Your Guide to Holiday Vegan Options at Disneyland and California Adventure (2018)

It’s that time of year again! I went to the Festival of Holidays on opening day and got the scoop on what’s vegan. Please let me know if I’ve missed anything. Tag me on Instagram (@happiestveganonearth) if you get any of these food items, I’d love to see and connect with my fellow vegan Disneyland lovers! ❤

Table of Contents (Jump to a section!)

Festival of Holidays Booth: Winter Wonders
Festival of Holidays Booth: A Twist on Tradition
Paradise Garden Grill, Festival of Holidays Seasonal Menu
Studio Catering Co. Truck (near entrance to Monsters Inc.)
Vegan drink options at Festival of Holidays Booths
Gourmet Coffee Stand (near entrance to Pixar Pier)
Snowman, Christmas Tree, and Candy Cane Sourdough Loaves
Vegan Sloppy Joe Special (Carnation Cafe)
Candy Apples, Candy Canes, etc.
Seasonal Starbucks Drinks
Seasonal Salt and Straw Flavor
Rinse (vegan bath products)
Saucy Lips (vegan sauces)
Harbour Galley
Holiday Cocktails at Trader Sam’s
Select Dates: Temecula Olive Oil Co. in Downtown Disney

  • Festival of Holidays Booth: Winter Wonders

The most exciting news this year is that there is an all-vegan booth (minus the naan bread) at Festival of Holidays! It’s called Winter Wonders and it’s about halfway along the pathway of booths. It doesn’t say vegan on the menu board (they didn’t want to scare closed-minded meat eaters away), but these three offerings are all vegan, except for the naan bread:

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1. Vanilla and Cranberry Trifle

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2. Pumpkin Soup with Maple Cashew Cream

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3. Chana Masala (with Grilled Garlic Naan Bread):

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On the first day I went, the chef told me that the naan bread does not contain dairy, eggs, or honey, but the next time, another chef told me that there is in fact dairy in the naan bread. They didn’t have an ingredients list to show me, so please ask when ordering, and ask to omit the bread if necessary.

  • Festival of Holidays Booth: A Twist on Tradition

At another booth called “A Twist on Tradition,” there is this Chicken-less Mole, which is made with Oumph, a plant-based meat that they also had at the last Food and Wine Festival. For the first week or so of Festival of Holidays, it seemed like they were overcooking the Oumph — it was dry and a bit rubbery — but now it’s much better! The one that I got today (11/18/18) was tender and juicy, just like I remember it from the Food and Wine festival!

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Mole sauce: peanuts, pecans, almond, garlic, guajillo, ancho, sesame seeds, tomatoes, onion, water, vegetable base, ibarra chocolate (dairy free), brown sugar, coke syrup.

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On the first day I went I talked to another chef at this booth, and was told that the sugar in the mole sauce (coke syrup) was potentially filtered through bone char, they are not putting the “Vegan” symbol next to it in the food guide, even though it is free of meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. Another chef told me that the Oumph was cooked on the same grill as everything else, and it was not labeled vegan because of possible cross contamination, but I think he was misinformed, because cast members who work in the prep area for the Festival of Holidays food have told me that the Oumph is actually baked by itself, not grilled. I think that it’s really just the sugar issue that is making them not label it vegan.

I have never seen a non-vegan restaurant even being aware of this issue with sugar before, let alone calling something not vegan because of it. While it is a good idea to err on the side of caution, if one were to apply this rule consistently, that would rule out most foods at Disneyland and at non-vegan restaurants — you wouldn’t be able to eat out anymore, except for in vegan restaurants. This does not seem like a practicable or possible thing to ask of someone (see the Vegan Society’s definition of veganism).

Bite Size Vegan has a great video on this. She concludes, “I would shy away from focusing on the bone char issue too intensely, and instead place my energy toward avoiding and eradicating the main animal product industries. When we are not longer slaughtering 150 billion sentient beings every year for our consumption, we won’t be so pressed to find new and different ways to profitably use their byproducts. This is also my response for products that, while vegan ingredients-wise, will state that they were produced in a facility that processes milk, eggs, or other animal products. The solution isn’t necessarily boycotting these potential cross contaminations, but stopping the dairy, egg, and meat industries as a whole. If we aren’t senselessly killing animals and stealing their secretions, then we won’t have to worry so much about getting it in our food.

Vegan Outreach highlights the importance that this focus has on creating new vegans: ‘We recommend that vegans concentrate their attention on the most obvious animal ingredients and the true meaning of veganism. In our experience, concentrating on processing or trace ingredients can make the vegan diet appear exceedingly difficult and dissuade people from adopting it.'”

All of that said, please make your own decision about how you want to deal with sugar that has potentially involved bone char.

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  • Paradise Garden Grill, Festival of Holidays Seasonal Menu

On the seasonal holiday menu here, they have one vegan as-is menu item, and one that is easily modifiable to be vegan!

The Vegan Chile Relleno, which is a roasted poblano pepper, stuffed with veggie stew (potatoes, tomatoes, corn, etc), topped with roasted tomato sauce and tofu “cream,” and served with Spanish rice (confirmed not cooked in chicken broth!) and black beans:

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Be careful, it’s quite spicy! I’m a big spice person so I loved it, but proceed with caution if you’re not a fan of spicy.

