Disney parks expand vegan food options and they’re delicious (just don’t call them ‘vegan’)

Like many of Disney's food offerings, some of the vegan dishes are themed to match their location. This hummus dish served at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is called a "Felucian Garden Spread," a reference to a planet covered in overgrown plants in the Star Wars universe.
Like many of Disney's food offerings, some of the vegan dishes are themed to match their location. This hummus dish served at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge is called a "Felucian Garden Spread," a reference to a planet covered in overgrown plants in the Star Wars universe. (©2019 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

(CNN) – The self-described "happiest place on Earth" is getting increasingly happier for animals, and for those who are increasingly removing those animals from their diet.

After a big push last fall, the resort development division of Walt Disney World in Florida has identified more than 400 new and proven “plant-based” options on the menus of all its food locations, including park restaurants, food carts and hotel properties. That’s 580 locations in Disney World alone. And a similar effort is underway at the Disneyland park and resort in Anaheim, California.

Just don't call these non-meat, non-dairy, non-honey options "vegan."

"Most research shows that the word 'vegan' appeals to vegans but the trend is much broader than that," explained Cheryl Dolven, a manager for food and beverage health and wellness with Walt Disney World Resort Development, Optimization and Standardization.

"'Plant-based' is much more broadly appealing," Dolven added.

"I get it, 'vegan' sounds weird," I said to Dolven, who politely didn't disagree.

"Plant-based" can be defined more loosely than vegan, says CNN Health contributor and nutritionist Lisa Drayer. But Disney defines their "plant-based" options as "made without animal meal, dairy, eggs and honey," according to their website, meeting the commonly accepted definition of vegan.

Whatever you want to call it, it's a smart move to capitalize on a trend that's already impacting the restaurant and hospitality industry across the country. Restaurant sales of alternative meat products jumped 268% last year, according to the Dining Alliance, a US industry group.