This review reflects our experience in November of 2014.
Being vegan in an omnivore world often means we’re lucky if there is one item at a restaurant for us to eat. Disney World does a great job catering to those with special dietary needs, vegan or not. One of our favorite places to grab lunch while in Disney World is Sunshine Seasons in The Land pavilion at Epcot. Not only do we have one option to eat here straight off the menu, but we have several grab and go options too.
When you enter The Land pavilion and head down stairs you’ll find Sunshine Seasons. There are large boards at the entrance that showcase the menu items from each station. Sunshine Seasons is set up much like a school cafeteria. Once you decide where you want to get food from you walk up to the chef and make your request.
Not only are there several food stations but there are two other places you should check while in Sunshine Seasons. There is a ‘Special Dietary Treats’ section that is full of vegan friendly desserts like Enjoy Life cookies and brownies. These are great additions if you are on the dining plan, or if you just want something sweet.
Located in one of the coolers near the Asian Noodles station is several grab and go vegan options such as a Taboulle Pin Wheel, Vegetable Sushi, Silk Soy Milk, Veggie Wrap and a Vegetarian Entree with Tabouleh, Hummus and Pitas.
We typically go to the Asian Noodles section and get the Tamrind Vegan Beef. When you go up and order you just simply ask for the vegan beef, this item is completely vegan as is. The other fresh food option is at the Sandwich station. Here you can get the Oak-grilled Vegetable Sandwich without the feta cheese or the hummus as it contains dairy.
When you have succesfully filled your tray with too much food you head to the cashier. Make sure your cashier is aware that it is the vegan beef and not the real beef as the beef entree is $3.50 more than the vegan entree. We were once charged for the meat entree and were able to get a refund when we noticed.
The vegan beef used in the Tamrind Vegan Beef meal is Gardein Beef-Less Tips. The beef is mildly spicy but the rice helps cool it down if you don’t like spicy foods. The Tamrind Beef is full of mushrooms, carrots, snow peas and topped with scallions.
The texture of the beef-less tips isn’t mushy but also isn’t totally firm. Many meat eaters would enjoy this dish as it is full of flavor and pretty cheap! Another benefit of this meal is it’s pretty filling, which is helpful when you’re walking 8 miles a day through the parks. This is one of our go to meals while in Epcot.
We recently tried the Vegetarian Entree which has pita bread, tabouleh, couscous, hummus and a roasted red pepper puree. The couscous wasn’t as good as other couscous on property, like Tangierine Cafe or Tusker House. The tabouleh was my favorite part of this platter, Corey ate pretty much all of the hummus and pitas.
Sunshine Seasons is an excellent option for vegans who want an inexpensive meal. There is plenty of meals, snacks and desserts to choose from. Make sure to check with a chef to see if the soup of the days is vegan as another option as well. When we were there in May 2014 there was a delicious seasonal vegan option at the dessert case that was a Cinnamon Raisin Rice Pudding that was also gluten free. There is also beer and fresh fruit available.
Would we go back? Always! Easy, quick and delicious!
Melissa & Corey
What’s your favorite item from Sunshine Seasons?