning My Ears

    Apr 8, 2013
    Hey all! I'm new here ;)

    I've done Disney World multiple times with just me and my husband and we have brought the kids for a quick weekend jaunt to DisneyLand. But, we are embarking on a weekish trip to Disney World with family.

    My 9-year-old is a vegetarian. Has been for many years. Does it for ethical reasons and there is definitely absolutely NO WAY she will eat meat.

    Here at home, we know which restaurants she can get a decent meal at-- even those can be few and far between.

    I'm looking at the Disney menus and I'm starting to get concerned. The child can't (and won't, might I add) eat mac and cheese for every meal. That's pretty much the only thing offered that's vegetarian at every restaurant, and I'm not sure what to do.

    Due to her diet-- we can't exactly just pop into any restaurant in the park and expect something for her, so, I'm trying to plan ahead.

    Does anyone know of any restaurants where we can eat as a family? The rest of us are meat-eaters. If we ask, will the restaurant give her a smaller size of an adult portion (say, they have a veggie noodle dish or something) that she could eat?

    Any help would be appreciated!
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  3. princessallegra

    princessallegra They call me Mrs. Disney

    Sep 7, 2007
    Will you be on a dining plan? If not It makes it a bit easier. I am not vegetarian but I enjoy a lot of vegetarian foods a lot like salads and sandwiches and soups, risottos, etc. Columbia Harbor House at Magic Kingdom has a hummus and broccoli slaw sandwich which is delish. There is a great salad that can be made without chicken at The Plaza in MK, also Liberty Tree Tavern has a great salad that can omit the chicken. There is a veggie quiche with salad at Be Our Guest for lunch in MK. The Wave at the Contemporary has some great vegetarian dishes. However if you are only looking to order children's menu items, i would recommend letting the server know you wish to speak with a chef about her dietary concerns. I'm sure the chef can make something vegetarian that would be a children's menu item. The children's menus can be a bit limiting. My parents always ordered me adult food and shared with me, but I was a big eater and usually finished all my food and more hahaha!

    Ohana can do great things for vegetarians, the chefs are happy to accommodate. Via Napoli or Tutto Italia have pasta and pizza which is vegetarian. There are quiches in France which are veggie.

    Eta: does she eat fish? If so that also opens up some options at columbia harbor house and ohana too.
  4. BirdOnAWire

    BirdOnAWire Earning My Ears

    Apr 8, 2013
    OOh, thank you. I'll definitely write these ideas down.

    She doesn't eat fish. Like many kids at this age, she can try to be picky sometimes but I have to remind her that, as a vegetarian, one must actually EAT vegetables. Otherwise, she's just a carbatarian...and I'm not raising a carbatarian!

    It is definitely a bit frustrating because I'll see a really fun restaurant we'd love to try-- and then I"m going "Hmmm....what will SHE eat?"

    ETA: The dining plan is up in the air. We will be there in the fall-- so I'm waiting to see if the free version will be offered. My son (7) is a HUGE EATER, so we'd like to do that for him, if possible.
  5. bababear_50

    bababear_50 DIS Veteran

    Feb 5, 2007
  6. MackenzieFL

    MackenzieFL Mouseketeer

    Mar 24, 2013
    Hi, my son is a vegetarian and has been since age 9 (ethical choice as well; couldn't bring himself to eat meat once he really thought about where it came from).

    Most restaurants have vegetarian options that we've been at-- salad & cheese pizza counter service seem to be his staples. I don't know if everyplace has it, but we've found most places that have burgers have a veggie burger option but you have to ask as it's no on the menu usually.

    Most of the rest of the family is diabetic (we have it on both sides, genetic) so most tend to eat more lean meat for protein & veggies & try to skip the carbs, but we've never really had a major problem finding something for everyone at most places, and we have been there tons of times in the last 4 yrs (Florida residents, annual passes, live nearby).
  7. everythingALICE

    everythingALICE I can't explain myself, I'm afraid, Sir, because I

    Jul 23, 2009
    If you end up on the DDP, I would suggest making ADRs for some buffets. That way your daughter will not be limited to just the "kids" options, and your son will have plenty to eat. Crystal Palace (MK), Tusker House (AK), and Boma (AKL) all have plenty of vegetarian offerings on their buffets.

