A Vegan at Disney World – Crystal Palace

The main reason I was in Orlando a few weeks ago was for Food Blog Forum. My partner and I bookended the conference with a little vacation. At first I was a little worried, because the last time I went to Disney I was a vegetarian. I wasn’t sure what was in store for me as a vegan. When I was doing some research online I wasn’t able to find out as many details about vegan food as I wanted. I’m sharing my experience with Crystal Palace, so it will be even easier for you to visit the Magic Kingdom with your family.

When you make a reservation to any of the Disney restaurants you get a form to select things that you are allergic to. I was very impressed with how serious Disney is about making food for people with eating restrictions. Plus it makes it easier to be vegan there.

(Note that Disney has ingredient cards at counter restaurants and carts and you can ask to see them if your server is unsure if an item is vegan or not. That’s how we found out the caramel corn was vegan.)

When you get to your restaurant, you’ll find that allergy has been stamped in red on your ticket to alert the server and the chef. Make sure to make reservations for this service and then you’re sure you can get in your favorite place at the time you want.

We went to the Magic Kingdom during the day and made an advance reservation at Crystal Palace, a buffet restaurant that has fresh healthy food. The price reflects that as well, so if you’re doing Disney on the cheap then this may not be for you. It runs almost $30 for lunch and around $40 for dinner. But if you can swing it I recommend that you check it out. It had more choices than I hoped for and the food was truly delicious.

There is a salad section with unusual selections like an edamame rice noodle salad. On the hot buffet there was a tofu curry noodle dish that was spicy and also had edamame. The vegan pasta option that day had a tomato sauce with mushrooms and artichokes.

How did I know what was vegan? A chef came out and took me through the whole buffet personally and pointed out everything that was safe for me to eat. I wasn’t surprised when he told me nothing on the dessert buffet was vegan. But I was amazed when he said to let him know when I was ready for dessert and he’d bring out a vegan (and gluten-free) brownie, some cookies and some rice dream just for me!

There were other vegan choices from French rolls to roasted veggies with purple potatoes. I’m pointing out only what I ate and there are plenty of other vegan choices as well.

The Crystal Palace is home to the Winnie the Pooh characters so we got to meet and hug some of our favorites like Eeyore and Piglet. We left full, happy and ready to hit the Haunted Mansion – our favorite attraction!

I’ll be posting more details from our trip describing the great food and service we found at Disney. Also if you are a fellow food blogger you must go to the next Food Blog Forum, it was amazing!

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Comments

  1. I subscribe to your posts by email, Kathy. Lately I feel special cause I’m getting 2 emails every time you post! Is there something I should do to “unsubscribe” from the old website?

  2. Hey, I just realized that I’ve been getting 2 emails as well! Please keep me posted on how to get back to one! Thanks.

    • Kathy Hester says:

      On the bottom of the email that says you are still subscribed to the old server – click the unsubscribe button. I’m trying to get everyone to move over.

      I emailed you this, but wanted to post it so everyone can see : )

  3. I live in Florida and decided to splurge on an Annual Pass this year! I’m just vegetarian but didn’t have much experience with Disney. I was very happily surprised with how organized about different dietary needs they are, and I feel (with a little planning) I can eat almost anywhere at Disney I want, and the information is available.
    That’s great about Crystal Palace, that is a place in MK I’ve wanted to check out. Glad you had a great time. Can’t wait to read more about your trip, and hopefully get some ideas for upcoming trips myself!

  4. WOW!! I’m so impressed and excited to read this – I haven’t been to Disney since changing my eating habits, so I wasn’t really sure how that would work the next time we went. I love that the chef even took care of you for dessert – extremely impressive!

  5. I love Disney!! They are so accommodating to us vegans! They have vegan soft serve ice cream at Magic Kingdom. And they keep it completely separate from the other ice cream to ensure no cross-contamination.

    I ate at a different buffet and they too took me around with the head chef too and he made me vegan waffles and a tofu scramble.

    Plus, all of their veggie burgers, buns, and fries are vegan. So you can eat cheap! Just always let them know about your ‘allergies,’ servers are very knowledgable and caring.

  6. It was a pleasure meeting you at the forum! A Disney executive chef in charge of handling guests’ dietary restrictions was a pleasant surprise, and this information on the Crystal Palace is a wonderful resource. I will be linking my gluten-free Disney pals to this post. :)

    A close friend of mine had her wedding dinner at Jiko, and one of her wedding guests had just had her wisdom teeth pulled. She thought she was out of luck! But the chef overheard from the server of the situation, and personally made sure all of this poor girl’s food was soft and easy to chew, but still on par with everything the other guests enjoyed that night. Disney customer service continues to be in a league of its own in Disney Parks.

    Thank you for the post!

    ~Marilyn

    • Kathy Hester says:

      Marilyn – it was awesome meeting you and hanging out! That’s a great story about Jiko. We ate there another time a few years ago and loved the food!

  7. I am SO jealous. I’m glad you enjoyed your trip to Disney and was able to find amazing eats there too! :D

  8. Hey! I saw you mentioned vegan caramel corn! I know they got rid of the divvies, so what caramel corn were you talking about and where can we get some at the parks??! I miss divvies. Thanks so much. Great blog!

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