Eating out when you are vegan can be a challenge. So knowing your options ahead of time can be helpful when planning you next theme park vacation. My husband and I recently visited Universal Parks and Resorts in Orlando and explored a few of the vegan dishes they have to offer.
We stayed at the Aventura Hotel, one of the newer hotels on property. The main dining area there is the Urban Pantry where they have different food stations that you can choose from. Pizza, noodle, burger and roast stations are all available and have options for both meat and plant based taste buds. I tried the noodle station. They offer fresh veggies and tofu that you can make into a stir fry with rice noodles or a broth bowl. I liked it so much we ate there three times during out stay. I didn't try the other stations but I did ask questions. The pizza station has vegan crust and plant based cheese with a variety of sauces and fresh veggies. The burger station has an impossible burger that is piled high with toppings and comes with fries, onions rings, or cole slaw. The fries are the only vegan item but will share a fryer with the onion rings. The roast stations was closed during our stay.
One of the hardest thing to find is baked goods that are vegan, Voodoo Doughnut at CitiWalk is a must! They have an entire list of doughnuts available for their vegan customers. I had the coconut doughnut and the voodoo doughnut. The coconut is a fluffy cake doughnut with vanilla icing and coconut shavings on top and the voodoo doughnut is a raspberry filled doughnut in the shape of voodoo doll with chocolate icing and a pretzal rod through the "heart". These are some of the best doughnuts I have ever had.
Through out the parks most locations had a good variety of salads, either vegan as is or in need of minor tweaking, and at least one plant based option. Always double check about the buns used for sandwiches, and if the grills and fryers are shared. Pat O'Briens at CitiWalk is the perfect example. They have a black bean burger on the menu but egg is used as a binder and the bun isn't vegan. I was glad I double checked. They did however have a delicious vegetable jambalaya that is vegan as is. I found the staff at every dining location we went to was very helpful and did their absolute best to accomodate my needs. The most important thing to remember is: Don't be scared to ask questions. They were more than willing to help.
Here are a few of the dining spots I was able to get some other vegan eats (there are more through out the parks):
Aunties Annes located through the park, order without butter and you are good to go!
Butterbeer!! You can't go live the Harry Potter life without Butterbeer. The Butterbeer sold throughout the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is not vegan BUT the Flying Cauldron Butterscotch Beer sold in bottle through the parks is a great alternative.
The Today Café has a sandwich called I Heart Vegan and a few salads available.
Bob Marley's - A Tribute to Freedom some delicious stuffed peppers and the Jamaican Salsa and Plantain chips are amazing.
Leanna Schnipke, and her husband Dusty, are Vacation Specialists with Coasters & Castles Travel. They love planning trips for their clients! To contact them, email firstname.lastname@example.org.