    As a PP mentioned, Ohana makes a fabulous vegetarian entree - I would just suggest calling and confirming that they would make this for a child. La Hacienda in Epcot has a separate vegetarian menu, so you may be able to request a child size portion of one of those entrees.
  8. smiths02

    smiths02 DIS Veteran

    Feb 13, 2009
    If you get free DDP, you can list your daughter as 10...you would have to pay a few bucks more on tickets but she would have a lot more options as an adult.

    Also, buffets is a good suggestion. If she doesn't eat an adult portion, you could order a vegetarian option for yourself and switch with her sometimes.
  9. croach

    croach Mouseketeer

    Jun 5, 2002
    There are definitely places that are fun or nice that have vegetarian options. For instance 50's Primetime has a spaghetti with vegetarian meatballs and the Rose and Crown has a delicious vegetarian pie. These are adult meals so I don't know if you were checking those sections of the menu but most table service places will have at least one vegetarian option. Good luck!
  10. BirdOnAWire

    BirdOnAWire Earning My Ears

    Apr 8, 2013
    You guys have made some great points. Thanks-- I probably would have just scratched my head for weeks!

    I think if we do a combo of buffets and other places we will be OK. She's usually good about trying different things if we hit a salad bar, even if she's not much of a lettuce eater.

    I came up with a few different ideas for lunch and wanted to put them here for anyone else that might be in this situation:

    (Magic Kingdom) Columbia Harbor House
    Veg daughter: Veggie chili
    Carnivore son: Kids Nuggests

    (Epcot) Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie
    Veg daughter: Pissaladierie
    Carnivore son: Croissant Jambon Fromage

    (Hollywood Studios) Sunset Ranch Market
    Veg daughter: Veggie cheeseburger, split with either brother or Dad
    Carnivore son: Double cheeseburger-- split with Mom

    (Animal Kingdom) Yak and Yeti
    Veg Daughter: Veggie Lo Mein
    Carnivore Son: Veg Lo Mein

    I'm trying to go thru menus to find places that would either have vegetarian sides/appetizers that she could have. I've only heard of the big restaurants, so we might have to start looking for the little places. Please let me know if you know of somewhere-- thanks to the poster about Columbia House-- she gave me the idea of looking elsewhere on the menu.
  11. DSNY4ever

    DSNY4ever <font color=darkorchid>I am going to keep hunting

    Jan 28, 2008
    When are you going? I can give you tips after we get back in October. We picked all of our restaurants (and even our hotels) based on the vegetarian options (plus we have it noted on all our reservations).

    Some of the counter service places I have taken note of are Sunshine seasons, Tangerine Cafe, Yak and Yeti, Columbia Harbor House, Sleepy Hollow, Studio Catering Company.

    I would maybe prepare your daughter in advance for the lack of dessert options (depending on what she likes), the whipped cream, many of the mousses, cheesecake type options, candies etc. have gelatin in it so that is out for vegetarians. Those are some of my favorites so it bums me out that when made for the masses these items include gelatin :( There is always ice cream and such, but I prefer the others.
  12. BringingUpDisney

    BringingUpDisney DIS Veteran

    Sep 25, 2012
    When we went with my vegetarian niece who was 8 they had no problem giving her a kid-sized portion of the adult vegetarian entree at the TS restaurants. We were pleasantly surprised about how accommodating they were. She refuses to eat traditional "kid" meals, called them junk food. :rotfl2:
  13. Marionnette

    Marionnette <font color=deeppink>Wishing On A Star<br><font co

    Sep 26, 2009
    My daughter (now 23) has been a vegetarian since she was 5. Our first visits to Disney were harder to work around her diet than it is today. Disney has certainly wised up and now offers a vegetarian option at every dining venue.

    Our personal favorites:
    Hacienda de Saint Angelo - perhaps my daughter's favorite and she isn't a big fan of Americanized Mexican food; they have an entire vegetarian menu apart from the regular menu
    Tangierine Cafe - Vegetable platter with falafel
    Plaza Restaurant - vegetarian sandwich with fresh mozzarella and pesto
    Columbia Harbour House - Lighthouse Sandwich
    Yak & Yeti - vegetable lo mein
    'Ohana - vegetarian meal can be hit or miss. When it's good, it's very good. When it's bad, it's really, really bad.

    The only place that we ran into problems finding vegetarian food that appealed to my daughter was in HS at the CS locations. But then, I find the CS options in HS to be rather uninspired regardless of diet limitations.
  14. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

    Mar 5, 2007
    This includes the Disney cupcakes, apparently.

