Tonga Toast at Kona Cafe

Many people often forget abut eating in a resort restaurant while in Disney World. Kona Cafe is an often overlooked restaurant in Disney’s Polynesian resort. When most people think breakfast at the Poly they immediately think of the character breakfast at ‘Ohana. But Kona Cafe is not one to be skipped. It is located on the second floor of the Polynesian resort, just inside from the monorail ramp. Kona Cafe is an open wall restaurant so it’s very easy to see when you come inside.

We had heard of a Kona Cafe staple called the Tonga Toast which is why we went. Tonga Toast is french toast coated in cinnamon sugar and stuffed with bananas. Since this is such a popular item in Disney World we had heard of people getting it made vegan, so we were determined to do the same.

Inside Kona Cafe

Inside Kona Cafe

When we arrived we told our server of our vegan diet and requested to speak to a chef. When the chef came out she told us of our options which generically includes the Gluten Free Vegan Mickey Waffles and a fruit plate with a substituted item for banana bread. We mentioned something about a tofu stir-fry we had seen others get but she didn’t recommend it for breakfast, the stir-fry consists of potatoes, tofu, veggies and a gluten free teriyaki sauce (doesn’t sound too appealing for breakfast to me personally). Since she didn’t mention it, we politely asked about the Tonga Toast. She said she didn’t know if they could do it since it typically has an egg wash before being fried. She asked us to wait while she checked in the back to see if she could make it vegan.

When she returned she said she could try and make it by soaking the bread in soy milk before frying. We were so happy to hear she was going to at least try to make us Tonga Toast. Since Tonga Toast typically comes with a strawberry compote that contains sour cream, we substituted it for maple syrup. The meal also comes with a meat side so we requested potatoes. The chef left then quickly came back to ask us if we are okay with shared fryers as she was going to put ours in the same fryer as the normal Tonga Toast. If this is something you don’t do, then I don’t think you would be able to get Tonga Toast.

Joeffry's Kona Coffee Blend

Joffrey’s 100% Kona Coffee

Kona Cafe is known for their 100% Kona Coffee that is supplied by Joffrey’s coffee. We ordered some Kona Coffee with a French Press. Our server came back with it and brought us soy milk for our coffee without us even asking for it, yay!

Corey with his Tonga Toast

Corey with his Tonga Toast

Our plates came out and I did not expect the Tonga Toast to be so big!

View from above

View from above

The bread used for the Tonga Toast is sourdough and it is sliced open to be stuffed with bananas.

Beauty shot of Tonga Toast

Beauty shot of Tonga Toast

We covered our Tonga Toast’s in syrup and dug right in. The outside was so crispy from being fried and the inside was soft and absolutely delicious. The bananas were thinly sliced and added a bit of a extra sweetness to the inside of the toast. I don’t think I would have liked it as much with a strawberry compote, the syrup added some needed moisture to the dish. The cinnamon sugar on the outside added an extra crunch as well as sweet flavor to the bread.

Middle of the Tonga Toast

Middle of the Tonga Toast

The Tonga Toast was a bit hard to eat due to it’s size, but we were both willing to accept the challenge. Since the bread was so tall you had to keep cutting it down to be able to actually eat it. I was a little skeptical at first with the bread being sourdough since it typically has such a strong flavor, but you couldn’t even tell. The sweetness of the cinnamon sugar and the bananas over powered any sort of flavor the sourdough may have had.

Breakfast potatoes

Breakfast potatoes

We were given bowls of breakfast potatoes as our side and these were probably the best breakfast potatoes I’ve ever had. They had a strong flavor of rosemary and were perfectly crispy. We could have gotten fruit as our side but I wanted something savory to go with what I assumed would be a sweet dish. This was the most filling breakfast I have ever had in Walt Disney World.

Vegan Tonga Toast

Vegan Tonga Toast

Tonga Toast was everything we had ever hoped it to be and I am so thankful we were able to get it. I don’t think we would have been able to enjoy it had we not asked the chef. I have noticed that many of the items people are able to get made vegan in Disney only happen because they simply asked the chef and didn’t just eat what the chef had suggested. I can’t guarantee that you will be able to get Tonga Toast because it depends on the chef. We were lucky to have a chef willing to work with us so if you go to Kona Cafe in hopes of getting Tonga Toast just ask your chef if they can make it by soaking in soy milk instead of the egg wash. We hope you can enjoy Tonga Toast on your next trip!

 

Would we go back?
Yes! This was the best breakfast we have ever had in Disney World.

Price?
$$

Cheers,
Melissa & Corey

 

What’s your favorite breakfast from Disney World? Tell us in the comments!

