While it’s true that Disneyland can be really fun if you’re six years old or a first time visitor from rural Kazakhstan, for some of us (especially SoCal locals who’ve been going there since we were born) a trip to the Happiest Place On Earth™ can be more of a hassle than it’s gargantuan cover price is worth. It’s really hard to maintain a positive attitude when you’ve been standing in lines all day in 103 degree heat, surrounded by overheated, oversugared children and their scary mutant parents. Having to worry about if there are any decent vegetarian or vegan options to eat doesn’t help. I’m here to tell you that there is a light at the end of that mouse-eared tunnel, and it’s name is vegan gumbo.

Vegan Gumbo at Disneyland

More specifically, it’s name is Royal Street Veranda, the little counter service restaurant located in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square where you will find this unexpected treat (it’s just across the way from the Pirates of the Carribean). It has been verified by those in the know that this delicious bowl full of goodness is indeed vegan. You might find old information stating that it is made with butter, however that is not the case as that info is from an old recipe. Today they use cornstarch as a thickener, so there is no dairy in there.

Vegan Gumbo at Disneyland

This hearty veggie gumbo comes served in a nice fat sourdough breadbowl. They fill it to the brim with soupy gumbo that is so tasty you’ll want to go back for another serving. To tell you the truth I have no idea if it’s anything like authentic New Orleans gumbo, I’ve never been. But I can tell you that without having anything to compare it to, I think this stuff is awesome. It’s thick and chunky, filled with vegetables and long grain rice (I didn’t say it was gourmet, I just said it was good). The flavor base is like a yummy tomato stew, very savory and just a little bit spicy. The “bowl” nicely soaks up the gumbo while you’re eating it and at the end you get to munch away at all the now gooey and flavorful bread.

The line outside of this place sometimes gets crazy long but it moves pretty fast and is definitely worth it. Besides, you’re at Disneyland, so you’re already used to waiting.

For someone who’s just visiting Disneyland for the day, there’s really nothing to stress over in regards to finding plenty of veg-friendly food. Most all of the sit down restaurants have at least a few vegetarian options that could be easily veganized, along with many salads as well as fresh fruit stands through out the park. Apparently their pretzels are vegan as well.

But really, there’s nothing there that’s going to be as good as the gumbo. It’s really delicious, and not just because it’s an alternative to lesser options. Back in the day when my friends and I had Disneyland season passes, we’d go there just to eat the gumbo, watch the fireworks and then leave… and we weren’t even vegetarians then, that’s how good it is! This time around I had the gumbo for lunch, then found other nice vegan options for dinner (which sadly did not photograph well), but I just as easily and happily would have made my way back for another serving of the gumbo instead.

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33 Responses to “Disneyland’s Vegan Gumbo”
  1. VeggieGirl says:

    Vegan gumbo at Disneyland, eh?? Nice!!

  2. Vegyogini says:

    I’m so glad you concur on this; that gumbo is out of this world fantastic!! I would totally go to Disneyland just for the gumbo and a few rides if I had a season pass. I always recommend it to anyone I know is going there. Great, now I want Disneyland gumbo and I have no way of getting any!

  3. ELBSeattle says:

    I’m all for vegan, but that looks like someone barfed in a bread bowl.

  4. FoodEater says:

    ELBSeattle: Some of my favorite foods look just like vomit… don’t knock it till you try it!

  5. FoodEater says:

    Vegyogini: I know, right? Almost gives Anaheim a good name. Almost.

  6. Lex says:

    “oversugared children and their scary mutant parents”
    you’re killing me! LOL

  7. Great photo! New Orleans-inspired food in my expeirence is hardly ever vegan, so this is a refreshing change.

  8. quarrygirl says:

    i honestly i hope i never go to disneyland again in my life, but if i do, it is good to know about this place! are those bell peppers i see in the gumbo? i hope not…

    anyways, glad to hear they at least offer something totally vegan…that tastes good as well!

  9. lauren says:

    that looks good. do you know of any recipes for something like this? i have okra and tomatoes in the fridge and id love to make this. it looks so mouthwatering :]

  10. dean says:

    stoked to go to disneyland now, last time i went i brought so much food in a back pack and none of it stayed cold!

    I LOVE GUMBO.

  11. FoodEater says:

    quarrygirl: As soon as I posted this photo I thought to mysef, “Quarrygirl sure isn’t going to be happy with all those bell peppers”… sadly I think you’d hate this gumbo due to the bell pepper factor :(

  12. FoodEater says:

    lauren: Ah, I see that you’ve mistaken me for someone who can actually cook! Haha… no, I don’t have any such recipes but I bet that if you search out some regular gumbo recipes you can find some that could be easily veganized. What with all the vegan sausages and faux-shrimp that are available, you could probably come up with something that easily rivals the original! Put that okra to good use and let us know how it turns out :)

  13. FoodEater says:

    Dean: Yeah, while it’s good to know that they let you bring in your own food, it really is a hassle to deal with, so it’s nice knowing there are actual vegan options in the park itself. Nearly every restaurant menu there that I looked at had at least one or two options that could be made vegan and still be satisfying… though again, I don’t think any of them come close to being as awesome as the gumbo.

