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

Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party

Boo to you and you and you and you, Happy Halloween! It’s October so we wanted to quickly touch on the big thing to do in Disney World around Halloween, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. On select nights from early September to October 31st Magic Kingdom hosts a spooktacular party where guests are encouraged to dress in costume, with a special parade, wishes and trick-or-treating. This event requires a ticket additional to your park entry ticket, which can be purchased before or potentially day of. Some dates, like Halloween, tend to sell out quickly, so the chances of buying a ticket day of are slim. We suggest buying a ticket as sooner to guarantee entry. Purchase tickets here from Disney’s site.

Decorations outside Magic Kingdom

Decorations outside Magic Kingdom

If you plan on going to MNSSHP you can spend your day in the park but make sure to give your tickets to a Cast Member when you enter so they can give you a wristband. The park is closed during the party unless you have a ticket. When we attended in 2013 there were Cast Members near the castle walkways checking people for bands before the parade began. During MNSSHP there are a few restaurants and quick services options, most rides open and villains around for autographs. There is a special map with trick-or-treat spots marked and other entertainment options.

MNSSHP Map

MNSSHP Map

MNSSHP Map

MNSSHP Map

The parade is a lot of fun and easy to see with a much smaller crowd for this event then the typical evening crowd in Magic Kingdom. The parade begins with the headless horseman running down the street and the floats continue after, but at a much slower speed. The parade is full of villains and other spooky characters like the Hitchhiking Ghosts and dancers from the Haunted Mansion. The song was very catchy, ‘Boo to You’ which was stuck in our heads the rest of the week.

Boo To You Parade

Boo To You Parade

If you are planning on bringing little ones to go trick-or-treating but aren’t sure about the candy no worries! You can stop by City Hall on Main Street USA, by the entrance to the park, with your bag of candy to trade in for either an allergy-free bag or a non-food item bag. The allergy-free candy includes Twizzlers, Airheads, lollipops and similar items.

If you’re in Disney World during this party, you should definitely plan on attending one night. There is plenty to do for everyone of all ages and is a fun experience overall. Since most people are there for the candy, all the ride lines were very short when we attended and had a good spot by the castle for the parade. If you go let us know what you thought!

Cheers,
Melissa & Corey

Getting Groceries While Visiting Disney World

Morning routines are something that you don’t like to change even when you’re on vacation. Waking up and enjoying a cup of coffee with french vanilla Silk creamer is a staple for us. Since we have to fly to Orlando we can’t just pack up our favorite foods and fly down with them. We often find that the best meal to plan at the resort is breakfast, even though pretty much all restaurants now offer vegan breakfast options, they’re still pretty minimal. Plus you’re often in the park for lunch and dinner. We try to plan one or two actual breakfast reservations and the rest we just eat in the room.

There are several options to getting groceries to enjoy in your room. One of the easiest for more people is to bring your own from home. We do this too but only with dry items that pack well like nuts, ClifBars, dried fruit, instant coffee, and vegan jerky. The first year that we traveled to Disney together we decided to bring A LOT of ClifBars and eat them for breakfast each day, after day two I didn’t eat anymore.

Another way to get groceries is to buy the expensive items offered in your resort store. They often have loaves of bread, peanut butter and cereals. You will be paying the Disney price on these items, so I suggest only doing this if it is your only option.

Resort Store - IMG from AllEars

Resort Store – IMG from AllEars

Our favorite option is to rent a car from Alamo at either the Walt Disney World Dolphin Hotel or the Airport. On our last trip we picked up a rental car from the airport and drove to find groceries. We found a Whole Foods, Publix and Walmart all together off Route 4 near Universal Studios. You can then drop the car off at the Dolphin Hotel when you’re done and just take a boat or bus from there to a park. Renting a car through Alamo will be between $20-$50 a day depending on your vehicle choice. If you rent a car from the airport you can still take the Magical Express to the airport at the end of your trip, just make sure to tell your Travel Agent to select the option of taking it from resort to airport.

Distance to Whole Foods

Distance to Whole Foods

Similar to the previous option, you can rent a cab or take an Uber (Uber is similar to a cab but is a done via your mobile device). This might be more pricey then just renting a car but you don’t have to deal with driving yourself. There is also a Super Target near Disney in Kissimmee that may be closer if you are paying someone to take you. For reference of cab pricing in Disney – we took a cab from the BoardWalk Resort to Animal Kingdom Jamba House last trip and were stuck in traffic for a while and paid an $18 fare for a 5 and a half mile trip.

Distance to Super Target

Distance to Super Target

Last you can just order groceries online from either Garden Grocer or Orlando Theme Park Shoppers. These two delivery services will drop groceries off to you at your resort. No need to deal with a car or a cab driver! The only downside to these services is that their prices are a bit higher then you would find at a grocery store and they have a minimum amount that you have to spend.

Any of these options are great. I like to get my own items because I might see something that I would have forgotten if I just wrote up a list. Our last trip we picked bagels, Tofutti cream cheese, Soy  & Co yogurt, Silk Creamer, juice, and lots of fresh fruit. An added benefit to getting a rental car is being able to stop and eat at either Ethos or Loving Hut which are both all vegan restaurants that are worth checking out when you’re in town!