    If you are up for exploring, we (family of vegetarians...me since I was an older teen, DH since his 20s, DS since birth) found the food court at Art of Animation to be delightful. And in the refrigerated sections they had the mini cupcakes from Babycakes, which is at DownTown Disney, and they make only vegan cupcakes. I tried them this time and they were tasty (the previous time we tried them there was good 24+ hours between buying and eating, and the cupcakes do NOT keep their tastiness for that long) and surprisingly filling for being mini!
  15. BirdOnAWire

    BirdOnAWire Earning My Ears

    Apr 8, 2013
    Late September/Beginning of October. Perhaps I'll beat you there?

    It looks like it will be doable now-- I mean, its not like she has plenty of choices when we go out now, but she usually trusts my judgment (for now) when I try to help her navigate a menu where she doesn't see anything she wants.

    To the poster about the All-Star resort-- we are going with extended family and nobody has been able to pin down where we are staying. All Stars is on the list-- but part of me wants to do off property so that we can bring her in a good lunch, if needed. (Child goes crazy for noodles, olives and Italian dressing as a salad.)
  16. DSNY4ever

    DSNY4ever <font color=darkorchid>I am going to keep hunting

    Jan 28, 2008
    Haha, then it sounds like we'll be there at the EXACT same time :) We have found lots of vegetarian options, but most restaurants only have 1 or 2 choices, so we pretty much know what we are getting at every place. We are staying at Art of Animation (Little mermaid room) and Animal Kingdom lodge, both of their food courts seem to have some vegetarian items listed and we plan to do a grocery order to get some snacks like fruits/veggies and yogurt etc. If you see a mom, dad, little boy with a Lime green mickey head on a bright red backpack, say hello!

    Good luck!
  17. Heather1979

    Heather1979 Mouseketeer

    Sep 2, 2011
    As PP stated, I'd try to go heavy on buffets for her variety. We ate at quite a few hotel-based restaurants (Jiko, Artist Point, etc) and I remember thinking that while I'm not a vegetarian, some of the dishes they offered sounded really really good.
  18. princesspwrhr

    princesspwrhr DIS Veteran

    Apr 3, 2006
    I, personally, don't eat red meat, pork, or most poultry. (I'll do seafood and some dairy). My 8 year old doesn't eat ANY meat and she's always been that way. She does do some dairy, and doesn't do well with Soy. I understand your concerns! lol Not only is it easier at home when you know the restaurants, but it's also easier when she refuses to eat because in the back of your head you know that you can always feed her at home. :thumbsup2

    My older two and my husband will eat nearly anything put in front of them. Well, hubby is a pain about veggies.

    Bolding is mine - I emphatically agree. My kids all hate the kids menus and for that reason, the dining plan has never worked out for us. In addition to these rec's Teppan Edo has a vegetarian kids plate.


    bolding mine - that's EXACTLY what my kids call it!

    bolidng mine - yes! what is it with that park? I hate being there over a meal.

    OP - you've gotten some great advice already, I'm only going to add a little.

    I've found Chef Mickey's to be HORRIBLE for vegetarian offerings. (breakfast & dinner) The vegetable choices are slim to begin with and then many of them have pork or bacon in it. So unless you want to carb load - not a good choice.

    Crystal Palace on the other hand, has a great selection, particularly for breakfast - lots of fruit, yogurt, pastries, it's not as heavy on the bacon, ham, sausage as most breakfast buffets.

    Teppan Edo is great. As I mentioned above they do have a vegetarian kids option, they also serve salad (Ask for the dressing on the side) and it's a fun place to eat.

    Sunshine seasons has a tofu & noodle bowl, a vegatable sandwich & some salads.

    Most places can do salads without the meat on them.

    Cosmic Rays has a veggie burger that is good. They also have a veg sandwich, but I haven't tried it.

    I found a lot of options at Boma.

    The Caprese sandwich at Earl of Sandwich is really good. They also have vegetable and tomato soups plus salads (ask for no meat) and a grilled cheese. I've also found tasty options next door at Wolf Gang Puck Express.
  19. RoosMama

    RoosMama Mouseketeer

    Dec 2, 2012
    I went with my parents a few years ago, and my mom is vegetarian (I barely eat meat also but will at restaurants) and we never had any problems! I can't remember everywhere we ate, but I do remember we had a dinner at Chefs de France. In WS, France is great for vegetarians. Also Morocco - we loved Tangerine Cafe.

    I am taking my daughter in Dec and she does not eat meat. My parents are also coming with us again and we are going to try California Grill. (Not sure when you are going - it is closed right now I believe.)

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