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Vegan at DisneyWorld

Hello all!

Thank you to all who sent along suggestions on how to eat vegan at
DisneyWorld, specifically Epcot!  We're just back from our 2-day visit, so
I figured I'd let folks know how it went, since it's still fresh in my
mind... :)

We got to our hotel (the Beach Club resort across from the Boardwalk, near
Epcot's International Gate) Friday around noon.  The Guest Relations desk
at the hotel suggested Spoodles, a Mediterranean restaurant at the
Boardwalk, for lunch.  There was nothing specifically vegan on the menu,
but our waitress (who knew what vegan meant) gave us a couple of
suggestions.  Dan had the romaine salad without cheese and with vinegar on
the side; I had a roasted portobello & red pepper sandwich on focaccia,
also without cheese.  Both were quite good!  

For dinner on Friday night, I had made reservations with the Garden Grill
at The Land, in Epcot (based solely on recommendations from the net!).  I
spoke with someone at the restaurant that morning to let them know we
wanted "strict vegetarian -- no animal products, no dairy, no eggs, and
preferably no added oils". Turns out Chef Jason, who was on duty that
night, has relatives who are (or used to be) vegan, and _loves_ to cook
that way.  He raided the greenhouses there to gather ingredients (yum!),
and met us at the door to tell us what he had prepared.  We started with a
simple green salad with a fresh basil vinaigrette (the basil was plentiful
and FRESH!!!  Wow!).  The main course was a citrus couscous with roasted
fresh veggies (veggies fresh from the greenhouses, which we toured on
Saturday -- _quite_ the setup!).  Dessert was spiced apples.  The only
thing missing was the cart to wheel us back to the hotel room after we ate
all that food! :)  Dan says it was the best meal he's EVER had in a
restaurant, vegan or otherwise -- and I can't say I disagree... :)

On Saturday, we sort of grazed for lunch -- a broccoli-covered potato back
at The Land, a few nibbles here and there at a couple of other places, and
a couple of cereal bars that we happened to have stashed in the backpack.
Nothing special.

For dinner Saturday, we again made reservations based on 'Net input, this
time at Marrakesh, in the Morrocco display.  Again, we spoke to the staff
earlier in the day to make arrangements, spelling out the same
requirements and limitations.  The staff fellow I spoke with seemed a bit
intimidated by it all over the phone, but when we arrived that evening, he
was right there at the door to let us know what he had ordered for us.  We
started out with a Jasmina Salad (straight off the menu), which was
various veggie salads laid out on lettuce leaves.  I don't have any clue
what was in most of them, but they were _wonderful_.  We only ended up
getting a single serving of the salad, which was disappointing -- but
turned out to be just as well, when our friend on the staff showed up with
two platters _heaped_ with wonderfully fluffy couscous topped with
Morroccan vegetables (including cabbage, carrots and chickpeas) plus a
plate of veggie shish-kebabs.  None of the desserts there were "legal",
but after polishing off all that food, we didn't really care -- there's no
way we could have eaten dessert anyways! 

In general, the advice we had been given here on the 'Net (the restaurants
to consider, the suggestion to talk to the staff when making reservations,
and to do so ahead of time) was right on. So again, thank you one and all
to all who gave us ideas, pointers and encouragement, and to those who
wished us well on our trip down there.  It was truly magical -- not to
mention delicious! :) 


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