Update: Check out my more recent post about what I ate at Unviersal Studios Orlando in 2020 here!
As much as I love Universal Studios/The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, they really need to improve their vegan and gluten free options. I was able to find a couple of things, but the options are much more limited than at Disney World and honestly pretty disappointing.
Since I knew my options would be limited after last year’s experience, I had a big breakfast at the Disney Caribbean Beach Resort where we were staying before we left for Universal. We had made a reservation at Mythos Restaurant (at Islands of Adventure) for lunch since I saw that they had a couple of options on their menu online that could be made vegan and gluten free, and it’s not far from Hogwarts/the original Harry Potter ride. The restaurant has a cool atmosphere and is highly rated, so I was hoping for a hearty lunch to hold me over throughout the day.
There were two vegan and gluten free options on the menu–pad thai or risotto, and I opted for the pad thai. I hoped to get a soup or salad to go with it to make my meal more filling, but the server told me that none of them were vegan including the salads since the dressings contain dairy and/or honey and didn’t offer to inquire about other options for me.
The pad thai was good but not substantial enough to fill me up since it only consisted of rice noodles and shredded vegetables (and wasn’t a big portion). I wish it was bigger and/or came with tofu or edamame or something. I also would’ve liked to get an appetizer to go with it, so it’d be great if they would consider modifying one of their salad dressings to be vegan at the very least. Maybe the risotto would have been more filling–if you’ve tried it please let me know.
The only other food I found I had while at Universal Studios was a latte and plain potato chips from Starbucks, so I was really hungry by the time I left the park. I considered getting another plain baked potato like I did last year, but I didn’t want to walk all the way back to the baked potato stand (which is near the Men in Black ride at the original Universal Studios park) since I was at the other end of the park. The fruit stands we saw were closed as well for some reason, which limited my options even more. I also considered trying Ben & Jerry’s since I saw they had a sign advertising a dairy free flavor last year, but the sign was gone/it wasn’t on the menu/the line was super long, and I didn’t want to wait in line if they didn’t even have it (also only one of the Ben & Jerry’s flavors is gluten free so my chances of finding something were slim.)
Overall my experience at Universal Studios as a gluten free vegan was not great, especially when compared to the amazing options at Disney World. Have you visited Universal as a vegan/did you find any options? Let me know in the comments.