Vegan Snacks and Desserts
around the World

By Kitty Smith


As a vegetarian, I never had trouble finding tasty treats at Walt Disney World. Every corner offered cookies, cake or ice cream. However, when I made the switch to vegan, it wasn't quite so easy. It seemed like everyone around me had a Mickey ice cream bar or a funnel cake. I had given up meat, dairy and eggs, but I hadn't intended to give up treats!

After a little research, I began to realize that I just wasn't looking hard enough. Dairy-free and egg-free treats are not only available, but actually quite plentiful at Walt Disney World - you just need to know where to look. Hopefully, my ideas will save others from the "treat envy" I suffered on my first vegan trip to the World. (Please note: if you have allergies, please check with a Cast Member before trying anything. Also, I have not taken refined sugar into account - it is most likely present in most of the items mentioned here.)

If you're looking for a quick, filling snack, the soft pretzels available in all the parks are vegan. I've often made a small lunch from a pretzel and some fresh fruit. Also, except for the clearly indicated "McDonald's french fries", most Disney fries are vegan.
For a salty snack, I was surprised to discover that Disney popcorn is actually vegan, despite its buttery taste and appearance. (It's made with a combination of four vegetable oils.)

For something cold on a hot summer day, nothing beats a Kaki Gori from the Japan pavilion at Epcot. While much like a snow cone, this shaved ice treat somehow manages to keep its flavor until the bottom of the paper cone. (My favorite is definitely strawberry, though others swear by the honeydew. If you can't make up your mind, a "sampler" is available.) When Japan isn't so convenient, many of the ice cream carts also sell strawberry bars, orange bars, or the outrageous Itsakadoozie - a huge, multi-flavored popsicle.

If you're craving nuts, there are carts that sell roasted cashews, sweetened pecans, or my favorite: cinnamon-glazed almonds. Mmmmm!

When you're in the area, the Boardwalk Bakery offers cherry and apple turnovers. (When we stay at The Boardwalk Villas, I also frequently pick up their hard rolls or baguettes, to make sandwiches with in our room. They're definitely best fresh - so much better than plain old bread.)

On my last trip, I spent some time perusing the gift-shops around World Showcase at Epcot. While some labels were a mystery, most listed ingredients in English as well as the native language. I had quite a lot of fun discovering treats that I could take back to my hotel room, or bring home for later enjoyment.

Canada is the place to go if maple syrup is your thing: maple syrup, maple butter, maple sugar candies, and even maple cookies were found to be vegan. Norway had some thin coffee-flavored cookies that looked quite tasty, too.

However, if chocolate is your thing, then look no further than Germany. I hit the mother lode here; quite a variety of dairy-free dark chocolate bars were available. (Be sure to read the labels - not all bars are safe, but all the dark chocolate I found was okay.) Some of the items I found included: Feodora Superior Dark Chocolate bar, Hachez Cocoa D'arriba (orange-flavored dark chocolate), and Carl Brandt Mokka-Bohnen Zartbitter-Schokolade (chocolate coffee beans). My favorite? The Ritter Sport Marzipan Dark Chocolate. (I'm not a huge marzipan fan, but the chocolate was some of the best I've had. I'm hoping that maybe they'll get in some of the other Ritter Sport dark chocolate bars in the future.)

For a truly decadent treat, The Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop at Downtown Disney offers a rare find: a chocolate-covered frozen banana with semi-sweet (non-dairy) chocolate (with or without nuts). I didn't see this on the menu, but it was readily available when I asked. Be forewarned, though - this is much bigger and richer than the standard frozen bananas sold in the parks. Despite my most valiant effort, I could not finish one of these by myself.

There are also other types of candy available here and there. While the fresh "bag yourself" taffy seems to have eggs, most of the pre-packaged taffy seems to be safe. (Goofy's taffy is available at most of the candy stores or resort gift shops, or there's also salt-water taffy available at the candy shop and gift shop located on the Boardwalk.) Many lollipops and other hard candies also seem to be safe - but please read the labels first. One tasty treat I discovered at the Main Street Confectionary in the Magic Kingdom: Coconut Cashew Crisp. Your dentist may never forgive you, but I loved this stuff - sort of like peanut brittle but with cashews and coconut instead of peanuts.

I'm sure there are other treats that I have yet to discover, but this should be a good start to satisfy your sweet-tooth. Happy munching!

If you have other treats and snacks to suggest or have updates to any of our Vegetarian pages, please email Kitty at: wdwkitty@earthlink.net