Trail’s End, a Chef TJ Experience

If you’ve looked into eating vegan in Walt Disney World you may have seen the name Chef TJ pop up. If you don’t know who he is you will be very excited to find out. Chef TJ used to work at 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian but has recently (as of fall 2014) moved to Trail’s End at the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. Chef TJ is known for creating elaborate multi course vegan meals for guests visiting Disney World. When we found out he had moved we made sure to set up a reservation so we could personally try his food. We picked an excellent day to do so, Melissa’s birthday!

Take Fort Wilderness boat from Magic Kingdom

Trail’s End is tucked away at the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds next to the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue and Mickey’s Backyard BBQ. We spent our day at the Magic Kingdom so that we could just take a boat over to Fort Wilderness for dinner. There are several boat docks outside of the Magic Kingdom so make sure you find the Resort Launch that specifies Fort Wilderness. Try to give yourself plenty of time to get to the restaurant as the boats only come every half hour. Our boat stopped at the Wilderness Lodge first which isn’t typical of the route. We gave ourselves over an hour to get there so we could check out the resort. We arrived at the boat dock around 5:00, we got on the boat by 5:15 and docked at Fort Wilderness by 5:45. If you are not at Magic Kingdom and have a reservation at Trail’s End I suggest taking a Fort Wilderness bus from where you are, once you get to Fort Wilderness you will need to take an internal bus to Settlement Depot where Trail’s End is located, or you can take a cab. According to our waitress many people are unaware of the boats and it takes them almost two hours to get there by buses.

Interior of Trail’s End

Once we checked in I made sure to remind the hostess again of our “allergy” to make sure the server was aware. Once we were seated our waitress asked about our “allergy” and we told her of our vegan diet. She then told us she would grab a chef to show us what we can eat on the buffet. After about 15 minutes Chef TJ came out from the back and we got very excited, we were worried it was one of those days he wasn’t there! He showed us the buffet, all that was vegan was a few salads, baked potato without any toppings and fruit. He assured us that we would not leave hungry and to give him a few minutes to bring out our first dish.

We decided to grab a small plate of salad because we weren’t totally sure how much food he was going to make for the two of us and we wanted to try what was offered. Chef TJ also caters to the diners Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue next door so we weren’t sure how long each plate was going to take.

Spring Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce

Spring Rolls with Spicy Mustard

Our first plate was Spring Rolls with Spicy Mustard and Sweet and Sour Sauce. These little spring rolls were absolutely delicious. The spicy mustard was the perfect amount of hot in your nose and the sweet and sour complimented the rolls really well. They were very crunchy and left me wanting about 10 more of them.We both felt he could have put more spicy mustard on there because we wanted more of the flavor. There was a perfect amount of sweet and sour on the other half.  In the middle was a salad with arugula that at first was very sweet then had a strong kick of spicy mid-way through.

Coconut Curry soup with Spicy Buns

Our next plate was Coconut Curry Chowder with Spicy Buns. He gave us both our own plates with a bowl of soup and two buns, we both really loved the soup. It was was very sweet from the coconut but then had a hot spice at the end. The soup was full of edamame, corn, red pepper and onion. We both would have been content with just this soup for dinner, it was that good.

Spicy Buns close up

The spicy buns were essentially hamburger buns with vegan cheese slices, caramelized onions and balsamic. I wasn’t very impressed with this item. The cheese had gotten that weird cooled texture that I never like with vegan cheese and I couldn’t really taste the balsamic. Corey seemed to enjoy his buns more than I did. There were a few spicy bites in the buns, he may have thrown some jalapeños in there. One thing we had noticed in these two dishes so far, Chef TJ likes to make it spicy!

Stuffed Poblano Pepper

After we had finished our soup and buns he came out with a third plate. This was a Stuffed Poblano Pepper with Peach Jam and Balsamic Ketchup. This dish came out with one for each of us like the soup dish before it. The peppers were stuffed with rice and black eyed peas that weren’t very flavorful. This may have been one of the spiciest dishes I have ever had! I ended up just eating the filling of the pepper and cooling down with the jam. Corey mixed his rice in with the balsamic ketchup and said his was still very spicy. There was a garnish of salted rosemary on the plate that also helped us to cool down our mouths. Chef TJ came out after this dish and I told him how spicy it was, he felt really bad for how hot he had made it and said he would tame down the other dishes. (You mean theres more?!)

Crispy Tofu with Tempura

Our fourth plate was Crispy Tofu with Tempura Vegetables. The tofu was my favorite part of this dish, it seemed to have the sweet and sour and spicy mustard sauces on it that were also part of the spring roll dish. It was nice and crispy all over, I could have eaten a whole plate of just the tofu. The tempura vegetables were really good but could have had a little less breading on it. Corey seemed to really enjoy the tempura. Neither of us ate too many of the vegetables on the plate because at this point we both felt like beach balls.

