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If you’re planning a trip to Disney World, one of the key factors to consider is how much spending money you’ll need for your trip. Since most people don’t want to part with more cash than they have to, one of the first questions that comes up is ‘Can you bring in food to Disney World’?
The short answer is yes, you can bring food into Disney World. This is great news, as food at Disney is notoriously expensive. We’ve learned from experience that by taking your own snacks, drinks and even meals, you in fact can save a small fortune!
It is, of course, a little more complicated than a simple yes or no answer, as there are rules around bringing your own Disney parks food and drink. This post outlines these, as well as offers our top tips and hacks regarding the best food at Disney World – both to bring and to buy there.
It’s not only about when you’re at the park, of course, which is why we also cover accommodations. Some hotels provide microwaves in the rooms, while other self-catering villas may even come with a fully equipped kitchen.
From which refillable deals are worth your while to the accommodations near Disney World that enable you to prepare food, this post goes through everything you need to know about eating and drinking your own food while at Disney World.
Can you bring in food to Disney World: What Disney says
So does Disney allow outside food? According to the Disney World website, these are the rules of the Disney World food policy.
For your own consumption
Firstly, you are indeed allowed to bring in food and drinks for your own consumption.
Soft drinks only
Only non-alcoholic drinks can be brought into the Disney World theme park.
No glass containers
For safety reasons, glass containers are prohibited and cannot be brought in.
No smelly foods
Food with ‘pungent odors’ cannot be taken inside the park.
No reheating or refrigeration
If your food and drink items require refrigeration or to be heated before eating, then they cannot be brought into Disney World. This isn’t to say you can’t bring chilled foods in a suitable cooler, however.
Food must be declared
Disney also says that any food items must be declared to a member of the security team upon entry. There is no mention of drinks.
Taking food into Disney World – the pro’s and con’s
Saving money is probably the number one reason why people ask ‘can you take food into Disney World?’ The prices on the park are very steep, making it well worth planning in advance.
You can also save time by taking your own food and drinks, as the queues and food waiting times can be just as notorious as the prices!
If you prefer Pepsi to Coke or your kids are stuck on a particular brand or flavor of snack food, then it’s wise to bring your own supplies with you.
Whether it’s a religious reason, an allergy or you’re trying to lose weight, bringing your own food and drinks ensures you can fulfill those needs.
If your kids go crazy after sugar or you’re concerned about their overall wellbeing or dental health, bringing your own means guaranteed access to healthier food and drink choices.
Carrying food and drinks
Taking your own food and drinks is more of a chore, and not least because you’ll have to carry them. With careful planning and a backpack each, though, this can be very manageable.
If you’re not taking a car, then your grocery shopping options are limited. You can arrange for food to be delivered to your accommodation, however.
It’s a vacation
For some, being on vacation means having a rest from all the usual family catering demands, and you may be prepared to pay the price for that convenience.
Food at Disney: The Good
Let’s take a look at what the best food at Disney World is when you need to minimize your load or deal with an unexpected snack attack.
Popcorn is sold in the park in buckets, and this can make a tasty and relatively nutritious snack for all the family. Though a bucket will cost you $10, it’s a refillable deal. So keep hold of the bucket, as you can refill it later on in your trip for only $2.
Refillable drinks mug
We like purchasing the refillable drink mug for $19.95 when staying at a Disney resort. Once you’ve purchased 5 drinks you’ve already covered the cost of the mug. The deal includes coffee, tea and hot chocolate as well as all the fountain drinks, and is good for the duration of your stay.
Disney insider tip – We have a whole post on Disney’s refillable drinking mug, including 10 top tips.
Free water cups
All quick-service restaurants at Disney World give out free water cups. If you can’t see a stack of them, just go up to the counter and ask.
Disney World’s quick-service food courts have microwaves that are available to use, but these are only meant for heating milk and food for babies.
Disney parks food FAQs
Based on multiple family visits to the theme park as well as careful research, here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about what can you bring into Disney World.
Can you bring water bottles into Disney World?
Can you take drinks into Disney World? Yes, you can, as long as they don’t contain alcohol and are not in glass containers. So if you want to know can you bring bottled water into Disney World, the answer is yes – soft drinks in plastic bottles are absolutely fine to take in with you.
Can you bring snacks into Disney World?
If you’re wondering what can I bring into Disney World in terms of snack foods, the simplest way to answer the question is to refer back to Disney’s own rules. Thus you can take snacks that are for your own consumption as long as they don’t need to be kept in the fridge or heated. Nor should they have a ‘pungent odor’, or be stored in glass containers.
