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Vegetarian Isn’t an Afterthought on Disney Cruise Line Menus

So exciting to be back on the Disney Magic – we took a three-night family girls’ cruise with four generations: my mom, three sisters, my daughter and her sweet almost-2-year-old daughter. We’re all foodies, so mealtime was lots of fun as we swapped plates and compared notes on favorite dishes.

One of our nicest surprises was the choice of vegetarian in all the restaurants. Our first evening at Animator’s Palate, I ordered the potato, celeriac and onion gratin with buttered collard greens, a warm, delicious stack of veggies with cream and a touch of nutmeg, and the fresh greens beneath. (Plentiful vegetarian choices included a tomato tart with goat cheese, butternut squash soup, a salad of roasted red peppers, zucchini and red onions and black bean chipotle cakes.) We tried the snapper and grilled sirloin too, both delicious.


Of course, the food at Animator’s Palate almost (almost) takes a back seat to the restaurant’s fantastic new “Drawn to Magic” show, the next generation of the original, starring both new and iconic Disney characters in a colorful, emotional finale with an appearance by Sorcerer Mickey. It was pure magic for every generation as we watched the stories from “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” to the new hit, “Frozen.” Magical!


Night No. 2 was Cariocas, the new Brazilian-inspired restaurant named after the parrot José Carioca in “The Three Caballeros” animated film. For a starter, the favorite vegetarian dish was the Cuban Salad with watercress, avocado, pineapple, toasted Cuban bread and a vinegar dressing. Our vegetarian main course was small corn tortillas with refried beans, green tomatillo chile and a shredded white cabbage slaw made with white wine vinegar. Pile it all on the warm tortillas for a real treat. Other vegetarian options include yellow, blue and white potatoes with cucumber and olive-tomato salsa with a spicy cream sauce; tomato soup with a hint of jalapeño; Havana-style black bean soup with olive oil, and fried plaintain and malanga pancakes with crème fraiche.

Of course, meat lovers also enjoy the menu here, with a garlic-rubbed slab of prime rib and a skewer with Brazilian sausage, lamb, beef tenderloin and shrimp. We all voted the prime rib as the winner.

Our final night we opted for Palo, where I tried the new wine pairing which I’ll share in an upcoming post.


  • I have had several wonderful vegetarian dishes on my six Disney Cruises! My favorite is the vegetable biryani (rice and vegetables with Indian spices) that I had during the Inaugural Hawaiian Cruise on the Wonder. I also love the black bean chipotle cakes too.

    The only problem I have as a vegetarian is the almost all of the cakes and several other DCL desserts are made with gelatin sheets on the top. Other than making the food shine, I don’t know what purpose it serves. It is very disappointing since the gelatin comes from animal bones. I have an official Disney cookbook which was published several years ago with Disney Cruise Line recipes and don’t see gelatin as a ingredient in the desserts so I think it is a newer addition. Is there a way to send a message along to Disney Cruise Line chefs asking them to reconsider using it in the future?


  • We went on the Alaskan Cruise last year around this time for our Honeymoon. I have an allergy to Animal Protein so I can’t eat meat. I loved that they were vegetarian options on every menu and if I didn’t find something that I thought I would like, they were extremely accommodating. This is one of the tings that I love most about Disney.

  • The black bean chipotle cakes are delicious and I appreciate having so many options each night. Each venue has so many vegetarian selections and is accomodating to any of my requests. Thank you to the culianry team who created the menu options.

  • Those all sound delicious!! I’m not a vegetarian, but I find myself drawn to some of the dishes on the menus. I’ll be on the Dream in November, and can’t wait to enjoy the food!!

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