Your Guide to Vegan Options in Disney California Adventure (May 2021)

Welcome to DCA! Let’s eat some vegan food!

As of reopening day (April 30, 2021), many dining locations remain “temporarily unavailable.” The list below reflects what is open now, and I will update it as each location reopens.

The restaurants that are open have a smaller menus than before, so in some cases, the vegan options are not there currently. It is real slim pickin’s right now, but hopefully we will get back to the normal menus gradually, and more locations will open up before too long.

Please note that I am just a guest, like you, and I have no control over any decision made at Disneyland. If you would like to express how you feel about the (lack of) vegan options, please send Disneyland an email or comment on one of their official social media accounts.

If you go to Disneyland, DCA, or Downtown Disney and have any photos of the food, please tag me on Instagram! I love to see your photos and hear your reviews!

Wherever available, I would suggest doing mobile order, and planning it a while in advance (30 minutes to an hour, or even earlier if you know when you would like to eat), just in case the time windows on the mobile order get backed up. You could even pre-order all of your mobile order food at the beginning of the day, so that you know you will get the times you want. I usually try to look at the app and place my mobile order in at least 30 minutes before I want to eat.

Table of Contents:

Table Service:

Quick Service:

Vending carts with popcorn, pretzels, pickles, fruit etc.

Retail Locations:

Table Service:

Carthay Circle Lounge

This menu looks the same as during A Touch of Disney, except for the Winter Salad has changed into the Spring Salad. The following can be veganized:

  • Strozzapreti Pasta with San Marzano Tomatoes, Basil, and Parmigiano-Reggiano (modify: no cheese, no butter):

  • Carthay Shrimp Spring Roll with Thai Basil, Mint, and Spicy Aïoli (modify: replace shrimp with avocado; no aioli)

  • I would imagine that omitting the cheese on the Spring Salad (Upland Cress, Strawberry, Tangerine, Goat Cheese) would make it vegan, but please verify with your server/chef, since there might be other animal products hiding in it.
  • Assorted wine, beer, hard cider, and specialty cocktails

Lamplight Lounge

This looks to be the same as during A Touch of Disney, at least as far as the plant-based options are concerned.

The new Pastrami-spiced Impossible Burger is labeled explicitly “plant-based,” which means it contains no meat, dairy, eggs, or honey; i.e. it is vegan. Whenever you see something labeled “plant-based” on a Disney menu, that is what it means – vegan with no modifications necessary.

The Pastrami-spiced Impossible Burger consists of a seasoned patty, American cheese, pastrami-spiced pineapple, house-made pickles, mustard aïoli, and toasted focaccia served with malted fries (plant-based; new) ($22.00)

Because the whole dish is labeled “plant-based,” that means we are dealing with a vegan cheese there when it says “American cheese,” and a vegan mayo when it says “mustard aïoli.”

It was, as I expected, super intense but super delicious! Man I just love pineapple on a burger. The whole thing reminded me of something Hawaiian, especially with the pastrami flavors being of course reminiscent of ham, along with the pineapple. The mustard aioli isn’t too overpowering; even my sister who hates mustard said it was actually good. It’s not as strong as a straight mustard because it’s mixed with mayo I suppose.

I asked about the off-menu Vegan Nachos from before, and they are not doable at the moment because they aren’t keeping the shredded vegan cheese on hand like they did before.

Similarly, the off-menu Vegan Potato Skins used to be doable in a vegan version with the vegan cheese, but since they don’t have that shredded vegan cheese, you can’t do a vegan version. I suppose you could leave off the cheese and the other sauces, but it would just be potatoes at that point, and not worth the price in my opinion.

But they do still have the PB and J Roll on the Kid’s menu: Creamy peanut butter and whole wheat “roll” with strawberry jelly.

They also have assorted wine, beer, hard cider, and specialty cocktails. See the menu below for that and if you are so inclined, you can look up any that interest you on Barnivore.

Quick Service:

Studio Catering Co. Truck / Hollywood Lounge

It is very exciting that the Studio Catering Co. Truck is back!! You can mobile order the Truck’s menu through the Hollywood Lounge next door to it.

It has two items that are labeled “Plant-Based” and thus require no modifications. They are some of my absolute favorites in DCA and I’m so glad they’re back!

Plant-based Backlot Nachos: Soy Chorizo with House-made Tortilla Chips, Dairy-free Cheese and Crema topped with Green Onions ($10.49)

Potato and Soy Chorizo Tacos with Dairy-free Crema and Salsa de Arbol ($6.49)

Pictured below is one order of the nachos and one order of the tacos. The tacos are more snack-sized, and the nachos are more meal-sized.

This is two orders of the tacos:

Here is the most recent order of nachos I got on 5/8/21! Still just as delicious as before!!

The Hollywood Lounge, just across the way from the Studio Catering Co. Truck, has an assortment of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.