Barbacue Potatoes

While we were eating the tempura and tofu Chef TJ came out with a fifth plate, Barbecued Potatoes. At first I thought this sounded really strange but man these were delicious. The potatoes were cooked perfectly and weren’t too hard or too mushy. They seemed to have been grilled and were coated in a sweet BBQ sauce. He made sure they weren’t too spicy for us too.

Tower of dessert

After we had finally eaten as much as we could from those plates Chef TJ came back out to bring us dessert. We couldn’t help but laugh when we saw these impossible-to-eat towers sitting in front of us. The base was an apple with preserved strawberries to hold up the stick. Throughout our tower of dessert was a mini chocolate cake, strawberries, bananas, coconut ice cream and ice cream sandwiches. Some how both of us managed to have enough room to eat pretty much the entire tower, except for what had fallen off while trying to disassemble it.

All of the food we ate

This was an absolutely incredible experience. All of the food was delicious and I had never eaten so much food at once. We both really enjoy spicy food and most of these dishes were pretty hot. If you don’t like spicy food I suggest mentioning that to Chef TJ when you first meet with him.

Since this is a buffet Chef TJ didn’t let us feel left out in the stuffing our faces that a buffet provides. Our reservation began at 6:45 and we did not leave Trail’s End until 9:30. We were there so long that the table next to us seated three groups while we were there. If you plan on coming here for Chef TJ make sure you give yourself a few hours to eat. One benefit to us being there so late is that we were able to catch the Electrical Water Pageant from the boat dock.

Melissa with Chef TJ

Chef TJ told us that he does not work Friday’s or Saturday’s. Since he does the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue he said that the bad times to see him are between 4:30-5:00, 6:15-6:50 and 8:30-9:00 as these are during the seating times of the show. The buffet is reasonably priced, about $25 per adult, and I have been told that the non-vegan options are great. We both highly suggest going here and experiencing a meal from Chef TJ. Just make sure you wear some yoga pants!

Would we go back?
YES YES A MILLION TIMES YES! Can you tell we liked it? But really, go!

Price:
$$

Cheers,
Melissa & Corey

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party 2014

Tis the season for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party! This special event happens in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park during select dates from November 7th – December 19th, 2014. The event requires a separate ticket specifically for the party as well as your regular park ticket entry. When you enter the park the afternoon of the party you receive a wrist band that shows you have paid for the party. We went to the first party of the year on November 7th 2014 and got the inside scoop for fellow vegans heading to the party.

Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade

If you’re heading to MVMCP make sure you grab a map. The map shows you where the Complimentary Holiday Treat locations are as well as character spots and times for the different special events. The only thing we wished had been listed on the map was which characters were where. It took us a long time to find where Sandy Claws (Jack Skellington) was hiding. The party starts at 7pm and continues until midnight. There are two parades, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade, a show of Holiday Wishes at the castle and several dance parties and shows throughout the Magic Kingdom.

Treat Stops are marked with giant candy canes outside

Treat Stops are marked with giant candy canes outside

One of the first things we did after arriving to the party was finding dinner, unfortunately during the party only select restaurants are open. For Quick Service options during the event only Casey’s Corner, The Lunching Pad, Cosmic Rays and Pecos Bills are open. We first stopped in Cosmic Rays only to find that the Burger Bay was closed. We asked a cast member if we could still get a veggie burger even with it closed and she told us we couldn’t. Neither of us wanted the vegetable sandwich offered there so we went to Pecos Bills. The lines at Pecos Bills were incredibly long. We suggest eating a late lunch before the party to avoid these lines and the mediocre food they offer.

Treat stops replaced many quick service locations

Complimentary Holiday Treat stops replaced many quick service locations

There are several Complimentary Holiday Treat locations throughout the park that offer free hot chocolate and cookies. We stopped in City Hall when we first arrived to the Magic Kingdom to ask about vegan cookies, the cast member told us that each treat stop will have allergy friendly cookies. We stopped by a treat stop and a cast member ran into the back to bring us packages of Enjoy Life chocolate chip cookies. We asked about hot chocolate, even though we assumed they wouldn’t have any vegan offerings, and were told that the only alternative was sugar free. Since we couldn’t get hot chocolate we decided to get into the holiday spirit and went to the Main Street Bakery/Starbucks for Soy Peppermint Mochas.

Enjoy Life cookies and our Starbucks

Enjoy Life cookies and our Starbucks

During the first parade viewing we chose to ride the open attractions since most people would be watching. Almost everything we rode was a walk-on, including Space Mountain, we even got on Peter Pan in 20 minutes! We highly suggest that you hit the attractions during the first parade and catch the second showing which is around 10pm. We also noticed most people were leaving after the Holiday Wishes show, so after the second parade would be a good time to try to get the rest of the attractions done.

