There are SO many choices for food at Disney World!
And while we tend to want to EAT ALL THE THINGS when we’re there, that can be a budget-breaking proposition! If you’re headed to Disney World on a tight budget — or if you have someone in your family with food sensitivities or just strong food preferences (we think that’s a nicer way to see picky eaters?) — bringing your own food to Disney World could be a problem solver for you!
Disney World’s Rules About Bringing Food Into the Parks
Here’s what Disney has to say about bringing food into its theme parks and water parks:
“Guests are allowed to bring outside food and nonalcoholic beverage items into the park for self-consumption, provided they are not in glass containers and do not require heating, reheating, processing, refrigeration or temperature control and do not have pungent odors. Inform a Security Cast Member of any food items when you enter the park.”
So, yes you can bring food in, and lots of things are fair game, as long as they aren’t in glass, and you don’t expect Disney to help you keep it cold or heat it up.
Tips for Bringing Food Into Disney World
So, we know we can bring food into the parks, and we know about the limitations of doing it. So, what kinds of food should you bring?
Bring things that are lightweight — That 2-pound canister of almonds probably isn’t the best thing to lug around Disney World all day, but small bags of pretzels, granola bars, dried fruit, and similar items will be easier to carry. Reusable silicone bags can come in handy for making up smaller snack bags to take to the parks!
Opt for a refillable water bottle over 6 full bottles of Dasani, too.
Pack foods that are sturdy enough not to crumble in your bag. Regular potato chips could become a pile of crumbs, while thicker corn chips will have a fighting chance to not be crushed into dust. An apple will hang out in your bag all day with no problem, but a banana may be a mushy, bruised mess by the time you’re ready to eat it!
If you need to pack foods that are more fragile, something like these stackable snack cups could come in handy!
Or, you could pack a Bento box of things for you — or your kids — to snack on during the day.
Pack foods that will withstand hot weather. It’s Florida, and for the majority of the year, the weather will be hot at Disney World. That means you should probably avoid packing chocolate-covered … well, anything. Peanut butter and jelly is going to taste fresher at lunch than a ham and cheese sandwich.
When we bring food to Disney World, we like to use a backpack cooler. That will insulate your food and keep it fresher, plus it’s just a convenient way to carry everything! This Corkcicle Cooler Backpack is a smaller size than some backpacks designed to hold a whole case of soda, which will make it easier to carry around during your Disney World day.
If you need to bring in a large amount of food, we’ve also got a bag to recommend for that! This cooler backpack can hold up to 30 cans, so you can pack quite a bit in here.
Plan for a mix of purchased food and food you bring into the parks. If you plan to have a big character breakfast buffet, you could bring peanut butter sandwiches and apple slices to nosh on later, rather than buying another meal. Or you could grab a quick-service entree to split — like chicken tenders or a burger — and supplement with sides like pretzels and baby carrots you brought with you to save some cash.
Don’t forget about grocery delivery. If you are flying to Disney World, you don’t even have to make a trip to a grocery store to bring food to the parks — several nearby supermarkets offer delivery service to Disney World hotels through Instacart. Check out our post here for more information.
Remember that you can get free cups of water at many locations throughout the parks — we like to pour ours into insulated bottles like the one above to keep it cool!
Whether you are bringing in your own food because of a special diet, food preferences or to save some money, these tips should help you with bringing food to Disney World! Keep following All Ears for the latest Disney World news!
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Have you brought snacks into the parks? Which are your go-to snacks from home? Let us know in the comments below!