I recently went on a family trip to Disney World in Orlando, and I also spent a day at Universal Studios. I had heard that Universal Studios was a lot less vegan friendly than Disney, and that did seem to be true, but I was still able to find some vegan options–keep reading to find out what I got.
Unlike at Disney World, the Universal Studios rules say that outside food and drinks aren’t allowed in the park unless you have food allergies. I packed a couple of Lara Bars and some dried edamame, but I didn’t want to pack a bunch of stuff just in case they gave me a hard time about it. As it turned out, no one ever searched my bag or said anything. I also ate breakfast before we went (even though we had a breakfast reservation) so I wouldn’t start the day hungry.
Note: I have a mild gluten intolerance (I get a bit of a rash on my face if I eat gluten), but I don’t have Celiac, and it isn’t a huge deal if I eat a little bit. So I don’t always ask about gluten and just order whatever dishes aren’t made with gluten ingredients. Always consult with the chef for allergy information.
The Three Broomsticks (Hogsmeade, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter)
We had a breakfast scheduled at Three Broomsticks in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, something you can only do if you stay at a Universal Resort. We stayed at Fort Wilderness Resort while at Disney, and then we moved to Universal’s Cabana Bay so that we could get in to Universal an hour early (and ride the Harry Potter ride a couple of times before it opened to the public!) My family stayed a couple of days longer than me, so they spent more time at Universal as well.
Before we went to Universal, I checked this post for vegan options in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and though there were quite a few listed, when I asked the chef about it at Three Broomsticks, she said the old fashioned steamed oats were the best (and kind of implied the only) option. She confirmed that the oats are made with water. I was happy with this meal because I love plain, healthy whole grains, and it also came with fruit (watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, pineapple, orange, and grapefruit), a single serving of brown sugar, and a drink of choice–I got pumpkin juice (it’s vegan!) The butter-beer isn’t sadly, but Evanna Lynch (Luna Lovegood) created a vegan butter beer recipe (as well as vegan pumpkin pasties & chocolate frogs recipes) that I’m planning on trying ASAP!
A few hours after lunch at Three Broomsticks, we were all hungry again, and I saw an unnamed food stand near the Men in Black ride that had baked potatoes and was able to get a plain baked potato. I also got some grapes from a stand in Hogsmeade and a fruit cup at Hogwarts Express, and snacked on one of my Lara Bars and dried edamame.
Bayliner Diner (Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort)
For dinner we went to the Bayliner Diner, a food court in our resort. The whole resort has a super fun retro theme–our room was so cute, and the Bayliner Diner also had a retro theme with old shows and movies playing on big screens.
I got a vegan and gluten free pizza from the pizza station–it’s not on the menu though and you have to request it and wait longer. I called ahead of time and had them read me the ingredients for the gluten free crust to make sure it was vegan, and it is and doesn’t contain dairy, eggs, or honey–it’s sweetened with agave. It only comes in a kid’s size, so I ordered two. I also got some greens, cucumber, tomatoes, corn, edamame, carrots, and pickled cauliflower from the build your own salad bar. I was actually full after one pizza and the salad, so I saved the extra pizza to eat in my room before my flight the next afternoon. They also had a vegan stir fry option on the menu at the international station, but it had couscous/wasn’t gluten free.
Have you been to Universal Studios Orlando? Did you find any good vegan options? Let me know in the comments!
Update 2018: I’ve been back to Universal Studios and had a vegan and gluten free meal at Mythos as well.