Another great option is the modified Street-Style Tacos. Three corn tortilla tacos filled with beans, white onion, and fresh cilantro, served with Spanish rice and black beans.

Modifications: replace meat with beans, replace cow cheese with daiya cheese.

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  • Studio Catering Co. Truck (near Monsters Inc.)

Here they have the Planet-erarium Tacos, which are vegan with no modifications! Brussels sprouts, salsa verde, pickled red onions, with apple and pomegranate slaw. They’re like Christmas dinner in a taco! They were super delicious, highly recommend!

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  • Vegan drink options at Festival of Holidays Booths

I’m putting all the drinks in one section since there are a lot of them at booths that don’t have any vegan options otherwise!

Since I’ve mentioned vegan sugar in this post, the drink options are an example of a situation where you would never be able to put it into practice, because any drink involving juice has sugar in it, and there’s no way to know the source. As we progress toward a vegan world, bone char is becoming less and less common, and boycotting otherwise vegan food and drinks because of the potential bone char issue is not helping animals, but it is making veganism look unnecessarily difficult and scaring off potential vegans. That is just my two cents, so please feel free to do whatever you are comfortable with.

I’m using Barnivore to check the vegan-friendliness of the alcoholic drinks. It’s a great resource that consists of company emails stating whether their booze contains honey, milk, isinglass, gelatin, etc. Many of them don’t show up on Barnivore yet (this is a good opportunity to write to the company and ask them, so that it can be put into the database!) — so I’m only listing the ones that are verified vegan here, and leaving off the ones that have no info or are listed as non-vegan.

  • Winter Wonders

– Pomegranate Lemonade (non-alcoholic) – See photo above!

  • Brews and Bites

– Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co., Paradise Rd, Pilsner (Company email on Barnivore)

– North Coast Brewing Co., Blue Star, Wheat (Company email on Barnivore)

– Deschutes Brewery, Mirror Pond, Pale Ale (Company email on Barnivore)

– Anderson Valley Brewing Company, Boont, Amber Ale (Company email on Barnivore)

– New Belgium Brewing Company, Accumulation, White IPA (Company email on Barnivore)

– Cigar City Brewing, Maduro, Brown Ale (Company email on Barnivore)

  • Holiday Duets

– Ballast Point Brewing Company, Spruce Tip Sculpin, IPA: Ballast Point is typically all-vegan except for one seasonal Cream Ale they had a while back. The Spruce Tip Sculpin isn’t listed on Barnivore yet, so I just wrote an email to Ballast Point and will update this as soon as I hear back from them. Whenever you find a beer or wine on a menu somewhere and it doesn’t return a result on Barnivore, I encourage you to go to that brewery’s website and use their contact form to ask them about honey, isinglass, milk, gelatin, etc, and then when you get a response, you can forward it to the Barnivore team and add it to the database. Here is a template email from Barnivore. All of this is great for the vegan movement because 1) it lets companies know that we want vegan beer and wine, and 2) it makes the database bigger and makes our lives easier.

  • A Twist on Tradition

– Negra Modelo (Company email on Barnivore)

– I didn’t have time to check on the Michelada mix — the one they use at Cocina Cucamonga had fish in it, but this might be a different one. If you go and ask, please try to get a photo of the ingredients list and let me know 🙂

  • Making Spirits Bright

– Bartenura, Moscato, Italy (Company email on Barnivore)

  • Spicy Celebrations

– Pomegranate Margarita with Chipotle-smoked Sea Salt Half-Rim: Tequila is typically vegan (see the tequila list on Barnivore), but I didn’t have time to check on if there’s anything strange in that sea salt rim — I imagine it’s just spices, but you never know. Please let me know if you ask and find out!

  • Blissfully Braised

– Blood Orange Ginger Mule with a Rosemary Sprig: This is blood orange juice, ginger beer, and Tito’s vodka, with a rosemary sprig. Super delicious! Make sure to tell them “no straw” if you’ve brought your own!

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  • Winter Sliderland

– Oskar Blues Brewery, Old Chub, Scotch Ale (Company email on Barnivore)

  • Grandma’s Recipes

– Wyder’s Pear Cider (Company email on Barnivore)

– Avery Brewing, White Rascal, Belgian-Style White Ale (Company email on Barnivore)

– Merry Cherry Pineapple Punch with Red Maraschino Cherries (non-alcoholic) – I’ve posted about the Cherryman marischino cherries before (See the sections on dole whips in my latest DCA update and my latest Disneyland update.

  • Paradise Garden Grill

– Dos Equis Lager (Company email on Barnivore)

– Dos Equis Ambar (Company email on Barnivore)

– Corona (Company email on Barnivore)

– Negra modelo – Vegan on Barnivore, see link above.

  • Gourmet Coffee Cart (near the entrance to Pixar Pier)

Here they have a seasonal Peppermint Mocha that is vegan if you ask for soy milk or almond milk! They use the Ghirardelli chocolate sauce that is dairy-free! They showed me the bottle, it is this Ghirardelli chocolate sauce, and you can read the ingredients list here and see that it is vegan.