  14. You hit the nail on the head about the precise reasons I don’t like theme parks… But the gumbo did make a fabulous lunch for me also, when I was there in July! I’m glad to hear you say that it is really the yummiest vegan option at the park, since the gumbo was the only meal I ate there. I was mad for my purposes, though, that the stinky oyster crackers weren’t vegan.
    And your gumbo photos are gorgeous!

  15. Glad to know at least I’ll have a vegan option next time I go. Not too sure about the cornstarch though…

  16. FoodEater says:

    modegreendotcom: What have you got against cornstarch? It makes a handy vegan replacement for most binders (like eggs or butter).

  17. Jane says:

    Damn! Now I can’t use the excuse, “we can’t go to Disney… what would we eat?” And I’ve used this excuse twice already in the past year when Lane and I have discussed what to do with visiting friends/relatives.

  18. quarrygirl says:

    ugh. bell peppers. foiled again. oh well.

  19. candy says:

    Had the gumbo yesterday, so so good. I hear that if you write to disney they will send the recipe.

  20. brainfire says:

    So I have to pay $80 to get into Disneyland to try this vegan Gumbo?

    Where’s the recipe?!?

  21. FoodEater says:

    brainfire: You’re gonna have to take that one up with Mickey himself.

  22. Kriss says:

    You know..I absolutely DETEST vegetables..but, EVERYTIME I go to Disneyland, at least once or twice a year..depends on if I can afford a pass or not..but, I always have the gumbo. I had the vegetarian/vegan gumbo, in fact I had it yesterday in fact. I’m sure it throws my insides for a loop since I don’t eat vegetables at all except for this Gumbo! It’s truely amazing and delicious!!! I don’t even know what’s in it…I just eat it cause it’s THAT amazing. Best thing you can possibly eat at Disneyland.

  23. FoodEater says:

    Kriss: Please eat more vegetables :)

  24. Kerri says:

    There are, actually, a couple of vegan options. Right around the corner from the gumbo place is a Bengal BBQ where you can get a lovely all veggie skewer. I have also been told repeatedly that the pineapple whip at the Dole stand by the Tiki Room is vegan. :)

  25. FoodEater says:

    Kerri: Unfortunately the Dole Whip is not vegan as it’s made with casein :(

    They will tell you at the park that’s non-dairy and made with soy, but they don’t tell you about the other ingredients that make it not vegan.

  26. Kikapop says:

    *Just took the kids to Disneyland yesterday. Kerri is right, the skewers at Bengal BBQ are great: Red Potato, Red oinon, Mushrooms, all 3 color Bell peppers, and zucchini! They have seasoning on them, but also give you a lemon wedge to give it an extra zing! yum.

    *I have also tried the Veggie pizza at the pizza port in Tomorrowland, it was O.K. Crust not bad, but the pizza was VERY cheesy and doughy. The salads are great though, I got a custom made salad, just asked the woman behind the counter to toss me up a fresh bowl!

    *I love super spiced up dishes, but I wasn’t impressed with the Veggie Gumbo, seemed too watery/ not enough spices… could have been the day I was there though, I will give it another try.

  27. Point says:

    Dude… it’s not vegan. It’s in a bread bowl. I’m absolutely sure they use eggs in that. Pay attention!

  28. FoodEater says:

    Point: Dude… not only has this item indeed been verified as vegan, including the bread, but also most bread is not made with eggs. Pay attention!

  29. wendy says:

    how could i get the reciepe for disneyland’s vegan gumbo

  30. Rachel says:

    I’m so glad I found this post, I’m headed to Disneyland this weekend and just starting out as a vegan newbie… “Dude, thanks for verifying it’s vegan” ;-)

  31. Nyri says:

    omg im sooo happy! at first i wasnt really sure if it was vegan but after reading this im positive!!! thank u

    lol im going to disneyland right now!

  32. MaryZaint says:

    I never knew about the gumbo! I will definately have to try it the next time I’m there!!!! :P

    There are a few other vegan options at D-Land though…
    The Veggie skewers are also simple, cheap and tasty. and they grill it on a seperate area away from the meat. :P you can find it across from that huge treehouse area & the indiana jones ride.

    But the BEST vegan option would be at the BLUE BAYOU!!!! you must have reservations to eat there [since you are sitting in a cute little area right inside of the actual pirates of the caribbean ride], and the food is a bit pricey, BUT the The Portobello Mushrooms and Couscous Maque Choux ($27.99) is insanely delicious. It’s 3 (somtimes 4 if you’re lucky) portabello mushrooms smokey, juicy, and obviously marinated (not sure if they bake it or grill it) on a bed of couscous and layered in between is a nice helping of spinach, corn, red and green bell peppers, and garlic. And they make swirl decorations on the plate with balsamic vinegar for extra flavor for the couscous.

    I’m salivating just thinking about it. :P

    *mary*

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