Are you planning a trip to Disney’s California Adventure Park? Well, your timing couldn’t be better! If you had visited this park years ago, the vegan choices would have been very scarce and mostly accidental, but the demand for vegan foods today is so high they have become a menu “must.”
We’ve heard rumors of vegan soft serve, cheesy pizza, impossible meatball subs, and beyond. Eager to see just how vegan-friendly California has become we packed our bags and headed off to Anaheim.
We spent the day documenting the best vegan finds at Disney’s California Adventure park so we could share it all with you. Read on as we share with you the best vegan options, our favorite rides, and many other tips to make your visit beyond amazing!
What is California Adventure?
Disney’s California Adventure Park is a themed entertainment park that belongs to the beloved Disney franchise. It’s more than 72 acres, and it focuses on the fantastic history and heritage of California. With more than 37 thrilling attractions it attracts visitors from all over the world! It’s located in Anaheim, California, right next to Disneyland.
Disneyland and California Adventure are right next to each other, but they have separate ticketed entrances. You’ll want to plan at least a full day at each park to be able to fully experience them. And yes, we also have a vegan Disneyland guide!
Vegan Food Guide
Not long ago, if you wanted to eat something vegan (or even just healthy) at California Adventure (or really any theme park), you had to pack it yourself. But no longer, friends.
Now there are more delicious vegan options at California Adventure than you could possibly fit in your belly in a day. Trust us—we tried.
You’ll have many different items to choose from whether you are looking to eat a sweet treat or a proper meal. So, which exactly are your options? Let’s see.
First, let’s talk snacks! It’s a great idea to bring your own, but if you just didn’t have the time to prepare or just simply ran short, then you will find some healthy snack options around here.
- In Mortimer’s Market, you’ll find small hummus cups with pretzels for dipping, yummy giant pickles, and nutritious seedless mandarines.
- Watch out for the fruit carts around the park! They have loads of fresh fruit to curve your hunger and give you that extra push!
- You can also find Mickey Mouse shaped soft pretzels. They’re not only vegan and delicious, but they also make adorable props for theme park selfies!
Pizza and sandwiches and bowls, oh my!
Our favorite vegan-friendly main meals at California Adventure are:
- Vegan Cheese Pizza (Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta)
- Vegan Meatball Subs (Paradise Garden Grill)
- Barbecue Jackfruit Sandwich (Smokejumpers Grill)
- Tofu, Rice & Veggie Bowl (Lucky Fortune Cookery)
If you’re in the mood for some simple but yummy vegan pizza head down to Boardwalk: Pizza & Pasta. Just go up to the pizza counter and ask for the pizza with vegan cheese (they use Daiya cheese). Disney parks are great with allergen sensitivity, so if you let someone know that you can’t have dairy, they can almost always hook you up with a dairy-free option. Also, make sure you check the chilled drinks section because we were surprised to find two options for dairy-free milk (single-serving almond milk and soy milk)!
You might want to drop by the Paradise Garden Grill, and give their vegan sandwich a try! You’ll be happy to know that this is isn’t your regular vegan sandwich! It’s an Impossible No Meat Ball Submarine! How amazing is that? They serve it with marinara sauce, topped with Soy cheese and served with Kettle chips. So good!
Now if you’re looking for an epic BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich then head to the Smokejumpers Grill in the Grizzly Peak area (where all the cute bears are!). It has yummy seasoned jackfruit, bear paw slaw, and delicious housemade sweet pickles. Warning! Skip the non-vegan friendly crispy onions and ask for the fries instead, and swap the original bun (not vegan) for the potato bun. Then you’ll be good to go! Extra tip: Make a pit stop at the salad bar and add a few extras into your sandwich! Go crazy!
Do you feel like you need something a bit more comforting? You’re in luck because at the Lucky Fortune Cookery you can order an Asian rice bowl with tofu which is full of yummy fresh veggies and topped with a creamy green curry sauce. Yum!
Refreshing Sweet Treats
If you’re looking to sweeten up your visit, then you’ll be thrilled to know that vegan desserts are also available! It can get pretty warm in the Spring/Summer season so you’ll be happy to find some refreshing heat coping treats.