Can you take backpacks into Disney World?
So can you take a backpack into Disney World to carry all your food and drinks in? Again, yes, absolutely. It’s the best way to carry everything you need for a day in the park, including extra layers of clothing, rain ponchos and of course snacks and beverages.
Disney insider tip – If you have a small child, you could also store food and drinks in the basket of their stroller!
What’s the Disney cooler policy?
Perhaps surprisingly, park rules do permit you to take your own cooler bag or box onto the park. Any cooler must not exceed 24″ x 15″ x 18″ in size, and as you cannot take in standard loose or dry ice you must use sealed ice packs. Wheeled coolers are okay, as long as they fit the size criteria.
Where to eat food you bring into Disney World?
Don’t make yourself at home in one of Disney’s sit-down restaurants. However, there are plenty of self-service restaurants that have seating outside which you are free to use.
Choose areas such as in front of Pinocchio’s Village Haus in Fantasyland or sit under shade trees in Frontierland. Find benches, tables or even along the Disney parade route.
Where to buy food for your Disney World trip
If you’re headed to Disney World by car, then there’s nothing to stop you from buying your own groceries on the way there, or after you’ve checked into your hotel or villa.
When traveling to Disney World by car, we recommend stopping by at a grocery store like Publix to pick up snacks, drinks and maybe even meals for the duration of your stay.
If you’re not bringing your vehicle or a rental car, you can pre-order groceries from Garden Grocer for delivery to your hotel.
When buying, just bear the rules in mind – nothing too smelly, and no glass unless it’s a jar of baby food.
Do you have a cooler with sealed ice packs to store it in, that fits within the size limit? if so you can buy foods that are better kept cold but don’t require refrigeration.
Chocolate is best avoided, as it melts far too quickly beneath the heat of the Florida sun!
As for foods that require cooking or heating, you can’t take them onto the park as they’re not allowed and there are no facilities provided for this in any case. At your accommodation, however, it may be a different story…
Can you bring food into Disney accommodation?
One of the best money-saving hacks for a family break to Disney is to self-cater as much as possible. Various cooking amenities are provided at certain accommodations, meaning you can do anything from heating a TV dinner to cooking a full-on family feast.
All Disney hotels have at least small refrigerators in them, so you can store some food and drink items in your accommodation. As such, we find that’s the best place to enjoy munching on a non-melting chocolate bar!
Disney World accommodations with microwave ovens
This is a list of all the local hotels and self-catering accommodations with microwaves in the rooms.
If the property you want to use or have already booked is not on the list, it’s worth making a quick call to them, as it can be possible to request a microwave in your room on a first-come, first-serve basis.
- Animal Kingdom Lodge Jambo and Kidani Villas
- Saratoga Springs and Treehouse Villas
- Riviera Resort (except Tower Studios)
- Grand Floridian (by request)
- Wilderness Lodge Villas
- Fort Wilderness Cabins
- Old Key West Villas
- Beach Club Villas
- Boardwalk Villas
Disney World accommodations with full kitchens
If you want to save money by cooking your own meals or generally just enjoy the convenience of having a proper kitchen, these accommodations come with fully equipped kitchens.
The downside is that they tend to be more expensive, but there is the potential to save a lot of money when making your own meals every day. They are often more spacious and luxurious places to stay too.
- Saratoga Springs (except studios) Treehouse Villas
- Copper Creek Villas and Cabins (except studios)
- Grand Floridian Villas (except studios)
- Riviera Resort (except Tower Studios)
- Fort Wilderness Cabins and Homes
- Beach Club Villas (except studios)
- Boardwalk Villas (except studios)
- Boulder Ridge (except studios)
- Old Key West (except studios)
- Polynesian Bungalows
Can you bring in food to Disney World Summary
As you can see, there’s the potential to save a lot of money when taking your own food and drinks into Disney World. For some great snack ideas, don’t miss our post on the best food to take on family road trips, as it’s packed with lots of healthier and less messy suggestions.
You can take food into Disney World, as long as it’s not in a glass container or is too smelly. Nor should it need heating or refrigeration. Soft drinks are also fine. All food and drinks should be solely for your own consumption, and you need to declare food when entering the park.
So go ahead. Next time you are wondering ‘Can you bring in food to Disney World?’, the answer is a resounding yes.
Disney insider tip – There are no formal picnic areas as such, so it’s best to take less messy foods that are quick to eat with you.
If you’re now left wondering what to carry it all in, don’t forget to check out our post on the best backpacks for Disney! We’ve saved a fortune by taking our own food and drinks into the park in this way.