(CNN) – The self-proclaimed “happiest place on earth” is becoming happier for animals, and for people who are increasingly eliminating those animals from their diet.
After a big push last fall, Florida’s Walt Disney World resort development division added more than 400 new proven “plants” to menus at all food locations, including park restaurants, food carts and hotel facilities. We’ve identified a ‘base’ option. That’s the equivalent of 580 locations in Disney World alone. A similar effort is also underway at Disneyland Park and Resort in Anaheim, California.
Please don’t call these non-meat, non-dairy, non-honey options “vegan.”
“Most studies show that the word ‘vegan’ appeals to vegans,” said Cheryl Dolben, food and beverage health and wellness manager for development, optimization and standardization at Walt Disney World Resort. but the trend is much broader than that.
“‘Plant-based’ is more broadly appealing,” added Dolven.
“Okay, ‘vegan’ sounds weird,” I said to Dorben. He politely didn’t object.
“Plant-based” can be defined more loosely than vegan, says CNN Health contributor and nutritionist Lisa Drayer. But Disney, according to its website, defines “plant-based” options as “made without animal products, dairy, eggs, or honey,” making them a generally accepted option for vegans. satisfies the definition
Whatever you call it, it’s a smart move to capitalize on a trend that’s already impacting the restaurant and hospitality industry across the country. Sales of alternative meat products at restaurants increased 268% last year, according to the Dining Alliance, a US trade group.
Disney was also hearing directly from visitors who pointed out dietary restrictions when booking, purchased meat-free options, and provided feedback in guest surveys asking for vegan options. It has become a growing chorus calling on resorts to accommodate growing vegetarian and vegan appetites.
The company is also trying to appeal to younger guests, the future of Disney, and its own cast members who stick to a plant-based diet, Dolben added.
The proof is in the tasting
One option is to provide more hummus and carrot sticks. Investing in and innovating alternatives that appeal to the diverse interests of those who may be vegan yet craving flavors of meat, chocolate, pastries and ice cream is another.
Disney chose the latter. The in-house flavor his lab, a research and development facility used to create and test new menu items, has ordered the chef to retrain himself. They took a trip to vegan (sorry, plant-based) restaurants in New York and Philadelphia. They began looking for and developing alternatives to mayonnaise, butter, yogurt, cheese and eggs.
Generally, “chefs aren’t trained that way,” said Walt Disney World culinary expert Gary Jones. We’re undoing and relearning how to extract exclusive flavors.”
Jones then gave us some samples of that research and development.
The most impressive was the seafood platter on the menu of the Toledo restaurant at the Coronado Springs Resort. The creation mimicked the mouthfeel—flavours, textures, and other sensations—that I had been craving for over 25 years of being a vegetarian.
Royal trumpet mushroom based ‘scallops’ are tender and buttery. The breaded fungus “squid” was tangy and chewy. But what impressed me personally was the heart of the palm-based ‘crab cake’.
I was born and raised in Maryland and was christened with Old Bay condiments. I have never found fake crab that is not fish. And Toledo’s crab cakes are the way I’ve long dreamed non-seafood crab could be, and the taste evokes childhood memories.
Across Disney World parks and hotel restaurants, new fall menus will feature green leaf icons next to plant-based items. The company’s website has a new page showcasing plant-based dietary options, but Disney vegan fans have created their own guide with more in-depth reviews and reviews.
And when it comes to Disney’s plant-based options, there’s no one size fits all. Most of the new options are specific to the theme of the place and the type of cuisine.
Hollywood Studios’ rustic-looking PizzeRizzo offers a submenu of meaty, juicy, spicy Italian “sausages” for the same price as its meatball submenu. The African-themed Mara His restaurant at Animal Kingdom Lodge serves Marrakech His falafel with soy yogurt and his platter. For example, Epcot’s Rose & Crown Dining Room offers his vegan version of the traditional British breakfast of bangers and mash upon request. The swanky Brown Derby in Hollywood Studios offers the popular vegan chocolate coconut cake for the same price as the espresso cheesecake and chocolate mousse cake.
and they ate happily ever after
I sampled other options at Orlando’s parks, revealing a not-so-hidden world of vegan, er, plant-based diets.
At Galaxy’s Edge, the land of Star Wars, we love the Felucian Garden Spread, which serves spicy plant-based ‘kefta’ meatballs with hummus and tomato and cucumber relish served with pita bread in a skillet and real metal silverware. was. The kefta was meaty and chewy and the hummus was herbal and thick. According to Jones, Busy Docking is one of his best-selling products in his Bay 7 Food and Cargo lineup. Felucia is a jungle planet in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
At the other end of the culinary spectrum, ABC Commissary in Orlando’s Hollywood Studios offers a rich and delicious vegan California burger with sautéed peppers, vegan mayonnaise ketchup and sriracha mustard, served with perfectly crispy shoestring fries. I was. $2 more than a traditional cheeseburger. There were no vegan dessert options so I asked the lady taking the order. She looked confused and she politely replied, “No, I don’t think so.”
Then we cooked a hearty dinner of the Southwest Bowl at Hollywood Studios’ Fairfax Fair Stand. The bowl is an artful blend of chili, corn, and vegan cheese, topped with non-dairy Ranch His dressing and crunchy tortilla His chips. The cost is the same as a comparable bowl with chicken.
I’ve also noticed that some places don’t live up to their claim that all food locations have plant-free options. There were no base options.
But Disney is getting there. Disneyland is launching a major plant-based push this spring. And while our European and Asian establishments have many plant-based options, there are no current plans to overhaul their menus (visitor demand may influence that decision).
Given the attention planners put to sales, it’s clear that the more Disney guests opting for vegetarian and plant-based options, the more options they can expect. is a hospitality brand renowned for its innovation and constant self-reinvention, which extends to dining options as well.
Of the new plant-based options, Jones said, “It’s been great to see the welcome we’ve received from our guests.” And our chefs are much more inspired and excited about it.”
The same goes for vegetarians and vegans.
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