The most notable vegan sweet at California Adventure is the lemon soft serve frosted treats from the Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats. It’s a bit like a dole-whip, and they taste like sweet pineapple heaven. The stand is right across the Truth Booth. You have to try them!
Another great option is to get the Marina Raspberry Sorbet Sunday at Ghirardelli Fountain and Chocolate Shop. Just make sure you swap the chocolate sauce and whipped cream for strawberries and almonds. So good!
You might want to quench your thirst while getting your sweet fix. If that’s the case, then you can go for the lemonades at Lemonades Carts. So refreshing!
Disney’s California Adventure Park: The Rundown!
Going to a theme park is meant to be fun and exciting. It’s not a time to stress over food choices or munch on romaine lettuce while your friends chow down on pizza, right?
We are so lucky to be living in times where vegan options are practically everywhere, especially if we have the courage to ask for a vegan option if the menu doesn’t provide it.
If you’re visiting the California Adventure Park in Anaheim, believe me, you won’t go hungry! The bottom line is they have plenty of plant-based options to enjoy and so many fun rides to get your adrenaline up you’ll make great memories there. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Having a great time with people you love while creating beautiful memories you’ll be able to look back on with them later on…
But, well, it’s also nice to remember the incredible food you tasted! So eat away!
And remember, as long as you are prepared you’ll have an amazing time! Try to plan ahead in every way. Weather changes, energy slumps, thirst attacks, and when hunger strikes. It’ll give you more time to enjoy and focus on all the fun!
Which Are The Best Rides?
- Our favorite was the Incredicoaster. This ride is the only rollercoaster at California Adventure with an inversion! Are you freaking out yet? Well, that’s not all! It’s also the fastest, reaching speeds to up to 55 miles an hour. Wait…that doesn’t actually sound very impressive. But trust me, it’s fun. Gotta love adrenaline!
- Another unique ride is Soarin: Around the World. This one is pretty incredible! It’s a flight motion simulator attraction and uses the IMAX technology with a concave screen. You’ll really feel like your flying over the world! This ride is the full experience. Could you believe me if I told you they even simulate the smells of the places your flying over? The sea scent of the South Pacific anyone? Amazing!
- Now, if you’re looking to get a little wet, then you’ll love the Grizzly River Run! You get into an 8 person raft and drift along the river peacefully until you hit those slops and get drenched. Don’t forget to bring your waterproof poncho!
Best Tips To Know Before You Get There?
- Two words: Fast pass! I’m sure you’ve heard of them before but we cannot stress this enough. Get yourself a fast pass and skip the lines. Your experience will be completely different if you can choose the rides and move freely around without too many time restrictions.
- Skip the long lines by opting for the special single rider line! Even if you go with friends, consider the chance to use the single rider option because you’ll skip the queues even more.
- Bring your own water! Take your reusable water bottle and refill it along the way. They have many water fountains where you can get your self some free drinking water. You’ll stay hydrated, spend less and reduce your plastic use. Triple win!
- Wear comfortable shoes! Wearing your sports shoes is a must because you’ll be walking a lot. I know this one sounds very obvious, but it’s a friendly reminder.
- Take some healthy quick snacks. Bring along some fruits and nuts to snack on in between rides. It will give you a quick boost of energy without forcing you to sit down at a restaurant again.
- Always ask! If you’re looking for vegan options, remember to always ask about the ingredients. For example, if you are super excited to try a vegan burger option on the menu, make sure you ask about the bun and cheese. It’s not uncommon that some burger buns have egg or milk in it. In California Adventure Park they will always try to find out that information for you and help you find a vegan option.
Are You Also Visiting Disneyland? Check out our Vegan at Disneyland Video!
If you’re looking for more vegan guides to help you find the best vegan options at your favorite places then check out these:
- How to order vegan at Starbucks?
- How to order vegan at Papa Murphy’s?
- Guide to shopping vegan at Costco!
- How to order vegan at Domino’s Pizza
Many thanks to Visit Anaheim for sending us to Disney’s California Adventure. You can check out some awesome veg-friendly spots in Anaheim here. Please note that this article contains affiliate links that support our work here at World of Vegan!