Highlights from the party

Highlights from the party

We had a blast at the Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party, plus seeing it snow on Main Street was absolutely beautiful. This was a great way to get into the holiday spirit. Make sure you get your tickets early as this event tends to sell out! (Order tickets here) Ticket’s max around 20,000 people, which seems like a lot but the park feels almost empty. We highly suggest doing Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party if you’re visiting during this time and make sure to bring your best Christmas clothes! We love Christmas and this made us love it even more.

Did you go to MVMCP? Tell us about your experience!

On Vacation, soon!

The week before a Disney trip is always the worse, it seems like life switches to slow motion! We leave for our trip on Sunday (11/2) and will be trying a few new spots, look for new reviews about:

Trails End
Via Napoli
Kona Cafe
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theatre
Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
and a few more!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @ VegDisneyWorld for live updates and let us know if you want to meet up! We’ll be posting as soon as we get back.

Cheers,
Melissa & Corey

Best Snacks in Magic Kingdom

You know that feeling when you’ve spent a long hot day in the Magic Kingdom and your stomach is rumbling for food but your reservation isn’t for another 3 hours? You know it’s time for a snack. We’ve decided to create a list of our favorite snacks in the Magic Kingdom.

Here are our favorite snacks and where you can find them.

8.  Vegetables and Dip
If you’re looking for a healthy snack on your trip this is always a good option. This item comes prepackaged and with a ranch dip, I would ask if you can swap out the ranch for some hummus or you can just eat the veggies plain. This item does accept Disney Dining Plan snack credit. You can find it at both Gaston’s Tavern and Prince Eric Village Market in Fantasyland.

image from Dining at Disney

7.  Mixed Fruit/Whole Fruit
A healthy option for a snack while you’re on your vacation. There are several places that you can find both mixed fruit cups and whole fruits like watermelon and grapes. This item does accept Disney Dining Plan snack credit. You can find these items in multiple locations, Gaston’s Tavern and Prince Eric Village Market in Fantasyland, Liberty Square Market in Liberty Square.

6.  Hummus and Chips
This is pretty much the last ‘healthy’ item on our snack list. This item is also pre-packaged but at least you won’t need to swap anything. This item does accept Disney Dining Plan snack credit. You can find this at both Gaston’s Tavern and Prince Eric Village Market in Fantasyland.

5.  Ice Cream
When it’s really hot out there is nothing better to cool you down then some ice cream. At the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor you have a choice of both Tofutti and Rice Dream for vegan ice cream options. They carry vanilla and chocolate in both flavors. Sometimes we change it up and get a Ice Cream Float where they add some vanilla ice cream to either Root Beer or Coca-Cola. These items do accept Disney Dining Plan snack credit. You can find this snack at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street USA.

Iced Latte

4.  Starbucks
Alright we know that coffee isn’t a very filling snack, but sometimes you just need an extra boost of energy. The Starbucks in Magic Kingdom is a fully functioning Starbucks like one at home. They have soymilk here too! This item, in any size, does accept Disney Dining Plan snack credit. You can find Starbucks in the Main Street Bakery on Main Street USA.

3.  Popcorn
Sticking around for the parade or maybe Wishes? Who wouldn’t want to munch on some popcorn while you watch. All of the normal ‘buttered’ popcorn in Disney World is actually vegan! Too bad they don’t have any shakers of nutritional yeast. This item, without a souvenir bucket, does accept Disney Dining Plan snack credit. You can find popcorn at Maurice’s Amazing Popping Machine in Fantasyland.

Mickey Pretzel

Mickey Pretzel

2.  Mickey Pretzel
Our second favorite snack in Magic Kingdom is a Mickey Pretzel. It is easy to eat while you walk around without making a mess, unlike popcorn. Every basic salted Mickey Pretzel in Disney World is vegan. Most of the carts with pretzels often have condiments to add to your pretzel. Sometimes they’re a little dry and need the extra boost of flavor. This item does accept Disney Dining Plan snack credit. You can get Mickey Pretzels from the Frontierland Churro Cart, Lunching Pad and Coolship Cooling Station in Tomorrowland.

Pineapple Floats, AKA Dole Whip Floats

Pineapple Floats, AKA Dole Whip Floats

1.  Dole Whip Soft Serve
As I’m sure you guessed, the Pineapple Floats from Aloha Isle are our favorite snacks. Both the pineapple and orange flavors are vegan! You can get this item with just soft serve or do our favorite, make it a float with pineapple juice! This is a great way to cool down on a hot day and pretend you’re eating healthy by enjoying some fruit. All items here do accept Disney Dining Plan snack credit. You can find these treats at Aloha Isle in Adventureland.

There are obviously more snacks throughout the park but these are the ones we feel deserve a use of a Disney Dining Plan snack credit or to be in your belly. You can also use your DDP snack credit for bottled water if you happen to be using the plan.

What is your favorite snack in Magic Kingdom? Tell us in the comments below!

Cheers,
Melissa & Corey