April 20, 2008


The "Happiest Place on Earth" is not such a treat for Vegans. Perhaps vegetarians (lacto- ovo-) and semi-vegetarians (pesce-, pollo-) would find Disneyland a much more friendly place, but Vegans beware! There is nothing for us in the "land of a million dreams." Unless you count the "million hallucinations" you will have in your hunger-induced stupor.

We were at Disneyland for the Music in the Parks competition festival with my husband's high school concert band. I went along as a chaperone & of course we brought our 6 1/2 year old son! For the price we paid (about $100 for the 3 of us) it was a great deal. Our day would begin at 4am on Saturday April 19th and end at 3:30am on Sunday April 20th. That's a long day for grown-ups, that's a long day for high school age kids, and that's a mighty long day for a lone kindergartener.

On Friday morning, while grocery shopping, I had a "moment". I paused by the Odwalla shelf and remembered back to how convenient those bars had been at the San Diego Zoo last month. I grabbed 4 bars (strawberry pomegranate and chocolate chip peanut) and hoped that I wasn't going to need them.

Unfortunately, I ended up eating 3 1/2 of those bars while I watched everyone else eating whatever suited their fancy. Thankfully, I only had to worry about one meal in the park because breakfast was eaten on the bus (1 strawberry pomegranate bar for me) and lunch was found at a stop in the town Placentia, CA, where the competition was held. Thankfully, there was a Starbucks so I was able to purchase a citrus fruit salad to eat along side my chocolate chip peanut bar. I was feeling pretty proud of myself at this point - 2 meals down and so far on track with what I'd normally eat calorie-wise on a regular day.

Once in the park, we treated our son to some cotton candy but we refrained from spending too much money on ourselves for snacks. My husband & I started to get the munchies around 2pm, so we split another Odwalla (1 strawberry pomegranate). But when dinner rolled around... the sidewalk menus at the various restaurants in Disney were chock full of meat sandwiches, meat soups, meat gumbo, meat salads, meat on a stick, meat in a piece of foil, meat on the bone, meat meat meat meat meat! There was one sandwich shop that had "vegetarian po' boys" but one look told me I did not want to eat this. First, the guys making the sandwiches were wearing latex gloves to handle the food but they did not change their gloves between orders or really even wipe off the counter they were making them on. All I could picture was meat juice on my "vegetarian" sandwich thus negating any vegetarianistic qualities my sandwich may have been clinging desperately to in the first place. We left. There was another soup counter that served "vegetarian gumbo" but again... are crayfish vegetarian? I don't know if that was what was in it, but I don't trust any "vegetarian" meal at Disney especially given that the "cast members" don't seem to be trained in open-minded free thinking.

My husband was actually disgusted watching a little kid near us gnawing on a turkey leg. He said between watching that kid and then watching those guys make all those sandwiches with the same gloves, he wasn't in the mood to eat any meat anyway. He left my son & I sitting on a bench (Andrew eating a peanut butter & jelly sandwich I had packed for him & I finished off the last Odwalla bar) while he scoped out the food situation. He found a small window, out of the way, that served "baked goods" like bagels, croissants & fritters. He bought himself a croissant & I ran over to get myself a bagel.

So... Are bagels made with eggs? No. At least they're not supposed to be made with eggs. Milk? Nope. Should be flour, yeast, water, sugar, salt. What makes various breads so different is the ratio of yeast & flour and of course the way you cook the bread. I decided I was so hungry, & so tired of Odwalla bars that I would go for the bagel & strawberry preserves. It felt so good to chew something other than a protein bar... and the preserves were just the sugar hit I needed.

Our score:
Vegan: 1 point for finding a bagel
semi-vegetarian husband: 1 point for the croissant
lacto-vegetarian son: 1 point for cotton candy and 1 point for grabbing the last quarter of my bagel & stuffing it in his mouth before I could stop him
turkey-leg-eating-little-boy: 10 points for grossing us all out