Hidden Culinary Treasure

Finding places to eat to please all the pallets in your group can be challenging. Some people don’t like spicy food, others don’t like Chinese and sometimes you just can’t eat one more burger and fries combo.

In our circumstance, my husband and I are both full time vegetarians and part time vegans, it can be hard for us to find something to eat.

Back home, we have to usually ask for grilled chicken salads with out the grilled chicken or order a sub without the meat (crazy I know.)

So we were really looking forward to enjoying all the wonderful vegetarian/vegan options available.

The meal that I was looking forward to the most was located in one of the most surprising places for a non-meat eater: Trails End Café at Fort Wilderness.

Situated at the campground at the Walt Disney Resort, Trails End is in Pioneer Hall which is only a short walk from the boat dock that takes you from the Magic Kingdom to the resort (this is the way we arrived to the campground.)

While the restaurant is a buffet that would please any meat-eater, it is surprising that this is a vegan haven.

Chef TJ has been recognized for his commitment to keeping those with food allergies safe. Because, not only does chef TJ work with those who are vegans he is also the person that helps people with food allergies.

The great thing about him is that he really goes above and beyond to make the meal extra special for those with dietary restrictions.

When we went to the restaurant Chef TJ was super busy that day. He had a bunch of people with dietary restrictions so he asked us to be patient and was so nice throughout the meal. He showed us to the buffet and told us what we could eat, which was pretty much limited to a few salad items and a baked potato, but he said he would bring the rest of the food to us.

The very first course were delicious vegan samosas.

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They were crispy with a little bit of spice brought on by the filling and also the tangy sauce on the outside. To add a little bit of a tang, a balsamic reduction was drizzled over top.

The second course were delicious vegan nachos.

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This picture isn’t doing justice to how delicious these nachos were. I am pretty sure that these were rice nachos because they were lighter and a little crispier than traditional nachos.

On top there were grilled peppers and onions, the delicious balsamic drizzle and homemade vegan cheese.

We have made vegan cheese at home with cashews and it always comes out delicious, but also kind of heavy. This recipe was light but also had a cheesy taste with an excellent cheese-like mouth feel.

Just, when I thought we were going to get our main course, Chef TJ comes out with a delicious mushroom soup.

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I am not sure how it was done, but the mushroom soup was so creamy without any dairy products. You have to really like mushrooms to enjoy this soup. Luckily, I do love mushrooms so this was the perfect soup.

Right when I was starting to feel pretty full, Chef TJ comes out with our main entrée.

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Not only was this meal beautiful, but it was so delicious. It consisted of grilled zucchini, squash and portabella cap toped with an onion. There was also baked tofu and stir fry rice drizzled with a mesquite sauce.

I might have been pretty full but there was no way I was going to not enjoy this meal. It was delicious, with a yummy grill flavor. The rice was not salty, which can sometimes be the case with stir fry rice, and the grilled vegetables had the perfect crispy texture.

To end the evening’s eating events, Chef TJ, brought out this amazing dessert tower and proceeded to drizzle chocolate syrup all over it.

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In this dessert tower was vegan ice cream sandwiches, bananas, strawberries, a strawberry compote, gummy worms, a whole apple and sprinkles.

To say that I was impressed would be an understatement. The fact that Chef TJ takes the time to create something so special for vegan guests just blows me away. While, all of the Disney restaurants do a wonderful job taking care of their guests with special dietary needs, Chef TJ takes it to a whole new level.

His friendliness also puts you at ease. For me, I hate to have a fuss made over my food. I always feel like I am putting someone out. But, Chef TJ never once made me feel like that.

So if you are looking for a great place to dine for anyone with special dietary needs, you need to check out Trails End at Fort Wilderness Resort.


Roughing it?

If you saw one of my recent posts, you would have seen that our family is starting to dip our toe into the world of camping. (This is a big step for someone who squeals and runs away whenever a bug is near.)

Because of this I have become obsessed with Walt Disney Resort’s Fort Wilderness and the prospect of camping there sometime. So now seemed like the best time to take a little more in-depth look at the resort and what it means for your Mousekatot.