Flo’s V8 Cafe

Brand new as of April 2021 is the burger below, which is labeled “Plant-Based,” i.e. needs no modifications:

Impossible Burger: Impossible Patty, Dairy-free American Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Lettuce and Tomato on Sesame Seed Bun with Cuties Mandarin Oranges or Steak Fries

I got one of these for the first time on 5/8/21 and it was decent! Nothing spectacular, nothing to try to impress anyone with, but quite tasty, and the views of Cars Land from the patio can’t be beat!

Cocina Cucamonga:

Thank goodness they updated the menu here! This was one of the worst places for vegans prior to the closure; it was a modification of a bean and rice bowl that was quite boring in my opinion. But now, they’ve debuted a fully plant-based option that looks so much more satisfying!

Tacos Dorados de Papa: crispy Potato Tacos topped with Cabbage Slaw, Dairy-free Crema and Tomatillo Salsa ($9.49)

They are labeled as “plant-based” with the plant-based menu icon, which means that they are vegan without modifications.

These tacos are quite different from the Touch of Disney potato tacos that they had. These ones are two thin tacos that are deep fried and have potatoes in them, and then they are loaded high with all of those toppings. You can then pick up the taco and eat it like a giant chip as if it were nachos.

They were super crunchy and delicious. On my Youtube channel you can see me doing a taste test with these, and the crunch is very satisfying!

On the app when I ordered these, it gave me the option at add the lime-cilantro rice, which I didn’t do here, but if you wanted it to be a larger meal, then I would suggest that. Depending on your appetite, you could either get just the tacos for a small/medium meal, or add the rice for a larger meal.

They also have assorted beers and margaritas here at Cocina Cucamonga. Last I checked, the Micheladas contained fish.

Rita’s Baja Blenders:

  • Rita’s Lemon-Lime Margarita
  • Rita’s Strawberry Margarita
  • Red Sangria
  • The Tropicool (Lemon-Lime or Strawberry)

Smokejumper’s Grill:

It looks like they are keeping these two awesome items from A Touch of Disney!

  • Petite Impossible Burger with guac and pepper jack and tomato on a toasted mini bun (plant-based; new) ($7.99)
  • Impossible Chili Waffle Fries with spiced Impossible chili with beans, tomato and corn, spicy mayo, cheddar cheese and pico de gallo (plant-based; new) ($7.99)

As I expected, these were both delicious! The Petite Impossible Burger has a really generous portion of guacamole, I was glad I had the waffle fries to scoop some of it up! It’s just a tiny bit spicy with the vegan pepper jack cheese on there.

The waffle chili fries were really impressive – I feel like this is a level up from vegan dishes we’ve seen in the park in the past. Just a really good combo of all of the toppings, the impossible chili, the vegan cheese, the spicy mayo. It’s perhaps mild to medium spicy. I’d say if you’re going to Touch of Disney and don’t have a reservation to Lamplight Lounge, these waffle chili fries would be my #1 recommendation. I really hope that they keep these on the Smokejumper’s menu even after Touch of Disney is over!

They also have various beers and cocktails.

Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats:

All flavors of Dole Whip are vegan. They are all fruit flavors. If you see a flavor like vanilla, it is not real Dole Whip; it is just soft serve by some other company. In Disneyland, all the flavors are real Dole Whip and all vegan.

For A Touch of Disney, they had a different menu with pineapple and lemon flavors, but now it looks like they are going back to the regular, original menu, which is with lemon Dole Whip, and the Pixar Pier Parfait. They put the new plant-based menu icon next to those, which is really nice!

It’s Lemon!: Nondairy Lemon Soft Serve in choice of Cup or Cone (the cones are vegan) ($4.99)

Pixar Pier Frosty Parfait: Nondairy Lemon Soft-serve with Blue Raspberry Swirl ($6.49)

Sonoma Terrace:

Here they have the same Bavarian Pretzel that they had before. It’s nothing too exciting, but it’s still there. Also:

  • Assorted wine, beer, hard cider, and cocktails 
  • Assorted Coca-Cola beverages

Award Wieners:

Still nothing vegan on the food menu (it is still actually the Corn Dog Castle menu, not the previous Award Wieners menu), but there are assorted beers and beverages.

Cappuccino Cart:

The Cappuccino Cart between Little Mermaid and Pixar Pier is open, and I asked about their plant milks – they have both soy and almond milks to make all of their coffee drinks with!

Pacific Wharf Distribution Co.

  • Karl Strauss assorted hand-crafted beers

Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop:

Under the ice cream flavors, you will see the Raspberry Sorbet, which is vegan and has been there for a while, but what is exciting and new is that they now have a Vanilla Coconut – Non-Dairy ice cream flavor! It is the vegan ice cream brand Coconut Bliss.