 

Cheers,
Melissa & Corey

Aloha from Aulani

Aloha kakahiaka and good morning! Today we’re taking a detour across the country (and the ocean) to Aulani in Hawaii. In November 2012 I (Melissa) went with my family to enjoy a few days in paradise with board shorts Mickey and friends. Aulani sits roughly 20 minutes west of the Honolulu airport on the “dry side” of the island. It is tucked away with a private beach and is neighbored with 2 other resorts. The resort is huge, two large towers with rooms, multiple places to eat and drink and a whole separate adult only area. From Aulani you can do several excursions to see the island from land or sea.

Aulani from the ground

Aulani from the ground

Aulani was a beautiful resort, there was plant life everywhere and lots of hidden Menehune’s. Menehune’s are from ancient South Pacific folklore that are tiny elf-like creatures who become frozen statues during the day and become mischievous during the night. There are tons of them throughout the property which gives you even more to look at while you’re there, as well as plenty of hidden Mickey’s. There is a private beach for Aulani guests, a large pool, lazy river and two infinity hot tubs, perfect for watching the sunset. You can even swim in an aquarium with fish, I would rather snorkel out in the open water but I’m sure others would like the feeling of safety this brings.

Lazy River

Lazy River

Aulani has two main restaurants, ‘Ama’Ama and Malahiki, a quick service at the pool and two bars that offer appetizer style meals. ‘Ama’Ama is set back by the beach and offers beautiful evening views of the sunset. I wasn’t sure what kind of vegan options I would be able to get on this trip, so I went in with a completely open mind and was willing to eat anything at this point. We ate at ‘Ama’Ama for lunch when we first arrived and I was able to speak to a chef about my diet. He told me I could get a vegan version of the Char-grilled Vegetable Sandwich on Focaccia which typically comes with Basil Aioli. My sandwich came with zucchini, portobello, eggplant, red pepper, onion and spinach and was sautéed in balsamic vinegar to replace the aioli. I also had fries as a side with my sandwich. This appeared to be the only vegan offering at this restaurant, so luckily it was really good!

'Ama'Ama at sunset

‘Ama’Ama at sunset

After dinner there is plenty to do at Aulani from Hawaiian shows, fires, movies and two fun bars. The Olelo Room offers small plates and the whole bar is covered in common words and objects that are written in both English and Hawaiian. The other bar is outside near the pool, Off The Hook, features more of a restaurant menu. There appears to now be Soy-Marinated Tofu Lettuce Wraps which I would hope be vegan but can not confirm as these were not there when I went in 2012. My parents and I stopped at both bars during our stay and I really enjoyed Off The Hook since we could sit in an open air bar and enjoy the Hawaiian warmth.

Off The Hook fancy drink

Off The Hook fancy drink

There are two options for breakfast at Aulani, you can do the character buffet at Malahiki or a table service breakfast at ‘Ama’Ama. We opted for the character breakfast at Malahiki. It is not a quiet breakfast, we ended up moving to outside seating because of the noise, grumpy dad wasn’t enjoying Aunty’s singing and children banging on pans. I was able to speak to a chef about my vegan diet and he said he would make me vegan Mickey waffles, which made me very happy! I was surprised that I could get them in Hawaii too. He asked if I wanted maple or coconut syrup, I naturally opted for coconut since I had never had it before and I am now obsessed.

Vegan Mickey Waffles

Hawaiian Vegan Mickey Waffles

The chef also walked me around the buffet to show me what I could eat. The buffet at Aulani was much different then one in Disney World. Since there is a large Japanese influence on the island much of the buffet was typical of a Japanese breakfast. I was able to eat potatoes, lots of fresh fruit, steamed rice and miso soup, yes miso soup. On the buffet they made fresh omelets, pancakes and waffles as well, for your omni loved ones.

Goofy inspecting Melissa's tattoo

Goofy inspecting Melissa’s tattoo

We were seated outside next to all the Koi ponds which they began feeding while we were out there. The fish began jumping out the water to eat and it was a fun experience. If you come here for breakfast ask to be seated outside for the fish and the lack of noise. The characters made their way to each table in typical Disney fashion. Mickey and the gang came around for pictures and autographs.

Alex (sister), Nancy (aunt), Minnie, Melissa and Denise(mom)

Alex (sister), Nancy (aunt), Minnie, Melissa and Denise(mom)

We were only at Aulani for a few days and the food situation was definitely not ideal. Since there was only two main restaurants the food selections were pretty slim. We went back to Malahiki for dinner where there wasn’t a single vegan-like item on the menu. The chef came out to talk to me and said he was excited to try to make me something different. He made me a plate or risotto and lots of veggies, brussels sprouts, asparagus and many more. It was pretty tasty for him just throwing it together but not something that I would come back for.

Wooden Stitch

Wooden Stitch

The resort was great, the food was pretty good and the Disney vibe was strong. If you are planning on coming here I suggest renting a car. We ate at Malahiki twice for breakfast, ‘Ama’Ama twice for lunch and Malahiki once for dinner. When you can only eat one thing at each restaurant there isn’t a huge variety. We were there for Thanksgiving and in our effort to find something else to eat that night my aunt and I found an all vegetarian grocery store. This is worth checking out if you go to get some grab and go food or something to change it up from just eating waffles and vegetable sandwiches!

 

Mahalo,
Melissa & Corey