The resort opened in November 1971, a little more than a month after the opening of the Contemporary Resort and Polynesian Village.

It is considered in the Magic Kingdom Resort loop and is adjacent to Bay Lake, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and the abandoned waterpark, River Country.

The Feel of the Resort

The resort is designed with a rustic feel in mind. It is so expansive it has its own internal bus system to take you to various spots inside of the resort.

Photo courtesy of WDWinfo.com
Accommodation Options

The resort has three major ways of staying on property.

The first is tent camping. People can bring their own supplies and tent and pitch it right on property. But this is still not completely roughing it. Each campsite comes equipped with a sandy area for the tent, a concrete pad for a car, water and hose and electricity.

The second option is for people who have RV or trailer campers. Disney allows people to choose from a variety of options for this campsite including complete hookups or none. For those who want to stay in an RV, but don’t own one, there are a few companies that will rent you one for the week and have it ready and waiting for your arrival.

The third option is to rent a cabin. Disney offers adorable cabins that are perfect for larger families. They come equipped with a complete kitchen and gas grill.

Photo courtesy of 1923mainstreet.com

Dining Options

Fort Wilderness is host of some of the most popular dining options within the resort including two different dinner shows, Mickey’s Backyard BBQ and Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Review. This is also home of the Trails End Restaurant.

Your little Mousekatot would love to attend Mickey’s Backyard BBQ and meet with Mickey and some of his pals at this special character breakfast. This dining experience requires two table service credits if you are on the dining plan.

Also, if your Mousekatot is on the loud side and you are concerned about them being too noisy at a restaurant, Trails End is the perfect place. For those that want to get in on the act, the meal is almost a show in itself that requires loud and silly audience participation.

Photo courtesy of diningatdisney.com
Options for Fun

There are several options that make Fort Wilderness a perfect fit for a family with a younger child.

The first is the Campfire Sing-Along with Chip ‘n’ Dale where a wonderful cast member leads an old fashioned campfire sing-along, complete with s’mores, that include a special appearance with the two world famous chipmunks. Following the sing-along there is a movie shown on a screen under the stars.

While this event is free to anyone, it is a lot more convient to attend if you are already staying on the property.

Also, you will want to head to the fort’s beach and look out for the Electric Water Pageant that takes place on Bay Lake.

There are also two playgrounds, for your tot to burn out some energy, and two swimming pools. In addition, there are recreation activities that might be found at traditional campgrounds including fishing, horseback riding, canoes, kayaks, bikes and more.

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World Resort
Campsites all decked out

One of the things that makes the resort so special is that people really go all out to decorate their site around the holidays. It is pretty common place to see intricate Halloween and Christmas decorations around the campsite.

The best way to take it all in is to rent a golf cart ($62 per day) and drive around to see all the different displays at night.

Photo courtesy of AllEars.net
If you are curious about what Fort Wilderness has to offer, take a boat over from the Magic Kingdom and check it out. Schedule either a dinner or a visit to the campfire to see if the resort is for you.

Would you ever consider camping at Walt Disney Resort? Leave your response in the comments below.

Congrats to Chef TJ

Anyone who has a food allergy or dietary restriction has heard of the legendary chef TJ Sudiswa. 

Recently he was honored at the FARE National Food Allergy Conference in Orlando with the Outstanding Professional award for all the work that he has done to help those with food allergies at the Walt Disney World Resort. 

Chef TJ is currently cooking up delicious creations at Trails End and Hoop Dee Do Musical Review, both at the Fort Wilderness Resort. 

Being a newcomer to the vegan community I quickly learned about his impressive creations that would often make omnivore dining companions drool with envy including homemade soups, cheese bread, nachos, dessert towers and more. 

A wonderful blog for the vegan community, Vegan Disney World, shares their experience at Trails End with Chef TJ. Just try not to get too hungry while reading it. 

Photo courtesy of Vegan Disney World.

I can tell you, I have our October reservations booked and I can’t wait to experience this dining masterpiece. 

Congratulations, chef TJ!