Below is a sundae that we created from scratch. It has the vegan vanilla ice cream, the raspberry sorbet, the chocolate sauce, the strawberry topping, and diced almonds. I bought a bag of squares of the 72% dark chocolate (this is the only vegan variety; all others have milk) and topped it with one of those:

You could do lots of variations of this, with several scoops of the vanilla, or with different toppings like the pineapple puree, as seen in this older one I had below:

Note that the hot fudge topping contains dairy, but the chocolate sauce is vegan; that is the one you will want to get on your sundae.

Here is the thing – with this vegan vanilla ice cream on the menu, that now opens up a world of possibilities with the shakes and floats! I asked the cast member there if it would be possible to do a shake with the vegan vanilla ice cream and the almond milk that they keep on hand for coffee drinks, and she said that was totally possible. Also, you could get a root beer float or a coke float with the vegan vanilla ice cream. I can’t wait to start trying out all of these possibilities!!

There is one variety of their chocolate squares that is vegan – the 72% dark chocolate is the only vegan one; all of the others have milk.

Cars Land Cozy Cones:

There is nothing that looks promising here to me unfortunately! Just beverages.

Vending Carts:

Buena Vista Street Cart:

  • Popcorn (the regular butter flavor popcorn is vegan; it is made with coconut and canola oil)
  • Caramel Popcorn (before the closure, this caramel popcorn was also vegan, in addition to the regular popcorn)

Vending Carts throughout DCA:

At the various vending carts throughout DCA, you can get popcorn (the fresh popcorn from the carts is vegan; it is made with canola/coconut oil, and not butter). I saw popcorn carts on Pixar Pier and in Grizzly Peak near Soarin’, but I’m sure there are more.

As far as other vending carts, normally there would be Mickey Pretzels (hold the cheese, which is an add-on anyway), pickles (sometimes in various flavors like spicy, dill, etc.), whole fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, mango, pineapple, etc.), cotton candy, frozen fruit bars, and some accidentally vegan packaged candy (for example, Red Vines).

While I was in DCA on 5/2 and 5/8, however, I somehow didn’t spot any of these snack carts! Both Mortimer’s Market and Fairfax Market were closed (Fairfax was vending churros at one point, but nothing else), so if you’re only in DCA for the day, I wouldn’t count on finding any of these. But if you spot any snack carts, please let me know!

Below are some old photos as a placeholder for when these items return to DCA:

Retail Locations:

Trolley Treats

It has never happened yet that anything in the bakery case is vegan, though maybe one day it will happen!

Sometimes they have the plain candied apples, the ones with just the red candy glaze and nothing else, and those are vegan.

Most of the time, they have the Snacks with Character, many of which are repackaged Enjoy Life allergy-friendly products. Most of them are vegan, for example the ones below:

Note that most of the Chip & Dales snacks are vegan (the green, purple, and red packages below are vegan), but some are not (for example, the blue one below contains dairy). See the ingredients lists that follow.

Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff:

They don’t have the Memory Refreshers in their full assortment, but they have a few slushie flavors. There wasn’t a huge amount of candy in the store; it was mostly merch, but here are a few vegan candies that I saw:

That’s going to do it for now! I’ll update this post whenever I get more info. If you go to Disneyland, DCA, or Downtown Disney and have any photos of the food, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see and hear your reviews!

I hope to see you in the park real soon!

8 comments

  1. Thank you for getting these updates! I recently started making the change from vegetarian (20 years) to vegan and your blog has been immensely helpful as I incorporate my new commitment with my existing passion for Disney parks.

    You wrote that “because the whole dish is labeled ‘plant-based,’ that means we are dealing with a vegan cheese there when it says ‘American cheese,’ and a vegan mayo when it says ‘mustard aïoli’. ” Did you verify this with a Disney chef? I’m just curious because they don’t explicitly say “plant-based cheese” or “plan-based mayo” and that makes me nervous (I’ve seen other venues put dairy products on plant-meats) 😰 Also, can we be certain that the buns used for the “plant-based” burgers are vegan, or should we ask when we order?

    Like

    1. Congrats on going vegan!
      It is a plant-based logo/menu icon that Disneyland and Walt Disney World introduced in 2019. It is defined as “contains no animal meat, dairy, eggs, or honey.” If you see the logo, it means that the entire dish is plant-based, according to that definition – so no animal dairy, but rather, plant-based dairy. The cheese on this burger is Follow Your Heart 🙂 You can read more about when they introduced this menu icon here: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2019/09/hundreds-of-plant-based-dishes-are-coming-to-walt-disney-world-and-disneyland-resorts/

      Like

  2. Lisa, I just want to say thank you for publishing this! I can’t wait for Disneyland to adopt even more plant-based options. All the food looks amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Lisa. Do you know if the horchata at Cocina Cucamonga is vegan? The description just says rice and cinnamon drink but I know a lot of people put dairy in theirs. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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