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  • Snowman, Christmas Tree, and Candy Cane Sourdough Loaves

In addition to their normal selection of vegan snacks (fruits, nuts, pickles, etc.), they have some Holiday themed sourdough loaves! The sourdough loaves are always vegan unless they have cheese baked on top. These ones are plain though! You can find them at Mortimer’s Market (Buena Vista Street), Fairfax Market (Hollywood Blvd), and Boudin Bakery Cart (Pacific Wharf).

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  • Vegan Sloppy Joe Special (Carnation Cafe)

This isn’t necessarily a holiday-themed item, but it is a special going on during December, so I decided to put it in here! This vegan sloppy joe is so good, I highly recommend it! They also have their house-made Chef’s Vegan Burger here (read about it in my latest Disneyland guide), it is still on the regular menu. The sloppy joe is on a specials menu at each table. The day I went, it was also on display as you walk in!

The chef came out to tell me that this sloppy joe special was created by a cast member named Frida. If you’re at the parks, please stop by City Hall (or write Disneyland an email from wherever you are) to compliment Frida on her delicious dish, and ask for more vegan options like this in the future!

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  • Candy shops throughout the parks (Buena Vista Street, Main Street USA, Pooh’s Corner, Marceline’s in Downtown Disney)

They brought out these candy apples again!

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They will also do the handmade candy canes this year! These are very popular and people line up to get them. They are only made on a select few days each year. This is from last year when I asked if the candy canes were vegan (some hard candies contain egg):

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  • Starbucks (Fiddler Fifer and Practical – Buena Vista Street; Market House – Main Street USA)

Starbucks has its usual holiday drinks which are easily veganizable! Order with your choice of plant milk (soy, almond, coconut), and say “no whip cream” to make the following drinks vegan:

  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Gingerbread Latte
  • Chestnut Praline Latte (my current favorite with soy milk — pictured below!)
  • Toffee Almond Milk Hot Cocoa (by default with almond milk, just say “no whip”)

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  • Salt and Straw Seasonal Flavor (Downtown Disney)

In addition to the regular menu, which has 3 vegan flavors, there is also this December flavor — Cinnamon Coconut Eggnog! I was really surprised by how strong the eggnog flavor is! It is super Christmassy!

The sugar cone (pictured here) is vegan, but the waffle cone (the larger one) contains eggs, so make sure to specify when ordering. Please see my latest guide to Downtown Disney for more info about the toppings and other flavors.

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  • Rinse (Festival of Holidays, near Wine Country Trattoria)

This company makes some really amazing smelling bath products, and almost all of them are vegan! The only ones that aren’t are the lip balms and foot sticks (beeswax), the beer soap (made from non-vegan beer), and some of the face masks (yogurt/honey). Their almond/honey scented lotion is actually vegan though — it smells like honey, but there’s no honey in it.

I bought one of their lotions at the last Food and Wine (the Blue Hawaiian scent) and it’s been one of my favorites. Their scents are so rich and complex. This year I picked up a Spiced Cranberry, it’s like Christmas in a lotion. I also got some soaps and shower steam tabs for myself and as gifts.

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  • Saucy Lips (Festival of Holidays, near the front, former entrance to Bug’s Land)

This company has been here for several years and they have lots of fun sauces, all vegan!

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  • Harbour Galley (Disneyland, across from Haunted Mansion)

They still have the pozole while supplies last! They had this as part of the World Vegan Day specials menu, and it’s now part of the Christmas menu as well.

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  • Holiday Cocktails at Trader Sam’s (Disneyland Hotel)

Trader Sam’s has three holiday cocktails, two of which are vegan! I haven’t had them myself yet, but they were reviewed over at WDW News Today, and they listed the ingredients for each one:

  • Under the Swizzletoe: Chartreuse Liqueur, Falernum syrup, pineapple and lime juices, and a dusting of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Rum Around the Christmas Tree: spiced rum with lemon and apple juices, simple syrup, ginger syrup, and a touch of cinnamon
  • Sam’s Slay Ride contains honey (honey whiskey, Sam’s Gorilla Grog, orange and ginger liqueurs, lemon juice, and cinnamon syrup).

 

  • Select Dates: Temecula Olive Oil Co. in Downtown Disney

On select dates (December 1-2, 15-16, and 22-23 from 2-5PM), this olive oil company is vending inside the Disney Home store (about halfway down Downtown Disney, in what used to be a Star Wars store). Obviously they have vegan olive oil, but they also have a few other vegan options! Watch out for the products that have cheese, though. Here are some things I saw the other day:

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Roasted Garlic, Jalapeño, and Blood Orange olive oils:

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Dressings:

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Vanilla and Fig olive oil:

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Pomegranate olive oil:

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Crema negra:

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Ingredients: olives, olive oil, and spices.

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List of products and prices:

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Those are all the Holiday-related vegan items I could find so far! Please message me (@happiestveganonearth on Instagram) if you find some more that I should add!

I hope you have a great trip if you are going this year and please tag me in photos on Instagram so I can see what a great time you’re having! ❤

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