This review reflects our experience in May of 2015.
If a unique resort and large vegan meal is something you’re looking for in Disney World then head on over to Fort Wilderness. Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground features tent camping, cabins and three dining experiences. Here you will find Mickey’s Backyard BBQ, Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue and Trail’s End. Trail’s End is a buffet restaurant that features classic American comfort foods like baked potatoes, fried chicken and mac and cheese. I’m sure you’re wondering what a vegan would be able to eat there, you’ll see soon enough.
Fort Wilderness can be difficult to get to for some people. We often take a boat from Magic Kingdom to Fort Wilderness, as it drops you off right near the restaurants. You can take a bus but you will need to take an internal shuttle to get to the dining area. The boats are relatively quick, 20 minutes from Magic Kingdom to Fort Wilderness, but they only arrive every half hour or so. This resort has tons to explore and do, if you arrive very early for your reservation you will not be bored.
When we recently dined at Trail’s End I informed the hostess that we were vegan. This was the first restaurant I’ve seen our ticket for our server actually say vegan instead of allergy. We had the same server we had previously, Martha, and she was happy to see us return and immediately left to inform Chef TJ that two vegans had arrived.
Chef TJ came out and was excited to bring us some of the new menu items he had created. Some of the items had changed from our previous experience but we were happy to try something new. He asked if we wanted a tour of the buffet, but we declined. There are a few salads, baked potatoes and fruits for vegans on the buffet.
First on the menu was Nachos with house made vegan cheese! The nachos were topped with caramelized onions which we really enjoyed. The cheese had a bit of a kick to it but wasn’t an overly cheesy flavor. But for being a vegan cheese made there, it was awesome. This was a great start to the meal.
Next came Chef TJ’s famous Cheesy Buns. The cheesy buns are made on hamburger buns and topped with a vegan cheese and a balsamic glaze. Different from last time, the cheesy buns had a tomato sauce base which made them more like tiny pizzas. We both got a set of cheesy buns, knowing that there was still a ton of food left to come, we were hesitant to eat all of it.
The cheesy buns came out on top of a bowl of Cream of Asparagus Soup. The soup wasn’t a heavy flavor at first but the asparagus flavor kicked in as you ate it. As a whole we enjoyed this soup.
Suddenly a deep-fried tower arrived at our table. Stacked up was Tempura Broccoli with a spicy mustard sauce drizzled on it. The broccoli was incredible. The tempura wasn’t super crispy but the broccoli was perfect inside.
Next to the tower was a pile of Samosas. The samosas were topped with a sweet and sour sauce. We are pretty sure these were the same samosas that you will find at Mr. Kamals or Tusker House in Animal Kingdom. The sweet and sour sauce on them was a little weird but it worked out pretty well.
We were happy to see that Chef TJ had left the Crispy Tofu and Noodles on the menu. The tofu is an excellent texture of crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The tofu was topped with a sweet and sour sauce. The Vegetables included zucchini, yellow squash, corn and a portobello mushroom. The noodles were tossed together with veggies and were very good. By this time we were completely full so we really just ate the tofu and veggies.
And then another tower appeared, dessert! We each got our own dessert tower which included vegan ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, strawberries, banana and deep-fried Oreos! The tower is super hard to eat, but it is always a good laugh. After knocking half of the dessert off the tower I was able to try the deep-fried Oreo, and it was pretty tasty. I enjoyed the fruit and ice cream sandwich the most, but given that my pants were about to burst it was a struggle to enjoy the dessert.
Chef TJ did an incredible job once again. This is a great restaurant for anyone with food allergies or special diets, so if you are traveling as a lone vegan suggesting a restaurant with fried chicken will actually work in your favor. Chef TJ also caters to allergy diners at Hoop-De-Doo Musical Revue so sometimes the meal can take very long. If you plan on dining at Trail’s End with Chef TJ plan for a meal that will last at least 90 minutes. Chef TJ typically only works dinners and is off Fridays and Saturdays. He has done a great job inspiring the other chefs at the restaurant so if he is not there you will still eat very well.
Would we go again?
Yes! Every trip we will make a trip to see Martha and Chef TJ!
$$ (You will pay the basic buffet cost for this meal, $25)
Corey & Melissa
I have eaten here several times and it is one of my favorites. One of the chefs that had been there a long time has retired but they are all accommodating to vegans. The price is a bargain for a Disney meal and the food is more than I can eat.
I took my family here last year for dinner and it did not disappoint. We had a multiple course meal, and the food just kept coming. It was all so good we had trouble even eating dessert. Of particular note was the asparagus they prepared specially for us to avoid the butter on the buffer offering. I don’t even like asparagus and I couldn’t get enough of this. And the price for it all was ridiculously low for how much food we got.
I am wondering if Chef TJ may be the very same chef who made me my most favorite meal of all times, at Boma years and years ago! I think he is! 🙂 I picked that buffet because it had so many great vegan options but when the chef arrived at our table he said “can I make you a special meal please?” and when I said “of course, thank you!” he suggested I have a small salad or the vegan soup and “not to get too full” while he cooked. 🙂 For the next 25-30 mins we watched him running all over the place in the large kitchen working on what turned out to be the most amazing towering vegan creation I have ever encountered. It was gorgeous, it was huge, folks from other tables were stareing. 😀 Amazingly it turned out to be even more delicious than it looked. I am so happy to have found this site and to read this review! I really look forward to trying out Trail’s End with Chef TJ in the future. I never would have thought to go there.
Is this a typical “meal”. Do you just order a vegan meal and you get all these items?
The restaurant is a buffet. This is a special meal that is prepared when you inform your waiter or host that you are vegan. You pay the buffet price for this. 🙂
Thank you for this awesome report! I’m pretty much planning all of my Feb 2016 trip dining experiences based on your reports, and I can’t wait!
THANK you for his schedule! we ate vegetarian plus my sister has food allergies and I was worried about booking without knowing when he’d be there